Strategy # 8: Make it fun!
When you teach a subject that a lot of students are not interested in, you need student buy-in. Often, the easiest way of getting it is by making things fun.
How can you make things fun? There are so many things you can do.
Instead of doing a boring worksheet, maybe try a fun game that has students reviewing similar concepts. There are so many different games you can try. The easiest games include using word searches, crossword puzzles, playing hangman, or the fly swatter game. Some of my favourite activities include using digital word searches like these. You can check out other game ideas here. Depending on what you’re teaching, you can change up the games you use. For example when we are learning vocabulary, the games above are great. When we are reviewing something, one of my favourite games to play with students is dividing the class into two, having one student from each team come to the board. Divide the board in half so each person has their own space to work on. And then I give the students a prompt. They listen to the prompt and write their response on the board. The first team to get it correct, gets the point. My middle school students love this game.
Apart from games, there is more that we can do. Watch some French cartoons or a show or movie. Instead of working to the bell, give students a chance to have a break and maybe even just chat. Let students enjoy being in your classroom. You will see your buy-in increase dramatically.
For the past two years I have been teaching online. I absolutely love using sites like Kahoot, Blooket, Quizlet, and Skribbl.io in my classroom. And if you know anything about me, you know I love using digital Pixel Art activities. My students are always begging me for more. You can check out some of these here. My latest craze is using digital dice for all kinds of fun games. You can find those here. Have you ever tried Minecraft for Education? It is such a popular game among my students right now. Why not use it in the French classroom, tied into our curriculum expectations? These games are so much fun and the students love them.
I hope you have seen that even though kids may be playing a game, they are still learning French. It’s a win-win for both the students and I.
Strategy # 9: Make real-world connections.
The last strategy I would like to briefly mention is the importance of giving students real-world connections. Like I said in my last post, most of the time these students don’t experience French outside the walls of your classroom. The language is not relevant to their lives and they cannot relate to it.
It is so much fun as an educator when you can make the language needs real for your students. You may have heard about the importance of authentic tasks and experiences. That’s what I’m talking about here.
This may be one of the simplest things you can plan and do, or it may be one of the hardest, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. You can use small authentic tasks that require students to explore news websites, for example, or cooking channels or shopping websites. You can take it a step further and set up a pen-pal exchange program where students write to native French speakers. Or further yet, plan a field trip to somewhere where your students will have a chance to communicate in French.
There are so many other strategies we could talk about, but I am going to end it here. I hope these strategies will help make your life as a Core French teacher easier. Thank you for following along!
At the end, I’ll just say, remember that all these strategies not only benefit your students, but they also benefit you!
Have some feedback? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me here.
Until next time,