French as a Second Language Teacher Resource Manual

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French as a Second Language Teacher Resource Manual
French as a Second Language
Teacher Resource Manual
iii
French as a Second Language
Teacher Resource Manual
Table of Contents
Tables
v
Figures
vi
Acknowledgements
vii
Introduction
1
Evolution of Second Language Teaching
2
Main Features of a Multidimensional Curriculum
6
Components of the Program of Studies
•
•
•
•
Experience/Communication
Culture
Language
General Language Education
Suggested Teaching Methodology
• Pedagogical Principles
• Teacher and Student Roles
• Phases in the Teaching Process
Teaching Strategies and Activities
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Listening Comprehension
Oral Production
Reading Comprehension
Written Production
Learning Strategies
Grouping Students
Types and Suggested Uses of Learning Resources
11
11
15
22
30
34
34
39
40
45
45
54
65
73
78
83
89
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Contents (cont’d)
Planning
• Yearly Planning
• Planning an Integrated Unit
• Daily Lesson Planning
Evaluating Students’ Work
• Purpose of Evaluation
• Formative Evaluation Techniques
• Summative Evaluation of Educational Projects
• Formats for Reporting Student Progress
93
94
98
99
103
103
113
127
145
Technology in the Classroom
151
Enrichment and Remediation
156
Glossary
159
Bibliography
162
Appendices
171
Appendix A: Reproducible Worksheets
Appendix B: Suggestions for Educational Projects
Appendix C: Examples of Educational Projects
Appendix D: Weather Symbol Flashcards
Appendix E: Sample Unit Test: “Weather Report Test”
Appendix F: Guidelines for Creating a Communicative or
Performance-based Test
Appendix G: Examples of Communicative and Performance-based
Test Items
Appendix H: Directory of Suggested Sources for Authentic
Documents
172
205
230
259
268
274
280
314
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Tables
1. Summary of the Most Common Methods in Second Language
Teaching/Learning
5
2. Sequential Development of Cultural Understanding through Strategy
Use
16
3. Cultural Content Concepts and Skills/Processes as They Relate to
Communicative Language Level
16
4. Emphasis Placed on the Four Linguistic Areas
29
5. Summary of the Most Common Learning Strategies
33
6. Summary of the Instructional Teaching Process
44
7. Activities for Airline Safety Announcements
54
8. Summary of Formative and Summative Evaluation
105
9. Key Points for Developing an Evaluation Plan
112
10. Summary of Steps in the Evaluation of an Educational Project
141
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Figures
1. Emphases in the Program of Studies of Components,
Aspects and Processes
7
2. Summary of the Levels and Sub-levels in the Program of Studies
8
3. Organization of the Objectives for the French as a Second Language
Program
9
4. The Communicative Dynamic
12
5. "Maison du verbe être"
27
6. Five-Phase Teaching Process
40
7. Student Language Development in a Five-Phase Process
43
8. Vocabulary Building Semantic Map
80
9. Formative Techniques as They Relate to the Instructional Cycle
113
10. Beginner Level Observation Chart
115
11. Specific Task Observation Chart
116
12. Language Learning Strategies Observation Checklist
117
13. Self-Evaluation Checklist
122
14. Self-Evaluation Behavioural Checklist
123
15. Peer Evaluation Checklist
124
16. Objectivation Checklist
126
17. Possible Steps in the Evaluation Process
128
18. Example of a Grid Based on Defined Criteria
138
19. Grid for Peer Evaluation of Group Work
139
20. Sample Anecdotal Reports
145
21. Example of an Oral Production Profile
149
22. Example of a Language Competency Profile
150
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Acknowledgements
The Northwest Territories Department of Education, Culture and Employment
would like to extend a special thank you to:
Alberta Education for allowing us to use and reproduce in whole or in part
sections of the French as a Second Language Teacher Resource Manual, Student
Evaluation Guide and Samples of Students' Work : Performance Criteria
Accompanied by Illustrations of Students' Performance,
Lisa Caouette for taking these Alberta Education documents and
rewriting and adapting them for the French as a Second Language Program in
the Northwest Territories and to
Jean-Marie Mariez, Coordinator/French Programs, and his team of John
Stewart, Elaine Stewart, Leona Martin and Christine Couturier for their participation in this project.
Note: Because of the method of text import, page numbers are in Roman numerals. The page numbers in the table of contents do not
reflect the page numbering system of the program.
Dans les textes en français, le genre masculin est utilisé à titre épicène.
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Introduction
The aim of the Northwest Territories’ French as a Second Language (FSL)
Program of Studies is to encourage the learning of French as a means of
communication and for French to become an integral part of students’ general
education. This fosters not only intellectual growth but the development of
abilities which can extend into other subject areas or become a part of a student’s
lifelong learning. This orientation, then, in which French is not only the subject
of instruction, but is also the medium of instruction, focuses on a pedagogical
approach which is composed of four components: experience/communication,
culture, language and general language education. This approach has evolved
from, and retains many of the strengths of traditional approaches in second
language teaching, i.e., analytical approaches in which the main focus of
language learning/acquisition has been on the analysis of the language under
study. At the same time, this approach incorporates an experiential aspect of
language learning, i.e., non-analytical approaches in which students’ life
experiences become the basis of the free flow of ideas without an in-depth
analysis of the language.
This Teacher Resource Manual (T.R.M.), then, outlines the main features of
the program, presents the pedagogical principles behind its philosophy, and
proposes a methodology aimed at facilitating the task of planning. In addition,
this document provides suggestions for the development of an evaluation
philosophy and assessment techniques which are in keeping with an integrated,
multidimensional FSL curriculum.
While all ideas in this manual are consistent with the philosophy of the program
of studies, they are, however, intended only as suggestions, which may be
adapted to suit the varying needs of students, teachers and the community. The
program has sufficient breadth and flexibility to enable teachers to provide
enrichment or remedial experiences to individual learners as required by each
particular situation. The evaluation techniques described in this document are
also suggestions. Teachers should ensure that they adhere to local policy first
when developing evaluation frameworks, but when testing the students’
knowledge and skills, the procedures reflect the philosophy of the program of
studies.
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Evolution of Second Language Teaching
The purpose of this section is to provide teachers with an overview of the
evolution of second language teaching so as to situate the current philosophy of
the French as a Second Language Program. This section highlights the strengths
and weaknesses of the most common methods in second language teaching/
learning and provides the framework for understanding the changes made in the
Program of Studies. These changes in teaching philosophy are intended to be
part of an evolutionary process as opposed to a rejection of past practices. The
intent of this section, then, is to briefly explore some of the key representative
methods, which are later summarized in graph form at the end of this section.
Although second language teaching/learning historically has always been a part
of human cultural development, it is only in the past century and a half that it
has been documented as a formal curricular field of study (e.g., Jespersen, Gouin,
Viëtor). Its articulation in the twentieth century as an historical, theoretical and
scientific field arose as a result of other disciplines such as linguistics,
psychology, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, anthropology, ethnography,
historiography of language teaching and the like. Despite its relatively short
documented history, these disciplines provide evidence of the longevity of second
language teaching/learning. In addition, they have not only assisted second
language/teaching learning in developing into a field of its own, but in turn,
second language teaching/learning has influenced these disciplines in the way in
which theoretical and research developments have occurred and are constantly
occurring in the second language field. These points provide some explanation for
why the field has evolved into such a complex and multidimensional discipline in
its own right.
In the early nineteenth century, the learning of “modern” languages was
considered primarily mental exercise for the development of one’s intellectual
faculties. Latin and Greek are classic examples of languages studied for this
purpose. They were learned specifically as a means of better understanding
classical literary works. The method which evolved from this principle was the
grammar-translation approach which advocated language learning
exclusively through the acquisition of grammatical structures and the rote
memorization of vocabulary lists for translation purposes. Its aim was to develop
the skill of transferring knowledge from one language to another, not for
practical language use. Consequently, students were unable to comprehend or
produce the second language orally, but were mostly capable of reading the
language and writing with a certain degree of accuracy and fluency.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Berlitz and Jersperson, among others, tried
another approach called the direct method
method, whereby students learned a second
language in much the same way as they had acquired their first language. The
focus was on a bombardment of oral language in the beginning and the
attainment of the target language through the act of speaking. The greatest
drawback with this approach was that grammatical rules were learned
inductively, resulting in habitual usage which caused a fair number of linguistic
structures to become rooted incorrectly in learners’ minds (termed fossilization
fossilization:
see Selinker, 1972). This led students to speak the language with a number of
errors that could not be effectively rectified at a later date. Nevertheless, this
approach did contribute to a better understanding of the teaching/learning of a
second language by demonstrating that a certain degree of listening comprehension and oral fluency was attainable.
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An important change in second language teaching/learning came about with the
outbreak of World War II. The warring nations needed a significant number of
people who could speak not only the languages of their enemies but also those of
their allies. The situation required the development of a new teaching method
which could rapidly train “native-like” speakers of these languages. The U.S.
Department of Defense funded the development of an approach to meet this
need. This new method, called the audiolingual approach
approach, was based on the
philosophy of the behaviourists (stimulus-response method) and the structuralists to whom language learning meant the acquisition and formation of habits
vis à vis a taxonomy of grammatical structures. According to this theory, language is learned through the repetition, memorization, and reinforcement of
rigidly taught grammar rules, with the ultimate goal being the mastery of exact
pronunciation. In addition, this approach emphasized careful monitoring of oral
skill development (listening comprehension and oral production) to ensure that
no errors were committed. Unfortunately, in the classroom setting this approach
was not as successful in creating bilingual speakers as had been predicted, since
the approach had not taken into account differences in learning styles, nor the
fact that the clientele for which the approach had been originally designed had
changed. Further, second language teachers, feeling somewhat constrained by
the suggested methodology, were unable to assist second language learners in
developing their language competency beyond the rote recall of vocabulary and
structures. This resulted in students becoming bored in class and unable to
function meaningfully in the target language. However, despite these two
weaknesses, Stern (1983) considered that the audiolingual approach contributed
to the further development of second language teaching methodology.
In 1950, France’s Centre de recherche et d’études pour la diffusion du français
(CREDIF) adapted the audiolingual approach by creating the audiovisual
approach to provide immigrants with the necessary tools to survive in a
francophone environment. Using a filmstrip, accompanied by an audio tape, this
approach was based on the teaching of an utterance which corresponded to a
given frame. These utterances were further developed in other procedures
employed in the approach. The CREDIF was very successful with the approach
in France, perhaps due to the immediacy of learner needs and cultural relevance, but the same could not be said of its application in classroom settings in
North America. Once again, students were bored by the constant repetition of
utterances in a rote fashion and any “free oral production” was under the teachers’ control. This approach did have merit in that it provided another strategy
for learning the target language, but it also made it evident that there was a
need for an approach which catered to a number of learning styles and which
focused on learning the language for real purposes.
In the sixties, with developmental psychology beginning to have an impact in
the area of language learning, cognitivists created the cognitive approach
approach.
The aim of this approach was to introduce new structures through schemata
which had already been acquired by the students. Advocates of this approach,
partially in reaction to the habit-forming principles underlying the audiolingual/
audiovisual methods and as a result of studies related to advanced organizers
ers, believed that knowing grammar rules enabled learners to use the second
language better. The problem, however, was that teachers tended to indulge in
lengthy grammatical explanations which impeded both learner participation
and language acquisition. In spite of its limitations, this approach did provide
students with the opportunity to be more creative with the
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language and provided methodologists with a rationale to continue to develop
further methods for second language teaching.
In the seventies, it became even more apparent that second langauge students
were unable to fully express themselves nor were they able to do so with precision. They were quite capable of imitating and memorizing the language, but
could not use it in context. The Council of Europe took on the challenge to find
another means of teaching/learning a second language. The result was the
creation of the functional-notional approach which was based on the premise
that language is constructed around language functions. These functions can be
grouped according to six main categories: 1) judgment and evaluation, 2)
suasion, 3) argument, 4) rational inquiry and exposition, 5) personal emotions,
and 6) emotional relations (Omaggio, 1986: p. 213). The aim of this approach
was to transfer these functions to acts of communication. In reality, however, the
method limited language use, since learners were unable to successfully transfer
their acquired knowledge to other contexts. In addition, it was discovered that
the selection and sequencing of functions and notions were problematic for
curriculum design and implementation, since there is no natural order in which
these functions and notions can be presented or acquired. As a result of this
experience, the concept of communicative competence evolved.
It became increasingly clearer, after years of experimentation with these different approaches, that learners were capable of memorizing grammatical structures and rules and applying them in class without, however, being able to
communicate their own needs. This inability to apply one’s language knowledge
to its use at a personal level led to the development of the communicative
approach
approach, which espoused personally relevant language use in context. Hymes
(1971) coined the term communicative competence and Savignon (1972)
attempted to use the term as a point of departure for defining an approach
which was communicatively based. In her subsequent 1983 definition, Savignon
described the concept as the negotiation of the meaning of messages between a
speaker and a listener in interaction. Canale and Swain (1980, 1983) added four
further concepts to complete the definition: 1) grammatical competence
competence, or
knowledge about the linguistic code, i.e. the rules of the language, 2) sociolinguistic competence
competence, or the ability to use the appropriate grammatical structures and social conventions according to the context, 3) discourse competence
tence, or the ability to combine ideas cohesively and coherently, and 4) strategic competence
competence, or the use of coping strategies to maintain/sustain the communication of the message. This approach involved students in a rich, socially
interactive environment; however, in most cases, while context was provided, it
tended to be contrived and inadequately embedded in the students’ actual lived
experiences.
Even with the communicative approach, it was still evident that students had no
difficulty in memorizing grammatical rules ans structures and on a limited
basis, could extend this knowledge to communicative situations which did not
necessarily cater to their own personal situations. Furthermore, teachers were
becoming increasingly aware of the lack of precision in the language which was
being used. The call for a common standard in what was to become termed
proficiency was on the horizon. The American Council for Teachers of
Foreign Languages (ACTFL) became actively involved in a project which
would provide descriptors of students’ proficiency. The intent of these descriptors
was to initially define the different levels of oral performance students could
demonstrate after so many hours of instruction. At a later date, ACTFL
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developed descriptors for the three other language skills (listening/reading
comprehension and written production). In essence, the project's purpose was to
provide teachers with common evaluation yardsticks which could be used to
determine students' language competency, in addition to sharing a common
evaluationlanguage. However, it eventually became the guiding principle and
framework for an approach in which the objective was to be able to develop
language curriculum, defined by levels of instruction, where language learning
is contextualized and requires the application of knowledge to language experiences as they relate to performance (Omaggio, 1993). This level's approach also
includes the concept of recycling linguistic structures in a spiral fashion, such
that language development is constantly in refinement.
It is these last two points, specifically, and the entire evolution in general, from
which the present program of studies has grown. To further develop this program, a multidimensional curriculum (Stern, 1983) which constitutes language
learning through processes which are both analytical and non-analytical is used.
Thus, the concept of defined levels of proficiency has become the initial framework which encapsulates and develops the experiential/communicative component of a multidimensional curriculum, implying that language teaching/learning places learners in interaction with their environment (physical, social and/or
psychological). That is, language is learned through communicating and through
participating in language experiences which are authentic and contextualized.
The main features of a multidimensional curriculum are now further described
in the next section.
TABLE 1
SUMMARY OF THE MOST COMMON METHODS
IN SECOND LANGUAGE TEACHING/LEARNING*
Conceptual Basis of Second
Language Development
Promoted Language
Behaviour
Teaching Method
1. Language as a structural
taxonomy
Stimulus-Response
• Grammar-Translation
Approach
• Audiolingual Approach
- drills
- reinforcement
- correct pronunciation
• Audiovisual Approach
2. Language as grammatical
competence (code)
Ideal linguistic
competence of a speaker/
listener (knowing the
rules)
• Cognitive Approach
3. Language as meaning
Register and discourse =
• Functional-Notional
beginning of communicative
Approach
competence (functional/notions)
4. Language as social
Communicating in defined
contexts
5. Language as the individual
interacting with the
environment
Learning to communicate by
interacting in a physical,
social or psychological
environment
• Communicative Approach
non-analytical
• Experiential/
Communicative Approach
analytical
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Main Features of a Multidimensional
Curriculum
The main features of a multidimensional curriculum are the components and
their accompanying aspects that determine the content, learning sequence and
the program objectives to be achieved.
