How to maintain the target language in French class

 How to maintain the target language in French class


As French teachers, we are always looking to maximize the use of French as the target language in our classrooms. In fact, the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) advocates for second-language teachers to aim to use 90% of the target language in their instruction. 


Now, I know 90% is a huge percentage, especially when we are trying to communicate instructions, manage classroom behaviours, teach routines and more. Below, I want to provide you with some of my best tips for how I strive to encourage 90% target language use by both teacher and students in my French classroom.


1. I use these useful French phrases posters in my classroom. I hang them around the room and refer my students to them when they require assistance in communication in French class. Making the language visible and accessible goes a long way.


2. Consider using gestures/hand signals to communicate with your students. Here, you will not only become the master of charades, but also help convey and clarify meaning for your students.

Hand signal classroom management tool


3. To communicate the steps required to complete a task in the classroom, I use these photo directional cards by placing them in order and displaying on the board. As I give directions, I will indicate each photo.

French directional cards


4. Teach classroom commands vocabulary early. Use this resource of French classroom commands vocabulary activities and word wall to help teach your students the most common commands used in the classroom all year.

classroom commands resource


5. Reward student communication in French. Distribute these student reward punch cards and, when you catch a student using French in the classroom, punch their card with a hole punch, or place a sticker over the dots. When a student earns a full card, have them trade it in for a fun reward or special privilege. 


6. Teach students strategies for requesting clarification and assistance when faced with comprehension difficulties. Teach students to use phrases like “Je comprend pas” “Pouvez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît?” and “Comment dit-on … en français?” so that they can ask for help when needed and still stay in target language.


7. Make student self-assessment a part of your daily or weekly routine. Hang these self-assessment posters in your classroom and have your students grade themselves on how well they think they did at using the French language to communicate as much as possible that day or week.

Self-assessment posters


I hope that these tips were helpful! Drop a comment below if you have any other favourite strategies that you like to use to encourage the use of French in your classroom.

No comments

Post a Comment