In the current unity of inquiry in French Phase 1 we are working on the skill of accent and how it impacts our communication of messages. In this unit we practise dialogues in the following locations around the community:
We are now looking at conversations that we have at the market. I love teaching about the market in France because it is so culturally important. The song <<Marchés de Provence>> by Gilbert Bécaud. The lyrics of the song conjure up a wonderful image of a beautiful, sunny market place full of children dancing and laughing. The song also includes key vocabulary on foods and quantities that are included in out unit of inquiry. There is a wonderful old video on YouTube that also features Brigitte Bardot and the gap-fill activity that I use with my students is below.
At the start of every class we are completing an exercise to improve our accent and pronunciation. To read more about the activities we are doing, please see this post here.
One of the things that I love about the MYP is the way it allows me to focus a unit of study on concepts and skills. Pre-MYP I must admit that when I taught a topic such as Free Time, I felt a bit lost with where to start and finish. There were so many different options to focus on such as:
...and the list goes on. Typically I would try to cover as much as possible drawing on culturally authentic resources (such as La Tour de France, TV Guides, Sports Centre activity lists etc.), and then try to assess all four skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing. Phew! It was a little overwhelming for me, and probably for my students as well.
Cue our school's transition to the MYP Framework. Now I separate out how I teach the topic of Free Time, and have clear guided focuses for each unit. Currently, I am teaching a unit called INVITATIONS to my French Phase 1 class. The statement of Inquiry (SOI) is "Conversations allows us to exchange attitudes and connect with others". Therefore our key concept is connections and the related concepts form (conversations) and purpose (exchange and connect). Our summative assessment will asses criteria C and D and is explicitly linked to the SOI; the students will use picture prompts to practice role-play conversations in which they will accept invitations and refuse invitations, and therefore exchange attitudes and connect. See the prompt cards for invitations and acceptances below.
And here are the prompt cards that I made for invitations and refusals.
So,what do I teach this unit?
As lesson starters we do activities focussing on accent and pronunciation, be it tongue twisters, songs or work from the SOS pronunciation packet (see post on this here), and we frequently practice the dialogues which become more complex as the students build their knowledge of the grammatical structures and vocabulary.
In the summative assessment students work in pairs and choose picture prompt cards at random (the cards are face down). They interact with each other inviting, accepting and refusing as I record and mark their interactions for communication and accuracy.
In this unit the students will also be assessed on criteria B. On page 30 of Expo OCR GCSE Vert and page 30 of Expo OCR GCSE rouge there are examples of authentic French adverts for music festivals, dance shows and cinema viewings. These adverts provide the perfect opportunity for students to demonstrate comprehension of written and visual text and to apply their knowledge of invitations and acceptances and refusals in writing. Please see below the practice formative assessment that I have made for my students.
And here is the summative assessment that I have made for my students. I would welcome any feedback or ideas that you have about this unit of inquiry or the above assessments.
I have been teaching French and Spanish for 13 years. I qualified and started teaching in the UK, and I currently work at Shanghai Community International School, China. I have experience teaching GCSEs and IB DP and MYP. Find out more about me within these blog pages or below at LinkedIn.