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Old 01-20-2004, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to be teaching French for three weeks, at a school here in Sweden. The kids are 12-14 years old. I seem to have alot of freedom concerning the structure of the classes, but since I haven't taught much at all before, I'm a little bit at loss about finding good activities to spark their interest. Their prior teacher (who quit quite abruptly) was very bad I've heard (her teaching was bad, although her French was excellent), so they're probably wondering if I'm going to be any better... The main problem is that I don't really believe in public schooling, but I'm very fortunate that my classes don't have tests at all, and that schools have gotten much more relaxed since I graduated myself. I don't think they're graded either (at least I wasn't twelve years back).

I'm looking for ideas to spark their interest and make learning fun. Most of them choose French because they have an interest in it. But classes have been pretty lame so far, they say, too much focusing on the textbook. The 12/13 year-olds say they barley know how to count, know very little about introducing themselves, talk about their families etc.
The older students are working with names of clothes at the moment.
Games are fun as long as the kids (of that specific age group) enjoy them and (consequently) learn from them. I'm just not very experienced in what games work and don't.
Any ideas welcome!!
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:07 PM
 
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When I teach Hebrew in America at camp I use improv games. They're a bit like "drama warm ups" and are a lot of fun. I recommend buying a book or doing a search for "improvisational games" and adapting them to the vocab. you need.

An example: "The professor"
Pick 3-5 students to be "the professor". They are a *single* all knowing entinty. They must answer a question from the rest of the class by speaking one word at a time in turn. For instance--

Someone in class - "What is the meaning of life?"
Prof. #1 - "I"
Prof. #2 - "think"
Prof. #3 - "that"
Prof. #4 - "cheese"
Prof. #1 - "represents"
Prof. #2 - "evil"
etc.

It is actually very funny and demands attention to vocab, grammar, syntax, etc.

Songs work well too- teach a popular song (make sure you bring in music) and let them perform it with hand gestures, etc.

You might want to check out the books "Brain compatible second language learning" (something like that) and "Laughter in the classroom".

Okay- I'm sure actual French teachers or speakers will have more specific suggestions.

Bon chance!
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Old 01-21-2004, 03:37 AM
 
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I had a great french teacher that had a couple really fun things she did regularly. One thing was to fix food at school, had everyone write out the recipe in french to take home as she mixed, everyone helping to cook had to speak french when asking for items - I think one day we had crepes on a elctric griddle. Background was famous french opera music. Lots of cultural info that day as well as naming nouns

Another time we came in and she had the classroom set up like you were on an airplane traveling to france and then she had a slide show of famous places in france etc.. we watched in the dark and then as it ended - we all wrote postcards in french to a family member which she mailed to a friend in france and they mailed them on for us.

She also played games with small objects in a covered basket, you had to pull one out and then say the name in french, class worked in teams, the team that could name the most won, those things were like a pencil, a piece of paper, a small plastic pig, a tiny barbie shoe KWIM?? One day we went on a campus wide scavenger hunt, another time we went out to a french bakery and met 'real' french people LOL that worked there.

We read french poetry and then she would write words on the board for us to make poems out of in haiku form. She brought in popular french magazines and newspapers and we would cut out an article and then work in pairs to figure out what it said in english.

HTH
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Old 01-21-2004, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your wonderful ideas!
They all sound very fun.
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