Teaching French

Despite teaching French to secondary school for almost 40 years, Alison Vardy says she much prefers teaching pre-school children at High Bank.

Alison, or Madame Vardy as she is known to the children, retired from teaching in 2014, but has continued to impart her love of French (and German) by teaching in early years settings.

And we are delighted to have someone of her experience helping our children.

Madame Vardy says teaching languages to children at an early age provides them with a great stepping stone for the future.

She explains: “It’s actually easier teaching the little ones than it was children in secondary school, but they are so accepting and don’t question anything.

“They are like little sponges when it comes to languages and because they have parrot-like response when it comes to repeating words, it means their pronunciation and accents are fabulous!

Madame Vardy uses various techniques and props when she’s teaching in pre-school, whether it’s using the interactive whiteboard or puppet.

She adds: “You need to keep children that age engaged and stimulated so we keep it fun by using actions, games, visual pictures and sounds.

“So, for example a French phrase like ‘Viens ici’, which means come here, is quite hard to grasp but if I say this whilst beckoning the children to come to me by using hand gestures, then they soon pick it up.

“And it actually gets to the stage where the children are speaking or understanding French words without realising it.”

Madame Vardy says the feedback she gets from teaching French to younger children is why she is still doing it after all these years.

She explains: “I have had parents tell me how well their children are doing in school because of the basics they learned at nursery, which is always a lovely thing to hear.

“Learning a language at an early age gives children a fantastic springboard for understanding and pronouncing words, but it also helps to develop their confidence and personality

“I look forward to visiting Little Ladybirds and High Bank and feel very privileged to be able to teach French to the children.”

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