Young children have an insatiable appetite to learn and communicate and by teaching French from an early age we allow them the opportunity to explore another language and learn about French culture.
Studies have shown that learning a second language early in life enhances cognitive skills and improves brain development. Boys at Eaton House learn French from Kindergarten and have weekly lessons by a specialist French teacher. The lessons focus mainly on spoken French at this age and vocabulary is developed through catchy songs, fun games and activities.
"With languages, you are at home everywhere."
–Edmund de Waal
We offer the boys the opportunity to study French from Year 4 to Year 8.
The aims of the French department are to expose the children to a foreign language and promote cultural interest, to develop good foreign language learning habits – which will build a strong academic foundation for further studies – and to give them an appreciation of different cultures and people.
Learning another language presents pupils with opportunities to reinforce knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other curriculum areas. Cross-curricular links are strongly encouraged in our lessons.
Varied teaching methods
We recognise that our pupils have a range of personalities, interests, abilities and learning methods. Our aim is to cater for all of them by using visual, audio and kinaesthetic activities. Acting, singing, drawing, playing games, using IT, and watching videos and films contribute to the joy of learning and keep the motivation high even when pupils are learning difficult French grammar.
We believe in the importance of bringing French alive and the boys are offered a French play every year. The Year 4 boys have a French breakfast in the summer term, the Year 5 boys spend a day in the French Institute, and the Year 6 boys have a residential trip to the North of France at the Château de Warsy.
Years 4 and 5
The boys have one-and-a-half hours of teaching each week. Although the emphasis is set upon verbal and listening skills we recognise the importance of developing reading and writing skills too. Homework is set on a weekly basis.
Years 6, 7 and 8
In the senior part of the school the four main skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are practised regularly and equally to prepare the boys for the Common Entrance and scholarship examinations. They have two-and-a-half hours of teaching time alongside set homework.