Anne Slack, 94, TV teaching pioneer of ‘Parlons Français’

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From The Boston Globe

Anne Slack, 94, TV teaching pioneer of ‘Parlons Français’

After the “Parlons Français’’ project, Mrs. Slack taught advanced French at Boston University and Harvard University.

By Stephanie M. Peters

A beautiful young woman with a large bouffant and perfectly manicured red nails, Anne Slack introduced French to more than 2 million elementary school children in the late 1950s and early 1960s by encouraging them to “écouter’’ and “répéter.’’

On the other side of television sets in third- and fourth-grade classrooms throughout central New York and greater Boston, students would do as Madame Slack instructed, listening and repeating the vocabulary and verbs she enunciated in an exact Parisian accent.

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  1. Saul Davis on April 29, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Paul and Julia Child were also friends with my father’s cousin in the OSS years, which contributed to Paul’s retirement.

  2. Keith Douglas Warren on January 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Je suis toujours souvenu Mme Slack, bien que je n’ai jamais appris à parler très bien le français.

    [Ed.: Translation from Yahoo Babelfish: “I will always remember Mrs. Slack, although I never learned how to speak French very well.”]

  3. Fred Barzyk on March 30, 2010 at 10:22 am

    My first paid job at WGBH was directing the show “Parlons Francais” It was hosted by Anne Slack.

    • Nicole de rochemont on March 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Hello there I remember meeting you oh so many years back. My husband Louis de Rochemont lll and I stopped by to say hello. After the niceties and the business at hand Parlons Français you asked my husband if he would agree to go to the studio where a new series on cooking was being taped . You spoke enthusiastically about it and then added that the husband of the lady called Julia Child was an admirer of Windjammer and wanted to meet him . We went on to the temporary studio where it was taped and met both Julia and Paul Child . It was a memorable event Paul Child had been in Norway and loved the country and wanted to exchange with Louis as during the taping I recall that the microphone had to be taped to Juliaès leg and she got an electric shot from it. That is when we left.
      I also remember the de Rochemont s being involved in the making of Parlons Francais. They created a company by the name of Heath de Rochemont Heath published the exercise books and the teacher s manuals and de Rochemont if I remember correctly provided the filmed excerpts shot in Paris.
      Do you remember this ? I am busy writing for a limited audience my memoirs and stumbled upon this doing some research and would not like to put in information in ithe tale that would not be accurate.t. Thank you for your help Nicole de Rochemont

      • Saul Davis on April 29, 2022 at 3:45 pm

        I still have and treasure the book from this series. It was the ultimate in educational formats, not only for children. I particularly loved the folk songs, and the characters in the films, Cilestin, right? It should all be re-issued, and standard curriculum. And the theory behind its design, in how to engage young minds is of great importance. It was light years beyond any other language books.

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