French Club Wins $1,000 as Duolingo Contest Winners!

Room 15A is home to our language department chair: Madame DeLateur

Walk into Room 15A and you’ll immediately become transported into an entirely different world – one that shouts the motto, “Vive Le Plaid!” Today, we’ll take a glimpse into Madame DeLateur’s French 3 Honors/AP class to see how they abide by our school’s P.L.A.I.D and won $1,000!

Madame DeLateur has always been a teacher with a mission — to push her students in reaching their fullest potential. Although viewed as an ‘old-school’ teacher who has been around for an impressive 15 years, Madame has implemented transformative, modern technology into her classroom. Virtually paperless, she strongly believes in reducing her environmental impact, starting in the classroom first.

The Chrome cart is the bane of French student existence — nearly all of their learning takes place here!

However, this change didn’t happen overnight. One of the initial struggles Madame faced when making the transition to a digital landscape was finding adequate learning methods that would mimic those traditional, such as memorization through writing.

“My approach is a balance of traditional and modern, such as the films we play – even then, students are reading as they intake the subtitles,”

Madame DeLateur

Madame has taken care in her hunt to find the best digital learning tools. She is one of the few Highland teachers to frequently utilize applications like Gimkit and Blooket to enhance student learning. Many French students agree that these tools have been impactful aspects of learning and engaging with French.

On-screen is a 7-minute timer — Holiday themed for the occasion!

So, when Madame got word that Duolingo (yes, that one green bird we know from the internet) – was hosting a contest for language classrooms, she said it was game on. Madame knew her students would be more than capable, given that she already implemented a 7-minute warmup period exclusively for Duolingo every day. Now, this digital learning tool provided French students an incentive to go above and beyond what was expected of them in the classroom — winning the contest would earn them a Duo “swag pack” AND $1,000!

French 3H students start their day off with Duolingo Stories!

Quickly, she introduced the idea to her French students. Madison D., in French 3 Honors, was first on board. Madison was eager to win the grand $1,000 Duolingo prize and gathered a group of other students in the class to achieve this goal. The AP French students also pitched in for the sake of this common goal. They worked diligently with the French 3Hs, and, being veterans at the craft, they knew it would be both a big challenge and a hefty reward.

Vanessa F. together with Duo!

And these students were right. After putting in a tremendous amount of work and effort for those 7 minutes in the classroom and countless more outside of it, week after week, their efforts were recognized. Drumroll, please…

Francis and Isabella E. take a family photo with their pride and joy, Duo the owl.

French students won $1,000!

This money will go into the purchase of items that will benefit them in the classroom as they navigate the world of digital learning. Currently, Madame is looking into headphones that will boost student listening skills in French! The whole class is ecstatic to have been the lucky bunch who Duo the Bird himself chose. Congratulations, French Club!

Promoting and teaching literacy gives a sense of pride; as this language class focuses on learning demonstrative adjectives, Madame DeLateur is able to see the fruits of literacy in her students. As DeLateur was studying languages she learned more about English in the process. She hopes her students can also walk away from the classroom simultaneously knowing a little more English and a little more French than they did at the start.

For all students taking a language at Highland, Madame DeLateur has one question – have you noticed how you expanded your English skills while learning another language?

Valerie Ruiz, Editor for this article

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