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Showing posts from June, 2018

Guided translation + for beginners

This is a resource from the frenchteacher Samples page. It requires careful reading, guided translation, with a degree of personalisation and writing. The source text could also be exploited in other ways to maximise recycling of the language. Activities could include reading aloud, question-answer, short term memory aural gap-fill (where the text is hidden, read by the teacher with pauses for gaps to be filled), correcting false statements and translation of words, chunks and sentences (both ways, L1 to L2, L2 to L1), dictation, running dictation or gapped dictation.

Here it is.

Ma ville – Amélie parle

J’habite un appartement à La Rochelle, une ville dans l’ouest de la France sur la côte atlantique. C’est une ville historique avec ses trois tours célèbres. Les touristes adorent faire du shopping sous les vieilles arcades du centre-ville et se promener près du vieux port.

A La Rochelle on peut faire des promenades en bateau aux îles, visiter des musées, flâner dans le vieux port et les ja…

A parallel text and exercises for beginners

Here is a text and translation I wrote for near-beginners, one of 20 on the Y7 page of Help yourself if you think it would be useful.

The thinking behind these is to provide some interesting comprehensible input to beginners, with the English translation compensating for the relative difficulty of the source text. You would ideally present the texts side by side and get pupils to closely compare each version. Pupils learn how to make use of cognates and learn some new vocabulary along the way. If it is high-frequency enough to merit revision this could be done in a subsequent lesson.

Les dauphins

Les dauphins sont des mammifères marins qui sont liés aux baleines et aux marsouins. Un mammifère marin est celui qui vit dans l'eau. Les dauphins se trouvent partout dans les océans de la planète et dans les rivières et les marais aussi.

Les dauphins sont carnivores (mangeurs de viande) et mangent des poissons, des calmars et d’autres animaux marins. Ils nagent souvent ens…

20 reasons to learn another language

I posted this a long time ago, but here it is again if you’d like to use it for a poster or a class brainstorm or discussion. Maybe you can think of more!

1. If you ever move abroad you will be able to talk with local people.
2. You may need the language for your work in the UK or abroad.
3. You will find the language useful when you go on holiday or travel through the country.
4. You may wish to study abroad one day.
5. You may need the language for study or research in another field.
6. You may need it to learn about the culture, civilisation or history of another country.
7. Maybe you just like the challenge of learning another language.
8. It may help you look at your own language or culture.
9. You may just enjoy using different sounds and words. It’s fun.
10. Perhaps you enjoy solving grammar problems and translating.
11. It will make you seem clever – people think learning languages is hard!
12. Maybe you do not want to look stupid when you meet non-English speakers.
13. Perhaps you wish t…

Intermediate parallel reading with exercises

This is a sample resource from It would be for a good GCSE (intermediate) class. Do help yourself and feel free to edit it. Some reformatting will be needed for the matching task. Please credit the resource if you choose to use it.

French text

Un ado marche 65km, son petit frère au dos

Un jeune collégien s'est donné le défi de marcher 65 km en portant sur le dos son frère de 7 ans, atteint d'infirmité motrice cérébrale.

Hunter Gandee, un Américain de 14 ans, voulait attirer l'attention sur la maladie de son petit frère Braden. Celui-ci, âgé de 7 ans, est atteint d'infirmité motrice cérébrale et ne peut se déplacer sans assistance.

Samedi dernier, son frère cadet solidement harnaché dans le dos, il est parti de l’école Temperance (Michigan), où il étudie et dont il est le capitaine de l'équipe de lutte. Son objectif : rejoindre le centre de lutte de l'université du Michigan, à Ann Arbor, après un trek de 65 kilomètres. Ce serait une manière d…

Methodology: looking back

I was always quite enthused by methodological issues in language teaching. As a schoolboy I observed my talented French and German teachers and tried to identify with what they were doing. They were generally quite up to date with the methods of the era, using the target language most of the time, using plenty of whole class oral work (often questions and answers) and listening material. My school was also an early adopter of a reel-to-reel language lab which we used for audio-lingual style exercises. My O-level teacher Colin Wringe, who went on to do teacher training at Keele University, did lots of reading and listening with us, while (as I recall) making sure we did what was needed to get a top grade in the exam.

My enthusiastic A-level teacher Mike Dawson got us talking a lot, as well as doing oral grammar drills, comprehension and translation from the book Actualités Françaises, while our French literature teacher Bill Steer ensured we became careful readers and learned to analyse…