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Beginner lesson plan - talking about oneself

Here is a simple novice text which can be exploited in a number of ways, some of which are suggested below.

Marie-Hélène raconte

Je m’appelle Marie-Hélène. J’ai 9 ans. J’habite à Toulouse dans le sud de la France. J’habite dans une maison avec mes deux parents et mon frère Alain.
Nous avons un chat qui s’appelle Raoul. Il est noir et il est très mignon. J’adore les chats, la neige et les dessins animés à la télé. J’aime aussi jouer sur l’ordinateur.

Dans ma chambre j’ai mon lit, ma bibliothèque, mes livres, mon bureau et mon ordinateur. J’adore ma chambre. Elle est bleue.

J’aime mon école et j’adore ma maîtresse. Elle s’appelle Madame Bernard.Je n’aime pas les souris, je préfère les hamsters. Je déteste les araignées. Elles sont horribles.

A. Vrai ou faux?

1. Marie-Hélène a neuf ans.
2. Elle habite dans le nord de la France.
3. Elle a une soeur.
4. Elle a un animal à la maison.
5. Son chat est très méchant.
6. Elle déteste la neige.
7. Elle joue sur l’ordinateur.
8. Il y a des livres dans sa chambre.
9. Sa maîtresse s’appelle Bernard.
10. Elle adore les araignées.

B. Imaginez que tu es Marie-Hélène

1.​ Comment t’appelles-tu?
2.​ Quel âge as-tu?
3.​ Où habites-tu?
4.​ Tu habites dans un appartement?
5.​ Comment s’appelle ton frère?
6.​Tu as un animal à la maison?
7.​ Qu’est-ce que tu aimes à la télé?
8.​ Qu’est-ce que tu as dans ta chambre?
9.​ De quelle couleur est ta chambre?
10.​Que penses-tu de l’école?
11.​ Quels animaux tu n’aimes pas?
12.​Tu préfères les souris ou les hamsters?

C. Now write a paragraph about yourself, basing it very closely on what Marie-Hélène said.

D. Copy your text into a Text to Speech programme online and listen to it read aloud. Then you read it aloud, sounding as French as you can.

Teacher notes

This resource could be printed or displayed. Displaying holds the attention of students better.

Suggested plan

1.​ Teacher reads aloud, class repeat sentences chorally.
2.​ Students read aloud e.g. in pairs.
3.​ Do QA work and repetition in 3rd person or, simpler, give false sentences
​to correct.
4.​ Get pairs to work through the printed questions orally.
5.​ Write up answers to above.
6.​ Pupils write their own paragraph, extending as far as they can
​(differentiation). But encourage them to stick closely to the original. Provide a template with gaps if needed.
7.​ Either read aloud paragraphs (pairs or in front of class) or do suggested
​online tasks. (Teacher could quickly type in an example into a Text to
​Speech tool.)

This type of plan enables students to hear lots of modelled high-frequency language, to read, speak and write. Each task reinforces the others. I would encourage accuracy at the stage to give students a sense of mastery and success (self-efficacy). It is somewhat communicative.

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