AATF EXEMPLARY PROGRAMS FOR 2017
Lakeridge Junior High School, Orem UT
AATF member: Ryan Rocque
The French program at Lakeridge Junior High has existed since the opening of the school in 1976. The program has seen a lot of changes since then. I took over in 2003, with only five small French sections. The French numbers have continuously risen every year. 2015 was the first year that a second French teacher was hired, and enrollments have doubled.
Students at Lakeridge Junior High can begin French 1 as 7th graders, and then continue on to French 2 and French 3. Our students then continue on to one of two high schools, Mountain View and Orem High School, both of which have great French programs. In these schools, they can continue with French 4 and A.P. French. Many of my students will take the A.P. exam in 10th grade during French 4, but others will wait and do the test in 11th grade. Concurrent Enrollment is also available in French at the high school.
Since its inception, my vision of the French program here at Lakeridge has been to take English speakers and teach them to understand, appreciate, love, and live à la française. I have emphasized the importance of gaining high levels of proficiency and adopting new perspectives on other cultures. We incorporate cultural aspects of the entire French-speaking world, not just mainland France. Students embrace culture, consider others’ viewpoints, and adopt new ways of thinking. My vision includes a hands-on approach, where students play with language, live language, and participate in real-life learning.
My approach is very systematic. I have worked with my Spanish colleagues to develop a common pacing guide, common assessments, and common standards, which align with our state core and ACTFL’s national standards. We have always emphasized speaking, culture, and having wonderful memories and experiences that allow students to love the language.
Our school was a blue ribbon school, and has been awarded Best of State four years in a row. We believe our mission, vision, and values, which focus on developing strong professional learning communities, has been a great asset to helping us succeed at developing strong language learners. We have a ton of love, support, and respect from our community. They have supported us through their participation in our various activities, to awarding us with money to make our dreams a reality. There is a real sense of community here at Lakeridge and in Orem, and this has been a wonderful benefit to the French program. I have been able to teach many generations of families, all of whom loved Lakeridge and loved French.
Lexington Public Schools, Lexington MA
AATF member: Christine Goulet
Parker High School, Janesville WI
AATF member: Andrea Behn
Serving the Parker High School has been a lot of work, but an honor! This is the second time that our program has been recognized as an Exemplary French Program with Distinction!
This is my tenth year with the district and I see many challenges and changes. Our Spanish program is holding its own, our Chinese program increases every year, and French grew for next year! We have managed to maintain one full-time teacher and one part-time teachers who works at both high schools in town. This has done wonders for both programs, since collaboration is a necessity!
Parker French has a lot going on. We added AP French Language and Culture three years ago and though the French 5 and AP classes are combined, numbers are there and a fair amount of students take the exam each year. We have a strong French Club and SHF. The members plan events for the entire school, usually with a focus on food. This year we brought back the French Lock-In and we even collaborated with other clubs! Each year we participate in the Grand Concours and we are lucky to have the Concours Oral in the state of Wisconsin. (All of our participants who went to regionals qualified for state this year!) Students from Parker travel every other year and this year 6 students will be going to France and spending a week with host families in Caen, France.
Our focus on Global Competency has increased interest in languages and hopefully will prove useful in maintaining and increasing enrollment. In the future, as we add Academic and Career Planning to our curriculum, it is our hope to see languages and global education play a large role in students’ lives.
What Did We Implement to Increase Enrollment?
Proficiency-Based Instruction: In the last several years I have moved beyond the vocabulary sheets and verb conjugation and concentrated more on my students speaking the language. Students have been very receptive to this approach and I’m find that they are growing in their language use and cultural knowledge. I have student perform self-assessments. in addition to their performance assessments, throughout the year to assess where they believe they are on the ACTFL Proficiency Levels and I’ve been seeing a lot of growth! Additionally, our district is going toward this model for all languages at all levels. It’s a lot of work, but in the end it will benefit all Janesville students!
Club Activities: This year the French Club and SHF have offered at least one activity a month. However, we teamed up with Parker’s Culture Club for a Mardi Gras party where students watched The Princess and the Frog in French, and I made beignets for the group. We found that after doing this students who are not in a French class came to more French Club activities. Some of them signed up for French next year too!
