Woodstock's languages department offers two languages, French and Hindi, both taught by native speakers.
The French programme at Woodstock mostly teaches French as a foreign language. Students can start taking French in 7th or 8th grade and can continue up to an intermediate or advanced level, leading to the Cambridge IGCSE exams at the intermediate level, and the US College Board Advanced Placement exams at the advanced level.
Students are divided into classes according to their level of French knowledge, rather than by grade. Class sizes never exceed 18, and the number of students per class is normally around 12. The well-equipped language classrooms enable students and teachers to make use of a wide variety of multimedia resources.
The approach to the teaching/learning of French at Woodstock is primarily a communicative one. Emphasis is placed on developing the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through the most authentic situations possible using role plays, listening to and reading authentic French documents, having discussions in French, and exchanging ideas about French in French. The classes require active participation from each student.
Classes are conducted in French, as a means of immersing students as much as possible in the language. It is recognized that making errors is part and parcel of the learning process, and students are encouraged to participate in discussions and activities in French from the outset, regardless of their level. This helps them to build up their knowledge, confidence and ability to communicate effectively in French.
French classes at Woodstock encompass students from a wide variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. As students develop their language skills and learn about French culture, they are encouraged to reflect back on their own cultural and linguistic backgrounds to enrich their learning experience.
The Woodstock Hindi programme develops students' appreciation and understanding of the rich culture and traditions of India and the local environment of Mussoorie; in addition, the curriculum is designed to inspire students to learn a language that will help them to contribute to a much more open world. Beginners to Advanced courses are offered to accommodate all language levels. The courses are designed to develop the students' ability to express themselves fluently in oral and written Hindi.
Students' knowledge is enhanced through field trips to various places in India, and students also participate in a variety of Indian festivals. Trips to the bazaar, visits to local schools and families, and Indian cooking classes form an integral part of learning the language. The Woodstock curriculum requires students to learn Hindi from grade KG - 7, after which they are given a choice to either continue with Hindi or to take up French.
Mrs. Amrita John, HOD
"Woodstock has been my second home now for 14 years. In these years I have had the opportunity to serve in the capacity of a house parent for Edgehill, as a librarian, and an ESL teacher. I now teach Hindi as a second language to Elementary and Middle School. I am also an advisor to grade 6. I aim to build students who will take responsibility to contribute to the global nation."
Ms. Elsa Amy
"I come from the west of France. I studied English (BA) and French as a foreign language (master) in France. I have worked in Ireland for four years as a French teacher and as an education officer in the French Embassy in Dublin. After that I spent three years in Paris working for the ministry of education in the international department. I first wanted to come to India after watching a film (not a bollywood one though!!!) and in between the jobs mentioned above, I spent 6 months teaching French in Mumbai and always wanted to come back to India. This dream came true in January 2009 when I joined Woodstock. I am very pleased to teach here, the students here make me want to work harder especially when I hear ‘merci’ at the end of a class."
Ms. Ritu Vanhille
Ritu has completed a Masters degree in French and English in Chandigarh, her hometown and then undertook a Diploma in Scientific and Technical translation and 8th semester from Alliance Francaise de Delhi. She has worked in many schools and even ran her own Institute of Foreign Languages with her husband who is a French national. Ritu enjoys seeing students creativity emerge as they learn a new language. Ritu joined Woodstock in July and describes it as the most beautiful experience of her life.
Mr. Mohammed Yusuf
Yusuf is from Mussoorie. He has a Masters in Hindi and before Woodstock he was a Hindi and Urdu teacher at Landour Language School in Mussoorie, where he taught students from all over the world, at all different stages of their language study for 15 years. He believes that through the teaching and learning of language, one can truly experience and acquire the culture. Now as a teacher at Woodstock, he has the opportunity to reach young people at a crucial stage in their development and support their growth both inside and outside of the classroom. Aside from teaching Hindi, Yusuf is also a grade eight advisor.
Ms. Vandana Vinayak
"I have been working with Woodstock School since 2006. My qualifications include B.Ed (Bachelors of Education) and M.A (Eng) from Indian universities. With an experience of teaching all the core subjects to Elementary, and languages to Middle School in my previous appointments, I am enjoying teaching 'Hindi as First Language' to Elementary students (Grades 1-6) and Senior School (Grade 7-8).
"My ongoing dream is to pursue writing. I enjoy reading and music a lot, and satiate myself through taking Indian Folk dance classes with Junior School. I strive to create motivating and enjoyable atmosphere in my classes. To see my students smile when I enter the class, and to foster them into confident, ingenious and genteel Hindi speakers is my biggest achievement."
Senior School Course Desciptions (09-10, awaiting update)
- French 1
- This is an introduction to the basics of the French language, its grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and functions. Cultural aspects of France are presented. Students should be able to carry on a basic conversation in French upon completion of French 1.
- This course builds on the basics learned in French 1 and concentrates on building vocabulary, tense usage, and accompanying time expressions. Emphasis is also put on developing well-connected sentences both orally and in composition work.
- The foundations laid in French 1 and 2 are consolidated, and a richer vocabulary is introduced. Verb usage is further extended in order for students to be able to manipulate compound tenses and read simplified forms of French classics.
- This class is centered on an historical study of France and literary works of various periods in French history. Contemporary materials such as music, newspapers, and magazine articles are used. Students also develop oral abilities.
- Students interested in a fifth year of French are prepared for the AP exam. The course is tailored according to these needs, with activities similar to those of French 4, helping students to extend their command of French with all skills in mind.
- This course is an introduction to the language, with emphasis on basic grammar, conversation, reading, and writing. This course is for high school students whose mother tongue is not Hindi.
- Hindi 2 stresses oral fluency, vocabulary building and reinforcement of basic grammar through conversation and reading and writing of simple stories and essays. For high school students who have completed Hindi 1 and whose mother tongue is not Hindi.
- An advanced course for 2nd language Hindi students with at least three years of previous Hindi study.
- An advanced course for 1st language Hindi students with at least three years of previous Hindi study. It includes study of short stories by modern writers, one-act plays and two novels in depth and learning the history of the Hindi through poetry.