Components and Their Accompanying Aspects and
Processes
The French as a second language program reflects a curriculum which allows for
the teaching/learning cycle to employ both non-analytical and analytical
linguistic processes within the context of the knowledge and skills being
developed. Four components (experience/communication, culture, language, and
general language education) have been integrated into the
program to respect the complexity of language learning.
These four components work as a unit, interacting with skills and knowledge and
the analytical and non-analytical processes, so that each one makes an important
contribution to language teaching/learning. Figure 1 demonstrates this dynamic
process in which no single component works in isolation; rather, each component
contributes to learning in an integrated fashion by meeting at a central point the learner. As a result, at any given point in the teaching/learning process,
there is an interaction centred around one or more components in which skills
and/or knowledge and analytical and/or non-analytical aspects are the focus.
Figure 1 shows which of the aspects (knowledge or skills) or processes (nonanalytical or analytical) are emphasized in each component of the program of
studies. However, it is important to note that this does not mean that any one
aspect or process is absent from any one particular component. Rather, all
aspects and processes are important, although not to the same degree. For
example, in the experience/communicative component, the main focus is on the
non-analytical process and application of the language skills to real-life contexts.
When applied to the classroom situation, this means that instruction focuses on
students participating in communicative situations. This means that the
analytical process is occurring and as such, requires that the communicative act
not be interrupted unless an error, or a number of errors, completely blocks the
comprehension of the message. In this case, meaning needs to be negotiated in
order for the message(s) to be understood, but it does not mean that an analysis
of the error(s) needs to be done at that moment. Rather, if the error persists, it
must be examined analytically so that it is identified for the learner as a
constant error and is appropriately corrected before it becomes improperly stored
in memory.
For the skills aspect of the experience/communication component, the
experiential portion is comprised of experiences students have previously had in
their first language or can include new experiences acquired through the
learning of the second language. The communicative portion develops the use of
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FIGURE 1
EMPHASES IN THE PROGRAM OF STUDIES
OF COMPONENTS, ASPECTS AND PROCESSES
Culture
Experience/Communication
General Language
Education
Language
KEY
Aspects:
Processes:
Skills
Analytical
Knowledge
Non-analytical
Emphasis is denoted by largeness and number of symbols.
the four language skills (listening/reading comprehension and oral/written
production). Therefore, in order to be able to understand or successfully convey a
communicative intent in the second language, learners need to be able to use
these previously acquired experiences, in addition to their linguistic, discursive,
sociolinguistic, and strategic knowledge in communicative situations. As a
result, the language skills cannot be used without incorporating and applying
knowledge from the other components. As in the previous example, it is evident,
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then, that the processes and aspects play an important role in each component.
What will change will be the emphasis given to each aspect and process as it
pertains to the component and the circumstances which are determined by the
program of studies .
In essence, the goal of a multidimensional curriculum is to integrate the four
components and their accompanying aspects and processes in a logical and
progressive teaching/learning sequence.
Learning Sequence
With respect to the language learning sequence, a system respecting the grade/
time concept is being put aside in favour of an approach which recognizes the
progressive growth of students’ language proficiency. This program intoduces
three main levels of language development: Beginner, Intermediate, and
Advanced
Advanced. Each of these levels is then further divided into three sub-levels:
Beginner 1
1, 2
2, 3
3, Intermediate 1
1, 2
2, 3 , and Advanced 1
1, 2 , 3 . Figure 2 shows
the progression of communicative growth through the various levels and sublevels.
FIGURE 2
SUMMARY OF THE LEVELS AND SUB-LEVELS
IN THE PROGRAM OF STUDIES
ADVANCED
3
2
1
INTERMEDIATE
3
2
1
BEGINNER
3
2
1
The interpretation of how these levels may be implemented within a school
system for programs beginning at the elementary school level is further
described in the Northwest Territories' FSL Program of Studies.
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Program's Objectives
The program's goal is to have students learn French as a means of
communication and for French to become an integral part of a student's general
education. In order to achieve this goal, there are three categories of objectives:
global
global, general
general, andspecific.
FIGURE 3
ORGANIZATION OF THE OBJECTIVES FOR THE
FRENCH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE PROGRAM
Global
General
Specific
The program as a whole
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate
Advanced
Sub-levels: Beginner 1, 2, 3
Intermediate 1, 2, 3
Advanced 1, 2, 3
The global objectives reflect the knowledge, skills, and attitudes targeted for
the program as a whole and are based on the four components of a
multidimensional curriculum as shown below.
Based on his/her life experiences, the learner will be able to:
Experience
Communication
Culture
• participate in various language experiences that reflect the physical, social,
civic, intellectual and leisure dimensions that will make it possible for him/
her to:
• express, in French, his experiences, ideas and emotions, as well as those of
others, as a specific communicative intent and interact with interlocuters in
various situations;
• discover the Francophone cultures that exist within Canada and in the world;
• become sensitive to certain aspects of the other cultures found in the
Northwest Territories;
come to better understand and respect cultures other than the one to which
he/she belongs and thus expand his/her view of the world;
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Language
• understand and use the linguistic code which encompasess the sound-symbol
system, vocabulary and grammar appropriate to achieving his/her communicative intents in various communicative situations;
General
Language
Education
• expand his/her horizons through appropriate linguistic, cultural, and strategic
awareness. The student will develop strategies to facilitate his/her learning of
a second language effectively and increase his/her autonomy with regard to his
/her learning in general. He/she will become aware of the role that these
elements play in his/her cognitive, socio-affective and metacognitve
development.
The general objectives describe the level of knowledge, skills and attitudes
expected of the learner at the end of each of the main language levels (Beginner,
Intermediate and Advanced) in all four components. These objectives define the
global objectives in more depth.
The specific objectives describe in detail the level of knowledge, skills and
attitudes expected of the learner at the end of each sub-level for each component
of the program. These objectives further define the general objectives and
provide the specificity needed for instructional planning. The three sub-levels
outline the development of skills and knowledge in such a way that the levels
are attained in a progressive manner. The entire teaching/learning process must
ensure the development, refinement and continual recycling of knowledge and
skills, both in concrete and abstract situations, as the student moves towards
attainment of the global objectives.
The Northwest Territories has used the results of the National Core French
Study as an important guiding reference in designing this Territories' version of
an integrated multidimensional curriculcum. The following section will
describe each of the four components in more detail.
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Components of the Program of Studies
The purpose of this section is to provide teachers with a description of each of the
components as a means of better understanding the role that each component
plays within an integrated multidimensional curriculum. Although each
component will be described individually, it should be remembered that they
form an integrated whole and should be considered in this manner when
planning for instruction.
When a lesson, a unit, or a project is being planned, teachers will find that an
activity may focus on one, two, three or even all four components at one time.
Further, it is important to note that the students’ language level will also play a
factor as to which of the four components will be given more emphasis. As a
result, the following explanations are intended to assist teachers in the planning
process so that teaching strategies and learning activities can be appropriately
situated within the framework of the program’s components.
Experience/Communication
This component focuses on the experiences which can occur in one’s daily life and
the application of language knowledge in a non-analytical fashion. This nonanalytical aspect implies that one learns a language by communicating. That is,
that the learning process occurs because one is concentrating mainly on the
messages being shared or expressed and less on the form being used to convey
these messages. In other words, this means that in any given communicative
situation, the messages being communicated are understood or expressed as is
unless they are expressed so imprecisely that they cannot be understood. At this
point, the communicative act is interrupted and meaning is negotiated. Thus, it
is through experimentation (i.e., trail and error) that one learns to understand
and express oneself in a language. In essence, one learns by doing.
In this vein, the source or content of the teaching/learning process is found in the
fields of experience which orient the entire process and determine the
development of language planning and learning. These fields represent the
kinds of experiences which learners have already experimented with in their
daily lives. These fields of experience can also enhance previous experiences in
the first language or perhaps even provide new ones. The fields of experience
prescribed in the program of studies (see Program of Studies for the listing of
these fields of experience), along with others that teachers may choose to employ
in the classroom, start with simple concrete language experiences. Depending on
the learners’ cognitive and linguistic level, students will move progressively
towards more complex and abstract experiences, with the knowledge and skills
which were previously acquired in the concrete fields of experience, being
constantly recycled and refined at higher language levels. Thus, the goal of the
program is to have learners’ actively participate in language experiences which
begin with their own personal lives and which will lead them to discover the
target language and its communicative use.
In a multidimensional curriculum, the term “communication” is used to describe
the dynamic process in which a message is at the centre of an interaction that
leads a speaker/writer (the one who produces the message) and a listener/reader
(the one who receives the message) to negotiate its meaning within a given
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context and situation. This message is formulated by means of communicative
intents, or language functions, which provide the reason or purpose for
communicating, such as requesting information, persuading someone to do
something, complaining about someone, expressing fear about something, etc.,
and which will ultimately determine the dynamics of the message. As a result,
it is the meaning of the message and not its form, which is primary to the
communicative act.
Since this is the premise behind this component, it is natural, then, that
students will make linguistic errors when communicating. Teachers can help
students negotiate the meaning of their intents by using strategies which are
less traditional or analytical in nature, such as repeating or paraphrasing the
message, or using questions to clarify or confirm their communicative intent.
This process, then, involves the negotiation and adjustment of meaning for all
communicative situations whereby the process itself becomes a dynamic
interaction with the speaker/writer and the listener/reader playing very
important and active roles. Figure 4 illustrates the dynamics of this process.
FIGURE 4
THE COMMUNICATIVE DYNAMIC
Message
speaker/writer
(producer of the message)
Negotiation*
listener/reader
(receiver/interpreter of
the message)
*This interaction produces an exchange of roles whereby the one expressing the message becomes the
receiver/interpreter and vice versa, shifting back and forth in the negotiation process.
Thus, there are two ways in which one can interact with a message: 1) through
the comprehension of a message or 2) the production of a message.
Comprehension refers to the process by which one derives meaning from simple
or complex messages in spoken or written texts. In the communicative act, then,
comprehension means that the essential points of the message have been
understood so that it possible to act or react within a defined context.
Production, on the other hand, may be expressed in many forms, such as
interactive/noninteractive, prepared/spontaneous or initiated/reactive speech or
written discourse.
Interactive communication involves an exchange of messages between two or
more persons, whereby a listener reacts directly to the intent by means of the
negotiation process. This type of communication is often found in such texts as
telephone conversations, debates, and interviews.
Noninteractive communication describes a situation in which a person
expresses a communicative intent without expecting a direct reaction from the
listener. This kind of communication is often referred to as one-way, even
though an active interpretation on the part of the listener may well be going on.
Texts which fall into this category are, for example, news broadcasts, radio and
television announcements, public address announcements, recipes, short stories
and poems .
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Prepared communication indicates that individuals have had time to plan their
productions. This preparation may take the form of reflection prior to an oral
production, written notes that were jotted down prior to the production in order
to organize thoughts or it may be represented in previously written drafts that
existed before the final written work is presented.
Spontaneous communication means that a person produces a message without
having had the time to prepare. This kind of communication is often represented
in oral speech and is typified by false starts, pauses, hesitations, rephrasing of a
message and linguistic errors. Gestures and other paralinguistic features (for
example, silence, pauses, whistles, sighs, etc.) also accompany this type of
communication. In writing, it may take the form of a brief note or friendly letter
in which incomplete thoughts or errors are not corrected and which do not
generally impede the comprehension of the messages.
Initiated communication signifies that a person begins the communication and
expects someone else to react. In doing so, this initiation process respects the
sociolinguistic conventions which are inherent in verbal and written exchanges,
such as the sociocultural conventions which are used to join in on an ongoing
conversation, or to write a business letter.
Reactive communication means that a person responds to a communication
initiated by someone else, either verbally (orally or in written form) and/or
nonverbally, in keeping with the context. For example, the wave of a hand can
bring about a number of reactions depending on previous circumstances, the
participants and their relationship, the context and so one. In this way, even
though a nonverbal message is being conveyed, the elements mentioned above
will influence the manner in which an individual will react to the initial intent,
resulting in a variety of possible scenarios to unfold.
To illustrate some of these points, the following example will be used. This
examples occurred in a French classroom and demonstrates well the concept of
interactive/noninteractive communication. (You may wish to try this activity
with your students to demonstrate the difference between the two types of
communication and also to illustrate the frustration that can occur when a
message is unclear and cannot be negotiated.)
Prior to beginning the activity, the teacher told his students that they were to
follow his explicit instructions (prepared communication). He further instructed
them not to ask any questions while he was presenting the instructions (noninteractive communication). These were the instructions he gave his students:
“Take out a piece of paper. In the centre of the page, draw a
circle. Below the circle draw a line the same width as the circle.
Now draw another line parallel to the line you just drew. In the
circle, draw a triangle.”
Here are a few examples of the kinds of drawings this teacher received based on
what he believed were explicit instructions:
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Example 1:
Example 2:
Example 3:
The actual design the teacher intended is as follows:
These variations demonstrate how the lack of an overt negotiation process, which
is typical of noninteractive communication, can cause a number of
interpretations. The teacher decided to carry out the activity a second time, only
this time he allowed the students to ask any questions they may have had or to
clarify his instructions if they had any doubts. The results he obtained this time
were the ones he had anticipated he would have received the first time around;
i.e., this time there were few, if any, variations in the drawings. The second time
demonstrates clearly the results of an overt negociation process, which allows for
the clarification of a message. This process is one of the main features of
interactive communication. However, some sort of negotiation does occur no
matter what form the communication takes, since this process will always entail
the derivation of meaning from a message. The differences lies in whether there
is an overt and direct interchange or messages (interactive communication) or
not (noninteractive communication).
Therefore, no matter what type of communicative process is being used, learners
need to be shown how to apply their linguistic, sociolinguistic, and cultural
knowledge in order to communicate a message which is appropriate to the
context, taking into account the participants, topic, purpose, and communicative
intent. These communications can be as simple as a single word, gesture or
commonly used sentence or as complex as a long series of cohesive sentence in a
speech. From a pedagogical perspective, in order to create effective French
communicators, teachers will have to gradually provide students with a number
of different language experiences, at varying degrees of difficulty, to ensure that
students will be able to comprehend a variety of oral and written texts and be
able to express themselves appropriately and according to the situation. To
achieve this goal, it is recommended that the receptive skills (listening and
reading comprehension) be developed before the production skills (oral and
written production). Further, the communicative activities chosen for the
classroom need to reflect authentic situations which are representative of the
students’ reality as a means of developing their language skills for real and
communicative purposes.
This description has highlighted the complexity of the communicative process
and how it is predominately non-analytical in nature. The main focus of this
component, then, is that students learn how to communicate their intents in
French in real-life situations which are relevant to them.
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Culture
In this program, culture refers to the ideas, behaviours, manifestations and
cultural artifacts that Francophones, as a whole or in subgroups, share
collectively. It includes, for example, identity; language with its local, regional/
territorial and international variations which are composed of shared
assumptions, values and world views; cultural facts; history; the nonverbal
communication system; and everyday activities. One of the aims of this
component is to develop learners who are more sensitive to, and understanding
of, Francophone cultures by having them examine the contemporary situation of
these cultures. In keeping with this goal, the target culture is presented as being
alive and dynamic, with an emphasis on the contemporary and, avoiding at all
cost, the teaching of stereotypes which depict the target culture in strictly
folkloric terms.
A secondary objective of this component is to raise their cultural awareness to a
point where the students see themselves in relation to their own culture as a
means of discovering and becoming more sensitive to the various cultures found
in the Northwest Territories. This objective is developed in the fields of
experience which deal directly with Northern Cultures, such as Northern Foods
in Beginner Level 3 and Aboriginal People in Intermediate 1. By studying these
different groups, it is hoped that students will broaden their view of the world
and become more sensitive to others’ differences as well as their similarities.