BreakOut Edu Activities: So far, at my school, I’m the only one doing BreakOut Edu activities and my students love them. They like the mystery and problem-solving behind them. To get more students involved in this sort of activity, this year for National Foreign Language Week I put together a giant BreakOut activity for all World Language classes at Parker. Classes competed against other classes. Sadly, not a single class broke into the box containing the prize, but the students had a blast. When I’m out in public many of the students from other classes say “bonjour” to me; it’s very cute. I know that the BreakOut are keeping students in my program!
Global Education Achievement Certificate (GEAC): Parker High School was approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for the GEAC last year and this year we have our first student graduating with the distinction– and she’s a French student! The students are required to take four years of a world language at the high school level, complete several credits of globally focused classes, read books and watch films, write reflections, and complete 20 hours of a service learning project. It takes a lot of dedication and students are very interested in the GEAC. I think that over time it will help keep our program strong and encourage proficiency in French!
St. Luke’s School, New Canaan CT
AATF member: Jon Shee
Jon Shee, Adja Dramé, Susan Sarrazin, Evan Downey, Beth Yavenditti, Amber Berry
Please see our Media Gallery for photos and video clips of our work.
St. Luke’s is a private country day school in New Canaan, CT that has no religious affiliation. St. Luke’s has 549 students in grades 5-12. As we are a small school, it is a wonderful thing that there are 3 full-time plus 2 part-time French teachers. Please consider visiting our school website at www.stlukesct.org. Our 201 French students represent 39% of ALL students grades 6-12.* Other languages offered are Spanish, Latin, Mandarin (grades 9-12) and Ancient Greek (every other year). *Our 37 5th graders only have Latin as an option.
At St. Luke’s School, all teachers have a commitment to a full-immersion, French-only environment, from the Middle School through to the Upper School. Students ask their questions in French, and English is not permitted in our classes. Our teacher-to-student ratio is excellent, with about one teacher for every 9 students on average for each section. All St. Luke’s French teachers engage in at least two professional conferences/events per year, and most attend and/or even organize many more Three of the St. Luke’s French teachers (Jon Shee, Amber Berry, and Evan Downey) are active Executive Board members of the AATF Connecticut. Jon Shee serves as Président, Evan Downey is Trésorier, and Amber Berry is the Directrice du Grand Concours. All three help organize many statewide AATF events each year.
Fortunately for our French program, we have always had plenty of resources at our disposal. Our budget has exceeded our demands every year. Technology items are always provided by the school without any difficulty and we can update textbook series whenever we like. The school administration is highly supportive of the French program, as are the parents and the students. See our program schematic below:
|6th grade||6th grade French (½ year, daily study)|
|7th grade||French A||French MS1 = accelerated|
|8th grade||French B||French MS2 = accelerated|
|9th grade||French 2||French 2 Honors|
|10th grade||French 3||French 3 Honors|
|11th grade||French 4||French 4 Honors|
|12th grade||French 5||AP French Language & Culture|
Given the fact that we are a smaller school, we are proud to be able to offer such a wide range of options with
15 separate sections of French (Note: This year, we even have two sections of 7th grade regular.).
St. Luke’s Students in Montmartre, June 2016
We are quite proud of the results for our top-level programs, as reflected by excellent AP scores and SAT 2 scores, as well as by students’ comfort with speaking only in the target language at all times and their regular willingness to take risks with the language. Last year, at the first annual Olympics of World Languages at Southern CT State University, the St. Luke’s’s French team earned First Place, so we were very proud of our students for their success. See image below.
St. Luke’s French Team wins First Place at Olympics of World Languages
In addition to Le Grand Concours, we present the AATF Outstanding Senior in French award each year and we also send a nominee for the Connecticut-based “AATF Senior Prize.” In 2016, the candidate from St. Luke’s won the CT AATF Senior Prize, so we were thrilled. Our French students participate in the Connecticut-based COLT Poetry Competition as well. Beyond seeing our students’ results through simple test and contest scores, we have excellent success in terms of our alumni continuing on with French after graduation, either at college or at work.
St. Luke’s is an innovator in terms of blended learning in World Languages, and now all level 1 language classes (French, Spanish, Latin, and Mandarin) are offered as blended courses, and it all started with our French 1 program.
Our teachers follow a highly student-centered model of teaching in which students can speak French as much as possible. For six years now, regular one-on-one videoconferencing sessions with students abroad are part of many courses’ curricula, and provide students with the ultimate authentic experience in which to communicate with peers in the target language.
French students videoconferencing one-on-one in our language lab.
