Thursday, August 9, 2012

Final Post

Level: Français 10

Unit 4: Mes Souvenirs, Mes Trésors

Strategy 1: Quizzlet

There is a lot of vocabulary to learn in beginner french classes and quizzlet is a useful tool to help students memorize words and learn pronunciation. This unit in particular had a lot of difficult vocabulary to learn and this program provides them with an instant study tool. What I like about the idea of quizzlet is that the cue cards are already made for students and they can print them or they can access them online. In addition to this, there are many different ways to present the information on the cue cards. Students can choose to see both english and french or just french. There is also an audio function for students to hear how to pronounce the words.  I really like the audio function in this program because students are able to practice spelling and audio at the same time if they wish to do so.

I was able to find an existing quizzlet document to use, and make changes as needed. This is a very useful function because you can adapt other teachers work in order to meet your specific needs. I was also able to create a quizzlet classroom where students can view all quizzlet documents I have made.

Join Français 10 Quizzlet Group

Strategy 2: Chirbit

In my french classes, I try to create as many oral activities as possible but it is very difficult to monitor and correct. This is a very easy tool to use and it allows for students to practice speaking skills. They also learn to auto-correct because they are receiving immediate feedback. I played a "Qui suis-je?" game with my students where they had to go around the class and guess who's photo it was based on a picture and a short description. I thought it would make the game for interactive and educational sound by having students record their voices to give clues. In the class, I could have labtops set up around the class and students have to listen to the chirbit to guess who the person is.

Here are some student samples...

Personne # 1:

Personne # 2:

Check this out on Chirbit Strategy 3: MixPod

During practicum I went to a french conference where I was introduced to the idea of "Music Friday". Students are to find a song and do a short write-up about the group and what they like about the song. I thought it would be interested to listen to french children songs and have students compare them to their own childhood songs. To help with their understanding, I have tried to find songs that have words to go a long with the song.

I have only shown a few songs here, but when I introduce this to my class I would ideally like to have a song for every student. Although I am introducing it with this unit, I would use the same concept throughout the year using a variety of different music. This tool will allow me to introduce french culture in my class.

MusicPlaylistView Profile
Create a playlist at

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I have embedded a presentation from sliderocket. I think this is a great alternative to using powerpoints in the class. It was very user friendly, and does not require a lot of time to prepare. There are plenty of templates to use, and there are also a lot of functions to create a unique presentation.

Reading Ten

Cell phones in the classroom, really? Although I do believe that technology allows for more interactive and engaging lessons, cell phones do not fit under this category. I have seen the program being used as a teaching tool in various high school classes and there was little success in its implementation. In one class I observed the teacher thought it was a success when only eight students responded meanwhile the others were texting, playing games etc. I understand that it is nearly impossible to achieve 100% participation, but I don`t think that the use of cell phones would contribute to this achievement.

Cell phones are distracting devices that disrupt the learning environment. In the article a teacher suggests that it will help regulate the use of cell phones, because students won`t be sneaky with their cell phone use. I find it hard to believe that if a student sees their phone blinking from the corner of their eye they are not going to check it. I find it very discouraging that this is suggested as a classroom tool.  The problem is once you use it as a tool it as seen as being an acceptable device in the classroom making it impossible to regulate. Students live in the cyber world for the better part of their day and I think that is important for their personal health to unplug.

Although I have been quite negative towards the use of cells phones, I do believe that there is one benefit in its use. Cell phones in the classroom allow students to have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. Students use their cell phones in class for online translators, though they are not supposed to. I always encourage the use of dictionnaries in classroom because it provides a more accurate translation of words. In addition to this, I think we need to teach students the «traditional» way of learning through paper texts etc. because this is still a strategy used in every day life.

Every teacher will have their own views on the implementation of cell phones, but I think that there needs to be common rules on its use. During my practicum, I often heard students complaining about teachers taking cell phones, while other teachers encouraged the use of cell phones. I don`t think it`s fair for students to be able to rely on their cell phones in one class and then get in trouble in another class. 

Reading Nine

Powepointless? There is much to be learned in creating a powerpoint even if it isn`t the most effective way to present. Students learn to summarize information and highlight the most important points. In addition this, they learn how to present their ideas by providing visual aids. I understand that slides have a tendency to be full of information and distracting to the audience, but I think that this is part of the learning process. Another thing to keep in mind is that students are uncomfortable speaking in front of an audience so bombarding their slides with information helps them simply read off the slides.

