Saturday, October 4, 2014

Speech, speech and more speech!

Speaking in the target language is essential to second language learning!

I really believe that there can never be enough time to practice this skill in the classroom and so conscientiously work at this with my students.

For this school year I put together 75 task cards so that I could add just one more idea into my classroom to promote speaking French - the target language.  Why so many cards you may ask? Isn't it impossible to go through every card in a lesson?  Well, yes it is impossible, but that really doesn't matter.  Our classes are so diverse in terms of the students' abilities that I wanted to be able to have my students feel success no matter what their ability level is.  The students have the choice of question that they wish to ask of another student and so it allows them to choose a question that they feel comfortable with.  Over the years it has become obvious to me that students will only "risk" making errors while speaking French if they feel a level of comfort in doing so.  They must feel "safe". This activity allows just that.  It also provides scaffolding of the activity with a variety of levels of questions in terms of difficulty. If a question is too difficult or if the student believes that there isn't anyone in the class that can "match the question" they are free to choose another question.  With 75 questions there is always one that they can choose.  One of the questions refers to a "jumeau" or "jumelle" - There isn't always a twin in the class that I teach although we do have sets of twins in our school.  What is the ideal amount of time to allow for the activity?  It really depends upon your class but I find that allowing 20-25 minutes provides enough time for the "slower starters" to get started while also providing a feeling of accomplishment for those who are actively participating.  With a "recording sheet" also provided you can do this activity as a warm-up activity over 2 - 3 classes if you wish as each task card is numbered and so is the "recording sheet".  All students will know which questions they have already asked and which ones are still to do. 

I posted this product at my TpT store at the following link: Getting to know each other task cards if you are interested in having a further look.  :)  Happy teaching to you all!

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