Did you know French is the second-most widely learned foreign language after English? According to the OIF, an international organization of French-speaking countries, more than 220 million people speak French on five continents. Additionally, French is the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. In fact, the OIF estimates the number of French speakers to be 445 million worldwide by 2060.
A Unique Opportunity
The benefits of learning French are plentiful. Even a basic knowledge of French can make traveling easier and more enjoyable, allowing you to communicate with people at hotels, restaurants, and transit systems. Also, if you desire to learn several languages, French is a good place to begin because it’s reasonably easy for English speakers to pick up.
For these reasons, our OLLI program is excited to announce the launch of our new French classes. Three levels will be taught by two talented and diverse individuals — Vladia Lartey and Cheryl Kothe. Vladia is a native French speaker who felt it was important to offer this program through OLLI. Cheryl initially took an OLLI Spanish course and the teachers encouraged her to explore the idea of teaching French for OLLI. She previously taught secondary school French in Canada for 25 years.
When discussing the importance of learning French, Cheryl said, “One can easier appreciate French gastronomy and fashion by learning this beautiful language. Studying French will open the doors to various cultures and their literary, musical, architectural, and art works as well as their technological and scientific discoveries.”
She also says it’s important to include the integration of culture in the classroom. The use of visual aids and gestures is essential along with the actual reading of written words to work both sides of the brain and increase the retention of new vocabulary.
Adult Learning Benefits
Vladia and Cheryl are excited about the unique opportunity to teach OLLI students.
Cheryl said, “Teaching adults is different as they bring so much additional knowledge to the classroom from past life experiences. This creates a very rich classroom environment in which everyone can partake. The adults are all motivated to learn for a variety of reasons, and this is unique from other classrooms that I have taught.”
Vladia added, “Senior adults are self-motivated and learning is not a need anymore, but a want. They want to learn for fun or for personal interests. That makes the teaching experience more appealing and the classroom environment stress-free.”
Our French classes have begun! Visit our OLLI page to learn more. Hope to see you in class!