Thursday, 30 October 2014

Three ways to get student feedback

Heads of Languages these days have to have processes in place to evaluate the performance of their department. Sources of information include value-added measures from the likes of Raiseonline, FFT, Yellis and ALPS, internal assessment scores, lesson observations and what are fashionably known as "learning walks".

Students themselves provide another source of useful feedback for self-evaluation. Many schools do this on a whole school basis, for example, using a private survey organisation. Such surveys produce satisfaction levels for each department.

But there are other ways of eliciting student feedback and I'm going to mention three of them.

Focus groups

It is easy to gather a small cross-section of students to ask them about their experience of language learning. Although in this format students may tend to say what they think the teacher wants to hear, they do provide useful feedback if the questions you ask are good ones.

You could take out the teacher factor by using sixth-formers to ask the questions, but they would be less skilled at delving deeper into answers.

Student diaries

You could get a selection of students (or whole classes?) to keep a diary of their lessons over a given period, say three weeks. They could record what they did in lessons, what they enjoyed and what they found useful. Diaries could be anonymous, although there are obvious dangers with this. The advantage of the diary approach is that students would be providing a more detailed reflection than the kind of information they might give using a tick box approach.

Students would need to be carefully briefed and asked to focus on activity types and why they found them useful or otherwise. You would get them to reflect on the language learning process - this is useful in itself. You would advise them, of course, not to focus on remarks about their teachers.

Class questionnaires

These can be set departmentally of by the individual class teacher. The former approach feels more "top down". The latter may be preferable.

A free Survey Monkey questionnaire could be produced online. These analyse the responses for you and allow for a range of question types (multi-choice - single or multiple answers, yes/no questions, written answers).

Alternatively, an A4 sheet with a series of agree/disagree questions, boxes to tick or numerical grading score might work well and be quick to analyse. Here are some questions you could ask at KS3:

Rate how useful and how “enjoyable” to you the following activities are. Use a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 equals leas:

Repeating all together for pronunciation 
Answering the teacher’s questions with hands up 
Answering the teacher's questions with no hands up 
Doing a comprehension task with the CD 
Doing a pairwork oral task
Learning vocabulary for a test
Doing a written grammar exercise
Playing a language game
Memorising a short talk
Doing a dictation
Doing an interactive computer activity
Copying down grammar notes
Watching a video
Listening to the teacher talk in English about cultural information
Translating

What do you find easiest about language learning?
What do you find hardest?
Are there any activities you think you should do more of?
Does your teacher have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses?

********************************************************************

To conclude, although student surveys, focus groups and diaries might produce surprising information, and while they may confirm the hypothesis that students are different and have different preferences, my hunch is that good teachers can reasonably predict the outcomes of such feedback. This is probably one reason they are good.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Using the language assistant in the classroom

If you are lucky enough to have a foreign language assistant you have a range of ways of getting the best out of them. With A-level students, once they have had the chance to observe the students in class with the regular teacher, I think it is best if they work with small groups of students on their own most of the time. If they show a good deal of initiative they could essentially "do their own thing" with the groups. In this way students will not have the impression that they are doing "more of the same". If the assistant needs more help and guidance, you could provide them with a sequence of topics/lessons to teach. In any case they would benefit from access to all the resources and games you have.

The British Council assistant pages are useful. Their information booklet for FLAs is here.

In the run-up to exams the assistant can help with last minute practice and preparation. They can also be on hand on the orals day itself to do last minute practice.

The main benefit students will get from the assistant is lots of authentic language input. Next most important is the opportunity to develop oral skills within a small group.

With KS3 and KS4 students my own feeling is that the assistant is better used in the classroom with the teacher. Why? There may be behaviour issues with this age range and taking students out of lessons disrupts your teaching. At lower levels too, the regular teacher has a better grasp of what students have done and will understand.

