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New virtual classrooms at AF Westchester

New virtual classrooms at AF Westchester

A lot has been happening at AF Westchester since the start of the pandemic. In this blog post, we're excited to introduce our new virtual online classes!

It's been a while since we've seen a lot of you in person, so I wanted to give you all a quick update about what's been going on in our classes since the start of the pandemic. While most of our members have been learning online using video conferencing tools such as Zoom, some of our students and teachers have also been learning using our brand new virtual classrooms over the last few months. What are virtual classrooms? To sum it up, they're a virtual learning environment which helps our students find all the resources related to their French lessons in one convenient place, making it easier to stay organized and progress in their learning journey.

What do AFW's virtual classrooms look like?

As a picture is worth a thousand words, here is an example of one of the classes currently being taught by one of our wonderful teachers, Agnès. On the left side of the screen, you will notice a tab called "Actualités", which is a bit like a private social network on which our students can chat among themselves or with their teacher, share interesting news articles or videos, as well as submit their homework. On the "Modules" tab, students can access interactive exercises which are here to help them reinforce their languages skills. Depending on the class learning objectives and levels, students might find their some exercises helping them practice the following skills: listening, reading, writing, speaking, grammar, conjugation, vocabulary, spelling, etc. In some other classes, they may be given the chance to discover some specific cultural aspects, such as in this class.

What is the main advantage of virtual classrooms?

There are many advantages to these classrooms but during our various experimentations, here are the two main aspects we've noticed: virtual classroom are helping us empower our students, so they can be more in control of their learning journey and so they can better measure their own progress. They're also a great way to stay in touch with friends between lessons, and to share relevant information about French speaking countries, the French language, French news, etc. And more importantly, we feel they play a critical role in providing authentic contents to learn the French language in a relevant manner. Indeed, while textbooks are great, they do not reflect all the nuances of the French language and Francophone world, so we're excited to be providing our students new ways to live a more immersive French learning experience through these classes. Indeed, these virtual classrooms make it much easier for teachers and students to share videos, podcasts, articles, etc.

When will my class start using a virtual classroom?

Most of our classes will start using virtual classrooms either during our Summer session or in September 2021, however new classes and students have already been joining virtual classrooms earlier this year. Throughout the school year, our teachers have been learning how to use these classrooms, as well as learning how to design exciting learning contents for our students. Most of our team is now ready to help students learn how to use their virtual classroom, so we're looking forward to giving you a tour!

If you would like more information about virtual classrooms, or if you would like to see one for yourself, feel free to contact us. I will be happy to give you a tour via Zoom and to help you get started with your own login and password. Also, if you would rather not use a computer to log into your virtual French classroom, don't worry, you can also access them easily via a phone or tablet!