Friday, September 26, 2014

DAC Intermediate French Weeks 1-2

Bonjour à tous !

My name is Jade, and I am the new intermediate French teacher at the DAC. I plan to update this blog frequently to keep you up to date with our class. I will also provide links to videos and songs if you would like to give your child some extra practice.

The first couple of weeks are always the toughest, and I appreciate you and your children’s patience as we get to know each other. The topics covered in beginning and intermediate French are similar, so one of the challenges for me has been to evaluate their levels to see what they already know. Most of the kids have decent pronunciation and word recognition. Unaided production and complete sentences are more difficult for them, however, and I will seek to target these aspects further in the days to come.

So far, we've covered greetings, commands, colors, and shapes. For greetings, I especially tried to target the ones they do not already know, like à bientôt. The kids were also introduced to basic commands while combining with the beginning class in a game of Simon says, and I took it a step further with my own group by differentiating between the singular and plural forms and by adding the verb épeler (to spell) to the list. The kids are not interested in relearning the alphabet in its entirety, so I will be working it into other lessons, either by asking them to spell out words in French or by playing hangman, which they seem to enjoy.

This week, we worked on colors and shapes, and I am pleased to say that by the end of the week, most of the kids have demonstrated decent mastery of these words. To facilitate the learning process, I showed two videos in class. Here are the links:

Les couleurs:

Les formes:

The great thing about the color video in particular (aside from the catchy tune and the odd cartoon man) is that it differentiates the feminine and masculine forms of the color adjectives by pairing them first with the noun voiture (feminine) and then with camion (masculine). This differentiation is something that most of the kids understand but have not been able to put into practice, so it's great to introduce something that would expose them to these forms naturally.

Another color video with more advanced vocabulary, French lyrics, and the translation:

To conclude, here is a list of some of the words we covered over the past two weeks:

Greetings: bonjour, bonsoir, bonne journée, bonne soirée, à bientôt, à tout à l'heure, à plus tard
Commands & Questions: levez-vous (lève-toi), levez la main (lève la main), asseyez-vous (assieds-toi), sautez (saute), dites (dis), répétez (répète), calmez-vous (calme-toi), épelez (épelle), comment dit-on
Colors: rouge, orange, jaune, vert(e), bleu(e), violet(te), marron, blanc(he), noir(e), rose, foncé, clair
Shapes: un cercle, un carré, un triangle, une étoile, un rectangle, un cube, un cylindre, un cœur, un croissant, un losange

Overall, these two weeks have been a process of discovery, both for me and for the students. It has been fun to see their individual personalities emerge little by little, and I will use this to our common advantage by formulating my lessons plans in a way that works best for each of them. If any of the children voice any comments, concerns, or opinions (both good and bad) at any point in time, feel free to let me know either via email or by leaving a comment here as I am always seeking ways to improve!

Merci bien!

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