So, with younger groups I would keep the assistant in class and use them to support your regular work. We would usually plan our lessons so that the assistant would be there to support pair work. Typically we would plan a lesson so that the teacher and assistant would model a dialogue or communication gap activity. Then, once the class was underway with pair work, both teacher and assistant would be available to listen in and support, correcting as appropriate.

At the start of the assistant's year (usually early October) we would introduce the assistant to younger classes (Y9-11) by using the sheet below. You could design a simpler one for Y8. I would not do this task with Y7. The teacher would interview the assistant with reference to the worksheet and the class would take notes. This would then lead to whole question-answer/feedback, perhaps with an extension task for an able student where they would give a mini talk about the assistant in the third person.

We would try to leave time for a few questions in French or English. 

These lessons always went well. The format works so much better than the under-prepared "what questions would you like to ask" type lesson. The class got loads of good quality, finely tuned listening input, were actively taking notes and heard a new voice. Each question provides an opportunity to revise the alphabet. If the assistant started using language which was too hard, the teacher could re-word statements or lead the assistant towards easier language.There was also the opportunity for some oral work.

The assistant should ideally see the sheet beforehand. tell them not to worry too much about the absolute truth.

Here is the sheet we used (available on frenchteacher.net too):



                   INTERVIEW AVEC NOTRE ASSISTANT(E)

1.                  Il/Elle s’app____ ___________ ___________

2.                  Elle a ________________

3.                  Elle a _____ _________ qui s’appelle ____________

4.                  Elle h__________ à ___________ dans _____________

5.                  C’est une ville ________________

6.                  On _____ visiter _____________ et ________________

7.                  Comme passe-temps elle aime, par exemple, __ ____________

8.                  En ce moment elle travaille __________________________

9.                  Elle  va finir _____________, puis elle ________________

 10.             Le weekend dernier elle a ___________________________

   et elle a ________________________________________

11.             Hier soir elle a mangé ______________________________

12.             Et elle  a _______________________________________

13.             Le weekend prochain elle va _________________________

14.             Comme musique ___________________________________

15.             Un film qu’elle aime beaucoup, c’est  “___________________”

16.             Récemment elle a  vu “______________________________”


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Sharing resources

A few times recently I have come across colleagues online who feel they do not have access to adequate resources in their schools. A colleague who I used to work with has moved to a new school where they do not have any established resource bank or protocols for sharing resources they make.

I find it surprising there there still seem to be departments which are not efficiently set up with this in mind.

One job of a Head of Department is to ensure his or her colleagues have access to all the resources they need and that there is a culture of sharing. If there is healthy discussion going on within the department, then sharing resources follows naturally.

It appears that some teachers are reluctant to share what they have produced because they resent the fact that their colleagues are not doing the same. Why should they also get the fruits of my labours? Whilst I understand this sentiment, I do not support it. If the goal of a department is to get all students to achieve their best, then any means are good and teachers should be happy to disseminate their resources. If you willingly share over a period, the practice may even catch on.

Having said this, if a department is well resourced already (probably with good textbooks and online content), there should be no great need to produce a large number of new materials. Even so, some teachers like to tailor-make resources for their classes or simply enjoy the creative experience of writing new materials. I certainly do.

How can resources be shared within a department most effectively? Here are some thoughts:

  • Every time you write a new resource leave a hard copy in your colleagues' pigeon holes/lockers.

  • Every time to write a resource send it by email to all your department members .

  • Have a clear and comprehensive physical filing system, strategically located. A good filing cabinet costs about £70.

  • As a performance management target encourage colleagues to produce a set of resources with a specific purpose in line with the department's wider goals. Make it their target.

  • Create a website to which you can upload resources for your colleagues (and the wider world) to use. That's how I started frenchteacher.net and it soon became a standard departmental resource bank.

  • Store resources digitally on your school's intranet, if they have one.

  • Devote some regular meeting time to sharing what you have created. This may encourage less confident or willing staff to join in. Talking about resources is far more useful and interesting than talking about Ofsted or targets.

  • Join the MFL resources Yahoo forum.

