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Latest additions to frenchteacher

Here are the resources I have added to the site over the last month. As always if you have any requests for specific types of resources just let me know by commenting, messaging on Twitter or by emailing me via my website. I can always say no!

Intermediate level (GCSE)
  • A seven page mini-unit of work on school for Higher Tier GCSE. Various comprehension and translation exercises (adapted from a unit from The Language Teacher Toolkit TES shop). Lots of built-in recycling. based on the "narrow reading" concept (several texts reusing similar language). An answer key is provided. We have several similar units on TES.
  • A numbers lesson plan for intermediates (good Y9 to Y11). Based on the game show The Price is Right (Le Juste prix in France). All you need to add are about 10-12 slides of items for sale, e.g. from (without displaying their price). Aims: revising numbers and listening to them to develop quick recognition. This lesson would take around 40 minutes and provide lots of listening input.
  • Video listening. Another Peppa Pig to add to the collection. In this one dad once again makes a fool of himself (stereotype alert). It's called Les avions en papier. A vocab list is provided for help, then a gap-fill task with options given. Because of the relatively high vocab load here it would suit Higher Tier GCSE.

Advanced level
  • Video listening: racial discrimination in Brussels night clubs. Comprehension questions in French and sentences to translate using the recording. Yes, in the twenty-first century in Western Europe racial discrimination continues to thrive. Needless to say, this material supports the sub-themes of all the exam board A-levels, providing some useful background knowledge for AO4 (knowledge of culture).
  • Written texst on key events of the French Resistance in the Second World War. This is a set of short extracts followed by a choice of exercises which can be done orally or in writing. This is another good source of knowledge for the A-level exam (Edexcel and Eduqas/WJEC). 
  • Audio listening. This is an interview with a spokesperson for the Fondation Abbé-Pierre in which he answers questions from children about homelessness and poor housing in France and the role of the Fondation Abbé-Pierre. From the 1jour1actu online magazine. I have included various exercises including summary, translation and gap-fill. This could be used in the context of volunteering, poverty and homelessness.
  • 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. There is a gap-fill with transcription provided. The standard is quite easy. This fits well with Edexcel and Eduqas sub-themes. There are now five resources on this general topic area on the site, two readings and two listenings. 
  • Text and exercises about the occupation of France. Text, vocabulary to complete, gap-fill, sentence completion, creative oral work, translation both ways. Partial answers provided.


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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…

Sentence Stealers with a twist

Sentence Stealers is a reading aloud game invented by Gianfranco Conti. I'll describe the game to you, then suggest an extension of it which goes a bit further than reading aloud. By the way, I shouldn't need to justify the usefulness of reading aloud, but just in case, we are talking here about matching sounds to spellings, practising listening, pronunciation and intonation and repeating/recycling high frequency language patterns.

This is how it works:

Display around 15 sentences on the board, preferably ones which show language patterns you have been working on recently or some time ago.Hand out four cards or slips of paper to each student.On each card students must secretly write a sentence from the displayed list.Students then circulate around the class, approaching their classmates and reading a sentence from the displayed list. If the other person has that sentence on one of their cards, they must hand over the card. The other person then does the same, choosing a sentenc…

Using sentence builder frames for GCSE speaking and writing preparation

Some teachers have cottoned on to the fact that sentence builders (aka substitution tables) are a very useful tool for helping students prepare for their GCSE speaking and writing tests. My own hunch is that would help for students of all levels of proficiency, but may be particularly helpful for those likely to get lower grades, say between 3-6. Much depends, of course, on how complex you make the table.

To remind you, here is a typical sentence builder, as found on the frenchteacher site. The topic is talking about where you live. A word of warning - formatting blogs in Blogger is a nightmare when you start with Word documents, so apologies for any issues. It might have taken me another 30 minutes just to sort out the html code underlying the original document.

Setting work for home study

A major challenge for language teachers just now is selecting and sharing work with students to do at home. Here a few suggestions on the issue to add to your own. The sites I mention are the tip of the iceberg and focus mainly on French. I have stuck to free resources, not subscription sites.

By the way, I'm not getting into the use of tech here, as I have no great expertise on that. In any case, I imagine for younger learners especially it may be a question of setting other types of work.


For advanced learners the job is not so tough. There is a plethora of listening, reading and grammar material they can use, whether it be from their textbooks, other resources shared electronically or online resources. You may have your favourites, but for a selection for French you can check out my links here and here. You may want to stick with topics on the syllabus, or free up students to read and listen more generally to what interests them.

One idea I used was to ask students to c…

"Ask and move" task

This is a lesson plan using an idea from our book Breaking the Sound Barrier (Conti and Smith, 2019). It's a task-based lesson adapted from an idea from Paul Nation and Jonathan Newton. It is aimed at Y10-11 pupils aiming at Higher Tier GCSE, but is easily adaptable to other levels and languages, including A-level. This has been posted as a resource on

This type of lesson plan excites me more than many, because if it runs well, you get a classroom of busy communication when you can step back, monitor and occasionally intervene as students get on with listening, speaking and writing.