I was planning a post to update what I’ve been working on in my classes, and of course, Melanie got there first. We’re always on the same wavelength.
Truth is, I’ve been so concerned with this year’s changes, that I haven’t been focusing on the language. Rather than 90% French, we’ve been spending class in 90% English with some French on the side. Over the weekend, something “clicked” and I feel refreshed and energized about speaking the language! I need to engage kids with culture – every day! I need to develop activities that keep kids in the target language!
I watched the Musicuentos Black Box podcast on staying in the TL; and Senor Fernie mentions that we should have a bank of activities with simple directions that so that students know what to do in the TL.
I’ve also noticed that my classroom lacks of mass amount of culture. At the high school, we’re not really supposed to put up posters or other aids, so I’ve been fighting with how to get culture embedded. A million thanks to Kara and Megan over at The Creative Language Class, because I’ve been using all of their tips and tricks to embed culture into the each lesson.
So what exactly AM I doing in class?:
- Using simple directions, modeling, and cognates to start activities. Sometimes I leave out unnecessary words. Today, prepping for a gallery walk-style activity, I said, “chaque personne, huit post-its,” and said the names of several students: “Mae: huit post-its,” “Erin, 8 post its.” My sentences didn’t have verbs, but we’ll get there. I was overwhelmed by how much students understood in the TL during several activities this week.
- LEADING with culture! Kara and Megan at CLC have really inspired me to inject culture into every day. With a little help from their ideas, I’ve created a French version of their novice listening form, and of their cultural aspects sheet. You can look out for both of these in their Mercado soon (I’ll let you know when they’re up.) EDIT: 11/3/15 The cultural aspects sheet in French is now up in their Mercado!
- I’ve started a YouTube playlist of videos that can inject culture into my lessons – I hope to gain a few each week and build up to having one for each day, if possible. They can serve as mini brain breaks, but we can do an activity after watching them twice, which will bring everything together. You can view my YouTube playlist here. This is another inspiration from Kara and Megan – check out all of their posts on using YouTube in class!
- I’m working on some activities to share soon, so please hold out for a little longer! I’ve decided that I need to stop holding back and share what’s working, even if I don’t think it’s great or innovative. To hold you over, here’s an activity where I’m having students find the names for sports in French. I left the top left blank so that you can give your own directions. Sports tweets
Thanks for bearing with me as I change around what I’m doing around here! What’s going on in your class? I’d love to hear about it!