  • Every time you find a resource online (e.g. via TES) download it and share it by the means above.

  • Use Google Sites, Google Docs or Dropbox to share resources.

  • Create ring-binder files for each department member in which they can store copies of worksheets etc for each year group. Include unit assessment materials.

  • Get A-level or very good GCSE students to create worksheets themselves, which you can then correct, adapt or just share. They will learn from the process.

  • Have a small departmental library of books on pedagogy from which colleagues can get ideas.

  • Go and talk with a department in another school to see what they do. This could be a performance management target too.


A happy, successful department should be creative and willing to share.


Friday, 24 October 2014

Practice conversation questions for Y8 or Y9



These are taken from a worksheet in the Y8 section of frenchteacher.net. Help yourself. Teachers could go through them with classes, or students could do them in pairs and write up their answers.
 
Present tense

1.            Comment t’appelles-tu?
2.            Quel âge as-tu? (J’ai…)
3.            Où habites-tu?
4.            Habites-tu dans le sud de l’Angleterre? (Non, j’hab…)
5.            De quelle nationalité es-tu? (Je s…)
6.            Quelles langues parles-tu?
7.            Tu habites une maison ou un appartement?
8.            Décris ta maison. (Il y a …)
9.            Il y a combien de personnes dans ta famille?
10.          As-tu des frères ou des soeurs?
11.          As-tu un animal à la maison? Si oui, décris-le.
12.          Quelle heure est-il? (IL est… )
13.          Quel temps fait-il aujourd’hui?
14.          A quelle heure tu te lèves normalement? (Je me …)
15.          A quelle heure tu quittes la maison le matin?
16.          Où est-ce que tu te t’habilles le matin? (Je m’h… )
17.          Qu’est-ce que tu prends pour le petit déjeuner?
18.          Tu te laves ou tu te douches le matin?
19.          A quelle heure tu arrives au collège?
20.         Comment vas-tu au collège?
21.          A quelle heure commencent les cours? (Ils comm…  )
22.         A quelle heure finissent les cours?
23.         Il y a combien de cours par jour?
24.         Il y a combien d’élèves dans ta classe?
25.         Où manges-tu à midi?
26.         Qu’est-ce que tu manges à midi généralement?
27.         Décris ce que tu portes à l'école. (Je porte… )
28.         Quels vêtements portes-tu à la maison par exemple?
29.         Comment s’appelle ton professeur d’anglais?
30.         Décris ton professeur de français.  (Il/Elle …)
31.          Décris ta mère ou ton père.
32.         Quesl sports aimes-tu?
33.         Quelle matière préfères-tu? Pourquoi?
34.         Quelle matière n’aimes-tu pas beaucoup?
35.         Quels magasins il y a dans ta ville? (Il y a… )
36.         Qu’est-ce qu’on peut faire dans ta ville? (On peut …)
37.         Quels sports peut-on pratiquer dans ta ville?
38.         Qu’est-ce qu’on peut acheter à la boulangerie?
39.         Et à la boucherie?
40.         Et au marché?

Perfect tense

Avoir verbs

  1. Qu’est-ce que tu as mangé ce matin au petit déjeuner? (J’ai … )
  2. Qu’est-ce que tu as bu? (J’ai… )
  3. Qu’est-ce que tu as mangé et bu hier soir?
  4. A quelle heure tu as quitté la maison ce matin?
  5. Qui a préparé le dîner hier soir? (Mon/Ma … )
  6. Est-ce que tu as visité la France?
  7. Qu’est-ce que tu as lu récemment?
  8. Quels vêtements tu as mis ce matin pour l’école?
  9. A quelle heure les cours ont commencé ce matin? (Ils ont … )
  10. Tu as fait des devoirs le weekend dernier? En quelles matières?
  11. Quel sport tu as fait récemment?
  12. Quelle émission de télé tu as regardé, par exemple?
Etre verbs

  1. Comment tu es venu au collège ce matin? (Je suis venu… )
  2. A quelle heure tu es arrivé au collège ce matin? (Je suis… )
  3. Tu es sorti le weekend dernier? Où? Avec qui?
  4. Hier soir, tu es resté à la maison ou tu es sorti?
  5. Quand est-ce que tu es né?
  6. Où est-ce que tu es né exactement?
  7. A quelle heure tu es allé au lit hier soir?
  8. Où es-tu allé en vacances l’été dernier?
  9. A quelle heure tu es parti de la maison ce matin?
  10. Tu es allé en France? Où? Avec qui?

