Skip to main content

Frenchteacher updates

After a summer when I spent as much time blogging - largely about the proposed new MFL A-levels - as writing resources, I have got back into the swing recently. Incidentally I am going to be doing some work on resources for AQA with the new specifications in mind, so it will be interesting to see how they grapple with the challenges presented by the new Ofqual GCSE content (slightly anachronistic) and A-level (off the wall anachronistic). Once I start work with them I'll probably be under an oath of silence.

As far as new resources are concerned, I have added some more video listening worksheets, two with a scientific slant (the International Space Station and air pollution) and two songs by Yannick Noah. The latter are easy to understand and catchy. I did look at doing some Stromae songs, but to be honest, it's not my cup of tea and lyrically I was not sure it was the best source of language.

With the new national curriculum in mind and its greater emphasis on "literature", I have started doing some searching and thinking. It's not easy. Most material usually considered as literature, even short extracts such as letters, are too hard for KS3 and even KS4, so teachers and textbook writers will need to do some smart selection a d adaptation to make sources suitable for teaching. I have fallen back on an old favourite, Prévert's Déjeuner du matin, and produced a worksheet which could be done by good KS4 students. There is a good Youtube short film which supports the poem and I had the idea of students working in threes, with one student reading the poem whilst the other two act out the scene. That could work.

Other recent resources include an AS level reading task on cinema, a Y9-11 text with exercises entitles Ma meilleure copine, an AS level text with exercises on e-cigarettes and, lastly, a detailed lesson plan for teaching school subjects to near beginners.

I continue to seek easy listening material, literary style material and interesting easy texts for parallel reading. I would love to hear from anyone who has made use or who intends to make use of the beginner parallel reading resources.

Have a great year! I've been retired over two years now and still miss the classroom, but running frenchteacher.net and blogging allows me to keep my hand in. I'm also looking forward to doing another session with the PGCE students at York University in October.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A zero preparation fluency game

I am grateful to Kayleigh Meyrick, a teacher in Sheffield, for this game which she described in the Languages Today magazine (January, 2018). She called it “Swap It/Add It” and it’s dead simple! I’ve added my own little twist as well as a justification for the activity.

You could use this at almost any level, even advanced level where the language could get a good deal more sophisticated.

Put students into small groups or pairs. If in groups you can have them stand in circles to add a sense of occasion. One student utters a sentence, e.g. “J’aime jouer au foot avec mes copains parce que c’est amusant.” (You could provide the starter sentence or let groups make up their own.) The next student (or partner) has to change one element in the sentence, and so on, until you restart with a different sentence. You could give a time limit of, say, 2 minutes. The sentence could easily relate to the topic you are working on. At advanced level a suitable sentence starter might be:

“Selon un article q…

Google Translate beaters

Google Translate is a really useful tool, but some teachers say that they have stopped setting written work to be done at home because students are cheating by using it. On a number of occasions I have seen teachers asking what tasks can be set which make the use of Google Translate hard or impossible. Having given this some thought I have come up with one possible Google Translate-beating task type. It's a two way gapped translation exercise where students have to complete gaps in two parallel texts, one in French, one in English. There are no complete sentences which can be copied and pasted into Google.

This is what one looks like. Remember to hand out both texts at the same time.


English 

_____. My name is David. _ __ 15 years old and I live in Ripon, a _____ ____ in the north of _______, near York. I have two _______ and one brother. My brother __ ______ David and my _______ are called Erika and Claire. We live in a _____ house in the centre of ____. In ___ house _____ …

Preparing for GCSE speaking: building a repertoire

As your Y11 classes start their final year of GCSE, one potential danger of moving from Controlled Assessment to terminal assessment of speaking is to believe that in this new regime there will be little place for the rote learning or memorisation of language. While it is true that the amount of learning by heart is likely to go down and that greater use of unrehearsed (spontaneous) should be encouraged, there are undoubtedly some good techniques to help your pupils perform well on the day.

I clearly recall, when I marked speaking tests for AQA 15-20 years ago, that schools whose candidates performed the best were often those who had prepared their students with ready-made short paragraphs of language. Candidates who didn't sound particularly like "natural linguists" (e.g. displaying poor accents) nevertheless got high marks. As far as an examiner is concerned is doesn't matter if every single candidate says that last weekend they went to the cinema, saw a James Bond…

Worried about the new GCSEs?

Twitter and MFL Facebook groups are replete with posts expressing concerns about the new GCSEs and, in particular, the difficulty of the exam, grades and tiers. I can only comment from a distance since I am no longer in the classroom, but I have been through a number of sea changes in assessment over the years so may have something useful to say.

Firstly, as far as general difficulty of papers is concerned, I think it’s fair to say that the new assessment is harder (not necessarily in terms of grades though). This is particularly evident in the writing tasks and speaking test. Although it will still be possible to work in some memorised material in these parts of the exam, there is no doubt that weaker candidates will have more problems coping with the greater requirement for unrehearsed language. Past experience working with average to very able students tells me some, even those with reasonable attainment, will flounder on the written questions in the heat of the moment. Others will…

GCSE and IGCSE revision links 2018

It's coming up to that time of year again. In England and Wales. Here is a handy list of some good interactive revision links for this level. These links are also good for intermediate exams in Scotland, Ireland and other English-speaking countries. You could copy and paste this to print off for students.

Don't forget the GCSE revision material on frenchteacher.net of course! How could you?

As far as apps for students are concerned, I would suggest the Cramit one, Memrise and Learn French which is pretty good for vocabulary. For Android devices try the Learn French Vocabulary Free. For listening, you could suggest Coffee Break French from Radio Lingua Network (iTunes podcasts).

Listening
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/french/ (Foundation/Higher) http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/ (Foundation/Higher)
http://www.audio-lingua.eu/spip.php?rubrique1&lang=fr (Foundation/Higher) http://www.ashcombe.surrey.sch.uk/07-langcoll/MFL-resources/french/fr-video-index.shtml