Making it real – oral language in French class

This is the second Triad whose work is being featured on this blog.  I sat with them last week as they established their baseline for their inquiry.  The group has already recorded a good deal of student work to act as their baseline.  They do have plans to continue to share work using different forms of social media including Skype.

The oral component is always a priority in second language teaching.  Our goal is to make it authentic and usable in the real world (e.g. salutations, good manners, every day basic vocabulary).If students are engaged in authentic conversations in the class and are taught the necessary vocabulary, then they will feel comfortable and be able to converse amongst themselves in the classroom.  This activity is very rich because it brings language arts components to real life situations.

The FSL Triad met on Friday to discuss our Baseline results. Our junior kids were paired up and they asked each other questions EN FRANCAIS about their family.  Some teachers gave them “sentence starters” such as Quand (When…) Qui (who…) Ou (Where…) Est-ce que (Does…) others chose not to.  We noticed some were easier to use than others.  For our mid-line, we will interview another class in the same school (e.g. Jennifer Kealey’s class will meet with Caroline Ghaffari’s class). And our final activity will be to SKYPE with a class from another school.  The question will vary a bit – we will ask “what does your family do at Christmas”.

The students will converse with a partner and ask one another questions about his/her family. For our midline assessment, the students will have the same conversation but with a student from another class in our school. For our final assessment, the students will have the same conversation but with a student from another class in one of our triad schools, through Skype. Results will be examined to see whether the students are more comfortable speaking and if they are using more complex vocabulary and sentence structures.

One thought on “Making it real – oral language in French class

  1. Andrea

    Sounds like a really great inquiry! Are you recording all the conversations? I would love to hear the progression as they get more comfortable conversing with their peers in French. I’m curious what was specifically taught prior to this baseline and what other structures you’re planning on introducing. Can’t wait to hear more!


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