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March: the Francophonie month across NAISAK and the world!

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After a week of hard work and unforgettable experiences, our Secondary students are back from Tanzania. As I type this, they must be in bed recovering from their efforts, the excitement of meeting their Nord Anglia peers from all over the world, and the awe of their encounters with the local population. This past week has been such a unique human moment for our young learners! I am sure you will join me in saying that we are eagerly awaiting their contributions to the e-Newsletter next week!

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In the meantime, students at NAISAK used their senses and communicative skills to explore further some aspects of the curriculum and develop their cultural understanding.

 

March: the Francophonie month across NAISAK and the world!

French breakfast to taste a variety of cheeses, pancakes, croissants, pies and breads.

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Year 5 asking teachers if they wanted croissants, cheeses, pancakes… using French only!

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Secondary students taking food orders at school with their visual resources.

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Calin Negrea (3N) with the French cake for the ‘animal competition’

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During the first week of March, the French Secondary and Primary students visited all classes in Foundation and Primary to teach the students about French traditional food and recipes, culture, sports, fashion, buildings and important facts. They made their visits very interactive by using their own Powerpoint slideshows, posters, visual resources, games they created in class or at home, as well as food, such as real pancakes and croissants. Foundation classes even got the chance to dance the French cancan, sing, learn traditional French songs and play traditional games. It has been a real opportunity to enhance the speaking skills of all students. Most of our Foundation and Primary students got a chance to eat crêpes with vanilla or orange blossom flavour!

During the second week of March, the French Secondary students completed their oral assessment for the end-of-Term 2. The exercise requires them to respond to various questions in French, imagine they are in France buying clothes or food from the shops, ask for directions or prices in Paris, introduce themselves, talk about their hobbies, family and future projects, and present the weather forecast. All students, no matter the level they are working at, took part. That same week, while the Year 10 students practised conscientiously their French skills to prepare for the mock IGCSE test, the French Primary students learned how to make pancakes in French, and got the privilege to eat lots of them either with sugar or chocolate paste.

Primary and Secondary students also took part in the ‘Picasso and Giacometti competition,’ organised by the French Cultural Centre in Doha. They won the second prize among 17 schools! They won a year of membership at the French Cultural Center. Their paintings, sculptures and collages inspired by French artistic techniques retained the attention of the judges. They also took part in the photography competition ‘et en plus je parle français.’

During the third week, French Secondary School students took orders of pancakes or croissants from Teachers and Learning Assistants across the three stages for their French restaurant. This task is a real challenge! The students are always reminded that learning a new language is not only about accumulating vocabulary. It is about communication. Communication is a tricky skill to master as it also involves body language and facial expressions. Smiles are indeed the most important tool to interact constructively! One may travel around the world and communicate even if one does not know the language of the country. Everything is about communication, smile and resources around that can be used creatively.

In this task, the students were not allowed to speak, write or answer in English to take orders. They had to create or use their own resources to communicate with people who cannot speak French. Students were using iPads to make a video of their work so they could get feedback from their peers and their teacher, and reflect on their own performance. Students find it very stimulating and fun to learn French in such an interactive way. Abhishek Selvakumar (9A) said “By repeating many times the same questions and sentences, we were memorising faster.” Dana Moalem (7A) shared “I realised that breaking down the phrases helped people to understand the meaning more easily.” The students learned to adapt their vocabulary to make it simpler to understand. With the same idea in mind, all French Primary students organised a French breakfast so they could taste a variety of cheeses, pancakes, croissants and pies. They also went to see different members of staff to ask in French what they would like to try and explained why France enjoys such an amazing variety of cheeses. They were not allowed to speak in English!

This past week, the French team organised a competition at school about “animals.” The students engaged in some fabulous creations, such as amazing French cakes, beautiful posters or lovely French songs. The competition is still running until the end of the month!

In addition to the Francophonie aims, the objectives of such an exciting month at NAISAK are to promote cross-cultural understanding, curiosity and dialogue, and celebrate how diverse our community is. Many thanks to all the students who took/are taking part, and to their parents who supported them!