Future time

  1. A quelle heure tu vas aller au lit ce soir? (Je vais aller… )
  2. Qu’est-ce que tu vas faire ce soir? (Je vais… )
  3. Qu’est-ce qu tu vas faire ce weekend?
  4. Qui va préparer le dîner ce soir? (Mon/Ma… )
  5. Tu vas regarder la télé ce soir?
  6. Tu vas aller en ligne ce soir? Quels sites vas-tu regarder?
  7. Tu vas aller sur MSN ce soir?
  8. Où vas –tu aller en vacances au mois d’août?
  9. A quelle heure le cours de français va finir?
  10. Tu vas faire des devoirs ce soir?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Truffaut

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the death of French film director, occasional actor and "auteur" François Truffaut. I got into Truffaut's films through teaching a few of them to my A-level students over the years. We worked on Les 400 Coups, Jules et Jim, La Nuit américaine, Le Dernier métro and La Femme d'à côté. My students and colleagues would gently rib me such was my enthusiasm for Truffaut.

Studying these films, watching all of his others, with the exception of La Chambre verte, I learned a good deal about film-making, the New Wave and about Truffaut himself. Has there has ever been a film-maker whose own life is so intimately tied to his movies?

Only a few of Truffaut's films are great. My own favourites include his first "long métrage" Les 400 Coups, made on a shoestring budget in black and white, and full of references to Truffaut's own childhood. All the clues to his later films are to be found in his portrayal of a young lad who goes off the rails, in particular his fear and idolisation of women.

My other favourite is Jules et Jim, his adaptation of Pierre-Henri Roché's brilliant and original novel which Truffaut came across by accident. I always think that the first 20 minutes of Jeunet's Amélie were strongly influenced by Jules et Jim. The speed, excitement, fluid camera work, the sheer exuberant joy of film-making shine through. Jeanne Moreau, Truffaut's lover at the time, plays the irritatingly headstrong and changeable heroin who two men love like a Goddess simultaneously over many years. Maybe Jules et Jim was Truffaut's masterpiece.

Another favourite of mine is La Nuit américaine (in English Day for Night). This is the one about the making of a film and is a pleasure for any cinephile who desires a real insight into the film-making process. Truffaut himself plays the director, so we get to see him just being himself. This movie also features Jean-Pierre Léaud who, in older age, comes across as a less convincing, more self-conscious actor than he was as Antoine Doinel in Les 400 Coups.

My last favourite is the more conventionally filmed Le Dernier métro, with one of Truffaut's leading lady lovers, Catherine Deneuve alongside Gérard Depardieu.

Truffaut made a few duds, alas. I'm thinking in particular of his Hitchcock homage La Mariée était en noir and the Hollywood-style Mississippi Mermaid. The Antoine Doinel cycle of light comedies leaves me a bit cold too.

Why do so many film watchers revere Truffaut? Part of it is that he did some great, original work when young so his reputation was quickly established. Secondly, people who worked with him and watch his movies love him as a man. His vulnerability, humble and troubled background, care for others, natural modesty, fascination with human beings, especially women, the passionate yet destructive nature of love, alongside his passion for the movies and written words.... all of this can be picked out in his films which in so many ways are about the man himself. So when you watch a Truffaut film you are getting to know the man himself more intimately. In this sense he is the archetypal "auteur".

