Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Parallel reading for low intermediates

This is taken from frenchteacher.net (Y9 page). The parallel text principle means that you can use a text of higher complexity and maturity level than usual. There are other exercise types you could use with the source material, but not translation! answers are given at the end of the post.

Une fillette abandonnée sur une aire d’autoroute

Une famille se trouvait dimanche midi sur le chemin des vacances, lorsqu'elle s'est arrêtée quelques instants sur une aire d'autoroute près de Loriol, dans la Drôme.

Ensuite les parents sont repartis en voiture, en oubliant que leur fille de trois ans était toujours là.

Un couple de vacanciers, intrigués de voir une petite fille toute seule, a fini par donner l'alerte à la police après avoir observé pendant une heure que les parents ne revenaient pas.

L'enfant a dit aux gendarmes qu'elle "allait à la mer" et qu'elle avait "vu la voiture de papa partir".

Pendant ce temps, la famille avait dépassé Aix-en-Provence et se dirigeait vite vers Saint-Raphaël, dans le Var, sans avoir remarqué l'absence de leur fille.

C'est vers 15H00, que le père s'est aperçu de ce qui s’était passé après avoir entendu un reportage sur la fille abandonnée à la radio. Les parents étaient attendus en fin d'après-midi à la gendarmerie où leur fillette a été prise en charge.


A little girl left behind at a motorway rest area

A family was on the way to their holiday destination on Sunday around lunchtime when they stopped for a few moments at a motorway rest area near Loriol in the Drôme département.

Then the parents set off in their car, forgetting that their three year-old daughter was still there.

A couple on their holiday, curious to see a little girl all alone, ended up alerting the police after observing for an hour that the parents were not coming back.

The child told the policemen that she was “going to the seaside” and that she had “seen daddy’s car leaving”.

Meanwhile, the family had driven beyond Aix-en-Provence and was quickly heading towards Saint-Raphaël, in the Var, not having noticed that their daughter was missing.

It was at about three o’clock that the father noticed what happened after having heard a report about an abandoned child on the radio. The parents were due to report to the police by late afternoon at the police station where their little girl was being looked after.



Vrai, faux ou pas mentionné?

1.         La famille allait en vacances en voiture.

2.         Ils conduisaient une Renault Espace.

3.         Ils se sont arrêtés sur la bande d’arrêt d’urgence*.

4.         Il y avait quatre personnes dans la famille.

5.         Les parents ont oublié leur fille à une aire de repos.

6.         La petite fille avait quatre ans.

7.         Un couple de vacanciers a observé la scène.

8.         Ils ont alerté les gendarmes par téléphone portable.

9.         La fillette a parlé aux gendarmes.

10.      Elle n’avait pas vu la voiture des parents partir.

11.      Le père a réalisé la situation en entendant la radio.

12.       La fille a été prise en charge par le couple de vacanciers.

*  bande d’arrêt d’urgence = hard shoulder (emergency lane)

Complétez les phrases avec un des mots suivants

loin       aller      police      oublié     vacanciers     vite     attendre       fille

1.         La famille a _________ la fillette à un aire de repos.

2.         La pauvre fille a dû _________ toute seule pendant une heure.

3.         Heureusement un couple de _________ a vu que les parents ne sont pas                revenus.

4.         Ils ont alerté la police le plus _________ possible.

5.         La famille a continué très _________ avant de réaliser ce qui s’était                       passé.

6.         C’est grâce à un reportage à la radio que le père a réalisé que sa                             _________ n’était pas là.

7.         La __________ a pris la fillette en charge au commissariat.

8.         Les parents ont dû _________ au commissariat en fin d’après-midi.

Reportage du Parisien

Answers
V/F/PM
1. V     2.PM     3.F     4.PM     5.V     6.F     7.V     8.PM

9.V     10.F     11.V     12.F

Monday, 28 September 2015

Managing classroom oral work

This is a short extract in draft form from the forthcoming Language Teacher Handbook being co-authored with Gianfranco Conti.

One of your most important skills as a language teacher is the ability to interact orally with your class, largely in L2. This chapter examines the many ways you can develop a dialogue, sometimes artificial, sometimes authentic, with your students. This skill allows you develop multi-skill lessons where students listen, respond, then go on to read and write.

