What to Expect
If you want to teach in French, you'll obviously need to know how to "parler"
pretty well yourself.
Cheryl Pesicka is a school librarian who decided to brush up on her French
by enrolling in a French immersion program at the university level. "I'd taken
six years of French courses at school and never learned to speak it very well,"
Because she is a full-time school librarian, she spends time with all the
classes in the school, including the immersion students. She wanted to
be able to converse with them and teach them about using the library in French.
As a librarian, Pesicka often uses books, puppets and other props to teach
the value of reading to her students. She enjoys telling stories as a means
of teaching, and hopes to be able to do that in French.
"I plan to read simple books in French to the immersion classes," she says.
"I should be able to tell a story in French, have a simple puppet show and
talk to the class about it."
Pesicka says that being a language student made her aware of how difficult
it can be for her students to speak. "I was much more inhibited than I
thought I would be," she says. "I had to really try to be assertive because
I was self-conscious and not conversing in French when I had the opportunity."
The all-day program involved learning French language and grammar in
the morning, and then conversing in the afternoon while conducting different
activities. "In addition to learning a language, you learn about different
accents and cultures in the French-speaking world," she says.
The program, designed in part to get people speaking in French, combined
work with fun activities. It was designed for people who have some background
The program was offered in one-week and two-week sessions. Pesicka believes
that these types of courses would help prepare education students for second
Pesicka advises high school students to use every opportunity they have
to speak French. This could mean taking a video out of the library,
listening to French tapes or traveling. She says the efforts will be rewarding.
"I enjoy trying to think and speak in French," she says. "I just enjoy
the sound of the language."