Pre-K Teacher, LPECC
I am a New Orleans native and attended the University of New Orleans where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Master of Arts in Romance Languages. I started teaching in 1996 and have taught junior high and high school French and English. Between schools, I was a diplomat in the United States Foreign Service where I first served in Lomé, Togo then in Paris, France. One of my hobbies is writing, and my novel, The Diary of Marie Landry, was published in 2012. It's the story of an Acadian girl's journey to Louisiana from Acadia, and the history of the Cajun people in Louisiana. I also have been known to pen a few posts on various topics for my blog, Stacy Rambles.
Why were you drawn to teaching in the French immersion program?
I was teaching high school French at Ruston High School when Mr. Milstead approached me about this program, and I was very excited for the children of Lincoln Parish. I am a career high school teacher, so pre-school is quite a change for me, but I could not pass up the opportunity to help launch this program. It will afford our children so many opportunities that have only been available to those in South Louisiana until now.
What is your language learning journey?
I first became interested in learning French when my paternal grandmother took me to the cemetery and told me the stories of all of our ancestors buried there. They had come from France, and were among the founders of Louisiana. I wanted to learn their language. The first opportunity I had to study French was in sixth grade, and I have been learning the language ever since. It has taken me all over the world both for work and study, and I want the lives of Louisiana students to be enriched by this language as mine has.
What has been your favorite unit so far this academic year and why?
I love the units that teach directly about French culture, such as the unit on Saint Nicolas and La fête des rois. The children loved studying about La tour Eiffel.
What are your goals for the children at the end of this year in terms of their French language skills?
Most of all, I hope they love school and continue to explore the world through learning and through the French language. At this age, they have no fear of a new language; it's just like learning anything else to them. Colors, numbers, French, painting - these are all new concepts that they are exploring, so one is no more intimidating than the other. I would love for them to continue to be fearless in their approach to learning French.
Why should parents enroll their children into the French immersion program?
To be exposed to a language at a young age means that the child will learn the language much more
easily. A child will speak more fluently and with a more authentic accent than beginner adolescents or adults ever will. Researchers have shown that the general age at which a learner will have native language interference when tackling a second language is age 12. As you can see, delaying the study of a second language until high school means that it will be a much more difficult undertaking. Let's not wait - let's give our children this opportunity when it's so easy for them to learn! If they start now, they'll be fluent by the time they reach high school instead of novices!