In this regard, one facet of culture which is easily accessible to students is the
various cultural celebrations of Francophone and other cultural groups of the
Northwest Territories. Students can be made aware of their existence by
identifying and discussing their cultural significance. As a result, what is
required is a study of the reasons for these celebrations. Teachers have to go
beyond the identification of the celebrations themselves by contextualizing their
significance historically and in today’s contemporary world, in addition to
comparing similar celebrations which already exist in the learners’ life
experiences. For example, when explaining the fact that many people in Quebec
celebrate a Christmas custom called “Le Réveillon”, it is not enough to make the
statement only. Rather, to avoid overgeneralizing the celebration to all
Quebecers, it is important to makes students understand that in the Territories
not everyone celebrates Christmas in the same fashion and others may not
celebrate it at all. The same holds true for Francophones in all areas of Canada
and the world. Christmas celebrations are as individual as the individual him/
herself and it is in this manner that culture should be taught. Thus, cultural
facts are learned in a context and made relevant for the students, such that they
are not learning facts simply for the sake of acquiring some interesting tidbits of
information. Rather, this process brings them to better understand and accept
others’ values, beliefs and traditions, by sensitizing students to cultural
differences and similarities. However, it also important to note that there is
much more to the Francophone world and other cultures than just celebrations.
In fact, celebrations constitute only a relatively small portion of the culture and
teachers will need to go beyond these traditions to develop students overall
cultural competence.
In developing their cultural competence, learners will acquire, in addition to
heightened content awareness about their own culture, Francophones and
cultures of the Northwest Territories, strategies whereby students can become
more knowledgeable, sensitive and effective in dealing with the sociolinguistic
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code of the target culture. In this vein, cognitive strategies, such as
identification, research, analysis and interpretation, are used to develop
sensitivity to, and understanding of francophone and other territorial cultures,
while respecting these worlds as they are. Becoming socioculturally competent,
a component of full communicative competence (Hymes, 1971; Canale and
Swain, 1980; 1983), implies both a content and a process orientation to cultural
learning.
In the program of studies, the three levels of communicative growth and their
corresponding sub-levels describe a progression towards the global objectives,
using cognitive strategies that are developed sequentially and in keeping with
the students' communicative/linguistic abilities and not their actual cognitive
development as it relates to their first language. Table 2 below demonstrates
this progression.
TABLE 2
SEQUENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURAL
UNDERSTANDING THROUGH STRATEGY USE
Beginner Level
•
Identification
Intermediate Level
•
Research
Advanced Level
•
Analysis
Advanced Level
•
Interpretation
Table 3 shows the content concepts and describes the skills or process which
relate to culture, based on the students’ communicative/linguistic abilities.
It is recommended that learners begin with guided instruction and proceed to
independent work. It should also be noted that this list contains suggestions
only and is by no means exhaustive.
TABLE 3
CULTURAL CONTENT CONCEPTS AND SKILLS/PROCESSES
AS THEY RELATE TO COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE LEVEL
Level
Beginner
Skill(s)/
Process(es)
Identify
Discover
Concepts
1. Presence of
Francophones
2. Presence of
Other Cultures
In What
Context?
• community
members
• famous people
seen as key
representatives of
the worlds of
politics, the arts,
entertainment,
etc.
• the fields of
current events,
history, geography,
human
demography, etc.
At What
Communicative
Language Level?
• Beginner 1
- school and/or
community
(francophones
and other
cultures)
•Beginner 2
- school and/or
community
(francophones)
- territorial
(other cultures)
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Level
Skill(s)/
Process(es)
Concepts
Beginner
Identify
Discover
1. Presence of
Francophones
2. Presence of
Other Cultures
Beginner
Identify
Discover
1. Concrete
Facts About
Francophone
Cultures
2. Aspects of
Aboriginal
Cultures
Intermediate
Identify
and Examine
Similarities
and
Differences
1. The Daily Life
of Francophones
2. The Daily Life
of Other Cultures
Living in Canada
In What
Context?
At What
Communicative
Language Level?
• community
• Beginner 3
members
- territorial
• famous people
(francophones)
seen as key
- national
representatives of
(other cultures)
the worlds of
politics, the arts,
entertainment,
etc.
• the fields of
current events,
history, geography,
human
demography, etc.
• surnames in
the telephone
directory
• place names on
maps
• names of streets,
schools,
restaurants,
businesses, etc.
• media (radio,
newspapers,
magazines,
television)
• government
advertisements
• travel
advertisements
• holidays and
celebrations
• government
pamphlets
• family
• school
• administrative
services
• consumer
activities
• leisure
• media
• clubs and
associations
• bilingual jobs
• language of
young people
• fashion
• holidays and
celebrations
• Beginner 1
- school and/or
community
(francophones
and other
cultures)
• Beginner 2
- school and/or
community
(francophones)
- territorial
(other cultures)
• Beginner 3
- territorial
(francophones)
- national
(other cultures)
• Intermediate 1
- community,
local, and
territorial
(francophones)
- community
and/or in the
Northwest
Territories
• Intermediate 2
- national
(francophones
and other
cultures )
• Intermediate 3
- international
(francophones
and other
cultures)
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Level
Skill(s)/
Process(es)
Concepts
In What
Context?
At What
Communicative
Language Level?
Intermediate
Discover
1. Certain Aspects
about
Francophones
• family
• school
• administrative
services
• consumer
activities
• leisure
• media
• clubs and
associations
• bilingual jobs
• language of
young people
• fashion
• holidays and
celebrations
• Intermediate 1
- Quebec,
Acadian, and
other
francophones
outside of
Quebec
Advanced
Research,
Analysis, and
Interpretation
With(out)
Assistance
1. Contribution of
Francophones to
to Our Society
2. Contribution of
Other Cultures
to Our Society
• historical
references
- important
dates and
events
- places
- famous
people
•Advanced 1, 2,
3 - all five
geographical
levels (i.e.,
school,
community,
territorial,
national,
international)
Advanced
Research,
Analysis, and
Interpretation
With(out)
Assistance
1. Francophone
Facts and
Events
2. Other Cultures'
Facts and
Events
• historical
references
- important
dates and
everyday life
- places
• bilingual jobs
•bilingualism in
action
• attitudes
towards
bilingualism
•Advanced 1, 2,
3 - all five
geographical
levels (i.e.,
as listed
above)
Advanced
Research,
Analysis, and
Interpretation
With(out)
Assistance
1. How to Live
in a
Francophone
or Bilingual
Environment
2. How to Live
in a Multicultural and
multilingual
environment
• countries
• living
conditions
- facilities
- transportation
• community life
- streets and
neighbourhoods
- rural and urban
living
• various areas
• political life
• tensions, benefits
•Advanced 1, 2,
3 - all five
geographical
levels (i.e.,
as listed
above)
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Level
Advanced
Skill(s)/
Process(es)
Research,
Analysis, and
Interpretation
With(out)
Assistance
Concepts
1. Francophones
Around the
World
In What
Context?
At What
Communicative
Language Level?
• the people and
•
their lifestyles
- way of life,
food, leisure
time, work,
holidays and
traditions
- behaviour,
relationships
- types of housing
• the people and
their history
- historical and
chronological
references
- national symbols
- basic data: dates
events, people and
time periods
• the people and their
institutions
- educational
systems
• contributions to
civilization
• francophone dialects
Advanced 1, 2,
3 - all five
geographical
levels (i.e.,
as listed
above)
The cultural content categories noted in the preceding charts provide numerous
concrete references relative to culture (e.g. toponyms on maps, surnames in the
telephone directories, historical and chronological references, the daily family life
of Francophones and other ethno-cultural groups in Canada, and so on). While
all of these suggested content elements appear to be clear and concrete enough,
some are certainly more accessible than others. French-sounding toponyms on
maps and surnames in the telephone directory are more immediately and readily
located, for example, than are true accounts of “ordinary” people in the
francophone world.
Although it would be desirable to provide the above example content elements in
fully developed units, with all cultural content mandated and the sources made
explicit, this becomes difficult since it would allow for these cultural aspects to
become sterilized and static, taking away from the dynamic and ever-changing
nature of francophone cultures and ethno-cultural groups which exist in Canada.
As a result, teachers need to keep in touch with the latest developments in the
target cultures. This can be achieved by frequently listening to French-language
radio, watching French-language television, reading French-language
periodicals, such as «Le français dans le monde », and visiting francophone
milieus (whether in majority or minority francophone settings), so as to maintain
constant contact with the changes which are forever occurring in these cultures.
In other words, to ensure that the target cultures are not taught in an sterilized
manner, teachers need to come in contact with cultural content that is accessed
more and more through the use of authentic documents.
For example, to access information on how Francophones live in their
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communities, anglophone and francophone classrooms could be twinned in an
exchange experience which would involve direct communication between the two
groups. With younger students, this experience might involve either letter and/
or video/audio correspondence exchanges or teleconferencing, combined with
exchanges, such as photos, postcards, local announcements, advertising, and so
on. Older students might actually visit and be visited by a francophone student
exchange group. In either case, students will be provided with assistance (e.g.,
grids, questionnaires, interview formats, etc.) in how to find out more about their
francophone counterparts. This type of exchange process leads to a better
comprehension of the differences which exist between the students, but also
makes them aware of the vast number of similarities they share. The same
process can also be carried out with Aboriginal cultures in the Territories so that
aspects of their cultures can be discovered and shared.
To enhance these understandings, it is important to note that a vital part of this
process is to develop the cognitive strategies (e.g., identification, research,
analysis, interpretation processes) which will enable students to fully
understand and appropriately interact with the sociocultural code of a given
culture, in essence, to provide students with a mechanism for developing
sociocultural competence. These strategies allow students to bring to a conscious
level what they already know about themselves as a starting point for better
understanding francophone cultures and other ethno-cultural groups.
To put this in a workable framework, one can realize that there are both overt
and hidden/subconscious instances of culture in our lives and those of others. At
the most conscious and overt level, one can speak of the identification of given
cultural facts, practices, customs, habits, and so forth, all of which are observable
on the concrete level. For instance, to heighten students’ awareness of the
presence of Francophones in our midst, students can be asked to brainstorm a
list of names of people both well-known or with whom they have come in contact
who are French-speaking. Students can also be asked to study a map of the
Northwest Territories as a means of identifying the names of different aboriginal
regions or town sites, or they can look at a telephone directory to identify family
names which might be French in origin. When viewing television commercials or
perhaps looking at magazine advertisements, which are replete with cultural
indicators, students might be asked to note similarities and differences used by
anglophone and francophone advertisers to persuade or convince potential
consumers to purchase their products. In comparing oral and written texts
coming from Quebec and France, for example, students might be asked to
identify the “tu/vous” usage and the general levels of formality/informality
operating in each of these francophone milieus, that is , which usage is
acceptable and under what circumstances. Numerous other examples exist to
illustrate how this strategy can be developed in classrooms, but what is of equal
importance in the identification of cultural facts is that students be guided as to
when to use this knowledge and to demonstrate the ability to apply it in
contextually appropriate situations.
Having students engage in individual and/or group discovery-learning activities
helps them become inquisitive researchers and better interpreters of the target
culture. In this research process, they learn to behave like social scientists such as, linguists, sociolinguists, anthropologists, semeioticians, or sociologistsand not just sponges which absorb everything that comes along whether it is
fully understood or not. Instead, they hone research and inquiry skills which
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determine what it is they are looking for and how they can best attain it. As
well, they learn to go beyond the factual to determine why things are as they are.
For example, in studying the question of Quebec’s self-identification, many issues
might be considered. If, for example, the language aspect is studied, students
will need to consider history, geography, current events, and how the language
maintenance issue is perceived within Quebec. In addition, they will need to
look at how others view/evaluate the Quebec perspective on language, where the
provinces’ and territories’ place language priorities in their own selfidentification, the value of bilingualism, etc. The purpose of this kind of activity
is to assist students in becoming more aware of the differences and similarities
in how Quebec and other provinces view the issue of language minority/majority
rights. To further understand minority language rights, students might be asked
to research the names of organizations which have been formed in the Northwest
Territories and other provinces to ensure that their cultures are maintained, as
in the case of the Fédération Franco-Ténoise, and to determine their mandates in
light of this issue.
Another research activity might involve the investigation of the potential
usefulness of bilingualism in students’ lives. In order to carry out this activity,
students might be asked to study “want ads” in their local French-language
newspaper such as L’Aquilon , a larger French-language paper such as Le Devoir,
and a large national newspaper such as The Globe and Mail, for the period of
about one month, after which they would compile their statistics, using bar
graphs, percentages, etc. to report the relative proportion and type of job
opportunities available in which bilingualism is required or would be an asset. It
is examples like these, then, which demonstrate how students’ research skills
might be used/refined as another means of developing students’ sociocultural
competence.
The skills/processes associated with research include analysis and
interpretation
interpretation. Collecting or collating data is only one step in the process. For
example, in order to comprehend francophone and anglophone views on a
particular issue, as a preliminary step students might be asked to collect
examples of letters to the editor on the subject. The quantity alone in one
language as opposed to the other will provide some evidence as to how one
language group views the issue in relation to the other. However, this treatment
is only superficial, since a deeper probe of the letters will indicate the tone used
to express one’s opinion, the emotive or objective quality evident, and the
distance or proximity the author insinuates in the choice of words and phrasing
used as he/she relates his/her point of view. It is the outcome of this type of
analysis which will allow students to interpret relative feeling, ideas, and so
forth as a means of better understanding the target culture’s values and ways of
viewing themselves and others. These understandings will also assist students
to better comprehend when certain social conventions are used and others are
not.
In concluding this section, the tables which appeared earlier contain only
suggestions and there is no intention that they be viewed as exhaustive. Rather,
implicit in these suggestions is the notion that in order to know others, the best
access is by means of direct contact with francophone or other ethno-cultural
individuals/ groups in their milieus. For this reason, limitations on what can be
realized in a formal classroom situation need to bee accepted; however, every
attempt should be made to ensure that students are encouraged to seek out other
opportunities in which they may be able to participate in cultural situations such
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as direct travel exchanges, written or audio/video correspondence,
telecommunications or computer networking, etc. One of the positive outcomes
of coming into first-hand contact with francophone cultures and other ethnocultural groups is that students will gain valuable insights in terms of
understanding others and developing self-knowledge and self-awareness about
their own culture.
Finally, the cultural themes mentioned in the above chart suggest that there is a
need to go beyond the strict use of didactic materials, such as student texts and
workbooks, or even supplementary resources, which have all been created for use
in second language learner instructional settings, to the use of more authentic
documents, such as popular francophone magazines, newspapers, radio shows
and announcements, televisions programs and the like, as a means of bringing
culture into the classroom in its true dynamic form. In this vein, students will
have access to current facts, interests, and concerns, culturally implicit nuances,
assumptions and values shared by members of the culture, alternative view
points on diverse issues, etc. so as to become more sensitive to the cultural
diversity that exists within francophone cultures and in general, to expand one’s
view of the world.
In essence, this component provides the elements for teaching the target culture
in the school setting by recommending specific cognitive skills which can be used
as a means of helping learners better understand themselves, other ethnocultural groups and the diverse francophone cultures that exist in and outside
Canada.
Language
Grammar analysis, which has been the systematic study of a language’s
structural elements, has always played an important role in language teaching
and has been, for the most part, the cornerstone for many of the traditional
approaches of the past. It will continue to play a role in this program; however,
the teaching of grammar, as will be seen, will need to take a secondary role to
that of communication. That is, in this philosophical orientation grammar is
not abandoned; rather, it recognizes that language acquisition is a dynamic and
ongoing process that is governed primarily by communicative needs, but which,
by the same token, is also a process which demands precise language
development. Consequently, achieving effective communication involves
developing grammatical awareness as well as grammatical use.
This component, then, advocates the development of linguistic competence
within a given context. The analysis of the language is important, but its main
role is to support non-analytical experimentation within communicative
situations, with a view to improving and refining the comprehension and
production of messages. From this perspective, the linguistic elements of a
language can be categorized into four main areas of development: the system of
symbols (sounds /written symbols), vocabulary, grammar and discourse.
In essence, a language is based upon verbal and written symbols. Although
these two systems can be analysed and taught/learned directly, especially in
decontextualized pattern practice, it has been demonstrated that students are
unable to transpose this type of language learning to real communicative
situations. For this reason, the oral and written symbol systems are not usually
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intended to be analyzed exclusively nor are they to be used as an initial starting
point for the development of a language experience. Rather, appropriate
pronunciation or spelling and correct structural patterns are attained mainly
indirectly and in a non-analytical fashion when relevant linguisticcommunicative contexts are presented. In this way students are given the
opportunity to make connections between linguistic awareness and linguistic
applications for real communicative purposes. Thus, language that is acquired
and later used in communicative/experiential activities is often analysed
formally and directly, as needed, as a means of refining and perfecting that
which has already been attained. This can be achieved through the use of a
three-phase process, which involves the presentation, development and
refinement of the language elements to be learned.
