French For Fun, Lafayette, California

French For Fun - Newsletter

Fall 2013

Even though, we have been welcoming students of all ages at FFF for more than 30 years, this Rentrťe, this Back to School was special, different!
We all knew back in June that Monsieur Baimba was returning to Paris to complete his education and would not be back at FFF after four years of working full time with me. Another son was leaving…

Summer was stressful, trying to find new instructors, working on scheduling, but at the same time it was exciting. We were about to begin another chapter!

Naturally, the excitement and the stress became even greater when we finally had our new team in place.

We are thrilled to welcome Madame LaŽtitia and Madame Marie, both native of France.

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Both young women are well educated, hard working, very dedicated and determined to share , to learn, to get to know our students and their families.

Besides their enthusiasm and good study habits, they both possess many skills which I simply do not have. Yet these skills are so essential for working with our students and communicating with our parents. Madame Isabelle and I are thrilled to have Marie and LaŽtitia at French For Fun.

Over the summer, I also had the opportunity to participate in the 24th Annual Summer Seminar for Language Teachers at UC Santa Barbara.

This year’s theme, “Common Core and World Language Standards in the Context of 21st Century Skills” was designed to highlight the importance of linguistic and cultural competence in our society and educate California language teachers of all levels to better understand how to apply the new initiative reforms related to Common Core Standards.

If the idea to go beyond the textbook and incorporate all disciplines in our daily lessons was not new to me, learning with a laptop in front of me, along with more than 35 teachers so much more competent than I, was truly an experience.

Thanks to Catherine Ousselin, our instructor, I survived and proudly display my certificate.

My grandchildren now 10 and 6 are still much more advanced and comfortable with this new technology that I am, but Catherine Ousselin is such an inspiration and has such a wealth of information to share, I returned from the seminar so energized and more than ever ready to teach the world.

Madame Marie and Madame LaŽtitia spent hours going through my resources, listening to all my great ideas and quickly came up with great ideas of their own, projector, speakers, camera at hand, often speaking a foreign language to me….yet it has been team work at is best and our Afternoon Immersion Program is better than ever.

Our unit topics have been very different in all our classes, ranging from learning all about bees with our kindergarteners called “Les Abeilles”, to taking a questionnaire on self identity given to Proust as a teenager and to our own Middle School immersion students.


Still determined to revive the Langeac Society and the Sister City project between Lafayette and Langeac, our intermediate immersion students are learning all about Le Marquis and his native Auvergne, while the 5th graders just finished studying about the history of the America’s Cup, the impressionist painters and their love for water and boating.

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None of this could take place, if Madame Isabelle and I did not continue to offer our morning
immersion program to our very young in the morning.

Our morning program is much smaller than in past years with only 15 students coming 3 or 4 times a week, however our new cottage is so much more appropriate. We love being there with the children.

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This fall we are also working on our website, so we will not be able to be as current as we were on classroom notes and we apologize to those all over the country and beyond who were using our classroom notes for ideas. Those of you who are closer to us, it might force you to just come and visit to see what we really do at French For Fun.

With the Holidays coming up. we are involved with the Lafayette celebration It’s a Beautiful Life on Friday, December 6th. Please join us for the sing along in French if you can.

We also invite you to join us for the special viewing of the film Joyeux NoŽl at the Walnut Creek Library on Friday, December 20th. See flyer here.

We are open 5 days a week from 8:00 am to 6:30 Pm, so please come and say Bonjour.

Au plaisir,
Catherine Jolivet

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