French Teacher Shares Technique

Upper School French teacher Cynthia Marker delivered a talk on infusing her French classes with pop music to help teach current events.

Marker, who is also Parker’s Languages and Cultural Studies Department co-chair, was a guest speaker at a professional development event at DePaul College Prep, hosted by the Chicago and Northern Illinois chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French.

In this forum, Marker provided peers with a dynamic overview of her use of contemporary music to delve into topics related to diversity and equity in a Francophone context. Her presentation demonstrated the ways in which analyses of pop and rap songs in her Upper School French classes reinforce historical and sociopolitical trends frequently highlighted in French media. “In addition to being a fun comprehension exercise and a chance to work on pronunciation,” she reflected, “listening to popular songs opens so many avenues for students to better understand the intricacies of complex social relations in the French-speaking world, which often mirror community relations closer to home. I am grateful for every opportunity to share curricular ideas and favorite methods with teachers in the field. We are so fortunate to be at a school that embraces the values of professional development and collaboration while generously supporting teachers' research interests for the benefit of our students.”

This occasion marked the third time Marker shared her expertise on this topic. After originally giving her talk at the AATF Convention in Trois-Rivières, Canada last summer, she was invited to present on Zoom for a New York chapter of the organization in November.

Parker congratulates Marker on this achievement and thanks her for helping her peers be even better teachers!
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.