For example, for the presentation of the correct pronunciation of the sound [r], as
it is used in French, should be experienced first and learned gradually in contextrich instances, rather than being taught in an isolated fashion, which can become
the basis of frustration for students who cannot correctly roll their r’s. As such,
the refining/perfecting of students’ pronunciation of this sound might include the
use of tongue-twisters or somewhat contrived passages which focus on the use of
the sound, such as slogans which sometimes use alliteration as a means of
attracting the attention of the listener. Using these kinds of strategies will not
only assist students in being able to better articulate the sounds often difficult
for non French speakers , but they will also appease their fears regarding the
mispronunciation of words, especially when they are pronouncing difficult
sounds in a fun and nonthreatening environment. Continual exposure and
gradual use will assist in refining/perfecting their pronunciation.
A specific example of how an experiential context and analytical language
activity might be combined follows. In this activity the students are going to
experience the use of sounds to create rhythm in a language, but they are also
doing so, because the project they are involved in is to create a chant for their
favorite aerobics exercise.
EN
FORME
MAINTENANT
ET
COMMENT
Comment être en forme sans faire de jogging
Le jogging, c’est très bien. Mais il y a bien d’autres moyens d’être en forme.
Par exemple... Aller jouer dans le parc, Marc. Faites de la raquette, Huguette.
Jouez au golf, Adolphe. Faites du vélo, Léo. Prenez des cours de danse,
Hortense. Et si ça ne suffit pas...faites de l’escrime, Onésime. Ou de ski de
randonée, Renée. Faites ce que vous aimez, Aimé.
Après tout... Vous pouvez vous baigner dans la mer, Omer, Escalader une
montagne, Charlemagne. Faire du patin à roulettes, Ginette. Ou juste aller
dehors, Hector. Parce qu’il est temps de remonter vos manches, Blanche. De
faire un effort, Nestor. De montrer que vous êtes capable, Amable.
Et bientôt... Vous retrouverez votre haleine, Hélène. Vous sortirez de la cave,
Gustave. Vous aurez l’air bien plus fin, Séraphin. Vous deviendrez un an, Jonas.
Vous serez encore plus belle, Isabelle.
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Pensez-y...Trois fois par semaine, Philomène. Quinze minutes chaque fois,
François. L’important, c’est de commencer, André, Barabé, Dieudonné et Zoé.
Y a-t-il de façons d’être en forme qu’il y a de gens qui veulent être en forme? Oui,
Louis... et comment, Armand.*
*Copyright permission for the reproduction of this text has been given by Olympic Trust of
Canada and is for the sole use of this document.
The rhyming beat in this particular passage is quite remarkable and is quite
conducive to the beat used in rap music. As a result, the manner in which this
passage might be used is varied. For example, it may be read aloud by the
teacher, a single student or performed by a group of students, or read silently.
Next, students can use a rhythmical pattern, like that found in rap music, to
analyze the melody of the passage. Later, these same words, containing so many
rhyming sounds, might be analyzed in terms of sound groups and their
corresponding orthographic forms (e.g., [e], which appears in the passage in the
form of “-er”, “-ez”, é, et, and so on) so as to help students see the links between
sounds and writing patterns in an experiential way. From here, they can begin
to experiment with the sounds they know to create their own chant. Similar
principles could be applied to the teaching/learning of other elements of the
language component, that is - vocabulary, grammar and discourse.
Learning theorists and researchers have experimented for years with the rote
memorization of disconnected, decontextualized lists of items such as verb lists
as a means of retaining the language. Consistently, learners have demonstrated
that this is an activity which is viewed by them as meaningless. However, when
learners have engaged in such an activity, it has been mainly to deal with a
testing situation and is soon after lost from memory. To enhance vocabulary
development, acquisition, and retention, it is suggested that students be exposed
to vocabulary in an experiential context that is meaningful to them. The field of
experience or context will determine the vocabulary to be taught and learned.
Food
For example, in introducing a unit on “Food
Food” at the Beginner 2 level, the
teacher might bring to class a bag of grocery items purchased during his/her
most recent shopping outing. A scenario or experiential setting is created by the
teacher. The presentation might follow along these guidelines: “Comme vous
savez aujourd’hui, nous allons préparer une pizza pour la fête du directeur. Hier,
j’ai fait les courses au supermarché. J’ai dans mon sac les choses que j’y ai
achetées pour préparer la pizza.” (The teacher begins to take the items out of the
shopping bag one at a time and shows them to the students). “Tiens, voici la
sauce aux tomates. La farine pour préparer le pain, le sel, les piments verts,
etc.” In this presentation stage students are being given their first exposure to a
specific context within the field of experience. In this instance, the language is
only being presented at the listening comprehension level, since students are not
being asked to produce. Rather, the purpose of this step is to have students
acquire the food vocabulary in an experiential manner and not in a rote
memorized fashion. In other words, they are learning the vocabulary because a
communicative intent and situation were presented, in this case the need for the
students to participate in the preparation of the pizza by being able to
understand the ingredients needed.
At the developmental (acquisition) stage, the teacher might take up the various
food items spread out on his/her desk and place them in the order in which they
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will be used to make the pizza, doing the following:
1. holding the items in the air and inviting individual students or groups of
students to repeat after him/her in this fashion, “voici la farine, le sel, etc”
or, alternatively,
2. displaying the items on the desk and asking the students, “Quelle est la
première chose que nous avons besoin pour notre pizza?/”, “ La
deuxièmement?”, etc., with students responding, “La farine”, “Le sel”, and
so on.
Thus, vocabulary development and its acquisition will be reinforced when the
focus is on contextualized learning and experiential language experimentation.
As was illustrated with the symbol systems discussed earlier, these kinds of
experiential language situations should not be precluded by analytical activities,
such as the dissection of word structures, word families, false and legitimate
cognates, and so on. Rather, analytical activities, when applicable, do have value
if contextualized, as they will serve to refine the students’ retention of the
vocabulary that has been acquired and developed thus far, as the following
example will illustrate.
Food
To continue with the current example on “Food
Food”, students’ retention (refinement
stage) of the vocabulary already learned might be carried out in the following
manner. Students might be invited to develop two lists, one with the new
vocabulary items in French, the other with a list of items which contain words
which are similar, if not identical, in the two languages . The purpose of this
activity is twofold: 1) to develop vocabulary and 2) to learn a cognitive strategy
for vocabulary acquisition. Retention of these new vocabulary items might be
reinforced further by having the students develop their own list of ingredients
for next week’s class pizza or for a pizza they would like to make a home. This
type of activity will further reinforce the vocabulary acquired.
It is proposed, in addition, that grammatical structures should not be taught as
discrete items, out of context and in isolation. Rather, grammatical elements are
to be introduced in context, depending on the communicative intent, the
linguistic requirements of the task to be carried out and the learners’ level of
language sophistication or communicative ability. To demonstrate how students
might be assisted in the development, acquisition and retention of new
grammatical elements, a number of examples from different communicative
levels identified in the program of studies will be illustrated.
If, for example, a given field of experience employs the verb “avoir” in a variety
of contexts, teachers will be interested, from a language perspective, in helping
students develop, acquire and retain this much-used language structure. For
School
instance, with the field of experience “School
School”, at the presentation stage, the
teacher might utilize the immediate classroom environment in which the teacher
avoir
and students interact daily in order to develop the use of the verb “avoir
avoir”. From
his/her desk, the teacher might look on the desk for selected items and say
something to this effect: “Où est ma règle? J’ai besoin de ma règle. Turning to a
student, he/she might say “Est-ce que tu as une règle que je peux utiliser?” In
which case, the student may reply by saying “Oui, “Non” or even “Non, mais j’ai
un triangle”, which is perfectly acceptable, because the student is trying to fulfill
a communicative intent. Another situation might involve the use of school
subjects to elicit answers, such as “Qui a Mme Smith pour les maths?”, in which
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students might raise their hands to the question. Or, another situation might
require students to check to see if they are ready for their physical education
class by having them pull out the items as they are named in this way: “Vérifiez
si vous avez un t-shirt. Vérifiez si vous avez des chaussettes.” These examples
avoir
can be continued until the whole verb “avoir
avoir” is conjugated, if deemed
appropriate and/or necessary at this point. Written visual support might also be
put on the board to help students acquire this verb, especially those who are
visual learners. However, what is important here is that the type of information/
questions selected which must consciously reflect the information gap process;
i.e., students’ answers must not be contrived, rather they should reflect the
students’ reality. This process, then, repeats itself at the development and
refinement stages with experiential language tasks which will allow the students
to experiment with these linguistic structure(s) in different situations and
contexts.
At other proficiency levels different strategies are needed. For example, to assist
students at the Intermediate 2 level in differentiating between the “passé
composé” and the “imparfait” at the developmental stage, a scenario based on
Total Physical Response (T. P. R.) might be used. The objective is to eventually
lead students to be able to use the past tense correctly when asked to write a
script which reenacts a crime committed in the community. The T.P.R. technique
involves assigning students different roles in which some individuals pantomime
completed past actions and others pantomime descriptive, inanimate roles,
depicting ongoing or continuous past conditions such as trees waving in the
wind. The next step is for the teacher to ask students to identify which actions
are “passé composé” and which ones are “imparfait” as he/she relates the car
accident he/she has just witnessed. The purpose of the pantomime, then, is to
give the students a visual and kinesic mnemonic device which they can refer
back to when needing to discern which tense is needed for a particular situation,
which in this case would be the script for the crime re-enactment.
Advanced 1 level students at the acquisition stage might be asked to carry out
an oral interview as a means of reinforcing the use of the conditional. In the
interview, they ask “strange” questions of their peers in an effort to find out
previously unknown things about them for the development of personality
profiles. For example: “Si tu étais une voiture/saison/ vêtement, etc, quelle
voiture/saison/ vêtement, etc., serais-tu?” The response, by its very nature, will
require the conditional and more importantly the activity involves an
information gap which is being filled by a communicative/experiential exchange.
To extend the activity, a survey of answers can be done as a means of
regenerating the responses to reinforce the use of the conditional and as a
bridging exercise for the next activity which would involve the development of
personality profiles, once again employing the conditional.
2,
At the refinement stage, returning to the previous activity for Intermediate 2
students might require another mnemonic device which will assist them in using
the verbs which take the auxiliary verb “être” in the “passé composé’ with an
imaginary house called “La maison du verbe être” (see Figure 5). The purpose of
this device is to aid students visually as a means of better understanding which
verbs take the auxillary “être” and to be able to apply this knowledge correctly.
Thus, as students are writing their script for their re-enactment, they can resort
to the visual image as a means of ensuring that they are employing the correct
auxillary with the appropriate verb and tense.
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FIGURE 5
“ MAISON DU VERBE ETRE “
Therefore, in order for students to be able to participate fully in any language
experience, either receptively or productively, grammatical elements such as
those cited above will need to be introduced as required by the real-life
communicative task. In traditional language or grammar-centred programs,
certain grammar elements such as the subjunctive have tended to be viewed as
complex grammatical concepts to be introduced only at higher language levels.
For formal entry, this will likely continue to be the case. However, for example
should students need a certain grammatical structure before is appears in the
program of studies such as the subjunctive to express their message, then the
subjunctive might be introduced informally in order to convey the communicative
intent effectively and correctly. In summary, this example and others cited
earlier have shown that grammar should be experientially-embedded and taught
in real contexts, with the analysis being carried out within these contexts.
To continue in this vein, discourse, in its simplest form, implies language use
beyond the single sentence level. As students develop their discourse
competence, they are in fact perfecting and refining, at the same time, their
pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar usage. Discourse analysts have shown
that much of the meaning conveyed via language is context-embedded and
dependent on linguistic inputs beyond the level of words or a single sentence.
Learners are then brought gradually to relate their ideas coherently (i.e., the
logical connection of ideas) and cohesively (i.e., the connection of linguistic
elements, sentences and series of sentences). Examples of coherence are
achieved when “puisque” is used to relate a cause and effect in a given context or
when “d’accord” is used to signal an enumeration of elements which are logically
connected when reference is made to the first statement. Cohesion is achieved
when linguistic elements link two sentences together or a series of sentences.
For example, in the statement, “Pierre est revenu de Montréal hier. Il a pris le
vol de 7 h, it is clear that the anaphor “il” refers to “Pierre”. However, without
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the first sentence, the listener would have no idea as to the referent when one
uses “il” in the second sentence. When expressing themselves orally or in
writing, students should be assisted in analysing their communicative
productions in order to verify the degree to which their “texts” are both coherent
and cohesive.
While teachers have long had an intuitive sense of discourse elements (e.g.,
pause features, conversation starters, connectors, pronoun replacements, etc.) in
speech, these have rarely been introduced systematically. It will be important in
speech, for instance, that students understand and be able to use pause features
appropriately. In English, for example, when formulating a response and
needing pause time, one might articulate: “well, um,-er, uh ...” as a way of
sustaining the conversation, but also as a means of developing the response.
These same features appear in French and would be rendered in this fashion:
“Euh, eh bien, bon, bien, alors, enfin, etc.”. Therefore, it is important to provide
students with these kinds discourse elements so as to enable their oral
productions to take on more natural characteristics of oral, spontaneous speech.
When initiating a conversational exchange in which a person needs to ask a
stranger information, it would be useful for students to know that if they wish to
avoid creating the impression they are rude, they will need to employ
appropriate sociocultural conventions like “Pardon, monsieur, pouvez-vous...?”,
or as in the case of a telephone conversation, simply not ending the conversation
with a closing expression such as “Au revoir”, but rather closing it with the
statements such as “Bon, Paulette, ça m’a fait plaisir de te parler de nouveau. À
la prochaine. Au revoir.”
Likewise, in written language, students have to understand that when
articulating a logical conclusion to a preceding argument, the conclusion will
appear incomplete without a coherence marker such as “donc” or “alors”. Letter
introductions and closures, for instance, also have linguistic communicative
formula that must be respected. Thus, discourse strategies will have to be
embedded in an intricate process of refinement as students gradually develop
enhanced sensitivity to linguistic subtleties in oral and written texts, which will
eventually assist them to becoming more effective communicators as they begin
to fully operationalize the power of language.
For the presentation of French pronunciation, the writing symbol system,
vocabulary, grammar, and discourse features, it is suggested that the
emphasis will vary, depending upon the students’ level of communicative
competence, though there will certainly be some degree of overlap in emphasis
through out the program. For example, there will be more direct emphasis on
pronunciation features and spelling at the Beginner level as students work at
language precision at the word level than at more advanced communicative level,
when discourse features will be emphasized more at the Advanced level, since
students at this level will be stringing numerous thoughts and ideas together,
which will require them to employ these markers to tie these thoughts/ideas
together. Table 4 demonstrates where the program of studies places emphasis on
each of these linguistic areas.
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TABLE 4
EMPHASIS PLACED ON THE FOUR LINGUISTIC AREAS
Communicative
Level
Linguistic
Area
Beginner
Word Level
Intermediate
Sentence Level
Advanced
Paragraph Level
Sound/ Symbol
System
Vocabulary
Grammar
Discourse
Key:
Emphasis
Development/Refinement
Like the other components, language is taught and learned progressively in a
manner that will encourage the learner’s communicative development. Each
instance of language analysis must have communicative development as the
ultimate goal. In spite of this philosophy, the questions of accuracy and precision
remain important. Nevertheless, teachers should develop a perspective on error
which should remain flexible to allow for experiential experimentation to occur
with the language, but not to the degree that it will allow fossilization to set in.
In keeping with this principle, spontaneous expression should be encouraged and
error correction interruptions minimized in order to allow students to maximize
the use of the language elements that they know well. As such, interruptions
which do take place should be natural perception and verbal checks as would
occur in one’s first language. The teacher’s role, at this point, is to note repeated
or recurring errors which impede comprehension and/or production of messages
and to analyse them later in a more structured but contextualized basis. Errors
should not be viewed in a negative fashion only. Rather, by analysing errors
diagnostically, teachers are not only correcting errors, but are assisting students
in better understanding the errors they are committing so as to be able to adjust
their messages to communicate what they originally intended. This kind of
analysis also helps teachers gather important information about students’
learning strategies.
