Adam Hopps is a Modern Foreign Languages French teacher and aspiring leader.
When children are ambitious, they learn; they learn because they remove the invisible barriers that they have set themselves. ‘It is too hard’, ‘I am not smart enough’ and ‘I will fail’ keep students from new learning because they make too much learning unnecessarily unattainable.
I want to tell a recent success story of two students in Year 6 who decided to be ambitious with their French studies and were rewarded with a myriad of learning and growth. The students, Malia Tio, from the Glorious Gazelles and Alexander Moncrieff, from the Marvelous Meerkats, took on the challenge of taking their Diplôme d’études en langue française exams in listening, reading, writing and speaking. The DELF is a prestigious and integral part of the French education system and the Ministry of Education is very proud of its rigor and reputation for excellence. Malia and Alex had to do extra French work, visit the designated testing center and take part in the exams with native French speaking examiners. They worked their socks off, they were brave and they were ambitious, and as a result they have both been rewarded with top marks in their exams.
More importantly, both have gained an invaluable sense of self confidence and knowledge that they can do whatever they set their mind to. They can take on new and scary challenges and be successful. Both Malia and Alexander have set themselves on an exciting path to continue with their DELF exams and are practicing the skills they will need to be successful in their GCSE and IB studies in the future. The examiners of the Alliance Française noted how ambitious each student was with their spoken French. They took every opportunity to use the language skills they had and to increase the complexity of their responses.
Consequently, they also discovered where their strengths and areas for improvement lie. They are both moving into Year 7 with a clear and strong understanding of their knowledge and what they need to do to move forward. This is powerful knowledge to possess.