Our Upper School has a long-standing partnership with a private school in Paris, St. Michel de Picpus, and this year marked the 10th anniversary of our relationship. Every other year, we do a full exchange program with St. Michel de Picpus in which their students come to our campus for 2 weeks and then ours go to Paris in June for 2 weeks. Our Middle School program offers a bi-annual trip to Québec that is incredibly popular.
St. Luke’s students in Monaco last June, as part of our decade-old partnership French exchange program.
St. Luke’s Students working with visiting French students from St. Michel de Picpus on a game of Kahoot!
French 5 students lively debating the concept of “Mai 1968: Révolution ou Rêve?”
A major language-based celebration at our school is called World Language Week. Though our students also get quite involved in National French Week activities (like this year, when we brought 200 students to the official AATF CT National French Week event concert by French-Togolese performer Brice Kapel) the French program puts a huge amount of effort into our involvement in World Language Week, as well. Please see our Media Gallery for images and videos of National French Week activities.
A 400-person Lip Dub video during World Language Week, led by the French teachers. See Media Gallery for the full video.
Guest speaker and author of French texbook series “Ensemble” M. Normand Lamoureux teaches French students.
This is a yearly tradition at St. Luke’s.
Every week, students present a “World Language Dept. Expression of the Week” to the entire student body at an assembly.
In this picture, a French 1 student shares the French translation of “I love you” and has everyone in the audience repeat it after her.
St. Luke’s School main entrance
Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill NC
AATF member: Christen Campbell
Although a French program has been present at Chapel Hill High School since the school’s origins fifty years ago—CHHS possesses one of the earliest charters of la Société Honoraire de Français—it experienced revitalization in recent years. As a high school French program, they must strive to meet the needs of students with a variety of prior French experience: students have options to study French throughout elementary and middle school. Chapel Hill High School must then prepare its students for collegiate classes, from which many chose to study abroad in Francophone countries such as Rwanda, Belgium, France, and Morocco. This year, ten french students have won scholarships to go abroad and study using their knowledge of French. This year, students participated in a research symposium at Duke University and won 1st place in the Middle East/North Africa category and overall research paper category. Graduates plan to continue using French in their careers in International Business, Public Health and Education. The French program does not merely meet these tasks but exceeds them.
Chapel Hill High School offers French 1, 2, 3, 4, AP, and 5, with many quantifiable accounts of success throughout all levels. There is complete participation in the National French Contest, with many students earning recognition from both the state and national AATF. Students who excel in their French classes are invited to apply to the French National Honor Society, and the many honorees are inducted in an annual ceremony that also celebrates French culture and academic excellence. At the AP Level, 100% of students pass, with the average score over a 4.
Furthermore, students frequently take initiative to study French culture through the thriving, student-run French Club and French National Honor Society. The two clubs work together to spread French culture throughout the school. In the past, these activities have taken the form of a French cheese tasting, a “No-English” school dance, a monthly «Café Français», and an International Night produced with the help of other diverse student associations at the school.
The French program also prides itself on its focus on the incorporation of French into different aspects of everyday life. Students in upper-level courses create personalized Web sites that they use as digital portfolios to document their learning and growth. This allows them to practice technological skills while learning new aspects of French. French teachers have implemented Understanding by Design Units to promote the acquisition of new performance tasks. Both Mme Campbell and M. Fields are highly skilled professionals, Mme Campbell holds a master’s degree from Middlebury College. CHHS’ French program prides itself in giving back to the community. The French Club has made it an annual tradition to run a school-wide canned food drive, which serves students and families in the community. Members of both clubs volunteer to raise foods for members of the school to be able to eat during Winter Break.
Geneva Community High School, Geneva IL
AATF member: Martha Behlow
Kettering Fairmont High School, Kettering OH
AATF member: Mary Townsend
The Kettering Fairmont High School French Program has again received the designation EXEMPLARY WITH HONORS from the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). There are only a handful of schools in the United States to hold this title.
The French program at FHS has enjoyed great growth and success in the past several years, increasing enrollment by a substantial 38 percent since 2014. All students take the Grand Concours National French Test. The program has recently begun to accept eighth graders, and offers a new Honors II and Honors III program as well as International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Honors IV and Credit Flex Honors V; the latter two courses offer college credit for advanced coursework. Because of their strong background in French, many FHS graduates go on to major and minor in French studies at their chosen universities while others test out of their college language requirements completely.