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In summary, the aim of this language component is to provide learners with the
necessary linguistic tools to develop and meet their communicative needs in an
ongoing refinement process which will continue throughout the students’ entire
experience in acquiring the French language.
General Language Education
In today’s classrooms, teachers recognize the need to respect individuals’
preferred forms of thinking and learning. It is in this vein that this component
stresses the importance of strategic learning in terms of the progressive
development of cognitive, socio-affective and metacognitive learning strategies in
a second language (Oxford, 1990; O’Malley and Chamot, 1990). In addition, this
component encompasses the inventory of communicative, linguistic and cultural
content needed to round out the students’ learning of the target language while
enhancing their education in general.
In the current program, a learning strategy is considered to be the process of
using or combining various aspects of thought to complete a task or to solve a
problem, such as a lack of communication, a lag in comprehension, etc., as a
means of facilitating the learning and acquisition of the target language. The
development of these learning strategies, which assist students in becoming
better second language learners, is described at each sub-level of the program of
studies as specific objectives. Each category of strategies will be described here,
providing specific examples which define these different categories.
Cognitive learning strategies involve thinking skills. In other words,
strategies, such as repeating, matching, memorizing, making associations, and
applying knowledge from one’s native language, are used to learn a second
language.
In this context, repeating does not have the same traditional meaning most often
associated with this strategy, i.e., mimicry. Rather, in this instance, repeating is
a cognitive process that can involve listening to authentic texts a number of
times as a means of increasing one’s exposure to the language and acquiring
more meaning after each subsequent listening. Or, in terms of oral production,
rehearsing an oral text either produced by the students themselves or by others
is a way of refining their pronunciation and intonation so that the oral
presentation sounds more natural. Copying down words or sentences is also a
repeating strategy, since it is the form which is being replicated for retention
purposes, not the creation of meaning.
Matching , another cognitive strategy, involves students in putting words,
concepts or ideas together. The kinds of activities that are associated with this
strategy include: matching vocabulary words with pictures, making complete
sentences from two column lists, or matching sentences that mean the same but
are said or written differently, such as, “I have some hats/I own some hats.”
Another cognitive strategy which assists in acquiring language is memorizing,
but again it is not used here in the rote memory sense. Rather, memorizing
constitutes storing (putting properly into memory) information items for easier
access later on, such as grammar rules, common linguistic patterns or formulae,
certain phonetic rules such as elision, nasalization, etc.
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Another very important cognitive strategy deals with making associations with
either words, ideas or concepts to sound, visual or nonverbal clues. These
associations can relate to onomatopoeic sounds like crac! - the sound a door
makes, or oua-oua! - the sound a dog makes, or can relate to words or ideas that
are symbolic of certain concepts, such as winter, Christmas and so on. Other
associations can be made using map symbols or weather symbols to convey
meaning. Gestures are also significant in that they can convey meaning without
verbalizing, such as the shrugging of one’s shoulders to mean “Je ne sais pas.” or
“Je m’en fiche.”. These visual or auditory associations are more efficiently stored
in this manner.
Using knowledge from one’s first language to better comprehend the second
language is a cognitive strategy which can be used to encourage students to be
more confident with the language and can also provide them with the necessary
knowledge base from which to pull ideas needed in order to communicate. The
kinds of strategies that can be employed from one’s first language are: 1) using
informed guessing to discern meaning from oral or written texts, 2) using
contextual clues to assist in the comprehension of a text, 3) using the dictionary
to determine the meaning of a word, 4) skimming or scanning written texts for
information, 5) using one’s knowledge about text genre to determine the text type
or 6) making notes for further reference. Any one of these strategies will assist
students in better comprehending or producing the target language. As can be
seen, cognitive strategies provide frameworks which students can access in order
to learn and to acquire the language.
Socio-affective learning strategies involve learners’ personalities and their
maturity level as it relates to the acquisition of the second language. In order to
enhance learning, a positive attitude towards the use of the target language
must be developed. In this regard, learners are encouraged to take risks,
cooperate with peers, ask questions regarding their work or the instructions
given, or verify or clarify their understanding of a given concept.
To develop a positive attitude towards the learning of the target language,
teachers need to encourage students to participate in group or paired activities,
ensuring that students’ strengths are exemplified and not their weaknesses.
These activities assist students in becoming self-motivated and self-initiating.
The use of grids such as self-reflections on one’s performance or peer evaluations
can also improve learning by raising to a conscious level what it is students are
or are not capable of doing. In essence, these kinds of reflective activities can
enhance a student’s self-concept.
To develop risk-taking behaviours , students need to be encouraged to volunteer
their answers to questions asked by the teacher, fellow students, or even native
speakers, to provide input in the target language in brainstorming or surveying
activities, to participate in impromptu skits even though errors are likely to
occur, or to create messages, either in oral or written form, in the target
language. These risk-taking behaviours can be further enhanced by cooperating
with peers or teachers in group or paired activities, by following instructions
involving active participation in cooperative learning activities, and by providing
fellow students with assistance when they are experiencing
difficulties.
To enhance students’ self-perceptions of their language learning abilities, they
should be encouraged to ask questions. Clarification or verification questions
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which require repeating, paraphrasing, rephrasing, or even slowing down a
conversation will provide students with support mechanisms to verify their
hypotheses regarding their comprehension of the language or the learning task
being assigned. Asking for assistance from a peer or a teacher is another support
mechanism students need to verify their learning. In essence, then, socioaffective strategies assist in building students’ self-esteem, self-concept, and
self-confidence, all aspects of a person’s personality which will assist in the
acquisition of the target language.
The last category deals with metacognition which describes how students reflect
upon the organization of their thinking as a means of improving language
learning and its acquisition. Metacognitive strategies
strategies, such as selective
attention, planning and organizing one’s learning, monitoring one’s learning (as
in the case of self correction) and self-evaluation techniques (Oxford, 1990;
O’Malley and Chamot, 1990), assist students in improving their learning in
general and their comprehension and production of the language more
specifically.
Selective attention requires students to focus on the task at hand by either
directing their full attention to the instructions given, or by selecting beforehand
the tactics needed to carry out the task, such as listening for key words or
skimming/scanning the text for information.
In planning and organizing one’s learning, students are required to raise to a
conscious level the steps needed to carry out a task and to decide upon the best
or most efficient means of doing so. This planning can be verbalized as a group
or written down individually. The goal of this consciousness-raising process is to
teach students how to prepare for learning activities as a means of becoming
more efficient learners and better communicators.
Monitoring one’s learning involves students in learning how to become
consciously aware of their errors. This can be accomplished by showing students
how to listen to themselves so as to be able to correct their oral or written
productions, or by using self-reflections or performance grids (see section on
Evaluating Students’ Work for more information on these techniques), which
assist students in monitoring their language use, their language development
and eventually their own language performance.
Evaluating one’s own progress involves students in consciously deciding about
their progress as it relates to their language development. The most common
process is the use of self-evaluation or peer evaluation techniques which are
discussed later on in this document. These techniques are valuable in that they
develop students’ ability to accept their strengths and weaknesses and encourage
them to improve upon the former and learn from the latter. They also provide
students with an opportunity to determine to what extent they have been
successful in their learning and acquisition of the knowledge and skills developed
over the course of the school year. In essence, metacognitive strategies assist
students in becoming more consciously aware of their learning processes and
their acquisition of the language.
In this program of studies, specific strategies are introduced progressively at
each sub-level; however, these strategies may be used at any level when the
learner or teacher deems it necessary. According to Oxford (1990), the use of
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appropriate learning strategies enhances the development of language
proficiency and builds learner confidence. Thus, the use of learning strategies
promotes learner autonomy in language acquisition (Oxford, 1990), in addition to
improving communication and increasing students’ self-confidence. Concrete
examples of how to develop these strategies will be discussed in other sections of
this Teacher Resource Manual. (See the section on Learning Strategies for
instance.) The following is a graphic summary (Table 5) of the most common
learning strategies discussed above.
TABLE 5
SUMMARY OF THE MOST COMMON LEARNING STRATEGIES
repeating (imitating)
matching
Cognitive
memorizing
making associations
applying knowledge from one’s maternal
language
developing a positive attitude in
using the language
taking risks
Socio-affective
cooperating with peers or the teacher
asking questions for assistance or
verification/clarification
using selective attention
organizing one’s learning
Metacognitive
monitoring one’s learning
evaluating one’s own progress
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Suggested Teaching Methodology
The purpose for proposing a teaching methodology is to suggest a framework in
which the program’s objectives, the resources available to the teacher and the
various learning and evaluation activities are combined into a logical and
systematic unit. This will ensure integrity in language instruction, coherence in
the delivery of the program and compatibility of classroom strategies/techniques
with the underlying philosophy of the program. In order to attain this goal, six
pedagogical principles are proposed to enable teachers to develop and enhance
their teaching practices.
Pedagogical Principles
The development and use of language for communicative purposes implies
personal involvement, which brings about autonomous, responsible and general
learning on the part of the learner. In order to facilitate and encourage this
orientation, teaching practices should be employed to ensure such development.
By integrating the following six principles, teaching practices will reflect the
program’s basic philosophy. Further, the aim of these principles is to not only
assist teachers with long- and short-term planning, but also to guide them in
developing their own evolving philosophy of a multidimensional approach to
language learning. These six principles are as follows:
1.
Learning activities must provide students with language
experiences in French that are relevant to their lives and which are
authentic in nature.
2. Communication is the primary goal and it is by communicating that
one develops language; i.e., language is viewed, first and foremost, as
a vehicle for communicating about one’s reality and coming to
understand the reality of others.
3. Language and culture must be taught/learned in such a way that
they are seen as a dynamic and inseparable entity, which allows for
recognizing and becoming sensitive to similarities and differences
between one’s own culture and Francophones’ and between other
cultures of the Northwest Territories.
4. The linguistic code must be presented in context; therefore, it is
not taught in isolation, but rather its analysis, when necessary, is
contingent upon its use being destined for understanding and
expressing communicative intents.
5. Learners’ maturity (whether developmental and/or linguistic),
preference for learning/thinking, and use of individual learning
strategies must be respected in order to enhance their general
language education and personal development.
6. Evaluation, be it formative or summative, must integrate the four
components of a multidimensional curriculum and reflect the
non-analytical and analytical teaching practices employed in the
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learning of the language; that is, evaluation should not contradict
the manner in which the students were taught.
The prime focus of these six principles is to promote the integration of the four
components of a multidimensional curriculum and to develop a teaching
methodology which respects the philosophy advocated by the program of studies.
What follows is a brief explanation of each principle.
PRINCIPLE 1
Learning activities must provide students with language experiences in
French that are relevant to their lives and which are authentic in
nature.
This principle deals with the learning and use of French from an experiential
rather than an analytical point of view. At the outset, learners have knowledge,
attitudes, skills and behaviours that predispose them to all learning. The role of
the teacher is to create an environment that is related to the learners’
experiences. The learning situations must be stimulating, based on the learners’
needs and interests and represent, as closely as possible, real-life situations that
afford the opportunity to explore the use of the language through previouslylived or newly-lived experiences.
In interacting with their environment, learners will not only use their linguistic
knowledge but also their general knowledge to approach the learning of the
language intuitively. In this regard, the accumulation and the richness of these
experiences will encourage language development.
PRINCIPLE 2
Communication is the primary goal and it is by communicating that one
develops language; i.e., language is viewed, first and foremost, as a
vehicle for communicating about one’s reality and coming to
understand the reality of others.
According to LeBlanc (1990) “the development of communicative skills depends
on the student’s interest in communicating and his need to communicate”, (p.
35). This principle considers teaching/learning to be a dynamic process, where
an exchange of ideas, feelings, emotions or information helps refine the learners’
communication skills. Thus, learners learn to communicate by communicating,
just as athletes learn to be competent in a sport by practising and playing it.
According to an interpretation of Stern by LeBlanc (1990), the role of the teacher
is to offer a variety of pedagogical activities which reflect natural language
learning conditions as well as to create authentic learning situations and
experiences which will contribute to the learners’ language development and
their general education. These activities must motivate learners in such a way
that they will want to participate as a means of enhancing their knowledge.
Learners are, therefore, placed in a situation in which they use the language for
a set purpose within a defined context, drawing upon all their verbal and
nonverbal knowledge, and deploying learning strategies in order to understand a
message or be understood. Placed in an interaction with their environment,
they must negotiate the meaning of messages in order to communicate
successfully. The development of communication, then, moves progressively from
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structured interaction, to spontaneous participation, and finally to an advanced
degree of refinement of the communication skills (listening/reading
comprehension and oral/written production) such that learners are able to
comprehend the reality of others as well as be able to express what constitutes
their own reality.
PRINCIPLE 3
Language and culture must be taught/learned in such way that they are
seen as a dynamic and inseparable entity, which allows for recognizing
and becoming sensitive to similarities and differences between one’s
own culture and Francophones’ and between other cultures of the
Northwest Territories.
In the program of studies, culture focuses on the anthropological and sociological
definitions which emphasize the contemporary thoughts, values and lifestyles of
Francophone and other cultures found in the Northwest Territories. Learners
are led to observe, analyse and interpret how both Francophone and other
cultures of the Northwest Territories live, think and behave using the past as a
reference for better understanding these cultures today. To this end, the
teaching process proceeds in a spiral fashion, allowing learners to move
progressively from simple to more advanced cultural aspects and from a
personal, local context to an international context, by studying the people, facts
and events representing the contemporary reality of these cultures.
In the classroom setting, as students become attuned to cultural clues embedded
in the French language, these experiences will prepare them to communicate as
effectively as possible with Francophones. Therefore, teaching practices must
help students learn to interpret the variety of environments and situations they
may encounter in the francophone word; for example, interpreting and using
correctly the “tu/vous” distinction in different francophone contexts. Without the
appropriate cultural referents, it will be difficult and sometimes impossible for
students to negotiate the meaning of many, if not all, communications.
PRINCIPLE 4
The linguistic code must be presented in context; therefore, it is not
taught in isolation, but rather its analysis, when necessary, is
contingent upon its use being destined for understanding and
expressing communicative intents.
Language teaching centres around what is to be understood or produced, i.e., the
communicative intent and how to interpret or formulate it, in other words, how
to use the language according to the context. Thus, this principle recognizes the
analytical aspect of language development, where the focus is on language
analysis for the following purposes: to discover the rules governing its structure
(grammar); to improve one’s comprehension and to refine one’s production of a
message in terms of form, pronunciation, spelling, and word order; and to become
aware of the use of vocabulary and discursive elements needed to make
messages coherent and cohesive.
Thus, it is important to point out that language learning is not based on the
mastery of isolated linguistic elements as an end in itself; rather, it emphasizes
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the need for accuracy, precision and refinement in bringing about more effective
interpretation and expression of messages in context. Although the program of
studies advocates the primacy of the message over the form, the amount of
emphasis placed on the precision of linguistic code usage (vocabulary, grammar,
pronunciation/spelling, fluency and sociolinguistic elements) will depend on the
learners’ stage of language development. For example, the contribution of
grammar to improving communication will be greater at the advanced level than
at the beginner level, where the focus will be more on vocabulary acquisition. In
essence, precision will centre around the word at the Beginner level, the
sentence and paragraph at the Intermediate level, and discourse at the
Advanced level.
As a result, language learning activities need to always be organized in a
contextualized fashion in order to best meet the learners’ communicative/
linguistic developmental needs in the areas of comprehension and
production in both oral or written form. In addition, it is important to
demonstrate to learners that the same linguistic elements can be recycled and
reused in a number of contexts and fields of experiences, i.e., their use is not
mutually exclusive to one field or another. Rather, these elements extend over
all fields and should be used and refined in such a manner.
PRINCIPLE 5
Learners’ maturity (whether developmental and/ or linguistic),
preference for learning/thinking, and use of individual learning
strategies must be respected in order to enhance their general language
education and personal development.
One of the aims of the French as a second language program is to make the
learning of French an integral part of students’ general education; i.e., it is
student-centred as opposed to subject- or teacher-centred. This implies that
students become more responsible for their own learning and ultimately,
autonomous in their acquisition of the language and in their learning in general.
