Heathdale flower 30th March 2022

Fantastic French!

Following our students' success in the Education Perfect Language World Championships, we are shining a spotlight on French! Have you ever wondered why it's our language of choice in Primary school?

Heathdale flower

Last week we celebrated the students at Heathdale being involved in the Education Perfect Language World Championships. Finishing 5th in Victoria is something wonderful to be celebrated! Languages are always one of the harder subjects to teach in a school environment, especially when French speaking countries seem a long way away.

Having spent the first 28 years of my life in the UK means Paris is only a Eurostar away, so I don’t think I had ever questioned why it might seem different to learn French in Australia. So why is French our language of choice in Primary school at Heathdale?

1. Celebrating God's world and other cultures

“I like French because there are lots of really cool words and I never knew they speak like that in France.” (Aarvi 2F)

At our school, we strongly believe in safety, dignity and belonging. This involves learning about other parts of God's world and how people in other countries live. France is often considered the language of culture, a French lesson is a cultural journey into the worlds of fashion, gastronomy, the arts, architecture and science - a lot to be celebrated!

2. French is, along with English, the only language spoken on all five continents

“I like French because it can be a challenge to pronounce words.” (Gabriel 6B)

French is a major language of international communication. More than 220 million people speak French on all the five continents. It is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.

3. Learning more than one language is an asset

“I like French because it has a lot of cool words and some of them are used in ballet.” (Zoe 6B)

In today’s world, speaking more than one language is an asset. Students who speak several languages will increase their chances of finding a job, whether at home or abroad. Learning another language enriches the mind and opens up new horizons, both personal and professional. The ability to speak both French and English is an advantage for finding a job with the many multinational companies using French as their working language, in a wide range of sectors (retailing, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.). France, as the world’s fifth biggest economy, attracts entrepreneurs, researchers and the cream of foreign students.

4. Visiting Paris and the rest of France

“I like French because you get to know lots of new words instead of just speaking English all the time.” (Glenn 2F)

France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 79.5 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France, from the mild climes of the Cote d’Azur to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps via the rugged coastline of Brittany, and offers insights into French culture, mentality and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.

5. A language that is fun to learn

“I like French because Madame Maazi brings out Guillaume the puppet and he is really funny.” (Amelie 2F)

Contrary to popular belief, French is not a difficult language to learn. It is a language that requires a certain precision but is also capable of expressing great subtlety. It does not take long to reach a level where you can communicate in French. French is a good grounding for learning other languages, especially Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) and even English, since over half of modern-day English vocabulary is derived from French.

The science of learning a language tells us that the more exposure at an early age and the more practice students have the easier it is for them to learn. If you need any advice in how to help your child keep enjoying and learning French, please do reach out to Madame Maazi or Mademoiselle Brisbane – they both have a great passion for teaching.