CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DE SAUZE, EMILE BIALS

DE SAUZE, EMILE BIALS

DE SAUZE, EMILE BIALS (7 Dec. 1878-11 July 1964), director of foreign languages for the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS from 1918-49 and developer of the conversational teaching method, was born in Tours, France and graduated from the University of Poitiers (1900) before coming to the U.S. in 1905 and receiving a Ph.D. from St. Joseph College. He came to Cleveland in 1918.

The de Sauze method, or "Cleveland Plan," emphasized listening and speaking as well as reading and writing, using the target language exclusively in the classroom, a departure from the traditional grammar-translation method. Under de Sauze's direction, his textbook Cours pratique de Francais (lst ed. 1919) was the beginning text, later supplemented by advanced-level readers de Sauze either authored or edited from 1924-39. During the 1920s, French was added to the curriculum for gifted elementary school children, with classwork, entirely oral and in French, based on active participation. De Sauze trained his teachers, contributing to his method's success. He founded, and for many years directed, the School of French of Western Reserve University, as well as the Demonstration School of Foreign Languages where, during the summer, educators from all over the world came to observe his methodology. He founded the MAISON FRANCAISE, a cultural organization for the Cleveland Francophone community. De Sauze died in Cleveland. His wife, Melanie Philips, whom he married in 1903, and their daughter, Marcelle (Mrs. Oliver J. Deex), preceded him in death.