Advent Episcopal School Birmingham, Alabama 1950
Advent Episcopal School
2019 6th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
The French Program at Advent is founded on the belief that enjoyment of the language and culture stimulates a desire to learn. To that end, the three levels of French - 4K through 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th grades, and 5th through 8th grades - engage the students using age-appropriate techniques.
4K - 4th GRADE
In 4K through 2nd grades, the teacher seeks to enchant the students through song, dance, and crafts as she introduces the basic French sound system and vocabulary. In 3rd grade, the magic continues as the students act in plays, learn about French cartoon characters, and explore the wonders of French culture. At this level, the students begin their apprenticeship of reading and writing French.
In grades 5 through 8, the Advent French Department uses the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) method of language instruction. Derived from recent language acquisition theory and the frustration of language teachers to produce fluency in their students, TPRS has been articulated and refined by Blaine Ray, a language teacher who currently resides in Utah. The principle techniques of TPRS include keeping the class fully comprehensible, asking questions that lead to the creation of stories, dramatizing the stories with students often playing themselves, and speaking, reading, and writing in the target language as much as possible. Classes are lively, imaginative, and sometimes loud.
At the beginning of the year, students sign a contact where they pledge to speak French in class and to participate actively. A breach of the contract results in a deduction of points from the grade, but points may be redeemed through a variety of activities.
The 7th and 8th grade students are encouraged to join the French Club and participate in the annual French Convention held in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama. The Convention celebrates student knowledge of the French language and culture through oral and written competitions. French clubs from north Alabama elementary, middle, and high schools
present skits, songs, monologues, and projects for evaluation by faculty from the university French department.