- Associated Press - Friday, July 15, 2016

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A fourth-grade teacher at Woodvale Elementary is creating a French library in her classroom.

The Advertiser reports (https://bit.ly/29VQwBe) Laure Warner plans to use a $312 grant from The Richard Guidry Cajun and Creole Language Fund to buy 32 books for her students taking French as a Second Language.

“I wanted to create a library corner in my classroom,” Warner said. “They are very small books, but they are at the students’ level. My goal was to start in August and by December, have them learn enough vocabulary to be able to take a book and read to themselves and read to others. I wanted them to see that it is possible to take a book, not know everything, then learn all the words and enjoy reading in a different language.”

The books will complement the Accelerative Integrated Methodology method that she uses in her classroom. That method incorporates gestures, music, dance and theater to help students develop a better proficiency in a second language.

“We allow students to use their French and actually perform,” Warner said. “We work to build up their confidence. At the start, some students are afraid, some are excited and some are very shy. To see the progress and improvement in May after their first year, it’s very gratifying. It’s rewarding for them, the teacher and the parents.”

Brenda Mounier, coordinator of the Richard Guidry fund, said the books will help improve French literacy among the Woodvale students.

“It’s to augment the use of the spoken language,” Mounier said. “The books focus on the core vocabulary they are using. The method Laure uses already incorporates a lot of gesturing. It’s almost like sign language in French. The kids associate the action with the word.”

The Richard Guidry fund is accepting applications for its final grant cycle this year. For more information, visit www.cfacadiana.com/RichardGuidry or call 337-769-4842.

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Information from: The Advertiser, https://www.theadvertiser.com

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