In order to achieve this goal, it is essential that learners be taught to make
connections between the learning of French and other aspects of their lives. To
stress this point, teachers need to take very opportunity to demonstrate and
share how they use different cognitive, socio-affective and metacognitive
strategies in their own teaching/learning practices. The learning of French
should allow learners to acquire new cognitive, socio-affective and metacognitive
strategies that will enable them to not only learn French, but also to enhance
their general development as individuals.
Moreover, by respecting each learner’s level of development and/or linguistic
maturity, preference for learning, and individual learning strategies, teachers
will assist students in learning a second language more effectively and
efficiently. One of the positive outcomes of raising to a conscious level knowledge
about the skills and strategies developed in a second language is that these same
notions often remain unconscious in the first language. As a result, by bringing
these notions to the forefront, students can possibly transfer them on a more
conscious level to assist in refining the acquisition of their first language. In
essence, then, the goal of this consciousness-raising process is to enhance the
students’ overall communicative, linguistic, cultural, and personal development.
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PRINCIPLE 6
Evaluation, be it formative or summative, must integrate the four
components of a multidimensional curriculum and reflect the nonanalytical and analytical teaching practices employed in the learning of
the language; that is, evaluation should not contradict the manner in
which the students were taught.
Language development is a lengthy process, requiring much patience and
nurturing and, therefore, warrants continual monitoring and feedback to inform
students of their progress in learning the language. To ensure that this is
carried out, formative and summative evaluation has to be an integral part of
any teaching methodology. In this regard, evaluation may be done by the
learners themselves, their peers and/or the teacher.
Formative evaluation makes it possible to verify students’ progress in terms of
the program’s objectives. Its purpose is to enable learners to be consciously
aware of what they do well or not so well by examining their strengths and
determining what areas require improvement in terms of knowledge, skill
development, and the use of French in learning situations. This evaluation may
be done by the teacher, but learners must be encouraged to take an active role in
the process. In this way, learners gain a better understanding of the nature and
development of learning, in addition to becoming accountable for their learning
and their language performance.
On the other hand, summative evaluation (generally given in percentages or
letter grades) is used mainly for administrative purposes, such as decisions
regarding promotion or the awarding of credits. It also serves as a means of
providing valuable feedback to the students.
Both types of evaluation, though, must closely reflect the program’s objectives
and the skills and language developed during the learning process. A
multidimensional curriculum advocates the integration of the four components
(experience/communication, culture, language and general language education)
in all learning activities. Therefore, in order for the evaluation to be valid, these
four components need to be integrated into the evaluation process.
Traditionally, subjectivity has been viewed as problematic in evaluation. This is
so because one was not made fully cognizant of the need for valid and reliable
criteria. In an effort to make evaluation more systematic, scientific and less
unbiased, objectivity has become the mainstay. However, in most areas of
learning, as in language learning in particular, it has been discovered that purely
objective criteria are difficult to develop and generally evaluate only lower-order
student learning outcomes.
Thus, there has been a shift in evaluation thinking to acknowledge a certain
degree of subjectivity in evaluation. However, to avoid a number of subjectivity’s
pitfalls (e.g., bias, favouritism, want of reliability, etc.), recent evaluation models
advocate clearly articulated evaluation criteria, subjective or objective, so as to
make the whole process more systematic, less-biased, consistent, valid and
reliable.
In this program, the approach is based on judging language performance using
clearly articulated criteria that demonstrate the extent to which the program’s
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objectives have been met and achieved. These criteria are developed and based
on the fact that teachers must: 1) know what objectives from the program’s four
components they are evaluating, 2) specify the criteria they will use to judge
whether the performance demonstrates evidence that the objectives have been
met and the degree of this achievement, 3) outline their methods of formative
evaluation (e.g., objectivation/reflection, observations, self-evaluation grids) or
for summative evaluation, define the weighting attributed to the criteria (e.g.,
5% for one criterion, 20% for another, etc.) and 4) choose evaluation tasks which
are valid, i.e., that are compatible with the learning activities used, whether
analytical or non-analytical. In other words, the way in which the language
skills were developed is the same manner in which they should be evaluated.
(For further information on evaluation and evaluation techniques, please refer to
the section on Evaluating Students’ Work
Work, which is found later on in this
document.)
In essence, these are the six guiding principles. What follows is the application
of these principles to teacher and student roles.
Teacher and Student Roles
The suggested approach is not intended to impose a particular teaching style, but
rather strives to respect the variety and flexibility of teaching practices, while at
the same time ensuring the integration of the four components of the program of
studies and the application of the six pedagogical principles outlined above. For
a better understanding of the proposed methodology, two fundamental points will
be raised: 1) the role of the teacher and 2) the role of the student.
The purpose of language teaching is to develop students who will attain
communicative, grammatical, discursive, sociocultural and strategic knowledge
that can be used in real communicative situations. An extension of this
knowledge and skill development comes in the language experiences developed
in the classroom. Thus, the role of the teacher is to work towards student
attainment of the objective prescribed in the program of studies. To achieve this,
the teacher selects and organizes learning and evaluation activities (alone or
with the students’ help) and chooses the learning resources to be used. In this
approach, the teacher also acts as resource person, language model, coach and
facilitator for the students. In addition, the teacher’s role is to ensure that the
language used in the classroom is French; in other words, French is not only the
subject of instruction but is also the language of instruction.
Teachers should be aware that the envisioned standard is that used on such
television stations as Radio-Canada (French language programming),
Télémétropole, TV5 and Radio Rock détente for example, bearing in mind that
even within the parameters of these standards there are dialectical variants. In
this vein, there is a special responsibility on the part of teachers to be cognizant
of and able to explain those language variations that have most influenced the
language used by the teachers themselves. Thus, for all intents and purposes,
the teacher’s language usage will become the students’ primary language model.
As a result, teachers must ensure that they bring to their daily teaching
practices other voices and authentic materials which will allow students access
to a variety of dialects and other ways in which intents can be articulated.
The role of students is to become involved in and to take responsibility for their
learning. Even if the stimuli presented are from outside sources (teacher, text,
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video/audio cassette, radio, etc.), the discovery and awareness of the language,
understanding it, producing it, negotiating its meaning, applying and
transferring it, must all come from the students. In other words, only students
can want to learn the language; nobody can do it for them. In order to achieve
this, though, students need to be actively engaged in participating in the
completion of educational projects in which they will play a multiplicity of roles,
such as that of a researcher, organizer of events, interviewer, presenter, debater,
speech writer, actor, editor, and so forth. It is through this process that they will
move towards becoming actively engaged autonomous learners.
Phases in the Teaching Process
To achieve the integration of the six pedagogical principles and the roles of
teacher and students, the following approach is being proposed. This suggested
methodology consists of five main phases: preparatory, experience, reflection,
reinvestment, and evaluation phases, all of which are interrelated and are
presented graphically, in cyclical form, in Figure 6. It is important to note that
formative evaluation occurs continuously and at every phase of the teaching
process. Teachers need to plan a variety of activities to ensure that each phase
helps bring about complete and enriched language development in any given
field of experience. In general, the receptive skills (listening/reading
comprehension) are introduced before the productive skills (oral and written
production) in order to ensure their progressive development.
FIGURE 6
FIVE-PHASE TEACHING PROCESS
In essence, this suggested approach can be viewed in two ways: 1) as the overall
framework for teaching and 2) as the guiding principle for unit and lesson
planning. At the unit planning stage, a single phase may occur over a number of
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lessons or it may be completed within a lesson. At the daily lesson plan level
some or all of the phases may be completed. As a result, there is flexibility and
variability in the length of time it takes to complete a phase within the cycle.
The preparatory phase consists mainly of sparking the learners’ interest and
providing them with the necessary linguistic background needed to carry out the
next phase. In this vein, the first step of this phase is to establish a connection
between the learners’ personal experiences and the language learning experience
that is going to take place by initially describing, in precise terms, the objectives
to be achieved over the course of the unit or project. The next step involves an
introductory activity which will motivate the learners to take part in the
language experience to be developed. At this point, the context of the experience
is usually presented in order to allow learners to be able to anticipate as many
language and experiential elements as possible. Teachers’ judgment will also
have to come into play at this point of instruction to determine the amount of
pre-experiential teaching which will be required before the students are ready to
move on to the next phase. This step entails the development of the students’
communicative/linguistic skills within a given field of experience.
The experience phase consists of having learners fully participate in a
experiential/ communicative interaction within a given environment (field of
experience). The objective of this purely non-analytical step is to satisfy a
communicative intent by emphasizing the message and not the form. The nature
of the learning activities and the communicative tasks chosen should be
consistent with the students’ communicative/ linguistic level. Thus, Beginner
activities will focus more on listening comprehension and oral production tasks.
For example, with the field of experience Clothing
Clothing, students could listen to a
P.A. announcement over the intercom of a store and determine which items are
on sale or produce a similar announcement for their school by announcing the
prices of school t-shirts. On the other hand, students at the Advanced levels
will carry out more sophisticated communicative tasks in the four language
skills. For example, with the field of experience Controversial Issues,
students could be involved in listening to and reading different points of view
concerning a certain issue so as to gather information to formulate their own
opinion and later debate it. These activities could be followed by a written
summary session involving the writing of an article for a national magazine
based on the results of the debate.
The reflection phase allows an analytical review of the experiential phase. In
other words, the knowledge, processes, and learning strategies required to carry
out the language experience and their contribution to the degree of success are
reflected upon either formally or informally. For example, this may be done
orally through the use of question/answer techniques or through the use of grids
to enhance the learners’ awareness of the entire experience. In a teaching
situation this phase might take place in as short a period as a minute or two,
with the teacher asking a question that probes for a quick answer regarding the
skills/knowledge used, or it may entail a more detailed analysis, using grids as
the basis for reflection, with the teacher, a peer and/or groups of students raising
questions and/or providing feedback relative to the experience. Thus, this phase
is an important part of the entire cycle as it allows students the opportunity to
reflect upon the positive aspects of the experience and to define the areas
needing improvement.
The reinvestment phase is a natural extension of the preceding phases.
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Essentially, two complementary processes may occur at this phases: transfer or
transposition. Transfer involves the reinvestment of the knowledge, language
skills, and learning strategies developed throughout the experience and
reflection phases to another situation or context in order to have students
participate in a different but related experience. This transfer, then, allows for
the recycling of the linguistic knowledge which has been acquired.
Transposition, on the other hand, involves the same kind of reinvestment, only in
this case the knowledge, language skills, and learning strategies developed in the
experience and reflection phases are reinvested in another skill area. For
example, what was developed as an oral production task is now redeveloped as a
written production task. From this phase extension activities can be carried out
which involve the transfer and transposition of knowledge, skills and learning
strategies to another context and allows for the recycling of the language
experience previously developed. Thus, one or more reinvestment phases can be
used at any point after the initial experience to expand the knowledge, language
skills, and learning strategies that have already been developed.
Evaluation is the last phase which allows teachers to determine the learners’
degree of success as it relates to the specific objectives of the learning experience.
Formative evaluation at the end of a unit provides information about students’
attainment of the objectives which will be used to determine remedial or
enrichment activities. Formative evaluation will remain on an ongoing basis the
primary form of evaluation used to report to students their progress.
Formative evaluation is used throughout these four phases to ensure and to
confirm students’ learning. A variety of techniques can be used to evaluate
students, such as observation, verification of oral and/or written
communications, objectivation, evaluation by peers or self-evaluation. (See the
section on Evaluating Students’ Work for a detailed explanation of these
techniques.) Although a variety of formative evaluation techniques are being
suggested here, teachers will ultimately need to develop, along with their
instructional plans, an evaluation plan that will incorporate a number of grids,
self-evaluation and peer evaluation instruments, checklists and so forth which
they feel are needed to effectively evaluate their students’ progress.
Considerable informal formative evaluation will also go on,
such as day-to-day teacher observations, without any formal instruments
necessarily being developed or employed. Thus, formative evaluation is a very
important aspect of students’ learning and needs to be planned for by including
both formal and informal types of evaluation.
Summative evaluation involves gathering information about student
achievement as it relates to the attainment of the program’s objectives which will
be used to make administrative decision about grades, credits, and promotion.
Summative evaluation will be used when students’ need to be given information
on their specific language acquisition and on their language performance as a
whole.
Once the evaluative phase is finished, the cycle is complete. Learners find they
have new and enriched knowledge, attitudes, and skills. This is when the fivephase cycle begins again. The growing complexity of language experiences
ensures the learners’ progress. Figure 7 shows the continual cyclical movement
of the five phases which incorporates formative evaluation from the preparatory
phase through to the summative/formative evaluation phase.
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FIGURE 7
STUDENT LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT IN A FIVE-PHASE PROCESS
As was indicated at the beginning of this section, this suggested teaching process
is intended to have program-wide application. Thus, all five pahses, including
continuous formative evealuation, will be present in all the fields of experience
and integrated units throughout the program. All levels of unit and daily lesson
planning, however, how these phases are actually organized and given emphasis
may vary from one unit or lesson to another and within given units. For example, at the levels of planning and program delivery, the preparatory phase may
take up a whole lesson or perhaps even a couple of lessons, depending
upon the field of experience under study, students’ language abilities, or the
nature of the integrated unit being developed, whereas in another, this phase
may take up only a small part of the beginning of a given lesson. In another
case, reinvestment may be the main focus of an entire lesson or may be a small
part of a given lesson. In other words, within a given unit, the five-phase
teaching process may occur only once or a number of times or, in a given daily
lesson plan, either only a portion or the entire process may be completed.
Therefore, teachers should be aware that this suggested teaching process is
flexible and variable and will depend on a number of factors.
In closing this section, it has been seen that the suggested teaching process
involves five phases which can be applied as an overall teaching methodology
and as a practical guide to unit and daily lesson planning. Table 6 summarizes
the key points of each phase.
The next section on Strategies and Activities, followed by the Planning section,
will demonstrate how this suggested teaching methodology can be employed to
develop students’ listening comprehension, oral production, reading
comprehension and written production while integrating the four components of
the program of studies.
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TABLE 6
SUMMARY OF THE INSTRUCTIONAL PROCESS
Preparatory
Phase
• Selection of
objectives to
be achieved
and the
motivational
device to be
used to
introduce the
objectives
Experience
Reflection
• Presentation of the
experience in
interaction with
the environment
in a purely
non-analytical
fashion
• Analysis of the
experience by
a formative
process
• Situating the
experience in
the context
• Anticipation
of required
knowledge
Reinvestment
Evaluation
• Recycling of
• Communicative
knowledge
activity processes and/
comprehension
or learning
and/or production
strategies with
(oral/written)
respect to
compatible with
another skill
the experience
or a different
or more
• Formative or
complex
Summative
context
• Continuous
feedback to
students on their
progress
(formative)
• Decisions about
grades, credits,
promotion
(summative)
FORMATIVE EVALUATION
•
•
Continuous feedback to students on their progress
Can be done formally or informally
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Teaching Strategies and Activities
This section will describe a variety of ways in which the four language skills- oral
comprehension, oral production, reading comprehension and written production can be developed within the framework of a multidimensional curriculum.
Although the skills will be discussed separately, more often than not many of the
skills are intertwined, since in reality they are used in this manner. Therefore,
some examples of this nature will be given in order to demonstrate how this
occurs. Each skill will be discussed in terms of how it is developed, followed by
some practical examples in order to illustrate the explanation given. Activities
regarding learning strategies, grouping students and the types and uses of
learning resources will also be addressed.
Listening Comprehension
Listening comprehension is often referred to as a receptive skill where the word
“receptive” takes on the connotation of passivity. Rather, listening is an active
process which entails the use of cognitive strategies such as guessing, clumping
together known material so as to attend to the unknown, recognizing linguistic
and semantic patterns, and using one’s past experiences to anticipate contextual
elements (Glisan, 1988). The purpose of listening, then, is twofold: 1) to
participate in discourse and 2) to obtain information; i.e., listening serves a
need or a purpose (Bacon, 1989, p. 544). Thus, the kinds of activities and
tasks that are used to develop this skill must represent this need to listen, while
involving both the problem-solving and information-getting processes.