If I look back at my own presentation boards, I can remember them being filled with texts too small to read and being overloaded with images. It is the same mistake presented in a different way. I think it`s important to provide a template for students to use no matter what activity is being developed. This will help students understand the format and how to properly deliver the information. I often use powerpoints in my class and it serves as an example for students when they do their presentations, but it is a learning process. The guidelines proposed will certainly help students create more effective powerpoints, but I think other skills will have to be taught in conjunction with this such as summarizing, word use etc.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Exploring Google

Google Docs, Google Powerpoint and Google Form;

All of these technologies will be useful in teaching. I really like the idea of a google powerpoint, because I can post the powerpoints to my blog. Students often ask to see my powerpoints for study material and this program will make it possible. I also think that the google form is an easy way to collect and organize student information. I normally give paper copies to students and then have to transfer the information onto a word document. This will make it more accessible to students and parents, and requires less time to organize on my part.




Friday, August 3, 2012

Reading Eight

I think that collaboration itself is a valuable tool to learn. Students will have to learn to work cooperatively with classmates, employers co-workers etc. therefore making it a relevant topic to teach. Collaboration can encourage the development of communication skills because student will have to articulate their ideas so they are undersood. It can also encourage students to think at a higher level by being questioned by their peers. Although, there are many benefits to group projects, it's important to monitor group progress and ensure that all members are contributing equally. I think this is the danger in having projects online because I think it's harder to manage. In a comment posted below the author discusses the value in having projects based on the web rather that in paper because students can comment on each others journals. The web does allow for a faster exchange between students, but I do think it's important to have a mix of "paper" collaboration projects as well online projects. In future, students will have to collaborate with people in person and through e-mail, phone etc. therefore I think that are benefits in using both methods. There are many pros to this authors idea of collaborative projects, but I don't think it should be the only method. There are a lot of valuable lessons for students to learn through individual projects. Students will learn to problem solve on their own, time manage, make executive decisions, and the list goes on.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


This program will be useful to any of my future students and their parents. I don`t know how I would utilize this technology in my class because there are many ways that it could be exploited. An idea that comes to mind is to have a site where students can have extra help on learning content and also to expose them to the «french world». On the scoopit page I created there are several sites to practice grammar and reading as well as investigate different francophone countries. The benefit of this is that students can go visit the scoopit site and find information that suits their needs. There are a lot of websites that present similar topics, so students can pick and chose. In terms of engaging parents, I think that it would be beneficial for them to see what their children are learning. The one concern that I have is that there is a lot of information available on this website. It is easy to click through the available resources and press scoop-it but realistically do I have time to check if these are the best resources...probably not. I think it could be a simple way to expose my students to more french. In additon, some of the technologies and ways the material is presented might be more engaging than one of my lectures.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reading Seven

I understand as an educator we need to make our lessons relevant to our learners needs, but I feel that inventing new strategies is becoming a trend. As the article suggests there are a lot of buzzwords in education, and it`s hard to keep up with all of the new ideas. Similar to what we talked about in class today regarding the twitter feed, it is difficult to be constantly reading all of these educational journals. It is quite overwhelming and makes it stressful when trying to find a strategy that will best suit students. I do believe that teaching needs to change because the demands that students face on a day to day basis is changing. I do however worry with this idea of curation education that students who do not have the intellectual capacity to evaluate and synthesize will be left behind. We learn in this program that we shouldn`t «reinvent the wheel», but simply adapt current methods. I think that we can promote higher level thinking in the classroom without having to create a whole new way of teaching.


I will be able to use podcasts in any class that I teach. In french specifically, I think it is very useful for students to practice their oral skills, because they are able to listen to their pronunciation and re-record if needed. In my opinion, students will benefit from this immediate feedback to help them learn to self-correct. In a way I think it almost acts as a teacher because all students can be recording at a time and be receiving feedback without needing a teacher to constantly correct pronunciation. This program allows for students to be exposed to various aspects of the language. Students are able to listen to different students podcasts providing them with information on various topics.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reading Six

I would like to explore the use of podcasts in FSL classes. I have heard about podcasts but had never thought to use it as a teaching tool. The idea presented by the teacher to have students record their discussion on classroom material is very innovative. I learn through discussion and often times I feel that I refine specific knowledge in discussion but forget it later when doing my individual review. This tool would allow for revision of topics discussed during the podcast. Although, I think we need to be cautious of using this tool because not all students are auditory learners. It is important that students are given a variety of methods to learn and review materials. Another great point discussed by the author is the development of presentation skills through podcasts. Students are recording their voices, and are able to listen to their tone and the way they articultate the classroom material. Students are very fortunate to have this opportunity to practice presentation skills because it is a life skill that is used in any job. In french I do a lot of presentations and I think that having it as a «broadcast» rather than standing up in front of the class would make them feel more comfortable. To add to this, it teaches students to be more diligent with their work, publishing a podcast could cause anxiety amongst the students. It is quite intimidating for students to have others listen to their discussions. On a last thought, specifically for second language learners, podcasts teach students to self-correct. Students are able to listen to the way they pronounce words, and try and adjust their pronunciation. Students are also able to hear the voices of other french speakers which is also beneficial because they hear the correct way to pronounce words.

