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.