Alliances Françaises Network Moves Online With Innovative Digital Courses

With the rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, all Alliance Française chapters in the United States––108 in total––had to close their doors in mid-March 2020. 

The 77 branches that offer French courses across the U.S. quickly moved their classes online. To find the right technology and pedagogical tools, negotiations were organized at a national level through coordination with partners and providers to offer free tools or discounted options to the various schools. 

Within just weeks, all language schools had organized online alternatives for their classes with different options: 
 

Apolearn 

Apolearn is a platform where students will be able to  discuss with their teacher and classmates. The teacher can share videos, materials, homework assignments and documents outside of the traditional classroom. It also allows students to share news, language learning tips and resources in their own AF social network. 

Apolearn offers a tailored platform for each AF, unlimited student accounts and tutorials completely free of charge during the pandemic. 

In only weeks, 36 AF along with 410 teachers, 1115 classes and 3430 students connected to this language platform. 

 

Frello 

Frello provides tools for an individualized experience for each student: customizable assignments, monitoring of skills and activity of learners, large choices of modules, flexibility of use. They offered a 50% discount to all AF students during the Covid-19 crisis. 

For live sessions, most chapters have used Zoom or Google Classroom to manage one-to-one or group lessons. 

The USA Alliance Francaises organized teacher trainings and live demonstrations as educators had to adapt very quickly to teaching remotely with interactive materials. 

The second challenge was to offer innovative cultural activities online both for students and members. From creative theater writing workshops to photo and Haiku contests or relaxed aperitifs online, most AF chapters offer a variety of events anyone can follow from their home, to stay connected and practice French with friends and communities. 

Here are some examples :

 

Some creative communications were also offered to the public––from demonstrations of online classes to tutorials about how to register and even short clips about the fun of learning French from home. 

In the past weeks, the motivation, hard work and adaptability of the students and teachers at the Alliances françaises in the United States prove we can still learn  in a different environment, maintain a special bond despite isolation, and bring together the francophiles and francophones across the continent.

For more information: https://alliance-us.org/

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