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Latest additions to frenchteacher

This is one of my regular updates about what's new on frenchteacher.

Up to now I have uploaded almost no PowerPoint presentations, partly because I never made that many when I was teaching, partly because of the copyright issues involved when using pictures (especially commercially). Many teachers seem blissfully unaware of copyright when publishing images. Fortunately, the site pixabay.com has a sizeable archive of photos and graphics which can be used in all circumstances without any credit.

So I have been writing some simple PowerPoints for beginners, near-beginners and low intermediates. My principles are to use clear and striking graphics accompanied by limited text and to build in to the presentation a natural teaching sequence moving from choral repetition with or without text, question-answer (or similar) teacher-led practice, pair work (e.g. guessing games) and some writing, including simple translation and transcription. The presentations can be used in various other ways depending on the teacher's preferences. This type of presentation is great for keeping a class in the target language using fully comprehensible language.

I always think that the key to using PowerPoints of this type is to work at pace, mix up the interaction styles and build in differentiation by allowing some students to produce lengthen their responses. the grids of pictures (from 9 to 16 pictures all shown together) allow for this type of thing. The curtain tool in IWBs is useful in this regard.

So here are the topics I have covered so far:
  • Animals
  • Weather
  • Places around town
  • Sport
  • Likes and dislikes (with food)
  • Prepositions
  • Means of transport
  • Perfect tense (x 2)
  • Immediate future tense (x2)
  • Future tense
In addition to the PowerPoints I have posted a low intermediate text and exercises based on a fait divers about a boy who makes an amazing archaeological discovery; a series of short texts and exercises about family and an A-level video listening sheet about strikes.

Expect to see soon a couple more Petit Ours Brun video worksheets and more reading/writing tasks. Enjoy the rest of terms and good luck with those exams!

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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.

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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:





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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…

Designing a plan to improve listening skills

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GCSE and IGCSE revision links 2018

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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