Topic Thread

Subject: French Level 1 Class Size

1.  French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-18-2017 12:01
Dear all,

Alas, I write you in hopes of some collective wisdom and direction to any resources pertaining to class sizes. I know this may be a fruitless plight, but here goes...

Are there any literature, studies, resources out there for me to help convince my administrators that 34 students in one classroom is too much?

Like many French programs, mine is constantly under the stress of having one teacher and every single level possible with fluctuating enrollment numbers that wreak havoc on schedule creation. For every combination course, there is differentiation amongst assignments and assessments when necessary. Next year I am projected to have:
  • French 1: 34 students
  • French 2: 13
  • French 2 Honors: 6
  • French 3: 13
  • French 4: 5
  • French 4 Honors: 1
  • French 5 Honors: 1
  • French AP: 6
In an ideal world, I'd be fine with the following, but my proposal was rejected. (There is a Latin teacher who teaches 6 classes, but the administration is vehemently trying to avoid assigning 6 classes since most teachers have 5 classes and 1 duty.)
  1. French 1: 17
  2. French 1: 17
  3. French 2: 13
  4. French 2 Honors: 6
  5. French 3 & 4 : 18
  6. French 4 Honors, 5 Honors & AP: 8
Unfortunately, I am forced to combine all of the above-mentioned into 5 classes. I proposed the following which was rejected:
  1. French 1: 17
  2. French 1: 17
  3. French 2 & 2 Honors: 19
  4. French 3 & 4: 18
  5. French 4 Honors, 5 Honors & AP: 8
Especially at a private school, 34 students at a level 1 is very large (even in all the public schools I've taught). I'd ideally love to have that number split in half with class sizes of 17 & 17 students.

Help! Thanks to any and all who can help (and/or commiserate)!

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Jonathan Bröhl
jonathan.broehl@gmail.com
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2.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-19-2017 04:12
It's a numbers game.  I am sure most schools especially public school's administrators due to overall faculty suggestions try to give every teacher
an even class load. 

For a "safety net" Foreign Language teachers might want to get dual certification.  I am certified to teach Mandarin-Chinese and  CTE Business Education grades 7 - 12.

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Alvin Nip
alvin_nip@notes.k12.hi.us
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3.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-20-2017 01:18
However, the downside with dual certification, especially when the second credential is for a core subject, often times the teacher is pulled out of World Language and put in the other class because that's where the greater need is,  And with your numbers they are likely to say you don't make up a full load in French and we will just phase it out or cancel it all together.  At our school, and we are an on-line school, we only had 1 student enroll in AP and rather than offer that course and the teacher having 3 preps like normal, they opted to drop the course from our offerings.

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Tom Beeman
ProfBeeman@gmail.com
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4.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-20-2017 08:19
I agree about the dual certification. Many of the teachers I know with a French/Spanish certification (with a specific emphasis having the French) is that they were forced to teach Spanish. Being that I am in a private school for my first two years, I taught Spanish 1, and in my third year I taught two sections of Spanish 1. Luckily this year, I have all French, but that's in part due to the fact that the other part-time teacher left. The dual certification can hurt sometimes.

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Jonathan Broehl
jonathan.broehl@gmail.com
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5.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-21-2017 08:45
Salut!
 
I have multiple endorsements in Spanish, French, Latin, ESL, and Speech Communication.  Usually, I have had 3 preps.  Sometimes a mixture of Spanish and French, sometimes a mixture of Spanish, French and Latin.

There have been years when I have had 4, 5, 6 preps.  

One of my colleagues was basically a French major/teacher, and for many years the FL department chairman kept her in nothing but Spanish I and II.  She really was dying to teach French.... at least a course or two.  Her French ran circles around her Spanish.

Just be careful that the administration, FL supervisor or department chair assigns you based on your endorsements.  

If you want your French enrollment to grow, work on your French club--have kids who aren't in French join it.  Be as visible and inclusive as much as you can.

Best of luck!