Listening constitutes discerning meaning by actively participating in the
information getting process; however, meaning is contingent upon context:
without a context, meaning is difficult to discern. Knowing and comprehending
the context become the key elements in developing understanding. This is best
exemplified by the illustration given in Roger Tremblay’s module for the
development of listening comprehension.* He describes a situation similar to
the one given here. If one hears the exclamation “Shut the door!”, everyone
would understand that to mean that the person wants the door closed. However,
what is not known is the underlying context of the exclamation. For example,
one context may relate to a person who is studying and, because there is far too
much noise for him/her to concentrate, he/she wants the door closed. Another
may find a person talking on the telephone who wishes some privacy in his/her
conversation. Consequently, he/she asks to have the door shut. Or, a person is
taking a shower and someone has left the door open allowing the cold air to
enter, thus prompting a request for the door to be closed. Therefore, hearing the
exclamation “Shut the door” does not necessarily ensure that full comprehension
has been attained; rather, it allows for a number of interpretations to occur.
Context, then, is a necessary element of a given speech act which ensures a
greater possibility for the attainment of full comprehension.
In general any given context will consist of the following five basic elements
* The listening comprehension module cited here belongs to a set of professional development modules
for teachers created by Roger Tremblay for the Centre Educatif et Culturel.
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(Tremblay, 1989, p. 15):
1. the participant, i.e., those persons involved in the communicative act;
2. the relationship existing between the participants (for example, client/
sales clerk, parent/child, waiter/customer, etc.);
3. the communicative intent(s) used for participating in the speech act (for
example, persuading someone to do something, asking for information,
refusing an invitation, etc.);
4. the medium though which the message(s) is being transmitted (for example,
radio, telephone, loudspeaker, person to person); and
5. the antecedent or other circumstances pertinent to the context (for example,
time, day, place, past events and experiences, shared beliefs, values and
assumptions, a shared linguistic code, etc.) which will affect the speech act.
Each of these elements, then, plays an important role in defining the context and
awareness of them is needed in order to be able to fully comprehend the
message(s).
Knowing that these elements pertain to a context is an important aspect in the
development of appropriate listening tasks for the second language classroom.
Further, not only should the tasks bear in mind the context, but also as Dunkel
states, “...response tasks should be success-oriented and should focus on training
[students to listen for information or to become full discourse participants], not
on testing listening comprehension” (1986, p. 104). Thus, extensive practice in
information-seeking and information-getting is essential before the skill can be
evaluated. Indeed, if students are to be able to understand oral language, they
must not only be provided with appropriate examples of contextualized speech,
but they must also be given sufficient exposure to these contexts as a means of
properly developing this skill. In order to attain this goal, two practices should
be closely followed.
First and foremost, authentic texts should be used whenever possible, or, at the
very least, contextualized texts, i.e., texts which one would naturally hear in a
given context in real life. This will ensure that the students will listen to
language that communicates a message and not just employs a certain linguistic
form, which happens to be the one in development. For example, discerning the
difference between a [p] and a [b] sound from a list of words that may or may not
be related is an activity representative of decontextualized, non-communicative
language use. In addition, this type of activity serves only to make students
aware that there are phonemic differences which can cause comprehension
problems, but as such do not communicate an intent. Therefore, if the goal is
communication, then the type of oral text being used to develop the skill needs to
reflect this notion and the task used to demonstrate what is being understood
must predicate this philosophy.
The question that arises, then, is what is such a text? For example, if the field
under study is that of planning a vacation to a francophone area, students can be
asked to listen to weather reports to determine which place has the best weather
conditions at the desired time of travel. The students would be asked to take
down notes and from this information-seeking process they can discuss which
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area would be most appropriate to visit and why. This type of task, then,
involves both information-seeking and decision-making processes, which actively
involve the students in listening for a reason or a need. As the field of experience
is being developed the students could then be asked to listen to a recorded
message that relates to arrival and departure times of flights in order to
determine if their flight is leaving on time, if it is delayed and if so, by how long.
This kind of activity forces students to attend to certain information, a skill
related to selective attention - a metacognitive learning strategy. Therefore, the
listening tasks associated with these messages must be purposeful and based on
strategies which promote the information-seeking and problem-solving processes.
The second practice relates to teaching students to use learning strategies to
discern meaning. Many of these strategies are used naturally in one’s first
language, such as hypothesizing, predicting, and anticipating, but these skills
must be brought to a conscious level in a second language classroom, at least in
the beginning, in order to develop and enhance listening comprehension. In this
regard, one should be aware of the two forms of listening to which a learner can
be exposed to and participate in, that is: 1) interactive listening
listening, which
involves the listener in an active exchange with the speaker, meaning that the
speaker and the listener are constantly switching roles and are involved in a
continual negotiation process within the speech act, and 2) noninteractive
listening
listening, which involves the listener in receiving one-way messages in which
information is supplied to the listener and no overt reaction is required, such as
in the case of listening to prerecorded flight information, a weather broadcast on
the radio, a news broadcast on television, a P.A. announcement in a schools, etc.
It is this latter form, for the most part, which is the precursory step to the
former, and which ultimately, leads to the development of the production skills.
As a result, there are three phases involved in the development of listening
comprehension, these being: 1) the pre-listening phase
phase, 2) the actual
listening phase
phase, and 3) the post-listening phase
phase.
The pre-listening phase is composed of two parts which relate to strategies
already used in one’s first language: 1) the anticipation of elements and 2) the
contextualization of the situation or main context. To anticipate elements,
students must raise to a conscious level those general elements they have
previously experienced in their first language as they relate to the particular
context or situation to be listened to. Whereas contextualization, on the other
hand, is a complementary activity, which takes a new situation and analyses
discrete aspects relating to such elements as the participants, the relationship
between/among participants and so forth, employing students’ past experiences
as reference points.
This pre-listening phase can be viewed as the “setting of the stage”, since it
provides the students with a frame of reference from which to select the
strategies needed to carry out the task. In order to facilitate this process,
however, students could be made consciously aware of the kinds of information
they may be lacking in the areas of social, cultural and linguistic information
which could impede their ability to comprehend the text (Dunkel, 1986). In this
case, some preteaching of key concepts may be required as a means of raising to
a conscious level what students know and do not know in order to put them at
ease with unfamiliar texts.
Generally, there are two kinds of activities which a teacher can use “to set the
stage”. Brainstorming is one way in which teachers can make students more
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consciously aware of the anticipatory elements that could be heard in a given
context. These brainstorming activities can consist of a review of the key
vocabulary or phrases that might be associated with the context and the key
messages which might be shared. These lists, either verbal or written, can be
created as a whole group or individually. Further, in the brainstorming activity,
students can be asked to ascertain whether or not they believe that the list,
either drawn up by the students or provided by the teacher, does contain the
elements that they would have anticipated for this particular context. This can
be done by either checking off the items prior to the listening activity itself and
later verifying them in the actual listening activity, or a survey of the class can
be taken by asking the students to raise their hands if they think a particular
element will be heard in that context, and the number of responses tallied and
placed on the board to be verified in the listening activity.
A second way in which to “set the stage” is to describe to the students the type of
oral text (interactive/noninteractive) that they will be listening to and to ask
them to discern the following kinds of information: 1) the kind of relationship(s)
that might exist between speakers, if any exists at all, 2) the general kinds of
information that they might expect to hear, 3) where they believe this type of text
would most likely occur and so on. Once again, the answers given would be
verified in the listening phase. This kind of activity, then, raises to a conscious
level what students have often already experienced in their first language and
demonstrates to them how this knowledge is valuable in the second language
classroom as well. The use of pre-listening activities, then, is an important
aspect of the development of listening comprehension, since they teach students
to anticipate the semantic and linguistic elements that are most often associated
with a particular situation or context. The ability to anticipate will assist in
developing a tolerance of ambiguity and risk-taking behaviours, which is
particularly important for all students, especially those at the Beginner level.
The actual listening activity consists of two phases: the verification phase
(the first time students are asked to listen to an oral text) and the
comprehension phase (the second time students are asked to listen to the
same oral text). In the verification phase, students can be asked to do any one of
the following kinds of activities: 1) verify the elements that they were asked to
anticipate in the pre-listening activity, 2) take notes on what they heard, 3)
determine where the conversation took place, between whom, and when, 4)
provide general details or the main idea(s) of what they heard, or 5) determine
the mood of the speakers, the situation, etc. Cultural nuances can also be
attended to in the verification stage by asking students to listen for such things
as: 1) dialectical variations for the same word or expression, 2) changes in
intonation which can be related to an expression or word, known or unknown to
the students, or 3) listening to two similar conversations presented by two
different sets of francophone speakers and having the students determine the
linguistic and/or paralinguistic differences that are evident. In essence, the goal
of this phase is to verify the students’ hypotheses regarding the text that they
have listened to as a means of developing their ability to anticipate certain
messages and as a way of using this particular strategy for listening to authentic
oral texts.
In the comprehension phase, students are asked to provide both general and
precise details in order to resolve a problem or to meet a specific communicative
need. In other words, students carry out listening activities for real-life
purposes and within a context which places the students in a situation where the
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participation in the sharing of information will assist them in carrying out the
communicative task. This phase also provides students with feedback on their
general comprehension. The kinds of activities in which students can be asked to
participate in are, for example: 1) completion exercises in which they are
required to use the information given in the text to complete the task, 2) answer,
in oral or in written form, questions that relate to the text; however, these
questions must go beyond the recall of information, rather focusing on synthesistype questions, such as having the students determine what would be the
succeeding events based on the information they have at present, or on
evaluation-type questions wherein students are asked to use their past
experiences as the criteria to judge whether or not the passage, as they
understood it, was consistent with their own experiences*, 3) give, in oral or
written form, a summary of what they heard, if appropriate to the context, and 4)
fill in a cloze-type activity which would replicate a real-life task, such as filling-in
an interview questionnaire. As can be seen by the examples given, the most
important aspect for the appropriate development of this skill is to ask students
to carry out real-life tasks. Further, it is equally important to provide students
with appropriate and sufficient feedback with regard to their ability to
comprehend a text so that they can become more confident in the development of
their listening abilities. In addition, it is important to note that the activities
associated with this phase must be different from those used in either the pre- or
post- listening phases.
The final phase is the post-listening phase which consists of an information
sharing session in which the students share the type of information and
strategies used to obtain this information and includes a reinvestment stage in
which the students carry out tasks which reinforce what has just been acquired.
This is an equally important phase, since it develops the students’ ability to take
what has been previously learned and apply it to either a similar or different
context. Once again the tasks used in this phase must be different from those
given in the pre-listening and actual listening phases. Moreover, the kinds of
tasks that are related to this phase quite often involve other skills, such as an
oral production activity, reading and/or written activity or any combination of
these skills. The kinds of oral production activities that can be carried out will
depend largely on the type of oral text used. Activities such as oral summaries,
classroom discussion or debates on the subject, role-playing or simulations of the
situation or interviewing each other as to the kinds of things one would hear in
the context presented, followed by a survey of the class results, are tasks which
can be carried out. In terms of extending the oral text to a reading
comprehension activity, students can read an article or an interview on the same
topic and discuss how two different media address the same subject; or students
can be asked to research the different ways written texts convey the same
information. With regards to writing, students can be asked to write a written
summary of the events from a journalist’s perspective, write a character sketch
about one of the people involved in the oral text, write a different ending to what
they heard and share their endings with the class. A class discussion can arise
form this kind of activity. As can be seen, there is a variety of ways in which the
post-listening activity can lead to the introduction of another skill, which is, in
reality, a transfer (reinvestment) of not only previously learned material, but also
a reuse of the information acquired in the listening activity.
These higher-order questions are best used at the Intermediate/Advanced levels. Evaluation-type
questions can be used at the Beginner level but are mostly structured in nature, since students at
this level will be limited in their language abilities, with cognitive maturity being a factor as well.
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To contextualize the above discussion, an example of an oral text is provided, in
addition to some examples of how one could use the oral text following the three
phases presented. The text that has been chosen for this example is a
noninteractive one (one-way message) and reflects the kinds of messages that are
presented to airline passengers before takeoff. What follows is a portion of the
text that one would hear as the crew prepares its passengers for take off. It
would not be presented to the class until after the pre-listening activity has been
carried out. Following the text are examples of how this particular text can be
used to develop listening comprehension activities based on the pre-listening,
actual listening and post-listening phases mentioned above.
CANADIAN AIRLINES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT
Bonjour mesdames et messieurs :
Le vol 1210, vers Montréal, des Lignes aériennes Canadien International
décollera bientôt. Nous aimerions vous rappeler que les règlements du
gouvernement exigent que tous les bagages soient soigneusement placés dans les
compartiments au-dessus de vous ou sous le siège avant vous.
Veuillez vous assurer que votre ceinture de sécurité est bien attaché quand la
consigne est allumé. Pour l’attacher, insérez la partie plate en métal dans la
boucle. Tirez sur la courroie pour l’ajuster autour de vos hanches. Pour la
détacher, relevez la boucle et tirez.
Avant d’entreprendre ce voyage, nous aimerions attirer votre attention sur
certains dispositifs de sécurité.
Ce Boeing 727 est équipé de quatre portes, deux à l’avant et deux à l’arrière.
Chaque porte, clairement indiquée par une enseigne, est munie d’une chute
d’évacuation. De plus, deux hublots issues de secours sont situés au-dessus des
ailes. Nous vous prions de prendre quelques minutes pour situer les deux issues
les plus proches de vous.
Si un incident nécessitant l’évacuation de l’avion venait à se produire durant ce
vol, veuillez suivre les instructions de votre agent de bord et laisser vos effets
personnels...*
* Reprint permission for the above text has been provided by Canadian Airlines International for the
sole use as intended within this document and cannot be used in any other context other than the one
stated here, i.e. to demonstrate the use of an authentic text to develop oral comprehension.
Before the pre-listening activities are carried out, students are to be provided
with a context and/or situation so that they know why they are listening to the
text.
Pre-listening Activities
1. Develop questions based on the five basic elements of context-embeddedness
listed on page 46, relating to students’ personal experiences on an airplane.
e.g.:
1.
Qui a déja voyagé en avion?
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2.
3.
4.
5.
Écoute-t-on des messages avant que le vol décolle?
Si oui, normalement qui donne ces messages?
Qui doit écouter ces messages?
Est-ce que ces messages passent par les hauts-parleurs?
Students’ answers can be recorded on the blackboard as they make a show of
hands or they can write their answers on a sheet of paper with one-word
responses being accepted. Answers are to be verified in the listening activity.
2. In groups of two, students draw up a list of objects they think might be
mentioned in a flight safety announcement. After two minutes, groups share
their lists and a class list is created to be verified in the listening activity.
Students should be grouped in such a way that those who have never been on
a plane are working with those who have flown before.
3. Students provide the flight instructions they think they might hear using
imperatives. Students can provide the answers using gestures if they are
unable to articulate the message with the teacher providing the verbal
interactions which accompany the gestures. (Remember that it is oral
comprehension which is being developed, not oral or written production.
Gesturing teaches students to find another way of expressing themselves.)
Listening Activities
1. Verification - First listening. Students verify if the elements in their lists
were mentioned after hearing the text only once.
2. Comprehension -Second listening. To develop the students’ ability to focus in
on the information relating to airline safety, it is important to give them a
context which will rationalize the communicative task they are going to carry
out. Here is one example.
ontext/situation: You are an inspector for Transport Canada. You are aboard
Context/situation:
a national flight bound for Quebec City. You are to listen to the flight
announcement to ensure that the proper information is given to the passengers.
You need to fill out the checklist to ensure that the information was given. If any
information or incorrect information is given, do not forget to make note of it, so
that you can write up your report later.
The fill-in activity could look like this:
VÉRIFICATION DES ANNONCES DE SÉCURITÉ
Nom de l’inspecteur :
Nom de la ligne aérienne :
Numéro de vol :
Destination :
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Cochez «oui» si les directives sont mentionnées. Si elles ne sont pas
mentionnées, cochez «non» et notez l’information qui manque.
OUI
1.
Placement des bagages
2.
Port de la ceinture de sécurité
3.
Nombre de portes
4.
Directives pour l’évacuation de l’avion
5.
Usage de l’oxygène
NON INFORMATION
MANQUANTE
After hearing the text, students verify the information they have gathered orally
with the rest of the class.
