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Frenchteacher updates

Every so often I post updates to the site which I am pleased to say has nearly 1400 teachers, schools or tutors as members, mainly in the UK, but also in countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, China (Hong Kong) and Ireland.

If you are not a subscriber, it only costs £20 a year (about 30 USD) and there are well over 1100 original, high quality, accurate resources for listening, reading, grammar and speaking. Most were written for classes at my former school before I retired.

Here is what has been added to the site since the beginning of March:

Video listening for intermediate level. Jérôme talks about drawing tags and "graffs". With true/false/not mentioned and questions in French. Linked to a video from the excellent Le FLE par les médias site.
Y10-11 (Intermediate)
Video listening. This is about a French tradition l'enterrement de la vie de garçon - nearest equivalent a "stag night", but not the same. Very clear recording with gapped sentences to complete. The linked video comes froma super site called Le FLE par les média - This would work well with the AS topic of marriage.
Y12-13 (Advanced)
Text and exercises on using mobile phones while driving. Article, vocab to complete, multi-choice questions, questions for discussion, gap fill and translation into French. Good for AS level, very good GCSE pupils or adults.
Y12-13 (Advanced)
Adverbs gap fill task. 20 sentences in French with a selection of 20 adverbs to fit in as appropriate. Good reading task for Y11 or even Y12.
Y10-11 (Intermediate)
Video listening. Trotro fait de peinture. Trotro is a friendly young cartoon donkey. In this exciting instalment he gets into a mess with paint. Students tick off the French sentences they hear and answer a few questions in French. This could work with very good Y8s up to Y10.
Y9 (Low intermediate)
Vacances aux Etats-Unis. Diary prompts in French to elicit lots of oral and possibly written work in the perfect tense, with some imperfect. Based on our own recent holiday to California, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon! Teacher's notes provided.
 | Y10-11 (Intermediate)
Text and exercises about Homer Simpson. Text, vocabulary to complete, true/false/not mentioned and matching. This is an updated version of an older text which had no exercises to accompany it.
Y10-11 (Intermediate)
Text and exercises on a proposed French government bill to ban model agencies and fashion houses from employing ultra thin models. Text, vocabulary list, questions in French on text and for general discussion and translation into French. Good AS level topic resource.
Y12-13 (Advanced)
Long text and exercises on the state of the French environment in 2015. This is a bilan covering air, water, CO2 and biodiversity. True/false/not mentioned, sentence creation, translation into French. This is a chunky text which could lead into all sorts of work on this topic.
Y12-13 (Advanced)
Video listening for annual International Women's Day on 8th March. Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund talks about the economic contribution of women around the world. Questions in French. Model answers given. Available as a free sample.
Y12-13 (Advanced) | FREE SAMPLE
Video listening for advanced level. Greenwashing. A song about excessive consumption and human hypocrisy. Gap fill and questions for discussion in French. Good for A-level and advanced adult students.
Y12-13 (Advanced)
Another set of perfect tense translation sentences. This time with avoir, être and reflexives mixed up. Answers provided.
Y9 (Low intermediate)
Two new sets of translation sentences to practise the perfect tense (passé composé) with être and reflexive verbs. Model answers provided. These go with the ones I did yesterday on avoir verbs. Some vocabulary help provided. Good for Y9, very good Y8 or for revision in Y10-11.
Y9 (Low intermediate)
Perfect tense, regular -er, -ir and -re and irregular avoir verbs. Three sets of translation sentences from English to French. These could work with Y8 or Y9 (low intermediate).
Y9 (Low intermediate)


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Tell stories


How can we make listening more enjoyable and effective for pupils? How can we turn it from a potential chore to something more memorable (and therefore more likely to stick in their long term memories)? I am of the opinion that since humans are "wired" to engage in personal listening and speaking (the expression "social brain" has been used in this context), they may be more interested and attentive when the message comes from a real person rather than a disembodied audio source. (This may or may not be relevant, but research has been carried out which demonstrates that babies pick up phonological patterns better when they listen to a caregiver rather than listen to a tape or watch a video - see here for summaries of research into this area by Patricia Kuhl.)

One easy way to make listening stimulating for pupils is to tell them easy stories in the target language. I was reminded of this while reading Penny Ur's book 100 Teaching Tips (reviewed here

New GCSE resources on frenchteacher

As well as writing resources for the new A-levels, I have in recent months been posting a good range of materials to support the new GCSEs. First exams are not until 2018, but here is what you can find on the site in addition to the many other resources (grammar exercises, texts, video listening etc).

I shall not produce vocabulary lists since the exam board specifications now offer these, with translations.

Foundation Tier 

AQA-style GCSE 2016 Role-plays
AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations
AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations (2)
100 translation sentences into French (with answers)
Reading exam
Reading exam (2)
How to write a good Foundation Tier essay (ppt)
How to write a good Foundation Tier essay (Word)

Higher Tier 

AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations (Higher tier)
AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations (Higher tier) (2)
20 translations into French (with answers)
Reading exam (Higher tier)
How to write a good Higher Tier essay (ppt)
How to write a…

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"Finally, a book for World Language teachers that provides practical ideas and strategies that can actually be used in the classroom, rather than dry rhetoric and theory that does little to inspire creativity in ways that are engaging for both students and teachers alike." (USA teacher, Amazon review)

The Language Teacher Toolkit review

We were delighted to receive a review of The Language Teacher Toolkit from eminent applied linguist Ernesto Macaro from Oxford University. Macaro is a leader in the field of second language acquisition and applied linguistics. His main research interests are teacher-student interaction and language learning strategies pupils can use to improve their progress.

Here is Professor Macaro's review:
The Language Teacher Toolkit is a really useful book for language teachers to either read all the way through or dip into. What I like about it is that the authors Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti are totally upfront about what they believe to be good practice but back it up with research evidence. So for example the ‘methodological principles’ on page 11 are supported by the research they then refer to later in the book and this approach is very similar to the one that we (Ernesto Macaro, Suzanne Graham, Robert Woore) have adopted in our ‘consortium project’( The point i…

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1. My weekend

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You tell the class you are going to recount what you did last weekend and that they have to make notes in English. The amount of detail you go into and the speed you go will depend on your class. Talk for about three minutes. If you spent the whole weekend marking, you can always make stuff up!

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