Skip to main content

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.


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.


_____. 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 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 (Foundation/Higher) (Foundation/Higher) (Foundation/Higher)