Reinforcing French literacy skills goal of Reading Buddies program at St. Stephen Elementary School

Kathy Bockus/Courier Reading Buddies, a program for students in French Immersion at St. Stephen Elementary School and St. Stephen High School, concluded this segment of its shared learning this week with a games and treats day at SSES. from left are Aislyn Burns, 9, in Grade 4; Sarah McCullough, Grade 12, Gibbob Moffatt, 9, in Grade 4 and Grade 12 student Jake Hughes.

 

‘Reading Buddies’ helps students learn French language

Kathy Bockus

St. Stephen

Kathy Bockus/Courier
Reading Buddies, a program for students in French Immersion at St. Stephen Elementary School and St. Stephen High School, concluded this segment of its shared learning this week with a games and treats day at SSES. from left are Aislyn Burns, 9, in Grade 4; Sarah McCullough, Grade 12, Gibbob Moffatt, 9, in Grade 4 and Grade 12 student Jake Hughes.
Kathy Bockus/Courier
Nate Kinney, right, a Grade 4 student at St. Stephen Elementary School, grins expectantly as he waits for Matt Smith, a Grade 12 student at St. Stephen High School, to roll the dice in this board game. The two are Reading Buddies, a program between the two schools that helps foster French Immersion studies.

French Immersion students in Grade 4 and 5 are matched with “buddies” from St. Stephen High School, says SSES teacher Carole Noel.

Noel explained the Grade 4 students, who began immersion in Grade 3, are not yet independently proficient in the French language, so conversing with their older counterparts allows them the opportunity to “have the practice speaking.”

The program began in October, and Noel said the aim is to have it extend year round, but it has to be in sync with the high school’s semesters. Therefore, the first part of the program ended this week, with a special games and treat day at SSES. Another portion will resume in February.

“Today was fun; this is a special day,” said Noel on Wednesday morning. “It’s their last day with them.” She explained because of course changes for the high school students, some may not be back in the New Year.

The program sees the elementary school students start the Reading Buddies session with a speaking game, said Noel. “Then they have a reading part and then they have to give a little summary of what they have read.” The high school students then ask them questions about what they have just read and “after that, they can have a little game based on vocabulary.”

“The older students get to practice speaking their French in a different atmosphere,” said Noel. “They are really good role models for the younger ones.”

“We get to read and play games with them,” said Grade 12 student Jake Hughes.

“It’s good for us too. We don’t get to practice speaking French all that often,” noted Sarah McCullough, also in Grade 12.

Grade 4 students Nate Kinney, Aislyn Burns and Gibbon Moffatt, all agreed having “buddies” was a fun way to learn French.

 

kathy@stcroixcourier.ca

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Kathy Bockus
Journalist Kathy Bockus is based in St. Stephen and has worked for The Saint Croix Courier as a general news reporter and feature writer for the past 15 years. She began her lengthy newspaper career in 1974 with a daily in Saint John. Bockus says she always jokes being a reporter is a licence to be nosey, but firmly believes that everyone has a story to tell. She can be contacted at 321-0759.