Questioning techniques

Questioning in language lessons is not usually the same as in other subjects. We use it mainly as a device to develop acquisition. In the early stages of language learning especially, questioning is only sometimes used in a genuinely communicative way. “What TV programmes do you like?” is a genuine question which elicits an unknown response. Asking a student “Is the book on the table or on the chair?” is silly, in a way, because both you and the student can see very well where the book is. So the latter is in a sense inauthentic, but is nevertheless useful in the language teaching process since it allows students to get comprehensible input and provides them with an opportunity to understand a message, respond easily, practise their pronunciation and develop their control of vocabulary (book and table) and grammar (in this case using prepositions).

As students build up their proficiency questions are likely to become less artificial, but even at advanced level, a question on a text may fulfil this same “artificial” role of eliciting the use of a structure or item of vocabulary.
We believe that this form of questioning, although somewhat artificial, is a key weapon in your armoury.

You could employ a hierarchy of questions from easiest to hardest. This is sometimes called “circling”. More processing or production is required of students as the questions increase in complexity.

Question type
Example
Yes/No
Do you like lions?
True/false
This is a lion. True or false?
Either/or
Is this a lion or a tiger?
Multi-choice
Is this a lion, tiger or giraffe?
Question word questions
Where is the lion?
Open ended questions
What do you think of lions?

In the easier questions the student is provided with the language they need to respond, so the response is to some extent repetition. In the highest level questions the student has to decipher the question then provide their own language in answer.

In a skilled questioning sequence with beginners you would start with the easiest questions and work up towards the hardest. Some call this scaffolding. When you start teaching it is wise to plan out your question sequence in advance. With experience this becomes second nature. Note also that being skilled with questioning technique allows to differentiate between faster and slower students. 

One useful technique is “return to student” whereby, if a student has been unable to answer or has answered inaccurately, you go to a number of others, then return to the first student so that he or she can give a successful response.
So, a typical beginners’ sequence might go like this. We have only given part of the sequence. In practice you would do more examples.

Teacher                                                                     Student (or class rep.)

Is the pen blue? Yes or no?                                      Yes.
Yes, the pen is blue. Repeat: the pen is blue.           The pen is blue.
Is the pen red?                                                          No.
Is the pencil red?                                                       Yes.
Yes, the pencil is red. Repeat: the pencil is red.      The pencil is red.
The ruler is green. True or false?                             True.
True. It’s green. Repeat: the ruler is green.              The ruler is green.
Is the ruler green or red?                                          Green.
Yes, it’s green. Repeat: the ruler is green.               The ruler is green
Is the pen green, blue or red?                                   (It’s) green.
Yes, it’s blue. Repeat: the pen is blue.                     The pen is blue.
OK, is bag black, green or red?                                Black.
Great! It’s black. Repeat: the bag is black.              The bag is black.
Where is the black bag?                                           On the table.
Yes, the black bag is on the table. Repeat.               The black bag is on the table.
What is on the table?                                                The black bag.
Excellent! The black bag is on the table. Repeat.    The black bag is on the table.

At the end of a sequence you could always check in L1 or L2 that students have understood.

Any problems with that? Did you all follow (thumbs up)?
How did we say…?

You may want to give notes for students to copy down.

Of course, when you see this dialogue written out it appears very artificial (some teachers would reject it for that reason) but students are happy to play along with this game, particularly if you explain why you are doing it. In the process of a 10 minute exchange of this sort, students are getting lots of easy, repeated comprehensible input and a chance to practise their pronunciation and embed vocabulary. If students hear the word “bag” twenty times they are more likely to remember it without having to resort to a conscious rote learning method.
Sequences like the above can go very quickly and work best with hands up. You could always top the sequence and say you are going to ask the next question with no hands up.

You can also bring fun and humour to such sequences by feigning surprise or insisting that something is true when it clearly isn’t.

In addition you can turn the session into a writing one, with students writing down answers they hear, either in a notebook, on a tablet or a mini whiteboard. This provides more active involvement for the whole class and creates a multi-skill task.

Teacher                                                                                Student
The pen is blue.                                                                     No!
Yes, the pen is blue!                                                             No!
OK. The pen is red.                                                               Yes!
So, the blue pen is on the table.                                           No! The red pen!

With some classes you might be able to get students to play the role of teacher. Some take to this really well once they see how it works and their classmates respond keenly.

This general approach to structured, hierarchical question-answer works well with realia, flashcards, PowerPoints and simple texts.


