Thursday, 2 June 2016

More Oral Communication in the Flex Classroom

With the new French curriculum, there is a significant  emphasis on the authentic use of oral communication. With the two teachers in the flex classroom, we have been able to provide considerably  more opportunity for teacher observed peer-to-peer conversation and student-teacher conversation.

The flexible space allows for a variety of groupings.  A strategy we have found most effective is to have ‘home groups’ where students start (and often end) each class.  These home groups are given a name according the the theme of the unit in order to build group identity (for example, this unit each group is named after a French invention) so we can boost opportunities for collaboration and meaningful teamwork in the target language. Often a warm-up will include questions that the students need to discuss and explore aloud with their home group. As the class progresses, students can move easily between individual activities, pair-groupings, or small teacher-led groups depending on need and interest.

Learning Through Instant Feedback


Because there are two teachers in the room, we have been able to significantly increase the amount of feedback students receive on their oral communication. We will frequently have students work with a partner to practice a spontaneous dialogue (for example, how to navigate an incorrect order at Starbucks). When students feel they have met the learning goal and are ready, they can present the dialogue to a teacher, receiving instant specific feedback about their task and discuss ‘next steps’ to improve for the assessment of learning.  Since there is always at least one teacher available for individual and small-group feedback, the students learn and grow notably from one class to the next.

Heather Maxted
French Subject Team Leader

Emma Pickard
French Teacher


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