Building Confidence or Inflating Egos?

My goal for this year’s action plan was to increase student confidence in speaking French, to avoid hearing “I can’t” and replace it with “I can”. On Thursday I introduced the CEFR to my Grade 4 students: they watched a short video explaining that the CEFR is a tool used across Canada, Europe and many other countries to be consistent with assessment of language skills and then they looked at the scale of language levels to decide which level they thought Grade 4 was currently at.

My assumption was that they would choose the lowest possible level, but to my surprise the majority of boys thought they were performing at a level B1 (which is more like Grade 10-12 core French)! I was shocked to hear them speaking so positively about the abilities they possess in their second language. Once I showed them a few examples of B1 speakers, they quickly agreed that maybe they weren’t quite at that level – but perhaps it’s not a bad thing that they are starting to really believe in themselves.

My next task is to get them more familiar with the “Can-Do Statements” so that they can use the language to self-assess and describe the work that they do in class, giving each activity and task a purpose to develop their skills. I guess I still have some work to do to help them accurately self-assess!

Photo by Titouan on Unsplash

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