French is one of the two modern languages on offer in Naas C.B.S. In keeping with current trends in modem language teaching, the emphasis is placed on communication through the target language. We want our students to communicate to the maximum of their potential through French, and to understand spoken and written French, to the best of their ability. Our aim is to enable our students to handle practical everyday situations through the medium of French and to give them the foundations necessary to master the language at an advanced level, should they choose to pursue their studies at a later time, or indeed decide to work and or live in an environment where French is the main language.
In 1st Year, we start at the beginning, and it is not necessary to have studied French, prior to coming to Naas C.B.S. Broadly speaking there are three areas of concern in the teaching of French:
- Spoken French: We begin with simple communications: saying, “hello”, introducing yourself to somebody, speaking of things that you like and dislike. Gradually, the students build up a good range of vocabulary, and a range of expressions and structures that enable them to maintain a basic conversation in French. By the end of Ist year, they will for instance, also be able to describe a house and the main buildings in a town, they will be able to ask and to give directions, they will be able to ask and tell the time, to describe basic actions such as homework and housework.
- Tape Work: Having mastered the basic elements of each section of the course, orally, the material is reinforced through listening to spoken French. The students quickly adapt to spoken French, despite initial concerns that “they are speaking too fast”! The ability of the students to understand spoken French as heard on tape, develops quickly and we find that most students score better on the tape section of exams, than for instance they do on the written sections of the exams. Again, as with spoken French the emphasis is placed firmly on mastering, practical, everyday situations. By the end of First Year, our students will be able to listen to a tape and answer questions on a variety of subjects, such as, a house, the time, descriptions of people, identification of animals and objects etc.
- Written French: Written French is the third element in our language teaching. Having spoken of and heard about things, then we ask our students to write and to read about them. Again the emphasis is on practical situations: writing your name; describing your family; describing basic actions; using verbs correctly; writing about what you like and dislike; reading about other people and their interests; etc.
As with all subjects, there will be an exam at the end of the year. In this exam there will be a tape section and a written section and there may also be an oral test. The students will ONLY be assessed on what they have done in First Year, and we emphasise that the important thing is that students do their best and that they enjoy learning French.