Klara Knypinski

French Teacher
C’est La Vie French Club Moderator
Started 2017

Learning a different language allows one to broaden the view from which they see and interact with the world.
Klara Knypinski French teacher Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

How did you get interested in teaching a world language?

Teaching a world language was such a natural path for me. My parents are Polish immigrants, and I grew up in the multilingual environment of Québec, Canada, a French and English bilingual province. I spoke Polish at home with my parents and sisters; French at school with my teachers and classmates; and English with my neighbors and community. This multicultural upbringing really fostered my interest in learning different languages— after all, being multilingual allowed me to connect with so many different people! I knew when I started college that I needed to pursue a career where I could share my passion for multilingualism with young people.

What excites you about teaching a world language?

World language is a natural vessel that enables an exchange of ideas, culture, and perspective. This is so immensely important— when students learn a language other than their primary language, the whole world opens up to them that much more. Being able to teach students this important aspect of communication with the world is so exciting to me. I’m so glad I get to have a part in students’ acquisition of communication with their global community.

Why do you think it’s valuable for students to learn different languages other than their primary language?

Learning a different language allows one to broaden the view from which they see and interact with the world. Sharing ideas with people who come from a different background is so vital to growing as a person and as a society. Learning different languages propels this important ideology forward. Knowing various languages facilitates and drives communication with various people, and this is the value we gain from learning a new language.

What has been your proudest professional accomplishment at Flintridge Sacred Heart?

I’m very proud of the amount of French language that students have acquired in their French classes this school year. This acquisition was possible through the implementation of the language teaching methodology of comprehensible input. This is the third year that I’ve taught French utilizing comprehensible input, a language teaching strategy that highlights the importance of constant exposure to language through reading and listening. The amount of French language my students have been able to use correctly, through speaking and writing, has been so inspiring and validating in teaching this methodology.

How do you integrate technology in the classroom?

Technology has been an immensely helpful tool to reinforce language structures when students are outside of the French classroom. I love to use online resources such as Textivate and Quizlet, which allow students to re-read and practice those French structures we are covering in class.

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