Truffaut died of a brain tumour at the age of just 52.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad




Saturday, 18 October 2014

Those memorable activities


Most classroom activities disappear quickly from the memory, others are worth doing because they are just fun events and which, for that very reason, increase motivation for the subject and, in turn, may improve performance in the longer run.

Two examples from my own A-level teaching:

I regularly did a news broadcast video task with AS level classes. In small groups they would do a reordering of news items activity, then film a news broadcast using studio anchors and on-the-spot reporters outside the classroom. It took a while to get done and, I confess, part of me felt I could have been getting on with other language work. The results, however, were often very good and the students always enjoyed the task greatly. They would certainly remember it more fondly than much of the other work they did.

The second example concerns a group of very gifted upper sixth students, two of whom went on to Oxford and Cambridge. We were studying Jules et Jim, the novel by Henri-Pierre Roché and film by Truffaut. There is a delightful pastoral scene where Jules, Jim and Catherine (played by Jeanne Moreau) are cycling down a country lane. Catherine typically takes the lead whilst the director shows Jim admiring Catherine from behind. The two men view her as a goddess.

Well, three of my bright and resourceful students decided, with no prompting whatsoever, to re-enact this scene with skill and some wit. With hand-held video camera they managed a bit of their own new wave, improvised style. They brought the film in to school and we all watched it in class. I have certainly never forgotten that lesson and I bet they never will either.

Some activities are worth doing even if they do not produce a great deal of language acquisition.











- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 17 October 2014

Frenchteacher survey feedback

Thank you to the 85 teachers who completed the short Survey Monkey survey for me. My previous surveys attracted a similar number of respondents. Thanks also for the many kind comments teachers left, some of which I have added to my Testimonials page.

You may be interested in the responses. I read and take on board all individual comments.

Main findings

The A-level section remains the most widely used with nearly 90% of respondents recording that they use this section of the site. The GCSE/intermediate section is the next most popular, with over 50% using this. 20% use the Y9 section and fewer still use the Y8 and Y7/Primary sections. I was interested to see that 13% of respondents said they use the resources with primary age children.  My Adult Student section, which I created after a request to do so, is relatively new, so I am pleased to see it in regular use. 10% of subscribers said they used it.

97% said they found the site easy to navigate. This is a potential issue for me as the site is so large.

Video listening: over 70% of respondents said they used these. I am pleased about that. They have only been online for a couple of years. I must say that if I were still teaching I would use these a lot for independent and class listening.

Teacher's guide pages: over 60% recorded that they use these.

Links pages: 57% said they use these.

Teacher's handbook: 30% said that they had read or downloaded the teacher's handbook. One respondent said that his department use pages from this for discussion. I am gratified by that. That is precisely how I thought they might be used. I wonder how many users have not yet picked up on this 70 page free handbook. It is on the Free Samples page.

Possible improvements to the site: well, I might as well copy those comments in so you can see the range of them. To be honest, the only one which really gets mentioned more than a couple of times, is the desire to see more teacher's answers. This has come up in previous surveys too. Since the last survey I added a lot of answer keys to A-level grammar exercises and I now routinely give teacher's answers to new resources I make. However, the task of producing these for older resources which go back several years would be so mammoth, that I do not intend to take it on. I would rather spend time writing new stuff. In any case, answers to "text + exercise" worksheets would often contain multiple options. In short, I'm afraid it will be up to teachers to provide answers to many of the tasks. For those who do self study with the worksheets - sorry!

If I draw anything else from the comments, it is perhaps that I should aim to focus a little more on KS3, particularly as the A-level section is already so laden with resources.

For the one or two respondents who would like to see more German and Spanish, I can only refer them to the title of site. There is clearly a market for something similar for German and Spanish. Retirement project anyone?

As regards recorded listening material on the site (listening with sound): the site is for teachers to use. I do not want students logging on to it directly for password security reasons. This is spelled out in the Terms and Conditions.

With regard to more realia/pictures for younger learners, this would be complex for copyright reasons as I am not skilled enough to make my own!