We have gone into some detail about this because we believe you might find it a tremendously useful skill if one of your aims are to maintain L2 use during lessons whilst building up lexical and grammatical knowledge. It is one way, indeed, of “teaching grammar”.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Ways of doing controlled practice

This is a short extract from some draft work I have been putting together for the language teacher handbook which Gianfranco Conti and I are working on. We are looking at doing a chapter on what it means to 'teach grammar'. As part of this, here are some ideas for doing controlled practice of grammar as part of the traditional 'presentation-practice-production' model.

Practice

We often talk about controlled practice and free practice. The received wisdom on this is that you begin with controlled practice before moving to free practice. Controlled practice is often done by drilling style tasks using worksheets or exercises from a text book. Worksheets can be printed or displayed on the board.

Controlled practice

An example of such aiming to practise the future tense with low intermediate students might be:

Example cue:                   Today I am playing tennis with my dad.
Example answer:            Tomorrow I’m going to play football with my friends. 


Below we present ways you can exploit exercises of this type, with mention of the pros and cons of each approach which you may wish to consider. We are here talking about what we consider to be the real ‘nuts and bolts’ of effective language teaching! In our experience text books and other resources are often short of examples and do not allow enough opportunities for repetitive practice.


1.  Teacher-led approach: the teacher reads out a prompt, gets an individual to answer, then gets other individuals to repeat, then the whole class to repeat. This can be done with hands up or no hands up. The former approach allows you to pick quicker students as a good role models before weaker ones have a go. Strengths: this approach is very ‘old-school’ but highly effective for attentive classes, supplies lots of L2 and allows the teacher to pick out specific students he or she wants to. It is good for differentiation and for listening. It may be easy to maintain class control and the students hear good models, i.e. yours. Weaknesses: this demands great attention from weaker classes and only one student speaks at a time, except for group repetition. You may need to keep up a brisk pace or attention will quickly wane. Many individuals find answering in class embarrassing; does this kind of pressure aid language learning?

2. Pair-work approach. After some whole class practice as above, you can quickly move to pair work where one partner acts as teacher and the other acts as student. Or they can alternate roles. Strengths: students get to say and listen a lot in L2. They can help each other. There is little embarrassment factor; pressure is off. Weaknesses: behaviour management needs to be good so that students do not speak too much L1 or waste time. You may insist on a ‘no L1’ rule. Students may hear wrong answers and poor models of pronunciation, so do not get optimum comprehensible input.

3. The student takes the lead and acts as teacher. After a brief demonstration ask a volunteer, preferably a more able one, to step up and run the class. Strengths: similar to (1), though models may be less good. The class will listen extra hard and find the process amusing. The volunteer will learn teaching and leadership skills. Weaknesses: as (1) in as far as each student may not end up saying that much. The focus is more on listening here.

4. Using mini whiteboards. You can adapt approach (1) to involve more students actively by giving each student a mini whiteboard or coloured marker. As an answer is given all students must hold up their board with true-false or a marker indicating whether they think the response is correct or wrong. Strengths: as (1) plus more involvement from all the class. You get to assess how well students are understanding; this is a good formative assessment technique. Weaknesses: largely as (1).

5. Combine skills: use approach (1) but as attention wanes quickly go to oral prompts with written answers. Then the class could simply work quietly or in pairs doing written responses to the written prompts. Strengths: all students are actively engaged with listening to good models, reading and writing. This may be good for behaviour management. Weaknesses: it is hard to check that all students are keeping up and writing accurate answers. Differentiation may be poorer if the teacher controls the pace. When students are working alone there is more chance for them to go at their own pace and ask questions.

6. Give answers, students choose prompt. This is a simple variation which helps vary the lesson and provide a fresh angle for pupils. Let us say you have a sheet with 15 prompts (sentences, questions, etc.). You read the prompt, but give an answer and the students have to supply the correct prompt from the sheet. This can be done in pairs. Strengths: this may be an easy way into a worksheet. Students do not have to create an utterance, just read one already supplied. Then focus is on comprehension rather than production. Weaknesses: it is often easier therefore less challenging as there is no need to show syntactic skill.

7. Supply alternative answers, students choose best one. Again, this has the merit of making a worksheet more approachable for less able students. A student could read aloud a prompt, then the teacher supplies two answers (a) and (b). Students then vote for (a) or (b). Strengths: good for listening comprehension. There is little pressure to perform and all are involved. Weaknesses: little production needed; you need to watch out for a peer pressure effect if there is voting.

