Monday, 18 August 2014

lawlessfrench - a great resource


I love this website and I can't recommend it highly enough.

It's the work of Laura K Lawless whose work used to be on the about.com site.

Laura now has moved (and improved) her work to her own domain.

Lawless French contains a huge array of different aspects of learning French and would be ideal for any students of French and even for teachers of French, too.

The categories on the site include:

expressions - this includes everyday expressions and idioms

grammar lessons - everything you could wish to know about all aspects of grammar: tenses, word order, adjectives, etc.. Ideal for student revision

listening practice - with scripts

reading practice - authentic texts - ideal for intermediate and higher classes

vocab lists

pronunciation guides

and every French teacher's best friend, the subjunctivisor.

The site is updated regularly and you can even get updates on learning French from Laura on twitter and facebook.


Friday, 15 August 2014

La télé - authentic AS French links

Today, I'm looking at different aspects of la télé.

These could be used for class discussion, comprehension tasks, to practise translation skills, or as extra reading practice for students.























  • From voyagesenfrance an informative article about French TV.
















And finally, the trailer for Les Marseillais à Rio, France's version of Jersey Shore. This is the 3rd series, they've already been to Miami and Cancun...


I hope you find some of this useful.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Internet - AS French links

After the positive feedback from my Binge Drinking links, I've decided to do the next one.

So here are some authentic links to do with the internet:

This first one is amazing. It's from jeunesse77.fr and is called Touche pas à mon poste ! It is a 24 page pdf document containing lots of information and statistics (remember exam boards love statistics!) and is primarily aimed at young people.

From marocagreg.com - a summary of advantages and disadvantages of the internet

From Académie Toulouse - Quelques dangers d'Internet

An article from Le Monde from 2011 about the dangers of the internet, including a comparison between usage in France and other countries.

From internetsociety.org les enfants et l'internet.

sudmédia.free.fr has a page about the dangers of the internet for children including links to posters and a video clip. The posters could be used for speaking stimuli for the speaking exam.


Action Innocence is a site full of child protection  information. The page Préserver la dignité et l'intégrité des enfants sur internet is full of great material and also has some Supports pédagogiques.
An image search for Action Innocence gave me a huge quantity of material for speaking practice.

From lepetitjjournal.com an article about Le cyber bullying 

From Le Figaro, an article with lots of statistics about le cybercrime in France.

This page from Gendarmerie Nationale contains information on how they are tackling cyber-crime.

Here is a link to the TES resources for l'internet.

Steve Smith's frenchteacher.net site also has some fantastic resources in the free samples section but I'd recommend that all teachers of French subscribe to access all of his excellent resources for the price of a text book.

Obviously, I won't use all of these resources with my students inn class but I shall give them a list of the sites for their own independent reading.

Over the years I've found that the students who achieve best are the ones who read independently and there's nothing wrong with pointing them in the right direction.







Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Beuverie Express - AS French links and resources

Hi. I hope you're enjoying your summer.

In September I will be teaching AS level French again and I'm really looking forward to it.

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post with lots of links to all of the topics.

Sadly, some of these links no longer work or are out of date.

So I decided to update each of the topics with a list of resources and articles.

I'm a great believer in sharing ideas and resources so if you use any of these resources, or find better ones, please let me know how successful they were.

More importantly, if you use them share them with your colleagues.

Today's list, then, is everything good I've found about Binge Drinking or, if you're a member of the Académie Française, la beuverie express.


  • From pourquoidocteur.fr an article about energy drinks and binge drinking
  • A "news story" about american reality TV "star", Scott Disick, who apparently "boit comme un trou".
  • From crioc.be, a 43 page pdf document "jeunes et alcool" with lots of statistics. Exam boards like statistics!


A French documentary about binge drinking.

Anti drinking campaign video


A list of more videos can be found here.

There are free resources on the TES website here and here. There are lots of KS4 alcool resources on TES which you could use to start the topic.

