Saturday, February 16, 2013

The dice game

Over the years I have found that students learning a foreign language always create sentences of the same length.  In order to try to promote a variety of sentence lengths in my students' work I have used a variety of activities in order to promote this.  This week we played the "dice game".  In its simplicity the student's find it enjoyable and yet also challenging.  Each student takes their turn to roll 2 die.  Whatever number comes up is the number of words the table of students must use in their sentence.  They continue to write sentences for about 15 minutes using this method.  I encourage the older students to use "conditionnel", "past conditionnal" and even "subjunctive" in their work.  At the lower levels we discuss transition words before beginning the activity so that they don't think it's an impossible task!  :)  At the end of the time period, I roll the die and ask for volunteer sentences that they have created for each of my rolls. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

That was fun!

"That was fun!"  Those have to be some of the best words a teacher can hear when students are leaving the classroom!  Because I truly believe that a relaxed atmosphere allows for students to be more open to language learning, "fun" definitely needs to be on the menu.  :)  My colleagues and I have just finished our "EXPO" project with our grade 8 students.  They are (12/13 years old) and are not quite beginner learners to French but are the first level for us at high school. Our EXPO project has the presentation day set-up of a Science Fair where students tour around the classroom looking at other students' projects. They have an information sheet that they must complete while doing so.  Our goal is to have our students learn as much about the French speaking countries around the world as possible so that they are more open to the knowledge that it is not just in France or Canada (where we live) that French is spoken.  Apart from the basic information that they must research for the project they often "cook" and bring food samples to class on EXPO day.  Well that day was today and with a mixture of Poster Board and Technology projects (PowerPoints, Prezis and websites)  we had 90 students in one large room with an amazing amount of excitement!!  - a busy yet awesome day!