Introducing French at Matamata Intermediate is the result of two distinct projects and the coming together of a small group of teachers who found out they had one common goal: ensuring their students would get ongoing exposure to French.

- Sharing Practice:
Cheryl Steeves, Year 8 Teacher at Matamata Intermediate, took the opportunity last year to attend Fransème, a Professional Development day for Teachers of French held last July in Auckland. Cheryl has some command of the French language and a great interest in introducing it in her school.
Florence Lyons, TIC French at the neighboring Matamata College, was then presenting a session at Fransème. They started to discuss how best they could work together.
Florence offered to teach Cheryl's class while Cheryl observed her to acquire some of the techniques and familiarize herself with the content of Level 1 of the NZC.
Robyn Wilson, another year 8 teacher at Matamata Intermediate, had in the meantime met Florence, in her capacity of Tutor at the French evening class she attended. Florence then offered to do the same as with Cheryl's class, seeing that both Cheryl and Robyn could continue to work together and strengthen the program once Florence would be gone. Florence's motivation to take on the extra work stemmed from her need to secure a larger intake for French at year 9, with the ultimate goal to retain larger numbers of students in her senior classes.

- Sharing Knowledge:

While Florence, Cheryl and Robyn were planning ahead to introduce French in the Term 1 of 2010, Pascale Hyboud-Peron, a secondary teacher of French currently managing, contacted Florence to see if she would have a senior class interested in becoming teachers of French at her neighboring Intermediate. Pascale had seen a Teacher TV episode where English students of French had become tutors at their local primary, as a work experience over a given period.
Florence immediately thought of her year 12 class, made of a small group of committed students who had continued to show great interest in the subject and who she believed would benefit from:
- having the opportunity to think over the basics through teaching them
- gaining confidence in their ability by using the language in a different context
- experimenting with relating to younger students
- participating to the promotion of the French language in a pro-active way
- contributing their time and knowledge to their extended community.
Florence went on to contact Marion Henriksen, Principal at Matamata Intermediate to ask if she could think of a class and a teacher who would be keen to experiment with this student teaching student project. Marion was immediately enthusiastic and both Florence and Pascale started discussing the possibilities with Linda Hodge, an other year 8 teacher at the Intermediate school.

In the next few pages of this section of the wiki, both the Sharing Practice and the Sharing Knowledge projects are described in more details. The intention has always been to document both the process and the outcomes of those two projects as Florence and Pascale hope that this can be of interest to other teachers looking for a solution to:
a- introduce a meaningful Language program at Years 7 & 8
b- illustrate close collaboration and good Intermediate-College communication
c- engage students into thinking languages beyond a taster course.

At the end of Term 1 2010:
- Three year 8 classes are learning a language at Matamata Intermediate and are indicating French is part of their college plan
- Seven year 12 students are working on their NCEA Level 2 program with the enthusiasm born from having tested their abilities to present and explain the basics of the language.