Skip to main content

France Bienvenue revisited




https://francebienvenue1.wordpress.com/

This is in the way of a reminder about an excellent website I haven't blogged about for a long time. I'm always impressed when teachers maintain something of a high standard over a long period and this is a good example.

France Bienvenue, with its strapline De vraies conversations pour apprendre le français comme on le parle et tout pour les comprendre is well worth a visit if you teach advanced level French.

The recipe has always been the same. Teacher Anne from the IUT Marseille has, each year since 2008, got a small team of her students to record weekly conversations for the benefit of French learners around the world. Each conversation is accompanied by some sort of video (sometimes just slides which illustrate the topic), a transcript of the conversation and a glossary of language used with explanations in French. The conversations often have a distinct cultural element and give a nice flavour of student life in the Marseilles area.

Anne writes:

Comprendre une langue telle qu’on la parle au quotidien, ce n’est pas toujours facile, surtout si on ne vit pas dans le pays où on parle cette langue!
Alors, nous avons envie de partager avec vous ces petites conversations authentiques que nous enregistrons avec nos amis, nos proches ou d’autres pour que vous puissiez entendre le français tel qu’on le parle ici en France, à Marseille et ailleurs.
Vos suggestions ou vos questions sont les bienvenues. Vous pouvez nous laisser vos commentaires, en français ou dans une autre langue ! (Si c’est en espagnol, en italien ou en allemand, nous nous débrouillerons pour comprendre !)

She also presents the site here.

The topics covered are wide-ranging and, in recent times, have included: holidays, dance, Christmas, horse-riding, food, living together at 19, work placements and the Stade Vélodrome in Marseilles.

The language used is authentic, of course, usually well-paced for A-level and the presence of the transcripts means you can design effective multi-skill lessons centred on listening. You could copy and paste the scripts, creating gap-fills, reading comprehension tasks or retranslation tasks. It's refreshing to have material which isn't textbook-style, artificial-sounding material, necessary though that is. Sound quality is good and the content often interesting.

You could use the recordings from the front of the class or have students listen and read on tablets, laptops or in a computer room. It is possible to listen with only the beginning of the transcript visible. I have over the years designed occasional worksheets for frenchteacher.net to go with France Bienvenue material.

Do let me know if you know of anything else similar.


Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The latest research on teaching vocabulary

I've been dipping into The Routledge Handbook of Instructed Second Language Acquisition (2017) edited by Loewen and Sato. This blog is a succinct summary of Chapter 16 by Beatriz González-Fernández and Norbert Schmitt on the topic of teaching vocabulary. I hope you find it useful.

1.  Background

The authors begin by outlining the clear importance of vocabulary knowledge in language acquisition, stating that it's a key predictor of overall language proficiency (e.g. Alderson, 2007). Students often say that their lack of vocabulary is the main reason for their difficulty understanding and using the language (e.g. Nation, 2012). Historically vocabulary has been neglected when compared to grammar, notably in the grammar-translation and audio-lingual traditions as well as  communicative language teaching.

(My note: this is also true, to an extent, of the oral-situational approach which I was trained in where most vocabulary is learned incidentally as part of question-answer sequence…

Dissecting a lesson: using a set of PowerPoint slides

I was prompted to write this just having produced for frenchteacher.net three separate PowerPoint presentations using the same set of 20 pictures (sports). A very good way for you to save time is to reuse the same resource in a number of different ways.

I chose 20 clear, simple, clear and copyright-free images from pixabay.com to produce three presentations on present tense (beginners), near future (post beginner) and perfect tense (post-beginner/low intermediate). Here is one of them:





Below is how I would have taught using this presentation - it won't be everyone's cup of tea, especially of you are not big on choral repetition and PPP (Presentation-Practice-Production), but I'll justify my choice in the plan at each stage. For some readers this will be standard practice.

1. Explain in English that you are going to teach the class how to talk about and understand people talking about sport. By the end of the lesson they will be able to say and understand 20 different sport…

Delayed dictation

What is “delayed dictation”?

Instead of getting students to transcribe immediately what you say, or what a partner says, you can enforce a 10 second delay so that students have to keep running over in their heads what they have heard. Some teachers have even used the delay time to try to distract students with music.

It’s an added challenge for students but has significant value, I think. It reminds me of a phenomenon in music called audiation. I use it frequently as a singer and I bet you do too.

Audiation is thought to be the foundation of musicianship. It takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present. You can audiate when listening to music, performing from notation, playing “by ear,” improvising, composing, or notating music. When we have a song going round in our mind we are audiating. When we are deliberately learning a song we are audiating.

In our language teaching case, though, the earworm is a word, chunk of l…

Designing a plan to improve listening skills

Read many books and articles about listening and you’ll see it described as the forgotten skill. It certainly seems to be the one which causes anxiety for both teachers and students. The reasons are clear: you only get a very few chances to hear the material, exercises feel like tests and listening is, well, hard. Just think of the complex processes involved: segmenting the sound stream, knowing lots of words and phrases, using grammatical knowledge to make meaning, coping with a new sound system and more. Add to this the fact that in England they have recently decided to make listening tests harder (too hard) and many teachers are wondering what else they can do to help their classes.

For students to become good listeners takes lots of time and practice, so there are no quick fixes. However, I’m going to suggest, very concisely, what principles could be the basis of an overall plan of action. These could be the basis of a useful departmental discussion or day-to-day chats about meth…

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