Controlled assessment model essays: I have balked at this so far for fear they would be misused - how cynical of me!

More A-level literature/poetry/film: I am reluctant to spend a lot of time on resources for one work or author which would only be used by a very small number of teachers. The existing ones were written when I was teaching my own classes. Steve Glover does this sort of thing very well: www.alevelfrench.com. I recommend it!

Search facility: I have only recently noticed that this works very poorly if at all. I have asked my web designer to look at this.

More current affairs: there is a problem with shelf life with these. I prefer to produce resources which can be used for a few years if possible.

Primary French: I would like more primary schools to use the site, but I do not think that is my area of expertise, especially with the younger pupils. I do intend to develop further the Y7/primary page.

Weaker learners: I have always been aware that the resources tend to suit middle to higher ability learners, especially the latter. The site began as a resource repository for my grammar school classes. I shall keep this in mind and attempt to increase the number of easier tasks. I have already been doing this to an extent.

SEN: I am afraid I have nil expertise on this

Differentiated tasks:  I shall keep this in mind.

More verb drills: nice to know there are fans of "drill and kill". I am too, when it is done well. I shall keep this in mind.

For the record, these are the suggestions people made:

Spanish/German resources.

More for GCSE - model essays for controlled assessments perhaps.
(see above)


Primary.

 
I think the KS3 sections have been developed a lot lately but more would be appreciated.


More verbs drills please
(see above)


You have been developing adults and that has been very useful. I would like some 'starters' - things to get them talking/role plays (but not too simple)/pictures to talk about? (noted)


A level poetry (Prévert in particular).
(see above)


KS2 French.


Adult beginner /lower intermediate.


Primary French.


Perhaps for self-learners, and those putting ourselves through the exams, more answers to the exercises could be included (I am self-marking).


A level Some articles/exercises which cater for middle ability/less able AS/A2 pupils.


Continuation of Year 7 resources - as this is where I do most of my French teaching. 


Would also be interested in German resources to similar standard of quality. 

Spanish.


Numbers worksheets.


Would be nice to have the answers as it would save time.

More on AL literature
(See above) 

It would be amazing to have the answers to all the comprehensions.

More reading tests (Tests? Lots of reading already - not quite sure what is requested there)
Yes, I teach French to adults from beginners to advanced and like to use articles/texts based on recent news/events as a base for discussion. I often prepare these myself but this can be time-consuming. It would be good to be able to find a continuous fresh supply! I am always looking for interesting, unusual or fun news as most news tend to be depressing. (see above)

I have to give Skype lessons for a year 8 student who is being home schooled. Some ideas for doing this more effectively would be great. Thank you! (Not sure what to advise)

It would be good if there were still more reading exercises. They are great for homework. Also I'd like to see more reading exercise for year 7 cover or homework.


I would love to see more listening activities and a few more of the activities where there are texts and then translation activities. My student finds these really useful.


Maybe grammar in action, e.g. texts with a specific grammatical focus or work to do - often there is vocabulary work to do with a text, then some comprehension questions, but no moving on pupils
to reuse phrases for themselves, changing them around, etc
.(Noted!)  


Search facility (See above) Work for weaker learners (See above)  

Ideas for authentic materials for all KS but especially suitable for KS3 (Not quite sure what this means)
 
IB SL/HL French? (I think the A-level resources are a good fit with IB) 


More speaking and listening activities perhaps and more realia within that.

A2 translation (noted - let's see what the new specs bring in 2016)  


Videos for use with Year 7-9 (there are already a few, but they are hard to source - I have tried and will try again) 

Listening and video exploitation including songs (Already quite a few, more to come, I am sure) More Year 7 

Easier listenings in KS3 (noted - hard to source)  


Could you please create answer keys to the reading texts and or any resources. That would be SO helpful!

Answer sheets please!


