The teaching of French at the CMEF
A methodological approach
The intensive teaching provided to the international group of teenagers aims at mastery of the structure of the language, and the imparting of knowledge of French culture based on the communicative approach. This approach promotes interactions within the class group and intercultural exchanges. It also systematically integrates action-oriented activities, as prescribed by the European language framework.
In fact, the Centre adopted the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) upon its inception in 2001, in order to change and update our placement test (for summer courses), standardise our teaching programmes, provide a means of monitoring progress, and, upon completion of the courses, confer on each student a certificate of French language studies.
This certificate, created by the CMEF according to CEFRL criteria, indicates the final level of language competence attained by each participant, including a reference to the student's degree of participation in class.
Our learning materials consist primarily of authentic multimedia materials, occasionally supplemented by extracts from FLE teaching materials. In addition, our teaching team creates its own activities, documents and educational materials, adapted and designed for different levels, and listed in an internal course reference subdivided into four learning levels: A0 and A1 (for complete beginners and intermediate language learners, respectively), A2, B1 and B2. Formative assessments are regularly integrated into our lessons in order to verify and consolidate students' achievements.
Due to its on-going interest in maintaining the motivation of students, and adapting to each student's pace of learning, the team offers activities aimed at stimulating creativity and encouraging participation (role play, simulations, inter-class quizzes, rallies and communication-themed scavenger hunts, both in the classroom and on the grounds of the CMEF, as well as investigations and lessons in real-world contexts in the town of Cap d'Ail), etc.).
While the four language skills (comprehension and expression, both oral and written) are brought into play in our lessons, about 70% of these lessons are predominantly oral/auditory, while 30% are predominantly written. This ratio represents our response to the most common needs, but it can be modified upon specific request (for school groups).
Finally, our fabulous garden, which plays host to one of Jean Cocteau's major architectural and graphic works in the midst of some 300 plant species, allows for the preparation of activities unique to the CMEF.
The teaching team
Our experienced teaching team are university graduates specialising in the teaching of French as a foreign language (Master FLES [Master of French as a Foreign or Second Language]).
The head of teachers, Vladi SINI, is a former lecturer at CUEFLE [University Centre for the Teaching of French as a Foreign Language], and occasionally lectures in the Master FLES course at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. Sini is also a FEI-approved marker and instructor for the DELF/DALF examinations, as well as a jury member of the VAE.
She is assisted in her role by Magali FAGGIO, a teacher and instructor (TV5MONDE-certified), formerly a lecturer in French as a Foreign Language teaching at the University of Nice. Magali regularly hosts educational workshops for teachers of French abroad, in partnership with the Alliance Française and Institut Français systems.
More generally, both instructors regularly attend continuing professional development courses for teachers of French as a Foreign Language offered by the FEI (France Education International), as do all permanent teaching staff at the CMEF; attendance at these courses is on the basis of assessments of the team's evolving training needs.