8. Get students to make up their own examples. Once a group seems to have mastered a point allow them to make up their own examples or even write their own worksheet. Here we are bordering on free practice territory. Strengths: this allows students to be creative, show off their use of their new point and even be amusing. This provides an excellent homework assignment. It allows students to compare work in the next lesson, try out their worksheet on a partner or the teacher and reinforce the language acquired in the previous lesson. Weaknesses: nothing to speak of, but be sure that all students have mastered the point or it could be a homework disaster!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

You say tomato, I say tomato.

By following many teachers on Twitter from around the world, I find myself interested in the different perspectives on language teaching and, in particular, the use of different language to describe similar issues. The difference between the jargon of North American and British language teachers is notable.

In the USA much use is made of the word proficiency whereas, my feeling is, we tend to talk more about fluency or attainment on this side of the Atlantic. In the States the word foreign still has a a tighter grip than over here. Many of the state subject associations in the USA (no doubt owing to tradition) still carry the word foreign in their title, e.g. The Foreign Language Association of Georgia, the Maryland Foreign Language Association and the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association, to name but three of many. The more "enlightened" have moved over to talking about World Languages, a term barely used at all in the UK where we agonise over whether to say Modern Languages, Modern Foreign Languages or just Languages (MFL still holds sway despite being frowned upon by UCML). I'm sure WL must be cooler in the USA than FL. At least we all talk about TL.

In parts of down under they sometimes talk of LOTE (Languages Other Than English) which is very politically correct if cumbersome. It sounds like a girl's name to me.

In the USA fans of the TPRS method (a somewhat fanatical interpretation of "comprehensible input" methodology) like to talk of circling, when we make do with good old question and answer. I fancy that circling makes it sound like something more revolutionary and desirable than it actually is - it goes back to the 1960s at least. TPRS fans also like to talk (seriously) of silent periods whilst in the UK we are just happy if the kids stay don't talk too much.

In America they have grade books, whilst we have mark books. They have rubrics, we have mark schemes. They have formative assessments, so do we, except we more often call assessment for learning. Happily, they worry, as we do, about weighing pigs rather than feeding them. Even so, I still have the feeling, as I did back at university when I studied linguistics, that Americans are keener on the latest fad than we British who prefer to stand at the sidelines, feeling superior and taking pot shots.

Seriously, though, perhaps American teachers are keener on revolutionary methods because they were lumbered too long with dated methodology based on grammar-translation and pure audio-lingualism. Stephen Krashen found a ready audience for his views on learning and acquisition.  If Krashen had been British I doubt he would have attained the same loyal following and quasi cult status.In Europe we failed to swallow those things whole and engaged in frequent Krashen bashin', although some would say we succumbed a little too readily to the functions and notions of the strong communicative movement. We got over that.

Now the corny bit: isn't it great, though, that because of Twitter we can open up our minds to these different perspectives? Previously it was only academics with access to big libraries and overseas conferences who had that luxury.

Is it okay to say overseas?

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Saving time on planning

I understand that many schools ask teachers to produce a written lesson plan for every lesson on a standard proforma. I would have hated that. It takes up teachers' valuable and limited time.

I am happy to share the fact that, once I had been teaching for a couple of years, my written lesson plans usually consisted of a few lines at most in my A4 planner and I only wrote more detailed plans when there was an official lesson observation from my line manager or Ofsted. (Ofsted do not requite this any more.) Our schemes of work were shared and familiar to us all, mainly consisting of a mix of text book resources and our "in house" resources. I made good use of our effective text book, Tricolore, and spent some time finding or writing good new resources.

Back in the day resources were much scarcer - I fondly (?) remember recording and transcribing long wave French radio broadcasts for listening exercises. Enough with the nostalgia!

If a language teacher has good subject knowledge and proficiency, once they have established a good repertoire of tried and tested routines, lesson planning need not take very long. If you have ready-made quality resources the job is even quicker. Once you have got to grips with the basic tricks of the trade the resource can become the plan.

