The french program could be saying Au Revoir in the near future

The french program struggles to engage students in a hispanic community


By: Ava Mandele, Editor in Chief of Web

For years the Kaneland French Program has struggled to recruit students and make stable class sizes leaving the department’s future uncertain.

Many times administrators can not even promise students a third or fourth year of french because the class size would be too small. The unreliability of the AP class can be a large factor when picking a language at the beginning of high school for students who are looking for 4 full years of language for college requirements.

“Well this happen with Spanish too, kids are only required to take two years of language to graduate so after that second year you’re going to see a drop in enrollment,” french teacher Victoria Davis said

Given the population in Illinois and most other parts of the country, many students believe that Spanish is a much more useful second language.

“I think the perception is that Spanish is more useful than French.  That is not necessarily true depending on your goals after high school, but I believe the perception is out there,” Mike Rice said.

However, the school has not helped the program. The school now is offering Spanish at the middle school level and setting students on track for a Spanish based course in high school.

“I think we have a problem recruiting students because of the area we live in, the hispanic population is very high and the fact that the school doesn’t offer french at the middle school level so numbers are going to dwindle because students are already taking spanish at the middle school level,” AP french teacher Andre Carriere said.

As of right the department has decided to run all the French courses for next school year, however there is no guarantee for future students.

In efforts to expand the program and compensate for the lack of exposure young students receive, Carriere has started a summer camp for middle schoolers to start educating them about the french language.

During the camp students will be exposed to simple vocabulary, grammar and french culture. The goal of this program is to excite students from an early age and hopefully set them on track for high school.

The French Department is also having former french students speak to parents about the benefits of french and real world usage.

“I’m having my former students talk in the community about how great french class is and how it’s important in life to know a second language and they have 2 options here at the high school french and spanish and get the word out that french is a great option for students,” Carriere said.