Sincerely,

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Robert L. "Bobby" Oliver
RLOliver@wm.edu
University Supervisor and Instructor
The College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA
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6.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-19-2017 05:44
Hello Jonathan,

I wouldn't mind sharing with you the petition I sent to my school's administrators which helped reduce class sizes. 

Send me an email, please. 

Ileana 

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Ileana Fernandez
ileana_f@hotmail.com
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7.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-19-2017 14:43
Since you teach at a private school,  I'd suggest you talk to the parents and see if they object to the big class sizes. They are paying for quality, and too many kids in a class guarantees less than optimum learning. They may have more pull than you do. On the other hand, in my public school I've seen the class size in all of our language classes creep up to 40. That is especially fun when we have special ed.,special needs kids as well as gifted kids in the same class. Many schools don't give the same importance  to languages as they do the "core" classes such as English and math. It's infuriating.

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Lonnie Dai Zovi
lonnie@vibrante.com
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8.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-19-2017 14:47
I teach Spanish not French

On Mar 19, 2017 2:43 PM, "Lonnie Dai Zovi via American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages" <Mail@connectedcommunity.org> wrote:
Since you teach at a private school, I'd suggest you talk to the parents and see if they object to the big class sizes. They are paying for... -posted to the "Language Educators" community
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Language Educators

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Lonnie Dai Zovi
Mar 19, 2017 2:43 PM
Lonnie Dai Zovi
Since you teach at a private school,  I'd suggest you talk to the parents and see if they object to the big class sizes. They are paying for quality, and too many kids in a class guarantees less than optimum learning. They may have more pull than you do. On the other hand, in my public school I've seen the class size in all of our language classes creep up to 40. That is especially fun when we have special ed.,special needs kids as well as gifted kids in the same class. Many schools don't give the same importance  to languages as they do the "core" classes such as English and math. It's infuriating.

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Lonnie Dai Zovi
lonnie@vibrante.com
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Original Message------

Since you teach at a private school,  I'd suggest you talk to the parents and see if they object to the big class sizes. They are paying for quality, and too many kids in a class guarantees less than optimum learning. They may have more pull than you do. On the other hand, in my public school I've seen the class size in all of our language classes creep up to 40. That is especially fun when we have special ed.,special needs kids as well as gifted kids in the same class. Many schools don't give the same importance  to languages as they do the "core" classes such as English and math. It's infuriating.

------------------------------
Lonnie Dai Zovi
lonnie@vibrante.com
------------------------------


9.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-20-2017 08:28
I have been a part of this school community for years before I became employed here. If I were to reach out to parents as a current school teacher, it could be seen as subverting the system (which the administration as addressed). However, I can say that parents are very well aware of average class sizes which are usually no larger than 20 students unless they are senior electives. Even though we do still have a French placement test, it is optional to take for placement into French 2 / 2 Honors, but since we have rearticulated the French curricula, the number would at best be 30. Out of the 9 students who took the placement test last year, only 1 student made it French 2.

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Jonathan Broehl
jonathan.broehl@gmail.com
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10.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-20-2017 09:31
Hi Jonathan,

This is the guideline provided by the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages.

Hope this helps!
Cindy Lepeley

ADFL General Guidelines for Departments

CLASS SIZE

The ADFL recognizes that numerous factors affect the size of elementary and intermediate language classes, including pedagogical methods, modes of instruction, scheduling parameters, institutional type, faculty contracts, finances, and facilities. The ADFL endorses the guiding principle that class size must be appropriate for enabling, rather than inhibiting, the kind of effective interaction between teacher and students necessary for developing proficiency in speaking and writing. Smaller class size also leads to greater student satisfaction and retention.

The ADFL recommends that, in foreign language courses that stress all four skills, the maximum class enrollment not exceed twenty students.
(Revised in 2012.)


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11.  RE: French Level 1 Class Size

Posted 03-20-2017 09:50
Brilliant! Thank you!

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Jonathan Broehl
jonathan.broehl@gmail.com
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