Tuesday, April 28, 2009

songs in MFL class

kids and I love singing in class ( and dancing as well actually!!!) I only use true material in my class. I use songs that I love, new or old ones, and we sing along. it helps the students to memorise grammar structures more easily. I use smartboard software for that, because it is easy and interactif.

Monday, April 27, 2009

relevant assessment

Toni asked me if I can make assessment relevant to the students. I would say that I try as much as I can. Of course, I can not change NCEA ( NZ equivalent of GCSE and A levels) but I try with any other assessment. I love the idea of the students learning more about French culture. We live so far from France and it is really hard to make it real for the kids. I am going to give you an example. I asked my year 10 to make a research on a French singer. I give them a list of singers to actually help the students who are struggling. If they want to choose a singer who is not on the list it is ok with me. And then I ask them to find relevant information about this singer. I do not tell them what to find because every body is interested in something different. For some kids the singer’s favourite course might be more interesting than how many albums s/he has sold! My only instruction is that it is forbidden to copy/paste from the internet because if they copy/paste they do not learn anything. I had fantastic work from the kids. I remember some presented the singer and they created a quiz to see if you followed their presentation. They even did some Powerpoint presentation with videos found on Youtube.

I was really proud of their work and they learned so much by having no directions because they worked towards something they were interested in, it was relevant to them, they enjoyed it so they worked bloody hard….and they were successful of course.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

la nourriture. que choisir?

amis terriens salut,

A fast and easy powerpoint that I use with year 10 with food topic.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What do I think when I teach??!!!

OK, so Toni wants me to put a new post about my teaching. Yeh right, but now comes the question "Do I really know what I am doing?"
I teach French in a rural school (year 9 to 13) in New Zealand. French is an option and as you can imagine the community does not really see the point of learning a foreign language in NZ; and anyway we speak English in NZ and everybody speaks English in the world don't they??!!!
So it is a struggle for me to keep good effectifs. When I started in 2006 we had 2 year 9 and no year 13 because nobody wanted to carry on French. In 2009, we have 3 year 9 and one year 13 (OK only 5 kids but still!!!).
When I reflect on my teaching and that I look at what I am doing in the class, I would say that I concentrate on making my classes enjoyable. If the students enjoy my class they will work harder, and if they work harder they increase their chance of succeeding. If they succeed they will carry on French. So to make my classes enjoyable I try to vary the activities as much as possible. I love ICT as it is a fantastic tool for engaging students, but I also dance and sing heaps (with a funky plastic microphone) and I always make sure that students are pushed hard. I have really high expectations and I do not lower them down. One of my priorities is to always teach what the kids want me to teach even if it is not in the curriculum. It is sometimes more important to capture a student that is interested in " how is a day at school in France?" than force feeding him with "l'accord du COD place devant le verbe"!!! If you captured this child, if you have answered his questions, you might have captured him for the rest of the year. I am thinking right now about this girl N who is so out of her depth in French, but who is also so excited and interested...today she even gave me some easter chocolate!!!!!

So how do I teach???? What is my philosophy of teaching ( what a grown up word!!!)? Well I work hard to make my lessons enjoyable. Am I a clown in front of my class?? I'd say "Yep, all the time"


Monday, April 6, 2009

writing can be fun


here is a video to show a powerpoint that I use with writing. kids have to write the text before it disappears. they all enjoy it because it is quite challenging.