Over 100 FHS students have participated in the French travel program in the past several years and we recently introduced the Sister City Program for home-stay summer exchange. These programs enhance and augment students’ French language skills, international-mindedness and global understanding that is promoted in the classroom. Other notable student accomplishments include participation in AATF National French Week and the National French essay contest, winners in the National French Poetry Contest and $1000 travel scholarship program. Each year about two dozen members are tapped for induction into the Société d’Honneur Français/ French National Honor Society. Throughout the school year, students enjoy immersion experiences and visits from French and Francophone visitors to the classroom.
Fairmont’s vibrant French Club has 100 members and holds many events of Francophone culture including visits to regional museums, our annual Cheese-Tastings and Mardi Gras celebrations. Students make traditional macarons and celebrate with fondue, crèpes, mousse and more. They maintain a plot in the Peace Garden, growing Herbes de Provence.
A sporty addition to our activities includes playing the traditional Pétanque ballgame, sets purchased with monies received from a national grant. They donated funds to Syrian Refugees and adopt children at Christmastime. Their successful French beret fundraiser raised monies to help underwrite testing and membership expenses. The senior class humanitarian “Peace Bracelets” project raised $600 for the International Red Cross. This fall, a tree will be planted in memory of a fallen classmate. They hold an annual Cérémonie d’Honneur to honor their many Grand Concours national laureates, SHF inductees and recognize outstanding seniors and international students. Last year, over 250 people attended; this year, there were almost 500 students and parents in attendance. The program included induction of SHF members, talented student musicians, an entertaining interpretation of “Le Corbeau et Le Renard”, acknowledging our international Francophone students, and senior recognition, including presenting the AATF Outstanding Senior Award. Plans for the future include continued outreach to the school community of Francophone speakers.
The FHS French Department staff is comprised of teachers Mary Townsend and Michele McCarty. Mary recently held state office in AATF and was French Affiliate to the Ohio Foreign Language Association and is an ODE Master Teacher. Michele taught at a university before joining FHS faculty. They have both studied abroad and travel extensively. Their partnership, passion for French and dedication to their students’ success has garnered national recognition for excellence in French at Fairmont High School.
Midlothian High School, Midlothian VA
AATF member: Lindsay Garrison
The Midlothian High School French Program is renowned in the central VA area for its positive impact on students and the community. From the exchange program to our outreach at the public library, the French program and students are thriving. Moving forward, Mesdames Garrison and Mazzola wish to carry on the tradition of a successful, enriching program.
Our intention is to continue to reach out to our community and continue the “Les Livres pour Haiti” Project, but perhaps extend it to other, lesser known Francophone countries. In hopes of enhancing our ties with the community, our long term plan includes visits from guest speakers in our area. Over the last two years, we have hosted speakers on the following subjects:
- Les Châteaux de la Loire
- Le Tour de France
- La Mode Française (VCU Professor)
- Le Petit Prince et Antoine de St. Exupéry
- Babar and Madeline
- French Military
- La Suisse
- Le Foot
- Bakery – visit to make baguettes
- Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – Impressionism
Further, despite the additional work required to plan and take field trips, we will focus on local excursions for our students, including exploring more local art museums, bakeries, and theaters. Through these out of the classroom experiences, the French Program will continue its growth and progress.
In future years, our participation in the local Congrès will continue and Midlothian will remain the school with the largest contingency and most award winners, as we are presently. Our goal is to improve scores on the Grand Concours, by posting practice tests online and having SHF students review with students prior to testing.
Currently, Midlothian is one of two schools in Chesterfield County with two full time French teachers. This is in part due to the strong reputation and formidable ties the program has to the community. It is also attributed to the wide variety of choices students have once enrolled in the program. Possible courses are an Honors/non-Honors track, French culture and cinema, AP French, IB French. Our plan is to maintain these choices to offer students the course that most applies to their interest. One possible consideration in future years, is offering French Literature where students would study poetry and various French novels.
