COVID19 update - IMPORTANT
COVID19 update - IMPORTANT
As we all know, the local COVID19 cluster is growing bigger every day, so it is our duty to keep all the members of our Francophile
community safe. When you come to AFW to attend our classes and events, you might not meet all of our members and students, however our
community has active members and students as young as 6 months old and then of all ages, including many senior citizens, most of whom attend
all our activities on a weekly basis.
Because of this and because of the seriousness of the current local outbreak, we have no choice but to close the Alliance Française of
Westchester from March 14th, 5.30pm until March 30th, 9am.
This means the following:
- Classes are scheduled as normal on March 14th;
During the next two weeks:
Cultural events are all postponed until further notice, including immersion workshops, and we will let you know as soon as they can be
- All casual conversation groups and open house dates are canceled until further notice;
- Book clubs are postponed until further notice;
- No group classes or private lessons will be taking place on our premises.
On a case by case basis, most of our lessons will temporarily switch to an online model. At the very least, we will be
organizing online lessons for all our students who are 9 years old or older (From our “CM1” class and pre-teens classes using the “Tip
Top 1” books, then all other classes above these levels).
Although this might take a few more days to fully organize, we are also planning to offer online alternatives for our younger students.
Please be patient while our team decides which tools are best to conduct lessons with a younger audience. In the meantime, teachers will
be emailing parents regarding homework, readings and exercises which can be done individually and remotely.
Lessons which absolutely cannot take place online (e.g. toddlers classes) will be rescheduled and conducted at a later date.
While we know many of you are going to be disappointed, I wanted to let you know that the AFW is closely monitoring the situation and
coordinating with other Alliance Françaises throughout the world in order to select the best learning resources and tools currently
available. Our team will do its best to ensure that you all get to learn French with us as usual, as we know how important it is for all of
For now, here are the steps we’ve taken to ensure this will be possible:
Staff members have been trained to use a tool called Hangouts Meet, proposed
by Google and which several members of our team have already been using for a while to organize private lessons, remote team meetings, etc.
Teachers have been actively sharing tools and testing them in order to anticipate technical challenges which may arise during the first few
We’ve had a first successful pilot class this morning, and below is the feedback we’ve had from some of the students who
attended it, as well as from the teacher who conducted the class.
Merci pour la classe!
Rachel and Lana—Thank you all at l’Alliance for arranging this google.meet class! It was easy to do; our class was, as always,
fascinating and fun. It appears to be a good solution (hopefully temporary) while we are unable to safely meet in person. Looking
forward to next week.
With gratitude, Sharon
I heartily concur with everything Sharon wrote! AFW emailed a link to Google.meet, and all I needed to do was click on the link, enter
my name, and -- voilà -- I was there with my classmates. I had already decided to self-quarantine because of my age, so it was an especial
pleasure to be able to attend class via the internet.
thank Rachel for having made this possible! My only glitch was that I hadn't fed the cat before I went on-line, so Ringo made several
appearances "in class" as he swished across my computer.
Many thanks to all, Jane and Ringo
Thank you for making this « google meet » class possible, easy to set up and a pleasant pedagogical experience for all. As the
instructor who was teaching in this way for the first time, I was wary -and worried. I need not have been because it was as smooth-going as
one could want. Our class lasted 2.5 hours without a break or a glitch! We could hear and see each other and with a little imagination, one
could pretend we were in the same (class)room. This may be a very useful, timely tool as we go forward in these uncertain times.
I pass along one piece of advice to my colleagues at AFW. Send notes, exercises, handouts, etc. to students in advance by email on the
class you will be teaching. You are probably planning to do this in any case. It makes the class a “complete” experience.
To all at AFW, take care and keep learning French! - Lana Hamon
Thanks to this very positive first experience, we are confident that our members will be able to carry on learning French in a fun
environment. Over the next few days, we will also be working as a team to help our teachers and students learn how to make the most of these
tools, as well as of other tools which should facilitate distance learning.
For now, our office will remain open so our staff can assist all our members and students, as well as to make sure we’re here to reset
your Culturethèque passwords if necessary. You can also borrow books from our office in
White Plains, so you and your children can carry on reading in French.
If you need to contact our office, please do so by email only, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As our main priority will be to assist teachers and students to set up online classes as quickly as possible, our phone line is likely to be
unavailable while we’re troubleshooting issues and getting everything organized.
Thank you all for your understanding, and see you very soon,