How Multilingual Instruction Builds Agile Minds

What do puppets, dragons, cooking and green energy all have in common? They each inspired creative storytelling projects by students at the Lycée Français de Chicago (LFC), the French International School in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. At this bilingual pre-K to grade 12 immersion school, teachers at the Lycée continuously introduce fun, impactful ways for students to express themselves through words.

Storytelling as a powerful tool

“Educating students during a pandemic has inspired even more innovation than usual,” says Eric Veteau, president of the LFC. “Whether it was during our at-home learning period in the spring of 2020 or the on-campus education we have been privileged to offer this fall, the creativity and resilience of our teachers, staff and students have been inspirational to witness.”

If you step into an LFC classroom, you see daily examples of this, both large and small:

Story Time

In kindergarten, students spent four weeks studying a French children’s book, making puppets, learning new words and practicing how to retell the story. The result was a beautiful video book narrated by students.

Creative Collaboration

In junior kindergarten and second grade, students worked together to create a captivating bilingual story about a princess, a dragon and a box. The students first crafted an oral story told with origami, then spent several months on a written version. Finally, they turned it into a bilingual audiobook.

Journalists in Training

Fourth-grade journalists published a digital, bilingual journal, The LFC Times. The students conducted interviews, created podcasts on their favorite activities, shared cooking ideas and wrote articles to enrich the mind.

The Elevator Pitch

In 11th grade, a team of International Baccalaureate students created a presentation video as part of their entry into the Imperial University Science Fair in the United Kingdom. Of 150 international participants, the team received third place for their green energy-focused science project.

“Language gives us — in a world full of different backgrounds, philosophies and ways of life — an opportunity to come together,” says Veteau of what drives the LFC. The LFC accepts new French learners in all grades except fourth through eighth. Students can also take language courses in German, Mandarin and Spanish. “Students gain a multilingual skill set, and research demonstrates that the multilingual brain is more agile and empathetic.”

A good education is the beginning of a lifelong journey

The lessons taught at the LFC go far beyond its walls. The school integrates language education throughout its curriculum — spanning into math, science and history — and teaches students more than just the language but the culture around it. With a strong focus on STEAM academics, a state-of-the-art campus, highly qualified staff and small class sizes, the Lycée offers outstanding opportunities, helping students achieve high academic results and top university acceptance rates.

Join one of the Lycée’s admissions cafés to learn more about what makes the LFC special:

  • A pre-K to grade 12 educational journey
  • Dual-language curriculum with previous French language experience only required for grades four to eight
  • Multicultural and inclusive community
  • Two internationally recognized high school programs: International Baccalaureate (English-based curriculum) and French Baccalaureate (French-based curriculum)
  • Third and fourth language options: German, Mandarin, Spanish
  • Study abroad and class trips
  • Athletics (GO FLAMES!)
  • Afterschool classes and summer camps
  • Financial aid opportunities

To learn more about Lycée Français de Chicago visit lyceechicago.org.

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