Vocabulary builder

I think that this program will be very useful for FSL classes. When I teach my students I often draw on visual aids to explain words. This is a very user friendly program that I can take examples from or modify other peoples work to suit my needs. I have chosen a book that describes in simple sentences different types of food. I think that this can be used as an example to build vocabulary specific to the foods unit,or it could also serve as an example for a unit end project where they may have to describe their favourite foods. I do a lot of projects in my class and I think that this would be a nice alternative for students rather than doing a prezi or a powerpoint.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Digital Reading

I think by incorporating e-reading into the classroom I will be able to increase student literacy. I am able to post the book "Le Petit Prince" on my blog for students read in class on the computer or ipad and they are also able to access it at home. Students of this generation are more inclined to read on the computer than pick up a book therefore as a teacher I want to provide them with e-reading opportunities. I will be able to make french books more accessible to my students by posting them on my website. 
 Le Petit Prince

Reading Five

Online Translators are tools that students utilise in order to complete assignments therefore I think it`s important that we teach them how to properly use this tool. Although I only have a few months of teaching experience, it is easy to identify which students work is authentic and which is directly translated using an online translator. As the article identifies, online translators are not always correct because they translate word by word rather than translate the meaning of the words. One activity to help students understand the potential unreliability of such translations is to have them compare translation sites. Oftentimes, the results will vary in translation and the meaning of the text. This is a very useful exercise because it will help develop critical thinkers. It will also hopefully build a better understanding of how different languages can`t always be translated directly.

I don`t think I will encourage students to translate texts but I think it would be interesting for individual words. I would prefer that students use dictionaries because students can see the different meanings that a word has and chose the correct word based on the context. Translators in my opinion allow students to acquire language that is too advance and I don`t think it`s a true indication that they have mastered the language.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reading Four

The author makes very good points regarding L2 reading. Students get scared that they don't understand every word in a text and try to find meaning in every word. This makes them lose focus on the meaning of the text. It's interesting how students change a skill they are familiar with because they can't understand every single word. I think that we do need to re-teach the same strategies that they use in their L1 to remind them that reading is the same no matter what language you are reading. One strategy that the author didn't mention is having students write a reflection on the reading. If we give students questions to answer I feel that they will just look for the questions in the text rather than understand the reading itself. I think that this also helps students build a connection with the reading and  find their own meaning.

Culture in the classroom

Artiste: Trois Gars Su`l Sofa - «Véronique»

J'ai mal à tête, j'ai vomi dans mon lit
Pis l'gars qui est couché su l'sofa je sais pas c'est qui
Le frigo est en feu, le chat coupé en deux
Comment sa su l'plancher du salon y'a des traces de pneu?
J'ai l'air un peu perdu, c'est sa qui ma dit mon voisin d'en haut après m'avoir renversé un peu d'café sa tête par le trou dans l'plafond...ben r'garde donc ya un trou dans l'plafond!
Sa m'fait rire
Chu pas vraiment chez nous Sa sent encore le parfum de ton cou
J'plane encore
J'va aller macheter du lait
Maudit qui sont belle les peintes de lait

Les fleurs sont belles, pis sa sent bon en ville
Pis l'gars qui quête au coin d'la rue j'y ai faite un chèque de mille
J'prend tout l'monde dans mes bras
Y'en a qui aime pas trop ça
Mais y'en a qui aime pas mal trop ça, j'pensse que j'devrais arrêter ça
J'écoute les info-pub
J'achète tout plein d'produits
Un appareil pour rafermir les muscles de mes sourcils
J'ai mal a bonne humeur, j'fais chier ceux qui sont triste
C'est vrai qu'jen met un peu quand j'sert la main de tout les cycliste
Mais sa mfait rire
Tout l'monde a une face drôle
On dirait qui comprenne tout squi m'arrive
J'plane encore
Jme met du plomb din poche
Jm'attache à une clôture avec d'la broche

Sa fait 3h que jfixe le mur
J'ai besoin de rien dans ma tête
Y'a un film qui passe pis je l'trouve bon
Tu joues d'dans pis sa fini bien!!

