Sunday, March 22, 2009


How confident are your pupils when speaking French? There is an insight into pupils' attitudes to speaking French here along with teaching French phonics. 
Not only should teachers have an understanding of the rules but they should have some skills to pass this knowledge on to their pupils. 
The new CfE outcomes emphasise being able to explore the sounds of the language and have fun with them.
  • I can make comparisons and explore connections between spelling patterns in English and the language I am learning.
Listening and Talking
  • I have explored the patterns and sound of language through songs and rhymes and shown understanding and enjoyment by listening, joining in and responding.
  • I have explored comparisons and connections between sound patterns in different languages through play, discussion and experimentation.
  • I can use my knowledge about language and pronunciation to ensure that others can understand me when I read aloud or say familiar words, phrases
Teach the pupils how to decode words - spend time on this
Display words, group words
Discuss how they will remember the meaning

In this session we will try out some ideas on sounds and rhymes. 

The alphabet is a way in to sounds.
The way you say the letters is the way they are pronounced (unlike the alphabet in English).
Practise spelling out words: your name and words as they are learnt
Sparklebox letter cards (scroll down to sb612) are useful for a physical activity. Give each child a letter and call out words (make sure all the letters are used or remove them first eg w k) 
Make up sentences or phrases to practise a sound eg 
a comme abricot
quatre chats 
tictac for examples

Have the letters of alphabet along the wall or floor. Have lots of mini picture cards for pupils to put on/beside the correct first letter. Sounds easy, but what about quatre, chat, un, cinq, huit, gilet! Pupils could work as teams - colloboration!

Be creative with rhymes
à Paris, à Paris sur un petit cheval gris - find more rhymes
or c'était Pâques - find more egg colours
food rhymes - make up a song 

name song:
j’ai un nom on-sound (nom, prénom, menton, chanson)
6 au lit i- sound (lit, petit, dit) and ou-sound (poussez-vous)
dans la foret lointaine ou- (coucou hibou and u-sound du)
une poule sur un mur ou- (poule) and u-sound (mur, dur)
pluie et pluie et parapluie rhyme ui-sound (pluie, parapluie, nuit)

Because French has so many homonyms there are lots of wordplay jokes and puns. 
Quelle est la différence entre un paquet de nouilles et un ver de terre? 

(between a packet of noodles and an earthworm)
Réponse : L'un a des pâtes (pattes), l'autre n'en a pas.

Tongue twisters
U and O sounds
pruneau cru, pruneau cuit, pruneau cru, pruneau cuit (raw prune, cooked prune)
OU sound
Poupou la poule rouge déboule l'escalier et échappe l'ampoule
Poupou the red hen rolls down the stairs and escapes the lightbulb
or challenge pupils to make up their own!

if pupils are unwilling to speak French get them to make their own puppet
value their contributions, however short
get them to record themselves
don't always correct every last detail - only today's teaching point
it is OK to make mistakes!

If you are unsure of the pronunciation of any word you can hear it said in this huge data base of French words

Talktime products from TTS
More links in my delicious

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