If the resource is a set of flashcards or powerpoint pictures, then you run through your repertoire:

  • Whole class repetition (normal, whispered, sung, shouted)
  • Individual/small group repetition
  • Hiding pictures for a guessing game
  • Showing pictures with written word
  • Combining pictures to produce longer lists
  • Making up sentences using the words
If you have a text:
  • Reading aloud
  • Class reading aloud
  • Find the French
  • Correct false statements
  • True/false
  • Question answer in TL
  • Question answer in English (last resort!)
  • Aural gap fill from memory
  • Pair work
  • Oral to written QA
  • Written QA
  • Summary
  • Translation
If you have a recording or video:
  • Gap fill
  • True/false/not mentioned
  • Questions in TL or English
  • Find the French
And so on. For a long list of what you can do with a text, see the Teacher's Guide of frenchteacher.net.

It's also very useful to have a range of nil preparation games and fillers so you know you have something to fall back on if timing goes awry.

The skill in using some of these techniques needs to be acquired. For example, smart questioning sequences using the full range of question types need planning for until they become second nature. It also takes experience and a good feel to know how to pitch exercises for the class in front of you. This is technically known as cognitive and affective empathy.

Once you are competent with grammar and vocabulary - I do realise that many teachers have to survive on insufficient knowledge and skills - and you have become proficient in a repertoire of effective techniques, planning should take relatively little time.


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Alan Kurdi, le petit Syrien rejeté sur une plage




Pré-écoute
Pourquoi y-a-t-il tant de réfugiés et migrants en Europe ?
Quelle est la différence entre un migrant et un réfugié ?
Pourquoi cet épisode du petit Aylan a suscité tant d’intérêt ?

Regardez, écoutez et répondez

1.         Quel âge avait Alan ?
2.         Où est-ce que le bateau sur lequel il se trouvait a coulé ?
3.         Qu’est-ce que le capitaine du bateau a fait quand la mer est devenue trop 
            agitée?
4.         Qu’est-ce que le père a essayé de faire ?
5.         Qu’est-ce qui est arrivé à sa famille ?
6.         Quand est-ce que les membres de la famille ont fui Damas ? Où sont-ils 
            allés?
7.         Pourquoi est-ce qu’ils ont dû quitter Kobane ?
8.         Où voulaient-ils aller ? Pourquoi ?
9.         Pourquoi, selon la tante, est-ce que la famille ne pouvait pas aller dans 
            son pays?
10.       A quelle ville allaient-ils quand leur embarcation a coulé ?

Ecoutez encore. Faites des pauses. Comment dit-on ?

1.         …an exodus which ended up on an overcrowded boat off the coast of 
            Turkey.
          ……………………………………………………………………………………
2.         The captain saw that the waves were very high.

            ……………………………………………………………………………………
3.         He panicked, jumped in the water and fled.

            ……………………………………………………………………………………
4.         This tragic journey was the final stage for a family pursued by war and 
            atrocities.
           ……………………………………………………………………………………
            
5.         A short respite… the Kurdish town was pounded by Islamic State.

            …………………………………………………………………………………
6.         Aylan’s aunt has been settled there for over 20 years.

            ……………………………………………………………………………………
7.         They did not deserve to die.

            ……………………………………………………………………………………
8.         Aylan’s father is the sole survivor of the crossing.

            ……………………………………………………………………………………



Teacher’s answers

1.         Il avait trois ans.
2.         Au large de la Turquie.
3.         Il a paniqué, il a plongé/sauté dans l’eau et s’est enfui.
4.         Il a essayé de prendre les choses en main (diriger le bateau).
5.         Ils sont tous morts.
6.         En 2012. Ils sont allés à Alep puis Kobane.
7.         Parce que la ville a été pilonnée (bombardée) par l’Etat Islamique.
8.         Ils voulaient aller au Canada car leur tante y habite/vit.
9.         Ils n’avaient pas les documents nécessaires.
10.       Ils allaient vers Kos.


1.         … un exode quoi a abouti sur une embarcation surchargée au large de la 
            Turquie.

2.         Le capitaine a vu que les vagues étaient très hautes.

3.         Il a paniqué, a sauté dans l’eau et a fui.

4.         Ce voyage tragique était (est)* l’étape finale pour une famille poursuivie               par la guerre  et les atrocités.

5.         Un répit de courte durée… la ville kurde est* (a été) pilonnée par l’Etat                 Islamique.

6.         La tante d’Aylan y est installée depuis plus de 20 ans.

7.         Ils ne méritaient pas de mourir.

8.         Le père d’Aylan est le seul survivant de la traversée.



French news reports often use the present tense to recount past events, especially when they are dramatic.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Do you need an A-level French text book?

