I don't know about you, but when I try to learn new things, I find that I learn better if games and activities are used. This motivates me and encourages me to take risks in a safe environment. Because this works well for me, I use a similar process when teaching. I have found it especially successful when teaching French to beginners.
The use of humor and creativity is also a great way to connect with your students. This helps them to take chances and encourages them to keep going.
Tips for teaching FSL to beginners - Getting started
These tips for getting started will help establish a positive environment for those beginning to learn French.
Learning vocabulary and some basic phrases are key if you want your students to develop an understanding of this new language. Games are a great way to introduce these key elements and have fun at the same time. Try word puzzles, matching games, or even playing bingo if you're working towards basic vocabulary recognition.
Teaching the intricacies of French grammar can be challenging at times, especially for younger children. Remembering masculine and feminine nouns can make your head spin, but fear not! If you start with thinking and memory games that match vocabulary and images, a connection can be made so that it is easier to remember whether an object is masculine or feminine. A personal dictionary can also help.
Focusing on simple speaking and writing activities is an excellent way to give children a foundation in FSL.
Additionally, storyboards, photo boards, and puzzles are all great tools for beginners as they provide students with more visual representations of French concepts that can help improve their understanding.
Ideas to encourage speaking
For practice speaking, here are some suggestions.
- role playing conversations between two people
- theater exercises such as charades or "guess that phrase"
- sharing stories about their day, talking about something on vacation or giving compliments in French
- FSL songs or stories that feature grammar rules you've covered in class
- acting out skits
- choral reading of French stories
- games like "Go Fish"
Ideas to encourage writing
For writing, here are some activities to consider.
- write sentences describing a picture or a story they made up.
- build sentences with magnetic tiles
- fill in the blanks with French vocabulary words to create simple stories
- get creative and assign an obstacle course of sorts where they must correctly form sentences by walking around the room holding flash cards to spell out words
- create a storyboard with pictures representing different verbs or nouns
- try some scaffolded writing activities with sentence prompts or word banks
- choose a selection of vocabulary words and create a scenario for others to act out
- writing tasks that focus on grammar are also important to practice basic sentence structure
It's important to provide encouragement and support while your students are learning so they won't be scared to take risks with speaking and writing. Motivation and a safe environment can go together.
Here is a free matching activity and game that might be fun to try. Click on the image to get a copy.
You can find many other French language games and activities in my TPT store.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.