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Bienvenue Professeurs!

This teacher portal is to help teachers find websites and tools that I use in my classroom.

  • Teaching French
  • Teacher Aides
  • Web Tools
  • Testing
  • Materials
  • Teaching Ideas

Web Links

TES Connect: This is my new favorite site. Abonnez-vous! It's free! Then go to resources and search for any topic you need materials for. There are tons of power points, worksheets, and lesson plans. It all comes from the U.K.

Exercices de Français: Wonderful site. You will find tons of listening activities. There are t.v. commercials, movie trailers, songs, news, and more. With each activity there are blanks for typing in words. Great for introducing topics or for discussing culture.

Language Portal: Here is a super highway of all things French. Just do a grammar search and you'll have more than you could ever imagine.

The Language Guide: This is a super awesome site for review of vocabulary, grammar, and they even have some great short stories and some nice phonetic practice.

French Games Portal:Choose from the list of games, for vocabulary, history, and culture games

Classroom Games: It links to various games, many of which I have used and love. Feel free to share others with me.

French (from the U.K.) Power Points: Click on a topic and level and you will instantly have a power point to review with. I usually wouldn't trust much from Great Britain, but these *.pdf power points are pretty decent.

French in Action: I fell in love with Mireille in college and now you can too!

La Poésie: Choose an author, or search by title, country of origin, or even century. Here is finally an amazing database of poetry for your teaching pleasure.

French Lessons (U.K.): These lessons build on each other and include all the grammar and vocabulary you could ask for. Click on the contents tab to find a specific lesson, or use it as a supplementary study aid for your classes that they follow in the order they appear.

Children's Music: I have found that my students laugh harder and remember longer all these children's songs more than the modern pop songs. So yeah, see if you can find any you enjoy.

French Teacher's Online: Link with many teacher's throughout the world. It helps remind you that you are not alone.

Wikis & Other Teacher Web-Sites:

Europa: This site is focused on getting students to go to France to study French. Some of my students enquire about study abroad, pen pals, and other foreign opportunities. Send them here. It also has some nice free language lessons on numbers, food, etc.

** A side note about pen pals. I have also used in the past: Students of the World and Epals. These are great sites, but it requires a ton of work to keep up with it. I usually just have the students that want to get a pen pal do it on their own.

Online Readers: This is a site out of Canada. Click on the link to the language books. Some are pretty good, you'll just have to decide what might work for your class.

Teaching with Songs: It takes a while for the site to load, but I have used many of these songs in my classes to focus on a specific grammar point. Try it! Just be patient though.

Teaching with Songs: Another Great site, with links to dozens of others. These songs include sound, lyrics, and vocabulary help. Very useful for any teachers class.

***One site I do use every single year before Christmas is this one: Advent Calender with Songs. I love the songs, they are sung by French children, and it really gets us in the spirit of the holidays.

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Links for foreign language teachers

NCLRC - The National Capital Language Resource Center.

Language RUBRICS from ACTF - Guidelines for speaking, reading, writing, and listening.

French Teachers: this is the hub for many teachers in Utah. All of the materials from AATF are posted here as well as many great links.

AATF Utah: great resources here. We meet all the time to share ideas, there is a book club, and you don't have to be a member to come and participate, although membership does have its advantages.

Clear - Online Assessment Tools and Rich Internet Applications: These are great for giving your students oral tests and other speaking activities via the web. Create an account and then look at the portal page for many options.

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Web Tools

Quizlet: This is la pièce de résistance of all e-tools. I will never assign homework the old-fashioned way again. This tool allows you to set up class groups, and then give them homework. You set a date and time and then let the computer do the rest. It automatically records the students progress, and all you have to do is transfer the scores into your grade book.

Game Generator: I use this for all my vocabulary lists. You just have to import your list and post the link to your blog or wikispace. *Hint, you should add a simple password that you can remember so you can add words or edit it later.

*** I also use this countdown timer. It works great. You can even pick a count down tune!

---There are other features of class tools as well which I haven't explored, but that could be useful like post-it (label a photo with the parts).

Text-to-Speech Maker: Input text, choose a voice, and download the *.wav file to your computer. I use this for listening comprehension test questions, or to send audio emails to my friends and family.