This blog post is a promotion for frenchteacher.net.

When I was a Head of department I became increasingly unimpressed by the quality of A-level textbooks. Having made good use in previous years of books such as Actualités Françaises (Nott and Trickey), Signes du temps, Vécu (Ralph Gaiskell) and Objectif Bac (Martine Pillette), I found that the most recent offerings, tied as they have been to exam board specifications, thin, unstimulating and difficult to use.

This was largely why I chose to write my own resources which other teachers also find invaluable for their A-level classes.

So do A-level teachers actually need a text book at all?

I have nothing against text books per se. I have no strong opinion about the text book/worksheet debate. To me it's all about quality and usability. Is a text book good? Are worksheets good?

If I were still teaching I would want to weigh up very carefully the value of buying text books and their accompanying ICT packages. Frenchteacher.net has all you need to teach AS and A-level successfully, with the exception of film and literature topics for A2, which text books barely cover anyway. If you want support for film and literature I always recommend Steve Glover's resources which can be found at dolanguages.com.

Frenchteacher.net has the following areas covered: grammar worksheets and handouts, video listening worksheets divided into AS and A2 level, texts with exercises by topic and level, vocabulary lists, games ideas, task-based discussions, translations and exam preparation tasks (e.g. AS oral booklets, A2 stimulus cards and model essays).

You can pick and choose from a huge array of texts, all accompanied by exercises which generate discussion, develop lexical and syntactic skill and widen students' knowledge of the target language culture. The resources are accurate, offer the right level of challenge and are based on an approach which values both large amounts of comprehensible input and a structured, explicit approach to grammar and vocabulary.

If you feel your AS students need revision of basic structures you can dip into the Y10-11 resources for extra grammar and easier texts. I daresay, if you felt any area were insufficiently covered, you could go to the TES site or other recommended resources online (see my links pages). When it comes down to it, though, frenchteacher.net should be more than enough for your needs.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Frenchteacher updates

This is one of my regular updates to blatantly promote my website to new users and remind existing users of what has been added in recent weeks. Fans of parallel texts may appreciate some of the new additions. I am always on the look-out for interesting reading material for intermediate level.

Since the middle of July:
  • Parallel reading texts on migrants to Europe. With true/false/not mentioned and retranslation sentences. Low intermediate level. 
  • A text with questions in English about migrant smugglers working in Calais. Apparently most of the trafficking networks are British and are thought to launder their earnings through night-clubs, for example. This could be used with a good Y11 class or for AS-level (high intermediate).
  • Parallel texts and exercises on fair trade. Easy text, true/false and vocabulary to complete. Could be used from Y8 to Y10, depending on ability. 
  • Four new parallel reading texts with exercises: the first about a girl left behind at the motorway services, the second about a drunken man who falls from a third floor balcony as he tries to spit on a police van, the third about a heroic charity walk, and the fourth (in Y10-11 section) on dogs who can detect cancer. All texts have true/false/not mentioned exercises and other comprehension. Good for Y9-10 (low intermediate) 
  • A-level text and exercises on refugees. Article, vocab to complete, questions for discussion on the text, fluency task and translation into French. (Advanced)
  • Parallel reading for intermediate (GCSE) level. A heroic deed. This one is based on an authentic article about a 13 year-old who takes the wheel of a bus when the driver has a heart attack. I sometimes imagined that scenario on school trips to France. Never happened fortunately. Anyway, there are parallel texts, true/false/not mentioned and a gap fill summary to do. You could exploit this in other ways too. (Intermediate) 
  • Parallel texts on the Tour de France. Comes with correct sentences in French to identify and gapped sentences. This adds to the stock of parallel texts in Y7 and Y8. 
  • A parallel text/gapped French-English translation about Minecraft. Each gap has the starting letter of the missing English word. Text with questions in English. "An act of heroism." Optional oral or written extension task. Based on an authentic magazine article. 
  • Text and exercises about the impressive and popular Taylor Swift. Text, vocabulary to complete, true/false/not mentioned, translation into English. (Intermediate) 
  • Parallel reading about Maglev trains (magnetically suspended trains or trains à sustension magnétique in French. Parallel texts, true/false/not mentioned and a gapfill text in French. You could give this to a good Y9 class. 
  • Parallel text about robots for near beginners/low intermediate. Texts in French and English with correct French statements to identify, general discussion points (in English) and sentence completion in French. (Very low intermediate)