By Jasper Li ’19
Ms. Marley Jean-Baptiste, a French teacher, assigned a cooking demonstration as an exit project for her French 8 students. The project challenges the students’ understanding of the language as well as their mastery of it.
The project can either be submitted as a pre-recorded video of the entire cooking process or it can be done as a live-cooking demonstration in front of the class. Although it may appear to be an easy task, Ms. Jean-Baptiste has a meticulous way of grading the project. Students must say all instructions in French, they must have a physical copy of ingredients and instructions in French, and they are graded based on how correctly the project was done, their readiness, depth of content, creativity, and of course, clarity and pronunciation.
In order for students to receive the best possible grade, they “have to do research and practice speaking,” said Ms. Jean-Baptiste.
Students were introduced to the project during French 7, but it is assigned in February, allowing students to prepare for at least two months.
“The project was really fun,” said Evelyn Velez ’19, who demonstrated how to make crepes. “I actually prepared four months ahead of time because I was excited.”
Although the project can appear to be daunting at first, some students took it in stride.
“I’m very well accustomed to my class,” said Rachel Goryachkovskiy ’18, who did a live preparation of Tuna Nicoise Salad. “We’ve been with each other for years and progressed with each other.”
Doing the cook demo live, in French, was no easy task.
“The most difficult part was trying to remember all of the steps and ingredients while teaching the class,” said Goryachkovskiy ’18.
While the students watched a presentation, they were responsible for taking notes. After the presentation, they must answer questions using their notes.
At first glance, the assignment may only appear to enrich a student’s knowledge of French and its culture, but it also teaches important life skills.
“You get to use everything you learned throughout the years in a real life situation,” said Ms. Teresa Fernández, Assistant Principal of World Languages/ENL. “You can practice public speaking and it supports so many different preparations for college.”
The project was originally assigned to Ms. Jean-Baptiste’s French 3 and 4 students and had fewer requirements to meet the capabilities of the students who are still learning the basics of the language.
“When I first did it [the cooking project] with French 3 and 4, I realized that food is an extremely important part of culture,” said Ms. Jean-Baptiste. This realization gave Ms. Jean-Baptiste the idea of a fun and challenging exit project for her French 8 students.
Ms. Jean-Baptiste said, “It essentially covers all grounds. What other project could be better?”