Translations on current affairs too please!
(See above) 


More videos and activities

More higher activities for MAT students 


Different films. Maybe something on terrorism for WJEC board


More listening exercises please


Answers to comprehensions plus suggested translations for the English to French translations
SEN provision and further differentiated tasks (See above)

 
Listening with sound (See above)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Shelf life

When textbook writers and people like me writing resources online choose what to write about we are faced with a minor dilemma. We want to make our resources up to date and relevant, but want to ensure that they can be used for at least five years or so. If the shelf life of a resource is too short it cannot be used for very long.

I am sure we have all come across textbooks containing material which may have been fashionable at the time of writing, but which seem out of date five years later. This includes use of pictures of, say, cars or clothes. The best textbooks avoid this trap by using more timeless, generic texts and images.

That's why I try to produce resources with a decent shelf life on frenchteacher.net. When I write or adapt articles I avoid pieces based on fresh news because they will usually be of no interest a few months down the road. I would rather teachers found the resources useful over a longer period. One or two people who respond to my surveys would like to see some material on current affairs, but I avoid this because of the shelf life issue. It's up to teachers themselves to source fresh material when a major event occurs e.g. an election, a social crisis or interesting  fait divers. Many do.

With this in mind I have just been updating some A-level reources which contained statistics or information which now seems a little out of date. It is usually pretty easy to get up to date information online which makes the resource usable for a while longer.

As an aside, the ALCAB/DfE proposed MFL A-level syllabus has, as one of its three main topic categories, "current affairs". I believe this was a mistake, since it will be difficult for resource writers to provide materials for this topic, Furthermore, exam paper writers will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to write questions months in advance based on current affairs.

So, in sum, if you are a teacher who writes resources for your classes, fresh is good, but resources with a long shelf life may be better.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Frenchteacher updates

I've been quite busy with the site lately and would like to keep you up to date with the latest resources. In addition, I have prepared a short survey, as I do from time to time, to get user feedback, which helps me develop the site further and respond to any issues raised.

The survey is here. It takes no more than five minutes and I'd be delighted if lots of people completed it.

By the way, there are currently around 1275 schools/teachers/tutors who subscribe to the site, mostly from the UK, but also from countries such as Canada, the USA, Ireland, China (Hong Kong), Dubai, France, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. At a rough guess, about a quarter to a third of English secondary schools (private, maintained and academies/frees) use frenchteacher.net. I know the resources do not support the full ability range - after all, the site originated in 2002 as a repository for materials I designed for my grammar school students. I am aware that some teachers take resources from a lower year group and use them with relatively less able older students.

In addition, because the vast majority of resources are in Word, they are easy to adapt and edit, which I am more than happy for people to do.

Recently added resources include:

  • An intermediate (GCSE) level video listening resource on smart phones. This worksheet links to one of the Les Enfants du 21e siècle series from La Maternelle on Youtube. They are quite amusing and provide some lovely authentic input at a simple level. Expect to see more worksheets based on these little videos.
  • Another video listening task, this time for low advanced level. This is from the Milan Presse 1jour1question series of cartoon videos about issues of the day presented for a younger audience. This one is about who creates fashions. Interesting stuff! I love these videos. They are quite fast, but clear and well illustrated.
  • A text and various exercises which could be used to introduce or revise the imperfect tense. Exercises include questions in French, some creative writing and gapfill. I think it is a good example of how you do a nearly 100% target language lesson alongside grammar practice.
  • A cartoon video listening on jobs. Intermediate level with a simple task: to tick off jobs the students hear from a list.
  • Another video listening based on a superb short film called Passé composé. This would suit A-level or adult learners. I really like this one!
  • An advanced text and exercises on African migrants who cross the Mediterranean. This is a personal account, with vocabulary and various tasks for the students to do. It would clearly work well with the topic of immigration.
  • An advanced text and exercises on the relationship between social class and educational achievement. This is perfectly pitched for A2 level in England and Wales. Article, vocabulary, questions in French, translation both ways, oral work and gapfill. I have also posted this as a free sample.