Sutton Academy's Fun with Languages site has some games and activities related to the topic here.

So there you go. Hopefully you'll find at least one useful thing among these links.

Enjoy the rest of the summer break.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

ipad training with Joe Dale

This week my department was lucky enough to get some ipad training. 

I know. I said "lucky" and "ipad" in the same sentence.

Those of you who regularly read this blog will remember that I am not always that kind to the ipad. A few of my blog posts are testament to that. 

However, I have always stated that rather than give tech to teachers and say "get on with it", schools should be providing staff with training to use it properly.

My wonderful department employed the services of ipad, MFL and all earth-based technology expert Joe Dale this week.

So what did we learn? 

Well, obviously the best thing would be for you to contact Joe and get some training first hand.

I'll go through some of the apps ( I still hate this word!!!) we used and provide some links:

Tap roulette
This is a simple app to decide which person in a group gets to go first.
Easy to use and free. 

Decide Now
This is a paid app (£0.69) but very useful. It can be used as a random name selector a random question selector or a random topic selector. Easy to set up and use but wheels can't be shared.
30 Hands
This free app allows the user to create a narrated story or presentation by adding a commentary to photos or pictures. This is an ideal way to get students talking about lots of different topics and can be edited so that only the "perfect" version is saved.

Tellagami
I've used this for a while and I and my students love it. I 've been using this for quite a while and it featured in my workshop at #ililc4 in February.
This app allows student to create a talking avatar and customise its expression, clothing, features and choose or upload a background. The user can upload 30 seconds of dialogue or use the text to speech facility. This application is free but, after its most recent update, some of the features are now "in app purchases" (I hate that phrase!!).


Yakit Kids 
Yakit kids is free and jolly good fun. Again, I discovered this at my #ililc4 workshop.
It allows the user to upload a photo and add eyes, noses and mouths to puppetise inanimate objects and make them talk. Great for getting students to speak in the target language and they can have fun changing the pitch of the voices, too.



We also learned about Cloudart, Tag Cloud, QRReader, QRafter, and were shown classtools.net's QR code Treasure Hunt Generator.

Joe also demonstrated Voicerecord Pro and Visioprompt which could help GCSE students with their controlled assessments.

The session ended with Joe showing us Book Creator, an app which we can use to create a virtual record of everything we did during the afternoon, photos, presentations, videos, etc.  

The afternoon was a huge success. 

My colleagues were really impressed and have spent the last few days practising with their new knowledge and planning some fantastic activities for the students.

Needless to say, I would recommend hiring Joe for a session at your school.





Saturday, 28 June 2014

Subjunctivisor

A couple of years ago I blogged about a fantastic tool called the subjunctivator.

This week I was contacted by its creator Laura K Lawless who informed me that it no longer exists.

Laura's work has now moved from about.com to lawlessfrench.com.

This is where you can find her new, improved Subjunctivisor.



It works in exactly the same way. 

It's great.

What more can I say?


Friday, 20 June 2014

pokankuni

pokankuni is a Tulu word.

I found it in one of my  favourite books: The meaning of Tingo which is a collection of strange words from other languages which have no equivalent in English.



Tulu is a language spoken in India by around 2 million people.

pokankuni means learning from others by just watching them.

I like this idea.

I often learn how not to do something by watching others, but that's another story.

Today, I did a carousel of activities with my year 7 (beginners 12yrs old) class.

One of the activities was to create a tellagami in French using the future tense (Je vais + infinitive).

The instruction I gave them was: open the tellagami app and create an animation in French using today's key vocabulary. I didn't show them how to use it or even explain what it was.

None of them had ever used tellagami before and I was really impressed at how quickly they took to it. They were only allowed 10 minutes for each activity yet they still all managed to produce something.

The more confident ones took to it immediately and the others picked it up in a couple of minutes just by watching.

All students engaged, all learning and all I had to do was wander about and ask questions.

pokankuni in action.

Brilliant.