Continuation of the French Exchange Program will continue as well as the continued offering of “EPals” for students who have interest in correspondence with a French student but choose not to travel. As our colleague Spanish teachers have expressed interest in working together on a trip, we will explore this opportunity for a trip to both a French and Spanish speaking country. This would be a viable option for students who wish to travel but whose parents are not comfortable with children staying with a family in the home.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
AATF member: Jessica Miller
Our classes are student-centered and promote la Francophonie so as to provide multiple perspectives and celebrate the diversity inherent to French studies. We want to develop students’ language proficiency while helping them develop cultural knowledge. At the same time, it is important for students to see the relevancy of learning and using multiple languages here and now, which is why we try to develop local partnerships. For more details on course descriptions and sample lessons, visit http://people.uwec.edu/MILLERJS/
Graduates of the UW-Eau Claire French program who today work in fields as varied as sales, translation, and education, credit their professors and their college experiences for their success. Andrew Karsten, now pursuing a Master’s in Linguistics at Indiana University, is “immensely grateful for the hard-work, thoughtful planning, and dedication to students that [he has] seen consistently demonstrated by all the professors in the Department.” Kayla Noel further explains: “My degree in French has allowed me to be a part of the translation industry and use my foreign language skills in a rewarding career. I look back on my language learning journey and see how far I’ve come. It takes a program that offers more than just grammar lessons but real-world applications and discussions as well as opportunities to get involved and I feel strongly that the French program at UWEC doesn’t fall short in offering these key elements and is an outstanding French program.” Erin Hasenfang continues: “My experiences in the French courses made me look at a language degree in a different light. UWEC helped me realize that with a French degree […] the opportunities were as limitless as the culture itself. […] One of the main reasons I got a job in sales after graduation was because of my ability to speak French.”
Dr. Carter Smith, Chair of the Department of Languages, describes the French section as an important part of the Department, noting its positive contributions to quality curricula, high-impact practices, and collaborations across disciplines and K-16, both in and outside of the university: “the French section of the Department of Languages is a vital component of our mission to promote multilingualism and intercultural understanding.”
Some experiences that set the UW-Eau Claire French program apart are study-abroad and intercultural domestic immersion opportunities, field trips to local elementary schools to teach French, community partnerships for service-learning options, and a focus on developing proficiency through Francophone culture thanks to professors with a wide range of expertise.inside-content
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso IN
AATF member: Timothy Tomasik
Valparaiso University French Program
Valpo’s French program offers its students courses and activities that develop their language skills, their ability to analyze both literature and culture, and their awareness of how they can incorporate French into a fulfilling career. We see our French program as a community of students and faculty. Although we have faced enrollment challenges over the past eight to ten years, we have responded by focusing the program and working deliberately to help our students feel that they are part of a supportive yet challenging community. We believe that a result is our rebounding enrollments and the energy and enthusiasm of our students who move to a variety of careers and graduate programs.
We have developed and adapted our curriculum so that it builds consciously from one level to the next in all areas, not just language, and so that it integrates the traditional study of literature with culture. Our curriculum thus offers multiple opportunities for students to hone language skills and develop analytic skills. Committed to creative pedagogy, we have thoughtfully incorporated innovative teaching techniques. For instance, we have implemented “flipped classroom” techniques where appropriate, using FlipGrid and SmartPen technologies among others. We connect our students via Skype and letter exchanges with classes in France and Senegal. And we regularly incorporate undergraduate research opportunities including most recently a digital humanities project studying a Renaissance cookbook that was featured in a national newsletter.
Nearly all of our French majors are also majoring in another field, and we have deliberately developed options for various student academic interests. We offer the Valparaiso International Engineering Program (VIEP) – France, where students major in engineering, take advanced French courses, live in our French House, and spend a year studying at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne and doing a co-operative education work experience in France. Business students may study at our partner Sup de Co school, La Rochelle International School of Business.
The vast majority of our majors, and many minors, choose one of our five study-abroad opportunities in France. Partnership agreements with three French institutions bring exchange students from France to VU each year, and we have created occasions to deliberately integrate those students with our French-student population. Our innovative “conversation partner” program pairs a native speaker of French–often one of our exchange students–with a US student for an hour of informal conversation each week.
On campus, we sponsor a French House residence opportunity (with a native speaker student director). And we offer multiple co-curricular activities, including an orientation to the French major, an opening picnic, film series, crêpe evening, cheese-tasting, “Fête de la musique,” theater festival/poetry recitation event, and so forth. We have also offered many occasions for current students to hear from our alums about their careers, inviting some grads to campus and holding Skype sessions with others. We connect our current students with grads who are pursuing careers with NGOs, corporations, and institutions of higher education. We have had a chapter of the French Honor society Pi Delta Phi since 1981.
Participation in AATF has also been central to our success. Faculty members have provided leadership on the chapter level for many years and have also served at the national level. This contact has stimulated our thinking, provided models and ideas for curricular and co-curricular initiatives, and kept us in touch with the state of the art.