Puzzlemaker: Choose from an assortment of exciting and fun puzzle styles, add your words, and you and your students are set for hours of fun. Great for last minute sub-plans! :)

***Here is a link to another site that makes jigsaw puzzles. I like to put pictures of France and stuff for extra fun time.

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Assessment Tools

Canvas: This is the most comprehensive program I have ever found for language teaching. The best thing is that it is free.

Speaking and Online Assessment: The clear leader in online language assessment. You can't beat the ease of use and the benefits of testing this way. I use the audio dropboxes and the online conversations the most, but try the other awesome tools offered here as well.

Our school uses EXAM VIEW. This is a great package of e-assessment tools that will make your life much easier.

Lingt Language--Very useful for again e-assessment of oral speaking. This tool allows you to record speech samples, text, add pictures, or youtube videos to an assignment. Then when completed, you can assign this to a specific class for homework, and even set a due date. All the material and the student responses is saved online, so you can grade it at your convenience.

Other things I have used in the past include Quia, About.com, or I just write my own.

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Materials

Maporama: great for posters.

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Teaching Ideas

There are many ideas out there, and I have been to dozens of conferences from UFLA to ACTFL. I will share some of my favorite ideas and techniques here, as well as links to others who have shared.

1. Collaborative Teams Approach

This idea sprang out of my desire to have students communicate in the foreign language. I have always shot for 90%, but that doesn't mean the students give me 90%. Here is what I found works.

Step 1: Organize class into groups. I have 10 groups of 4. I put the desks into clusters. Tables would be preferable. I then organized the groups by French speaking countries (you could use other things as well). Each group has a mini flag at their cluster, as well as a large flag draped above them to create the effect. On a white board in the room, I have another small picture of their countries flag and name. Above that the slogan: Ici on parle français is in big letters. Here is a link to the flag pictures.

Step 2: Choose an incentive. I knew that teaching junior high, I had to offer something for the winning teams, so for me I chose pizza. It was a great incentive. You will have to find what motivates your students, but food is always a good choice. I use my budget to purchase it.

Step 3: Don't forget individual responsibility. Although I use group motivation, this doesn't mean you neglect those individuals who may wish to fight you on this intervention. Don't be afraid to take away points for obvious English infractions. I give 100 participation points a term. I have a paper with all my classes on it. I attach this to a clipboard with a pen. If someone is speaking English after multiple warnings, they write their name and lose 5 points. It works. Here is a link to the participation points paper.

Step 4: Award points and speak French. Once everything is set up you just speak French and give points when they speak French. For this, I employ classroom helpers (le roi et la reine de la classe) to assist me. The only reason we speak English is when asking how to say something (comment dit-on...?), or explaining important instructions (if it is clear some are lost). They can either say "Je ne comprends pas" or show me the time-out sign if they are lost. I also put dictionaries at each cluster group to help them find words. I also have laminated help sheets with information for quick finds. On my walls I have tons of posters, key phrases, and other things to assist them in using the language. A big number poster has probably been the most often used tool. Here is a link to my two tablemats - grammar tablemat and expressions tablemat.

2. Class Leaders

I think the students should run the class. We have a prince, princesse, tresorier, and historien. They help out with many facets of class. Here are a few.

Prince: hands out Euros, does class trivia when class begins, helps with pledge, checks the clickers and other supplies are taken care of.

Princesse: hands out Euros, does class trivia when class begins, helps with pledge, checks the clickers and other supplies are taken care of.

Tresorier: hands out Euros, helps students make purchases from the magasin (open every Friday for 5 minutes). Trades or exchanges money when necessary.

Historien: takes pictures or writes funny quotes on a quote wall. The pictures are used on our facebook and google + pages. It's a fun way of documenting the year. I also put together an end-of-year slideshow from these that is super fun. It has pictures and videos from class quizzes and events.

3. Teaching Verbs in a fun way.

Synaptic verb drills - this means that you target one subject at a time instead of going through all the various subjects. It allows students to focus on meaning and less on form. You can make it a game with whiteboards, or on papers, or with just a few up at the front. I like to have teams race through a whole set of verbs at once. Each team player will write one verb at a time with one subject. The teams race to see who completes a set first. This can also work with fewer verbs, but in multiple tenses for upper levels. Some teachers will randomly select the subject using a die.

Movement - you have to have students act out the action verbs and sentences they create. It makes it fun and memorable.

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