Skip to main content

Latest resources from frenchteacher


I've been pretty busy in the new year adding new resources to the site. I've reached the point now, I think, when I need to weed some older, less used resources to avoid the site becoming too unwieldy and difficult to search.

I am grateful to teachers and tutors who let me know if a link has gone dead, e.g. on my video listening worksheets. I also welcome fresh ideas or requests for particular resources. For example, one teacher recently asked if I could add more on the theme of the second world war, occupation and resistance in France. I have added a new text and exercises and a video listening task in response to that request.

So, in summary, here are the new resources I have added in January so far. As they include a range of texts and activities with the emphasis on comprehensible input and language manipulation, both oral and written.


A-level (advanced)
  • Video listening. This is linked to a video in the 1jour1question series and is about why General de Gaulle is considered a hero of the French Republic. A gap-fill has to be done and can be self-corrected from the transcription provided. The standard is quite easy in this case. This fits well with Edexcel and Eduqas sub-themes. There are now four resources on this general topic area on the site, two readings and two listenings. 
  • Video listening about solidarity from the excellent 1jour1actu. There is a gap-fill, vocab to complete and some oral discussion opportunity.
  • Video listening. The history and importance of the Cannes Film Festival - the video is from Le Monde via YouTube. Questions in English and answers provided. This relates well to A-level sub-themes and is interesting in general! This may be of interest to adult students too. Key stage 3 (low intermediate)
  • Text and exercises. This is about the occupation of France. there is a chunky text, vocabulary to complete, a gap-fill task, sentence completion, creative oral work and translation both ways. Partial answers are provided (i.e. where there are right and wrong answers). 
  • In addition teacher Paul Haywood has shared with me his set of worksheets for Un Secret by Grimbert. I have made these into a booklet which is freely available on the Samples page. Paul previously shared a set of worksheets on Au Revoir les Enfants, another prescribed A-level work.

GCSE (intermediate)

  • "Google Translate beaters". A set of eight easy parallel gapped translations which are very hard to do with Google Translate. Students have to complete translation both ways simultaneously. These are good puzzle-solving tasks which should improve translation skill while reinforcing vocabulary and grammar knowledge with high frequency language. 
  • Video listening. A new Peppa Pig video called Paper Aeroplanes - where Papa Pig once again makes a fool of himself. I have provided a vocab list, then students do gap-fill with options provided. Because of the quite high vocab load this would suit Higher Tier GCSE (intermediate).


Key Stage 3

"Guess the jobs" pair game. Along similar lines to 20 Questions but with questions provided and a point scoring system. Easy to scaffold and could be used from Y9-Y11. Rules and language provided. You could copy and paste into a PowerPoint. GCSE (intermediate)




Comments

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…

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…

Five great advanced level French listening sites

If your A-level students would like opportunities to practise listening there are plenty of sources you can recommend for accessible, largely comprehensible and interesting material. Here are some I have come across while searching for resources over recent years.

Daily Geek Show

I love this site. It's fresh, youthful and full of really interesting material. They have an archive of videos, both short and long, from various sources, grouped under a range of themes: insolite (weird news items), science, discovery, technology, ecology and lifestyle. There should be something there to interest all your students while adding to their broader education. Here is one I enjoyed (I shall seriously think about buying tomatoes in winter now):




France Bienvenue

This site has been around for years and is the work of a university team in Marseilles. You get a mixture of audio and video material complete with transcripts and explanations.This is much more about the personal lives of the students …

Responsive teaching

Dylan Wiliam, the academic most associated with Assessment for Learning (AfL), aka formative assessment, has stated that these labels have not been the most helpful to teachers. He believes that they have been partly responsible for poor implementation of AfL and the fact that AfL has not led to the improved outcomes originally intended.

Wiliam wrote on Twitter in 2013:

“Example of really big mistake: calling formative assessment formative assessment rather than something like "responsive teaching".”

For the record he subsequently added:

“The point I was making—years ago now—is that it would have been much easier if we had called formative assessment "responsive teaching". However, I now realize that this wouldn't have helped since it would have given many people the idea that it was all about the teacher's role.”

I suspect he’s right about the appellation and its consequences. As a teacher I found it hard to get my head around the terms AfL and formative assess…