We are thrilled to have received this honor from AATF, and are excited to continue to work closely with our community of students, so that we may provide them with the best possible education and prepare them–as our University’s Mission Statement puts it–to lead and serve in the future.
Centennial High School, Corona CA
AATF member: Kelly Buffington
ABOUT THE SCHOOL
Centennial High School is located approximately 50 miles south-east of Los Angeles. It is one of eight high schools in the Corona-Norco Unified School District. It is the only school in the district to offer the International Baccalaureate program of study. With a population of approximately 3,300 students, Centennial is a large and diverse campus with 51% of the students qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. With the majority of the population being Hispanic and with Spanish being the world language of choice, French at Centennial has often taken a back seat to other programs… until now.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
When Kelly Buffington and Dahiana Castro took over the French program in 2013, they had lofty goals that they set out to achieve. The first was to increase enrollment in French classes and ensure that students continued their studies into the upper levels. The second was to establish a presence on campus and in the community so that parents and students understand the benefits of taking French. In order to achieve these results, Ms. Buffington and Ms. Castro first decided to transition away from the traditional textbook method and instead focus on using Comprehensible Input (CI) strategies – a move that has proved to be very successful in the classroom. Next, they reached out to the middle school Spanish classes (French is not offered at the middle schools) to give demo lessons to the students and to dispel any myths that “French is hard”. They also presented at several parent nights to inform parents about the benefits of taking French. As a result of their hard work and effort, enrollment in the program has increased across all levels (from 17 students in AP French in 2013 to 34 in 2017) and a new found interest in French has spread across the campus.
Students at Centennial have the opportunity to start French at level 1 and continue until level 4.While matriculating through the program, students participate in a variety of events throughout the year, the most popular and well-known being the annual Mardi Gras celebration. This exciting event features over the top decorations, lively jazz music, and of course delicious Cajun food that the students prepare themselves. Cries of “Jettez-moi quelque chose Madame!” are interspersed with the lively rhythm of a second line playing in the background as students wait outside of their classroom, waiving their hands, waiting to catch one of the many beads thrown in their direction. Students, staff, and administration all enjoy this fun day that celebrates French and Cajun culture. In their fourth year of studies, AP and IB students hold a mock wedding – a highly anticipated event. After studying family life and customs, students plan and put on a real French wedding. A couple is selected, all the required paperwork is filled out, a budget is created, a venue is chosen, and everyone plays a role leading up to the “big day” where the “mayor” reads from the Code Civile before providing the couple with their Livret de famille. Following the ceremony is a murder mystery type reception where students are given detailed roles and have to try to determine who the two wedding crashers are. This annual activity has garnered so much interest that students in the lower levels start planning their own “wedding” years in advance.
In addition to the many exciting activities that occur in French class, students have the opportunity to practice French outside of the classroom as well. Past excursions have included theater trips to see Tristan et Iseut, Le Malade Imaginaire, as well as French singers. Students also have the opportunity to participate in trips abroad with past trips having been to Paris and Normandy, France and Spain, and France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria. The French club, Allons-y!, in conjunction with La Société Honoraire allow students to join in on crêpe making lessons and a cheese tasting as well as other cultural activities.
French at Centennial has come a long way since the program began in 1989. The staff and students are excited about the future of the language on campus and look forward to even bigger and better things to come in the future!
ABOUT THE TEACHERS
Kelly Buffington teaches levels 2, 3, and AP/IB at Centennial. She holds a M.A. in French and Francophone Studies from California State University, Long Beach, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy Studies from University of Texas, Arlington, and a B.A. in French Studies and Psychology from Smith College. In addition, she holds a Diplôme de français professionnel (mention très bien) from the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris. She has presented at the Practical Pedagogies Conference in Toulouse, France as well as at the Annual Meeting of the French Colonial Society. Along with Ms. Castro, Ms. Buffington regularly attends local, regional, and national conferences to remain au courant with the latest trends in education.
Dahiana Castro is a native of the Dominican Republic and teaches level 1 French as well as level 2 Spanish at Centennial High School. She holds a M.A. in Multicultural Education from California State University, Dominquez Hills and a B.A. in Foreign Languages from the Universidad de Puerto Rico. Ms. Castro holds a Single Subject Teaching Credential in California. She regularly attends local, regional, and national conferences to stay abreast of the latest teaching methodologies. She is known in the Southern California region for her expertise in CI teaching methods and has presented at local conferences.