Rochambeau, the French International School, is a truly multicultural learning environment. We value diversity and empower students to understand and improve the world around them. Our educational program reflects this mission since in addition to a bilingual French and English curriculum, we also offer Arabic, German, Spanish and Latin classes as early as 3rd grade.
We strive to instill tolerance in our ethnically diverse students and celebrate the cultural differences of over 80 countries represented by the student body, and actively encourage our students to respect and value each other’s differences.
- PreK & K - 2 years old to Kindergarten
- Elementary - 1st to 5th grades
- Middle School - 6th to 9th grades
- High School - 10th to 12th grades
Students are immersed in French language in all activities. From academic instruction to music, physical education and recreation, acquisition of French as a target language is a key priority. Instruction is delivered through multiple teaching modalities (show, tell, touch, read, listen) to accommodate the various learning styles of our students and to provide a firm foundation for dual-language understanding and expression (in French and in English). Small groups and support specialists assist non-native French speakers in order to speed language acquisition. (Similarly, non-native English speakers are provided additional support and instruction.)
The majority of academic instruction is delivered in French. Teachers are trained and prepared for teaching with French as the target language, including adapting their presentations and classroom activities to encourage and support language acquisition: expanding vocabulary, foundational elements of grammar, early and intermediate literacy, oral expression. For students joining our Elementary program without a working proficiency in French, our Immersion Program provides intensive instruction and support to speed French language learning.
The middle school program covers oral performance, written presentation, reading and comprehension of images and texts, linguistic skills and language study. The program is structured around themes that allow the teacher to address both literary topics and the student's linguistic training simultaneously.
The high school program provides a general education in literature, cultural knowledge, personal education and citizenship. Among the overall objectives are:
- to develop and enrich students’ literary culture,
- the creation of benchmarks to place literary works in their historical perspective,
- to develop an aesthetic sense that allows students to appreciate literary works, analyze the emotions they evoke, and describe them in both written and oral form,
- the study of language as a primary instrument of thought, a means of expression of feelings and ideas, and a basis for creativity and imagination,
- To engender critical thinking and judgment skills and to build an independent and responsible attitude, particularly when researching information and documentation.
We achieve these goals through a methodical progression based primarily on the reading and study of landmark French texts.
Intellectual rigor and adaptability to a changing world
We expect the very best from our students and we help them achieve that within a highly structured, academically rigorous environment where they are offered the opportunities and experiences to build their self-confidence and advance their academic skills. Rigorous learning techniques develop the skills, knowledge and aptitudes that will enable students to succeed in the increasingly complex, international world that awaits them. Our World Language classes offer an attractive syllabus containing both colloquial and literary language in familiar situations as well as more abstract content.
Rochambeau provides individual iPads for students from 6th to 9th grade, enabling them to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to learn Spanish and supporting them linguistically, culturally, methodologically and technically. Students use computer technology to practice technical language, and use word and image processing software.
Respect for diversity, support and cooperation.
Talking about other languages and cultures encourages students to open up to other people and to understand different cultures and visions; essential skills in a world threatened by racism and xenophobia. In our World Languages Classes, we encourage students to respect cultural differences by teaching them to never make facile comments or criticize what another person says. We are all different and we need to be able to express ourselves and accept everyone as they are. Encountering and understanding other cultures is also part of the language learning experience.
In our World Languages Classes students do many projects that require group and pair work, so they learn the values of collaborative work. They support each other and the teachers also support them by scaffolding activities and giving positive feedback.
English language instruction is a complement to our French language instruction and delivered in parallel. Students from preschool through 12th grade first develop and then build upon foundational principles for oral and written comprehension and expression. At all levels, the majority of academic content is delivered in French, however some subjects are explored initially in English language, varying by grade. Subject specific dual-language vocabulary is frequently built into courses as well. The result is a true fluency in both English and French.
With bilingualism as our focus, early reading is taught simultaneously in English and French. The skills learned in approaching and analyzing written text is found to be fully transferable from one language to the other. Attention to differences in grammar and structure also help to reinforce language acquisition. Language groups are designed based on demonstrated student proficiency in order to provide targeted areas for growth for every student.
Secondary Students work to expand their oral and written skills, improving their ability to understand, express themselves, communicate and create. Four different English language groups are designed to support students of varying levels of proficiency and fluency, from introductory learners to advance and honors. In High School, students may pursue the International Baccalaureate Option (OIB) as well as preparatory studies for Advancement Placement English Literature exam. Success in these areas are widely achieved by our students, frequently resulting in college credit for outstanding exam results.
