Friday, 27 November 2015

Grade 10 French: How is our new approach working in the classroom?

Unit 1 - La RentrĂ©e (back to school) has wrapped up in Grade 10 French. Throughout the unit students: 
  • Read about the contrasts and similarities between schooling in France (through various readings for different levels of comprehension) and discussed them in a formal debate, through small-group conversation and one-on-one discussions with teachers;
  • Wrote a personal email to a friend about the start of the school year; and
  • Listened to several types of media (again at different levels) related to schooling and responded and analyzed the learning through oral conversations.
Students worked diligently at using new vocabulary and specific scenario-appropriate grammar when speaking about their involvement in school and their goals for the year, both in French class and at Greenwood in general. 

The final assessment was an Action Task. Students were given the profile of a new student from a French-speaking community in northern Ontario who will be transferring to Greenwood. The class was asked to read a profile about the student and read through the school’s website (online in French) to gather information about this student. They then wrote a welcome email (focus on proper email format) and made a voice recording (using specific grammar and vocabulary) answering questions the new student had about coming to Toronto and Greenwood.

As mentioned in the last post, there is a strong focus on students becoming responsible for their own learning by increasing their metacognitive capacities (the ability to think about thinking). Throughout Unit 1, students monitored progress by setting goals and referring back to those goals frequently. They were asked to make adjustments as necessary by using teacher feedback to improve learning.  In particular, they focused on communicating with peers and classroom teachers using explicit scenario grammar and vocabulary. 

As teachers we have observed that students have become more responsible for their learning and much more aware of their individual capabilities and where they need to go to improve. Unit 1 wrapped up with a written reflection in which students contemplated their progress through the first part of the course followed by an individual conference with classroom teachers to set new objectives for further improvement as we move through Unit 2.

Heather Maxted
French Subject Team Leader

Emma Pickard
French Teacher

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