This is a set of twelve lessons aimed at students of French as a foreign language. There are three broad headings signalling the level of language required to undertake the tasks: Junior, Transition and Senior. Each unit is based on a French Folk Song and is presented in French. It is not necessary to work through the units in any particular order, as each one is independent of the others. Connections are made between themes, elements of French culture and grammar. There are interactive crossword puzzles, word and phrase matching, multiple-choice quizzes, cloze tests, electronic greetings cards and online debates. In each lesson the student is asked to find words or phrases in online dictionaries. Senior students visit News sites to find information for written tasks.
What You Need
Some units may be covered in one 40-minute period, but if the songs are to be learned properly, it is recommended that at least one double class be devoted to each unit. NB Neither teacher nor students need to have expert singing voices. Students may work in twos and threes at each computer. A sound card and speakers (or headphones) are required. Where a multimedia projector is available the teacher may use it while the students are learning the tune. This would reduce the noise level considerably. Some assignments require the use of a printer. Microsoft Word will be used for some of the exercises. Students wishing to complete certain tasks will need an e-mail address. The song words are provided together with easily downloadable sound files in MIDI format. For teachers and students who would like to follow the music on a stave, there is a separate sound file that is accessed by means of a free plug-in called Scorch. Junior Music students may wish to print and play the music. It is written out in keys that would suit the recorder and, thanks to Scorch, may be transposed into any other key.
The site acts as a resource for teachers and seeks to reinforce areas of the French course that are already being taught in the classroom. These include reading and aural comprehension as well as written and oral expression. The following subject areas are among those that may be linked with this set of lessons: Art, Geography, History, ICT, Home Economics and Religious Education. Subject areas such as Music, English, Gaeilge and other languages may be integrated into a lesson by comparing aspects of folk songs in those languages, for example the use of nonsense words.
Junior or Transition Year students could simply learn all twelve songs. However, the aim of the lessons is to encourage students to engage with French at a deeper level. Students will gain an awareness and appreciation of an aspect of French culture, which they might otherwise neglect. The activities add an extra dimension to the more repetitive task of learning lyrics and tunes. These endeavour to make the material more relevant to 21st century teenagers
- November 27, 2010