AF Etoile du Nord Continuing Education Fund

In December 2013, AFMSP members Suzan Grovender and Philip Garnatz created the Alliance Française Etoile du Nord Continuing Education Fund.  The goal of this fund is to allow AFMSP to offer expanded continuing education opportunities, both for its staff and also for the greater community, particularly to French teachers in local schools.  The goal of these training opportunities are to increase the professionial opportunities for French instructors, grow the visibility and impact of AFMSP in the local community, and develop AFMSP as a hub for continuing education to support our colleagues and partners.

Each year, AFMSP offers its instructors, as well as French teachers in our community, continuing education opportunities on a variety of themes and topics.


Training opportunities offered in the past

Children’s Class Training
In January 2018, we hosted a training session for our children’s class instructors with the Youth Programs Manager from the AF chapter in Boston. The group spent the day working both on theoretical and practical exercises to apply in classes. Nine instructors and interns participated in
this training.

Human Resources & Marketing training for AF leaders
In June 2018, AFMSP hosted Michel Boiron, Director of the CAVILAM and AF Vichy, for a training for leaders of Alliance chapters from around the country. Each of this two-day training had a different focus: the first was honing best practices for human resources and management; the
second was marketing Alliance offerings in the community. Two AFMSP staff participated and directors or education coordinators from four other chapters in the US attended.

Le Théâtre en classe de FLE
On July 3, 2018, two trainers from the group Drameducation led a six-hour workshop for AFMSP instructors and French teachers from local schools and universities. The Educational Services of the French Embassy covered all travel and part of the lodging expenses.

DELF certification training at AFMSP
In December 2018, AFMSP organized a DELF training for instructors to renew or obtain certification to administer the French exam. Six AFMSP staff and two instructors from AF Denver successfully completed the training and passed the examination.

Formation à l’AF Puerto Rico
In January 2017, AF Puerto Rico organized a week-long training for instructors from the country based on the topics Introduire des activités théâtrales, Motiver les adolescents, Astuces et stratégies pour préparer les apprenants au DEFL. Only one AFMSP instructor was interested and able to attend.  Upon her return, the instructor shared the information and materials with her colleagues in a working session.

DELF certification training at AFMSP
After studying the costs of sending two AFMSP instructors to another AF for a DELF certification training organized there, there was a greater benefit in organizing a training here in Minneapolis, so that more AFMSP instructors could participate.   This three-day session took place in March 2017 and was led by an official trainer brought in from the AF in Winnipeg.  Four AFMSP instructors and interns participated, as well as one instructor from AF Milwaukee.

CARLA Summer Institute at U of M
In July 2016, two AFMSP education interns participated in a week-long training session at CARLA, the Center for Advanced Research and Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota.  The topics of these trainings were Culture as Core in the Second Language Classroom and Improving Language Learning: Styles- and Strategies-Based Instruction.  Following the workshop, the two interns presented their learnings to AFMSP instructors and staff in a group session.  AFMSP could never have offered this training without the Etoile du Nord Continuing Education Fund.

SmartBoard Training at AFMSP with AF Paris Instructor/Expert
In  April 2015, AFMSP brought teacher trainer Jocelyn Huet to Minneapolis from Paris, where she is an instructor at the Alliance Française flagship location.  The goal of this three-day training for all AFMSP instructors was to level the playing field in terms of Smart Board knowledge and provide those less comfortable with this technology an opportunity to learn and share with colleagues in a safe environment while building camaraderie.  AFMSP could never have offered this training without the Etoile du Nord Continuing Education Fund.

Immersion Teacher Training
On November 3 2014, the educational services of the French Embassy organized a training opportunity specifically for teachers in local French immersion schools.  This 6-hour workshop was led by Mrs. Hélène Vanthier and offered tools for teaching a foreign language to primary school students.  Eight attendees took advantage of this opportunity with three from The French Academy, one from Pierre Bottineau in Minneapolis and four from Normandale French Immersion in Edina.

L’album jeunesse en classe de FLE
On September 29, 2014, Janine Kotwica offered a 6 hour teacher training workshop on using children’s picture books in French classes.  Twelve participants, the maximum allowed, attended the workshop, including three from AFMSP, three public school instructors, three teachers from the French Academy of Minnesota, and three from other private institutions including the Minnesota Waldorf School. This workshop was offered in partnership with the Educational Services of the French Embassy who covered the cost of Mrs. Kotwica’s flights.  AFMSP covered her lodging, meals, transfers and refreshments for attendees.

Théâtre Forum en classe de FLE
In February 2014, the Alliance Française in New York (FIAF) organized the visit of Mr. Adrien Payet, to present techniques to use theater in French class. Because this workshop was organized independently of the French Embassy and its educational services, expenses to AFMSP were more than other workshops.   Thirteen instructors attended the workshop including seven from AFMSP, two French-immersion teachers, and the rest from local schools and universities.

DELF training program at Alliance Française de Chicago

In May 2013, the Delegation of AF in the US offered a three-day training program for instructors in the AF US network at the AF in Chicago. Thanks to the support of the AF Etoile du Nord fund, AFMSP was able to send three teachers to participate in this opportunity. Following the training, these three instructors successfully completed the final exam, giving them the accreditation needed to serve as administrators of the DELF and DELF Prim exams. This accreditation is valid for three years.

DAEFLE – Diplôme d’Aptitude de l’Enseignement du Français Langue Etrangère
In 2013, an AF instructor enrolled in this distance learning program, offered by the Fondation Alliance Française in Paris and the Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance.  He completed the correspondence course and took the final exam in December 2016. The participant and AFMSP shared the cost of the program, 50/50.

Stay tuned to our Events Calendar or sign-up to receive our newsletter for upcoming Training Opportunities!