Dimond French Program Includes Academics, Projects, Culture and Travel

Dimond High School offers a wide variety of world language courses including Spanish, German and the notable Japanese Immersion Program.  But maybe less known to the average Dimond average student is its amazing French program.

French at Dimond is taught by Aline Hopkins, beginning with French I and going all the way up to AP French and higher French classes offered at University of Alaska Anchorage.

“French is my favorite language to speak and teach.” Hopkins said when asked about her experience teaching French. “I love seeing kids experience a new language and culture.”

Hopkins’ contagious love of French is easily spread to almost all of her students.

When Senior Gwenna Nichols, who has taken French since freshman year, was asked about her experience with Dimond’s French program, her face lit up.

“I love French! It has given be an opportunity to learn about a new culture that I would’ve never learned about before.”

Like many others, French has been nothing but good for me.

I began taking French during my freshman year. Since the first day of my high school career, I have felt welcomed and appreciated in within the walls of B107.

Hopkins has created a wonderful environment for learning and experiencing all French has to offer.

Hopkins makes learning fun and easy. Through daily warm ups, activities and projects she makes the class very engaging.

“One of my favorite projects in French was the house project. We got to make a small house diorama and label everything inside with its French translation,” said Ashley Morton, who is currently in French IV.

French culture has also been very entertaining learning through Hopkins’ eyes.

In class, we listen to a lot of French songs and watch French movies to immerse ourselves in the French culture. We also take days to have cultural celebrations where we bring different foods from all of France.

“One time I had students torch crème brûlée in class,” Ms. Hopkins said.

“One of the coolest ways I got to learn about French culture was through pen pals. I got to hear about what it’s like to be a high schooler in a foreign country. I still talk to them once in a while.” said Matthew Olive, a junior in French IV.

Recently, Hopkins has been trying to incorporate travel within her classes.

Last year, about 20 students from both Spanish and French classes at Dimond took a trip overseas to see France and Spain.

This year, Hopkins has plans to take another group of students from French and the JROTC program to see Paris and Normandy on the 75th anniversary of D Day.

“I love seeing students see the culture that I’ve been teaching them about for all these years.” Ms. Hopkins said.

She also is planning a trip for the summer of 2020, where students will travel to France, Spain and Italy.

On top of all that, Hopkins supervises the student led French Club, which meets Thursday at lunch in her room. During this time, students watch french movies, bring or make French foods and/or play french games. French Club is a way for all students at Dimond to see what French and its culture has to offer.

The French program at Dimond has impacted many students lives.

“Many students continue their French education after high school. I love hearing about when students major or minor in French.” Hopkins said.

Hannah Olive, a freshman in French I said, “I have only been in French class for one semester, but I’ve been having so fun. I’ve already learned so much and can’t wait to continue my French education and maybe go on one of the amazing trips!”