This is a technology that I can regularly incorporate into my classroom. At the beginning of my classes I often played music while students were entering the classroom. I also had them fill the blanks as a listening exercise. By incorporating an element of culture I think that it would give more value to the activity.

The particular song that I have chosen includes a lot of quebecois slang. I would first introduce the group as three quebecois guys and explain a brief history of how quebecois french is different from france french. I would then have students listen to the song and fill in the blanks. The next step would be to have them try and identify and guess which words are slang.

I went to a conference where a teacher had students do a project on a particular song and present it to the class. I think that that these music resources will help students find songs easily and make their presentation of the song more visually appealing. I look forward to exploring the possibility to teach culture through music.


This technology will be very useful in any classroom. I used this video to help reinforce an idea that was taught in class, and allow for further oral practice. This will be beneficial to all students particularily for those students who are weaker or missed classes. Although it is a useful tool, I don't know if I would use it on a day to day basis because of the time it takes to make a single video. I would use this tool when I am delivering difficult concepts or to show students how to access websites needed throughout the year. I am interested to see how students respond to this type of digital instruction. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reading Three

I think that it is important to include cultural studies in all disciplines. It is not benefical to allocate cultural studies to specific disciplines because each discipline explores different aspects of culture.  In language classes, I try to teach appreciation of languages through exposure to specific cultures. In each unit, I emphasize certain cultures by including different sayings and vocabulary. Students find it interesting when they can relate to the information being presented. I think that is the problem in the way we try to include culture in the curriculum by using out dated textbooks that have «cultural corners».  There is no specific solution to this problem, but I think that teachers need to be aware of the benefits of including culture in their classroom. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reading Two

Although the article identified many different ways to choose appropriate videos, I am still a skeptic of using videos in the classroom. As an FSL teacher, I am always using gestures and visuals to explain concepts. I like the thought of using videos in the class because they provide words with visuals to explain them, and students enjoy listening to something other than their teacher. I found with movies students are often distracted by the visuals that they don`t pay attention to the words. I tried to show «Le Chandail» in my classroom and students found it too difficult to follow the words while the characters were moving. Students could attempt to infer meaning through visuals, but they felt bombarded. I took the steps suggested in the reading in order to measure it`s appropriateness, but they still struggled. I guess my question is, how do you measure whether the use of a video is an effective teaching tool? Students may fill out sheets while watching a movie, but for those who struggle with language they may need to watch it several times or students may just get the answer from their friend.

I will continue to search for short videos that can be integrated into lessons, but I feel it`s very difficult to ensure all students are engaged. I also think it`s difficult to find videos that address the exact topic that is being taught. I tried looking for resources outside of my program but I found that other words were being used which only lead to students being more confused. Before integrating videos into the program it`s important that students understand that they don`t need to understand all words to grasp the main idea or concept of the activity.

Audio in the classroom

This program will be very effective in an FSL class. It will allow students to work at varying paces because they are able to stop the audio whenever they please. I found this to be challenging in my class because half of the class could understand the listening activity after the first attempt, and the other half would just pretended they did. Also, if I have control over the information that students listen to, I can cater the program to my student’s needs. I could use this tool in the computer lab for students to practice listening exercises or give them extra practice at home by putting it up on my blog. I also think that this is more relevant to the students because often the cassettes were made in the 90`s and they don`t discuss relevant topics in the modules. Another possible use is to have students record their own voices. This will allow my students and I to see how they are progressing throughout the year, and to help students auto correct. I think this will be a very useful tool and I am excited to see how students respond to this technology.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reading One

          Although listening is inherent in learning languages, I didn`t understand it`s vital role in the acquisition of a second language. I did my inquiry project on L2 acquisition, and I found it shocking that the article states that L2 learners do not learn their second language in the same way as their L1. If I remember correctly, I learned English by associated words to pictures which is similar in the way I teach my FSL students to learn French. I also find that as a second language learner my listening skills are stronger than any of my linguistic skills, this is also true for the majority of my students. I am wondering if this is similar to most L2 learners?

          The article provides many suggestions related to listening strategies. Learning a language is quite overwhelming and it`s important that students recognize that they will not understand 100% of what they hear. Students need to be given a focus in order to help them acquire the desired vocabulary. One strategy proposed for teachers is to «think aloud». The six questions will help guide students to learn how to ask themselves questions while listening.

          Students need to learn effective strategies to enhance their learning, and as a teacher I am there to guide their learning. While providing guidance I think it`s important to limit suggested strategies and ensure that they are appropriate the learners comprehension level.