Resource Center for the Teaching of French Opens at Yale

The Yale Center for International and Area Studies (YCIAS) has collaborated with the Connecticut State Board of Education and the Embassy of France to open a new Resource Center at Yale for the Teaching of French.

The Center is a part of YCIAS Programs in International Educational Resources (PIER), and the director’s office is housed in the Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) at Yale University.

The mission of the new Resource Center is primarily to support and enrich the teaching of French language, literature and culture at the elementary, middle and secondary (K-12) levels, as well as at the college level in Connecticut. The Resource Center encourages the use of the best pedagogical practices and disseminates innovative curricular models and material for the professional development of teachers.

The Center will draw on Yale’s extensive resources and those of the French government to develop and implement programs, services and teaching materials to advance the understanding of France and French-speaking areas of the world. Additionally, it will promote educational and cultural relationships and encourage and support school exchanges and partnerships between Connecticut and the Academie de Toulouse in France.

“The Yale Center for International and Area Studies is very pleased to welcome the Resource Center for the Teaching of French to Yale,” said Gustav Ranis, YCIAS director. “It will serve to strengthen teaching of the French language and culture in the New Haven community, as well as in Connecticut generally. We hope it will also strengthen relations with France through the partnering of schools here in Connecticut with schools in France.”

“The Resource Center for the Teaching of French at Yale will provide needed opportunities for teachers and students,” said Mary Ann Hansen, State World Language Consultant, Connecticut Department of Education. “Already, 70 schools in Connecticut have requested a partner school in France for email, video-teleconferencing and other exchanges. The enthusiasm and collaborative potential bode well for the overall success of the Resource Center.”

“We at the French Embassy are very enthusiastic about this new Resource Center at Yale,” said Chantal Manes, director of the Education Department at the French Embassy in Washington, DC. “The approach it advocates to training teachers is in tune with our own mission, as it brings together culture, language and international relations. We believe our partnership with this interdepartmental team, which includes PIER, TPP, the Beinecke Library and the French department, to name a few, will provide the right mix to make the Resource Center a successful tool for the promotion of French in the State of Connecticut.”

Mireille Dechelette has been appointed director of the Resource Center. She holds two advanced degrees from the University of Lyons and formally studied teaching world languages and cultures at the Sorbonne. She received her teaching certificate from the University of Amsterdam and has taught French in the Netherlands and English in France. She has also developed teacher-training plans and has supported several exchange projects between schools in the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. Prior to coming to Connecticut, she worked as a teacher of English in the Burgundy region of France.

“I’m delighted to open the Resource Center for the Teaching of French at Yale for the educational community in Connecticut,” said Dechelette. “The response from teachers to the announcement reveals a great demand and high expectations to find new materials for their classrooms. Films, videos, CD-ROMs, CDs, pedagogical reviews, as well as magazines for children and teenagers of the Francophone world will provide current and authentic perspectives on a variety of subjects, such as art, archeology, language, literature and science. The Resource Center will offer a wealth of workshops and outreach programs. Teachers are welcome to make this their Resource Center!”

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