Friday, 16 October 2015

Planning for Authentic Experiences in Grade 10 French

With the exciting changes in Ontario’s French as a Second Language curriculum, we engaged in the August Summer Institute week to rework the Grade 10 Core French (FSF2D) course.

The biggest changes in the Core French program are:

  • Decreased emphasis on grammar; and
  • Increased emphasis on authentic oral communication.

There is also a strong focus on students becoming responsible for their own learning by increasing their metacognitive capacities (their ability to "think about thinking"). 

In our classes, we often have a wide range in the amount that students have been exposed to the French language. Some students have been learning French all their lives, while others only started learning the language in Grade 7. We kept this in mind while planning the FSF2D course to allow for choice and variation depending on the learner.

A New Approach to Student Assessments

During the Summer Institute week we spent the majority of the time focusing on student assessments. Each unit will comprise an action-oriented task in which students use the skills gained throughout the unit to read, write, and interact in an authentic manner. The action-oriented approach encompasses not only communication but other important general competencies and skills such as critical thinking and decision making. 

Each task will offer choice and steps for students to complete, so that we, as teachers, will also be able to tailor the assessment to individual student ability levels - pushing those who need it, while supporting those who have more difficulty with French language acquisition.

In our next blog post we will further examine the changes to the French curriculum and the Grade 10 syllabus. We are thrilled to implement this redesigned course that will embrace a more dynamic and rewarding way of learning a second language.

Heather Maxted and Emma Pickard
French Teachers

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