Jacky Musau Kalubi
M.A. French Language & Civilization, University of Cincinnati
Important skills I want to teach my students
As the teacher of the first level of French, it is important and vital that I impart the building blocks of the language to my Middle School students. I believe that people-to-people communication and understanding of other cultures are essential in forming the character of my students. I hope to contribute to the general education of these young people by not only teaching the language but by giving them opportunities to gain insight into patterns of living and thinking in ways that are different from their own. I relish the fact that students not only learn the language and the skills associated with it but they get to learn history, anthropology, sociology, literature, customs and traditions, lifestyle, and art. They get to hear conversations, songs and music and taste different foods. The development of all these skills, together with the student’s understanding of the structure of language, may lay the foundations for furthering their study of French or lead to the pursuit of other world language studies.
Teaching methods to reach these goals
I present lessons inductively, addressing the various learning styles of my students. I teach the language in context, using textbooks and multimedia material at my disposal but I rely mostly on my personal experience, my intuition, and teachable moments that arise. I focus on all of the components of communicative competence by engaging students in the pragmatic, functional use of language for meaningful purposes. When students acquire the basic structures of the French language, they begin to explore the similarities and differences between the French and English languages and learn how languages can be manipulated and applied in different ways.
My favorite projects
My favorite project is the unit on Senegal that we cover in eighth grade. Students learn many things about Africa in general and we break down many stereotypes about the continent. The unit culminates with a sewing project. Students get to make their own boubous (Senegalese tunic). They wear their boubou at an Ataya tea ceremony.
What I like best about teaching at Seven Hills
I am fortunate to work in a school where the teacher’s style of teaching is valued as long as the results are tangible and students achieve. It pleases me to teach where educators are encouraged through development grants, workshops and educationally based programs to grow intellectually and to pursue personal challenges. Also, I have the privilege to chaperone students to academic competitions, to local and overseas trips. I will always be grateful to my colleagues for the good work they did teaching, training and guiding my three children through their formative years at Seven Hills.