Cultivating Allies for French Programs

The number of French speakers has tripled since 1945.

French teachers can use these ideas to communicate the vitality of the French program
to those with local influence.
  1. For the French Teacher

  2. Making Allies of Parents

  3. Making Allies of Students

  4. Making Allies of Other Teachers and Staff

  5. Making Allies of Counselors

Why allies are essential

Creating allies is a critical strategy in building
support for a French program.

1. For the French Teacher

This introduction inventories the types of documents that teachers
can use to create allies and to be visible.


Use this sample newsletter to communicate with parents and students.

Personalize the sample newsletter, using this template.


Use software, such as Photo Story for the PC, to make
your French program visible.

Here is a description of the Photo Story video.

Here are the steps in making a Photo Story.


Here is a Video Story sample that describes and shows what to include
in a Video Story to promote your French program.

Events and Activities for visibility

Use these 50 ideas to make your French program visible.


Collect statements acknowledging your program's importance
from students, parents, and others. These testimonials serve
promotion, recruitment, and advocacy objectives.

You can find testimonials as short quotes and personal stories by clicking here.

Use question prompts to sollicit testimonials.

Here is a release form to permit faire use of images and quotes.

This release form can be customized.

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Advice from Colleagues

These articles provide ideas for promoting the French program
and making it visible.

Research supports study of foreign languages at the elementary level
and suggests ways to increase visibility.

Author suggests how to attract Spanish-language students to the French program.

French teachers who are native Spanish speakers offer advice on attracting
Spanish heritage students to a French program.

French teacher describes how she made her program visible to the community.

Guidance counselor and former foreign language teacher discusses
how French teachers can influence counselors.

FLES advocate offers advice for overcoming administrative obstacles
to the teaching of foreign languages.

Collaboration with other departments during National French Week
can increase visibility.

Devising a marketing scheme can make a French program visible and popular.

You can find maps to show where French language and culture have strong roots with supporting texts here.
Map of where French is spoken in the world
Map of North America showing the demographics of French ethnicity in North America
Map of North America showing the demographics of French speakers

Video Stories for "The World Speaks French"

The World Speaks French: Video Stories is a set of interviews with people from different walks
of life who tell fascinating stories of how learning and speaking French has impacted their lives
and careers.
The Stories are available in two formats, on DVD, or as a set of downloadable movies
for PC or Mac that are perfect for Powerpoint presentations, or simply playing the stories
as they are on a desktop computer or laptop in QuickTime Player or Windows Media Player.
You can obtain a DVD by contacting the AATF:
You can download the video stories below in one zipped (compressed) folder that will unpack
when you double click it after downloading. The file is large, several hundred megabytes, so the
download time may be 20 minutes or longer depending on the speed of your internet connection.

The Video Stories for computer use can be downloaded here .
Or as Download from Google Drive

These two documents provide information about the video "The World Speaks French: Video Stories," which is part of the French Language Advocacy Kit. Suggestions for its use are included.

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Making Allies of Parents

This document offers ideas for tying parents to the French program.

The teacher can tailor these documents to introduce the French program to parents.

These documents can help parents inspire their children to learn French.

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These essays respond to the question of what makes French an important language to learn.

This essay identifies the linguistic advantages of learning French for an English speaker.

This essay considers the importance of European languages for Americans.

This essay discusses the importance today of Quebec, an important US trading partner.

This essay conveys the importance of French in the world today.

This essay summarizes two important studies about the importance of world languages, which both rank French as the second most important language after English.

Supportive statements about your French program from current and former students, parents, and community members can be used to recruit new students to the French program.
As a model for your testimonials, you can find short quotes here .
These quotes convey the reasons parents, students, and others value studying French.

Personal stories show the value that others place on learning French themselves or on the French-related experiences of their children
You can find a series of personal stories to circulate here.

(used French in leisure activities and in career)

(used French in internship and to learn other languages)

(has enjoyed life-altering experiences because of knowing French)

(applauds benefits to entire family because of an exchange program)

(works in Paris because of his French skills)

(earned MBA through French)

(learns more about herself by having learned French)

uses French and Spanish daily in career and in leisure activities)

(has used French as a bridge language to communicate with a Chinese visitor)

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These letters identify for parents the recognition that their child may receive for achievement in French.

Teachers can ask parents to complete this survey at the end of the school year.


Parent Booklet

(a series of documents that might be presented together)
At least 1 out of 3 English words comes from French.

ideas for using documents included in the sample Parent Booklet

Here is a sample version of a Parent Booklet from which teachers
can gather ideas for their own booklet.

Here is a list of documents from the parent booklet above. Choose from
among the documents to create your own Parent Booklet.


For documents directed to Spanish-language students, those presented
on the page for Spanish speakers could be added to a Parent Booklet.
To view these documents, click **here.**
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Making Allies of Students

This introduction suggests ways to involve students in promoting the French program.

This survey of a family, conducted by students, can help identify parents who support world languages and French in particular.

Students can make their study of French more efficient and effective by using these strategies.

Keep students informed about the activities planned for them.
Sample Calendar_Activities.doc
Template_MonthlyNewsletter.doc (This version can be modified.)

Pique the interest of student in French by sharing these documents with them.
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Let students discover the importance today of Quebec, a major trading partner with the US.
Essay_ModernQuebec_CuttingEdgeCultureInFrench_NadeauBarlow.doc (Translation of the above article)

Motivate students to continue their studies of French by understanding the advantages that they have.
Essay_Which LanguageShouldIStudyAndWhy_Duvick.doc

Identify opportunities for student recognition because of achievement in French.

This letter shared with parents and students as students end their last year of middle school reminds them of what they have accomplished in French class and what they can do over the summer.

Students frequently demonstrate an affinity to technology and this interest can contribute to making the French program visible in the school and the community. These documents offer ideas for involving students in this objective.
Photo Story
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Making Allies of Other Teachers and Staff
French is spoken in 56 countries around the world.

This document suggests strategies to work effectively with
other teachers and staff.

Find out the world language experiences of adults in your school
and district through this survey.

Inform others in your building and district about the importance of French today.

This article has ideas for involving others in doing interdisciplinary activities with a French connection during National French Week.
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Share these bell-ringer interdisciplinary activities, all with a French connection, with colleagues in other disciplines to use with their students. The activities and exercises could be used effectively at the start of class during National French Week, for example.
Science Connection
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Math Connection

Arts Connection

Language Arts Connection

History Connection
American History

French History
BellRinger_FrenchHistoryMakers_Sticky Notes.pdf
BellRinger_FrenchHistoryMakers _Labels.doc (Use this to print clues on labels.)

Geography Connection

Physical Education
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Making Allies of Counselors

These documents suggest strategies for working effectively with guidance counselors.
Essay_What a French Teacher NeedsToKnowToWorkEffectivelyWith GuidanceCounselors_Malone.doc (A counselor and former foreign language teacher offers ideas for influencing counselors.)

Find out the world language experiences of counselors through this survey for staff.

Communicate the value of learning French to counselors.
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Share quotes from parents, students, and others about the importance of French in their lives.

On the Spanish-Speakers page, you will find documents to recruit native-Spanish speaking students.
Provide these documents for counselors to distribute to parents and counselees who are native Spanish speakers.
For Spanish-speaking parents

For Spanish-speaking students
Flyer_ConElFrancesTuPodras.doc (Spanish version of "With French YOU can...")

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