Spanish instruction begins in Elementary School (CE2) as an elective and continues through Middle School all the way to 12th grade with the class Spanish Langue Vivante B (LVB) or in certain cases, Spanish Langue Vivante A (LVA). The difference between LVA and LVB is the level of fluency attained in the language.
Students are divided into groups according to their knowledge of the language, allowing the school to more specifically target the needs of each group. There are three groups / skill levels: Spanish, Advanced Spanish and Honors Spanish. The placement of students in the groups is determined by their placement tests.
This course is designed for students who have a more in-depth knowledge of the Spanish language. The "Honors" level allows students to refine and broaden their oral and written communication and expression skills. The program is based on manuals written in Spanish as a native tongue.
As a required language elective, students may choose German language starting from sixth grade as part of the Langue Vivante program. This elective is offered from Middle School through 12th grade.
Students learn both oral and written skills to understand, express themselves, interact and discover cultural aspects of the language. Working on projects requires students to use what they have learned in class to deal with new situations. In 11th and 12th grade, students can enhance their knowledge of the language by choosing the Foreign Language and Literature course in German or the elective German Advanced Living Language.
The program aims to bring students to Level A1-B2 in the European Common Framework of Reference for Languages 2. Through the study of a broad range of subjects, students acquire the oral and written skills to understand, express themselves and interact in the German language. Students discover the German culture while working on language activities. The range of material available through digital technology allows one to work using various media.
The goal of intermediate-level German is to take students from level B1 (independent user) to C1 (proficient user) of the European Common Framework of Reference for Languages 3. The program uses themes that not only develop students' linguistic skills but also help decode the Germany's complex cultural references.
Starting in the 6th grade, students have the option of taking Classical Arabic as part of the modern languages program or as a non-mandatory elective (in middle school after the sixth grade and can continue in high school).
In these classes, students acquire writing and speaking skills that enable them to understand, express themselves in, interact in, and discover cultural aspects of the Classical Arabic language.
Learning approaches aim to help students become active and autonomous in language proficiency. Project-based assignments are designed to put students in a position where they must apply what they learn in the classroom to address new situations.
Arabic in middle school is part of the mandatory Langue Vivante B requirement. Students have the choice between Arabic, German or Spanish languages.
The goal is to get students to the A1-A2 level (beginner or elementary basic user) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The class uses a variety of themes to help students acquire speaking and writing skills that help them understand, express themselves in, interact in, convey, and create in Arabic. The introduction of cultural aspects of Arabic-speaking countries is closely linked to the linguistic activities. The wide variety of digital technology tools allows the work to be done in various formats. Students who wish to take Arabic as a Langue Vivante B in seventh grade and beyond must enroll with the CNED.
Classical Arabic is also offered as an optional after-school elective. In this course, the students are divided into two groups, based on their language skills:
Classical Arabic for beginners:
This course is an introduction to Classical Arabic and the cultures of the Arabic-speaking world. Students learn pronunciation and writing and acquire vocabulary and basic grammar rules.
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Intermediate / advanced Classical Arabic: This course is intended for students who already have a knowledge of the language to help further develop their communication skills and their oral and written comprehension
Arabic is, for now, an optional elective in High School.
The LVB classes from Middle School will be gradually implemented throughout High School starting in the 2021-2022 school year and will progressively be expanded to all High school grades by the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
Students can take Arabic at the baccalaureate as a Langue Vivante C elective. The goal is to get the students to the A2 level (basic user - elementary level) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Entry into these programs is based on themes that develop the students' linguistic skills as well as help them understand the complexity of cultural referents.
The Languages and Cultures of Antiquity option is open to any student who chooses it. It begins with an introduction at the start of the 6th grade; lessons continue from the start of the 7th grade through the 12th grade if students choose the option for the French baccalaureate.
In the 6th grade, the non-francophone students receive special attention with the Greek alphabet, the pronunciation of Greek and Latin, and the declension system. The study of etymology is enhanced by the comparison with the other languages spoken by each student.
In the other years of junior high school, if the student continues to study the two languages, grammar lessons provide an opportunity for an in-depth review of French grammar.
The study of cultures and civilizations helps students with their history and geography through historical timelines and maps that provide reference points.
In high school, the study of classical authors (translation, analysis and commentary) completes and enriches the preparation for the French and philosophy baccalaureate exams.
2 hours per week program:
- Targeted revisions of morphology and syntax
- Learning of vocabulary elements related to the themes on the program
- Elements of literary history
- Reading, translation and study of Latin literary texts
- Grammatical analysis, translation and commentary of excerpts from Latin literature
- Preparation for the baccalaureate exam