I had a hard developing a question and action plan in our last F2F, but I settled on the following: “How might I create more authentic situations in the French classroom?” When I read the suggestions during the feedback session, I realized, however, that my issue was more around my apathetic students in Core French. Fortunately, during the social after the F2F, I was led to a question I am really excited to pursue; “How might we use storytelling and drama to increase fluency in a Core French classroom?”
Thank you to @apetrolito who told me about TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) because it has resulted in dramatic (pun intended!) changes to my last few Grade 10 Core French classes. I started experimenting with reading children’s stories to my students then having them create actions to represent the keywords from the story. With those keywords, we have been inventing our own stories and acting them out in class. Each class they build on the stories, and they can make them as silly as they like; it has led to hilarious classes where I really feel like my students are coming away learning so much more. For example, we have been working on the difference between le passé composé and l’imparfait, and using TPRS has been so much more fun to help them distinguish and apply the two tenses. This method has been great for my weak students, for my disengaged students, and for my advanced students!
For example, after reading a story I would display a slide like this: .
Students would then create a gesture for each word which we would also practise doing and saying together. I am familiar with many AIM gestures because I am using it for an Open French class, but I find it more fun getting the students to invent their own actions. Par exemple, both my sections chose this action to represent “une fille”!
It has only been a couple of classes, but I am eager to explore this further. I would like to have them eventually publish their own children’s book and then invite a local elementary French class to visit so that we can read to them.
My action plan includes visiting @ddoucet‘s classroom to see how I can use the CECR more in my classes as well as collaborating with @jbairos and @mneale who have similar questions they want to explore this Cohort season!