Post-listening Activities
1. Oral Production Activity
Students prepare an interview between a flight attendant and the inspector
to identify explain the safety precautions used by the airline. Students can
invent the name of the airline or use the name of a well-known Canadian or
francophone airline. Students present their interviews to the class in which
classmates can take down notes as to the regulations mentioned in the
interviews. As an extension of this activity, a survey of the most frequently
mentioned regulations can be done, followed by a brief reflection as to why
those particular rules seem to be more important than others.
2. Oral Production/Reading Comprehension Activity
Students are divided into pairs. One pair is given an envelope with half of
the information and the other is given another envelope with the other half.
The pairs must match their information in order to create the messages.
ENVELOPE A
-
La consigne est allumée
placez vos bagages dans les compartiments
Les issues de secours cont situées
Le Boeing 727
d’une chute d’évacuation
ENVELOPE B
-
Avant le décollage
est équipé de quatre ports.
Chaque porte est munie
attachez votre ceinture de
sécurité.
- au-dessus des ailes.
Next they must order the messages to create a brief safety announcement.
Students may add other information they may feel is necessary. Students can
then present their announcements orally.
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3. Written Production Activity
Students brainstorm the safety procedures used on an airplane as a group.
Students then prepare a brief summary for travellers explaining what kinds
of things they need to know about air safety.
As can be seen, each activity has presented a different situation for the same
context to ensure that knowledge is being recycled by providing sufficient
exposure to the same context in a variety of ways. The three phases, as outlined
above, are intended to provide teachers with a framework within which to evolve
their own methodology for developing excellent listening skills and strategies
which will assist students not only in the classroom but outside its confines as
well.
Teachers may find, in the beginning , that it is difficult to determine what kinds
of activities they are able to do with a given oral text, using the three-phase
process described above and identifying real-life tasks as they relate to listening
comprehension. To facilitate this process, Table 7 has been developed as a means
of brainstorming the kinds of activities one can do. Teachers will note that the
arrows indicate activities which are more difficult in nature as one progresses
along the continuum. The horizontal categories represent the “reason for
listening”, i.e., “what” information-seeking or -gathering process is the focus, and
the vertical categories describe the actual activities that can be carried out, i.e.,
“how” the information will be obtained. The table on the following page uses the
Canadian Airlines activities described previously to demonstrate how the table
can be used. A table for classroom use can be found in Appendix A.
This table is intended only to assist teachers. The activities described in
parentheses are only suggestions and are by no means exhaustive. Teachers are
strongly encouraged to use this taxonomic table as a means of exploring the
number of ways in which an oral text can be used. In doing so, teachers will see
that any given oral text can generate numerous ways in which to develop
listening comprehension. These activities can later be recycled in the
development of the oral production skill.
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TABLE 7
ACTIVITIES FOR AIRLINE SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENTS
Type of Oral Text:
Airline Safety Announcement
Reason for
Listening Identification
(what)
Activity
(how)
Limited
verbal/nonverbal (e.g.,
pantomime,
T.P.R., gestures
show of hands,
drawings, etc.)
Provide flight
instructions
using T.P.R. or
objects
mentioned in
the flight announcement to
show comprehension
Verification of
context (e.g.,
matching,
providing answers
choosing correct
answers, etc.)
Transfer of details
(adapted cloze
exercise, charts,
grids, applications,
etc.)
Orientation
(based on
contextual
elements)
Comprehension
of Main Idea(s)
Reinvestment
Detailed
Comprehension of Knowledge/
Skills
Verify elements
listed
Match
information
used to create
a safety
message
Ask questions
related to past
experiences on
an airplane
Fill in an
inspector sheet
for adherence to
safety rules
Summary of text
(oral or written)
Write a
summary of
safety features
for travellers
Duplication of
text (e.g., roleplaying, dictation,
transcription)
Prepare an
interview
between a
flight
attendant and
the inspector
Extension of
text (e.g., oral
discussions, debates,
written reviews or
articles)
*Adapted from Lund, 1990.
Oral Production
Oral production is developed sequentially in terms of the kinds of texts that are
produced by the learner, i.e., from simple messages such as a salutation to
discourse that involves coherent and cohesive thought, which is present in such
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texts as oral presentations or speeches. Oral texts can be of at least four different
types: prepared or spontaneous, interactive or noninteractive. Each kind of text
type takes time to develop in the second language classroom and requires
different teaching strategies in order to ensure this development.
First and foremost, it is important to be able to discern the different types of oral
texts that exist. Interactive texts involve at least two or more people who are
engaged actively in dialogue with one another. This type of discourse is often
typified by spontaneous speech or unprepared speech, such as conversations or
informal debates. Noninteractive texts are texts in which the speaker produces
an oral message but does not expect a direct reaction to what has been said. This
type of discourse is almost always prepared, either fully or partially, and often
consists of texts such as announcements, narrations, presentations, speeches, etc.
Most often, prepared speech consists of the following kinds of characteristics: 1)
thoughts are organized and clear and 2) argumentation is evident. Spontaneous
speech is often characterized by hesitations, false starts, long pauses, incomplete
thoughts or statements, a lack of coherence in the thoughts and statements made,
grammatical errors, and a modification of statements as the speaker listens to
what he/she is saying in order to sound intelligible (self-monitoring).
Although the two types of oral texts, interactive and noninteractive, have typical
characteristics, there is some crossover in terms of the degree of spontaneity or
preparation that can take palace. For example., if, before making a telephone call
to a colleague, you jot down a few notes to remind yourself of what you intend to
discuss in your conversation, you have demonstrated a degree of preparedness,
since the topics of discussion have been established prior to your conversation.
However, there is still spontaneity because the exact discourse patterns have not
been rehearsed. On the other hand, you may have prepared a very detailed
speech for a presentation and upon its delivery you find that your audience in not
in the least bit captivated by what you are saying. Consequently, you abandon
your speech temporarily and create as you go along. This scenario demonstrates
spontaneity in noninteractive discourse. Therefore, the context in which the oral
production takes place can be a factor in determining the degree of spontaneity or
preparedness of the oral text.
In the past, in the general course of oral language development, the tendency has
been to allow students plenty of time to prepare their dialogues, skits,
presentations, etc., in order for them to present the best possible product. This
teaching strategy has been and still is an important aspect of language
development, but its main purpose is to develop the students’ ability to order their
thoughts and choose the correct linguistic elements and grammatical forms in
order to fulfill the communicative intent. These cognitive and metacognitive
strategies are important in the preparation of noninteractive texts but do not
necessarily assist students in making the transition to unprepared texts.
Therefore, a special effort must be made in order to develop students’ confidence
in producing such texts, whether oral or written, which will allow them the
opportunity to deploy certain strategies that are for the most part found in
unrehearsed speech. These strategies include: self-correcting, paraphrasing,
refining and clarifying meaning by listening to oneself, negotiating meaning by
becoming actively aware or conscious of one’s language use, using circumlocution
or asking for help with a word or phrase even if this occurs in one’s first language.
In essence, then, it is up to the teacher to assist students in moving away from a
dependency on prepared speech to be able to communicate freely in a spontaneous
situation, which is more the norm outside the confines of the second language
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classroom than is prepared speech.
In the classroom, oral production activities will depend upon three factors: 1) the
purpose of the oral production, be it experientially - communicatively - or
linguistically-based, 2) the type of production activity that is being planned, and
3) the linguistic-communicative level of the students. For the most part,
Beginner level students will need time to prepare their oral productions in order
to reduce frustration. Nevertheless, the teacher should engage Beginner level
students in simple spontaneous exchanges so as to develop their confidence in this
kind of speech act. Intermediate and Advanced level students should be given
more opportunities to produce spontaneous speech; however, this will depend
largely on the type of oral production task or activity and its purpose.
An oral production activity’s purpose will determine the kind of “product” the
teacher can expect. For example, if students are given oral drill exercises, such as
transformation drills (exercises that involve students in making linguistic
changes in sentences from singular to plural, from one tense to another, from first
person to third person, etc.) or completion drills (exercises in which the students
complete the sentence with a word or phrase), the type of expected “product” is
the correct answer, since the focus is on language knowledge and use. These
activities are appropriate for linguistic development provided that the structures
are relevant and are carried out in a contextualized fashion. Further, these
language activities must be directly linked to the actual oral production task in
order to be meaningful to the learner. However, these types of mechanical
activities are not to be considered communicative, since they do not convey
messages that are a consequence of an information gap (Paulston, 1975).
In order, then, to ensure that these types of activities do play an important role in
the development of students’ linguistic abilities, teachers must choose pattern
exercises that develop certain linguistic structures which are in keeping with the
context and the oral production task to be carried out at a later stage. For
example, if the field of experience is “Food” and you want to drill the verb
“prendre”, this should be done in such a way that the verb is contextualized in
terms of food and not dealing with any of its other uses. This transfer will come
when the next appropriate context predicates it. Thus, to drill the verb
appropriately, a context needs to be set that is related to the verb’s authentic
usage, such as in a restaurant situation where a waiter would ask customers what
their order would be. Further, to drill the verb effectively, one must ensure that
the type of drill questions used are within the experiences of the students. For
example, if one asks the question “Que prends-tu pour le dîner quand tu es dans
un grand restaurant?” to Grade Four students, they may have difficulty
answering this type of question because it may not be within their realm of
experience; however, Grade Ten students may be able to answer more readily
since they may have experience this very situation. Therefore, it is also important
that the type of oral linguistic exercises given to the students take into account
the context, students’ interests, their experiences and their cognitive maturity.
In order for an oral production activity to be communicative, then, it must have
the following characteristics: 1) involve the transfer of information that is
unknown or not well known to the listener(s), 2) be task-based; i.e., it relates to an
activity that occurs in real life, 3) be contextualized; i.e., the speaker has
information regarding who the audience is, for what purpose he/she is producing
the information, any other circumstances surrounding the production, etc., and 4)
be meaningful to the learner; i.e., the activity is relevant to the speaker’s age
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group and life experiences (Tremblay, 1989). In these oral communicative
activities, students are required to supply information that is needed or missing
in order to carry out the task, which may be either prepared or unprepared.
Communicative activities consist of such techniques/procedures as brainstorming,
role-playing, taking surveys, giving directions/instructions, playing games,
especially those which are played in real life), carrying out impromptu
conversations, interviewing and so on.
The same types of communicative activities can be done at an experiential level.
The difference, however, lies in the fact that now students are making the
decisions regarding the linguisitic knowledge and skills they will need in order to
convey their own intents based on the context. In this sense, the language
experience is taking into account the students’ experiences and interests by
carrying out the activities which are meaningful and relevant to them. A
brainstorming activity will help illustrate how the same technique/procedure can
be communicative in one instance and experiential in another.
Brainstorming, when used as a communicative technique, has a very specific
purpose. For example, in the field of experience “Food”, students could be asked
to brainstorm all the food words they know in English which they think may
sound the same in French and verify if they are similar or not. In this case, the
students are communicating ideas, but the intent of the activity is very specific;
i.e., the students’ knowledge is being directed towards the development of a food
vocabulary list based on what they know about food in general. In addition,
there is an information gap, since the students are not certain whether the
vocabulary they are furnishing exists in French or not; therefore, their
hypotheses are being verified and they are bridging the gap with the words they
are supplying, albeit in their first language.
However, in order to make the same technique experiential, the teacher could
ask the students to brainstorm the types of food they would like to eat at their
end of the year class picnic. Once the list has been prepared, they could decide
who would bring what item to the picnic. In this sense, the activity is
experiential in that it is relevant and meaningful to the students, with their
interests at the core of the activity. In effect, they are actually participating in
making decisions that pertain to them. In addition, this same activity has a
context and gives students a reason for communicating. Essentially, then, the
distinguishing factors between a communicative activity and an experiential one
are: 1) the limitations placed on the activity, i.e., its function- learning
(communicative) versus application (experiential), the presence of a
communicative intent and a context, 2) how relevant and meaningful the activity
is in terms of the students’ interests and maturity, and 3) whether or not the
students are playing an active role in a decision-making or problem-solving
process.
There are a variety of oral production activities and tasks which can be planned
Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced
and used at all language levels (Beginner,
Advanced). The
difference in these activities will be determined by the complexity of the
language used, i.e., simple language expression versus more sophisticated
language use at the more advanced language levels. A useful example is a
survey activity, which involves the reading comprehension skill, since surveys or
questionnaires usually appear in print form. At the Beginner level, a check-off
format is most appropriate as a means of gathering information, since these
surveys will focus mainly on language at the word level, For example, if the
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field of experience under study is “Clothing”, then the type of survey questions
asked would relate to simple word usage such as “Quand if fait chaud, préfèrestu les shorts ou un maillot de bain?” Students would answer the question using
a one-word answer which would reflect their choice. A full sentence is not
necessary, because the purpose of this type of activity is to convey one's message,
not focus on the ability to create a sentence with the chosen word. The survey
form for this type of activity could look like this.
SONDAGE DES PRÉFÉRENCES
Coche (√ ) les réponses de ton partenaire.
1. Garçon
Fille
2. Quand il pleut, portes-tu :
... un imperméable?
... des bottes en caoutchouc?
... un chapeau?
3. Quand il fait chaud, portes-tu :
... un maillot de bain?
... des shorts?
... des jeans?
The same questions can be used with pictures accompanying the vocabulary if
students require a memory aid.
For example:
1. Garçon (
)
Fille
)
(
2. Quand il pleut (
) , portes-tu :
... un imperméable (
)?
... des bottes en caoutchouc (
... un chapeau (
)?
)?
etc.
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A follow up to this activity might involve having students summarize the results
of the survey orally, followed by a written summary of the results in which the
students would copy down the report as a form of guided practice in which
knowledge is transferred to the written skill and reinforces what was learned
orally.
At the Intermediate level, the focus will be more at the sentence and paragraph level, where students are asked to state their opinions, likes/dislikes, etc.,
in which their responses consist of a string of ideas. For example if the field of
experience is “fashion”, a survey question at this level might be, “Les fins de
semaine, qu’aimes-tu porter et pourquoi?” As such, students are required, then,
to substantiate and elaborate on their answer, where they might use complete
sentence or other appropriate rejoinders in order to maintain the flow of information. The survey would be made of question relating to other activities that
students participation and the types of clothes they would wear for these occasions. Notes can be jotted down on the survey form as the question are being
asked, replicating an activity done in real life. Once the data are collected, an
oral or written class summary can be carried out, which could be used later on in
the unit or the project.
At the Advanced level, students’ oral productions will focus on using sophisticated language forms in a more elaborated fashion, i.e., students will communicate their thoughts as a series of cohesive and coherent ideas, linked by discourse elements such as “vu que, pour que, ainsi que,” etc. as a means of connecting these ideas and giving their productions more fluidity. As such, surveys
at this level can take on the role of determining students’ knowledge and the
ability to synthesize and evaluate it. If for example, the field of experience
under study is “Being Independent” and the unit or project revolves around the
creation of a pamphlet describing essential aspects of living alone, the types of
questions asked would require the student to describe in detail an incident that
he/she has experienced or a friend has experienced so that information can be
gleaned from the scenarios. For example, one scenario could be “Imagine que tu
as été accepté.e à une université dans une province de l’est et tu devrais
démenager. Décris ce que tu penserais que sera ta nouvelle vie. Explique quelles
seront tes dépenses, etc. The scenario type question then requires that students
use more sophisticated language as a means of closing the information gap.
As can be seen the same type of oral text can serve a number of levels, what will
change, however, will be the level of sophistication of the language use. More
examples of these types of oral production activities follow; however, they will
need to be adapted to suit the needs of the context and the students’ communicative/linguistic level. Thus, the descriptions are general in nature and will need
to be tailored to the unit or project being developed.
Brainstorming is a cognitive learning strategy that generally involves the
process of generating or creating ideas to resolve a problem. In the second
language classroom, this process can be used to generate vocabulary, expressions
or, at more advanced communicative/linguistic levels, ideas for discussion
purposes. This type of activity focuses on communicating thoughts, not on
linguistic accuracy. Therefore, linguistic errors may be found as a product of this
activity and should be accepted accordingly; however, if errors impede total
comprehension, then the negotiation of meaning will be required in order that
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the students’ intents be understood. Error correction may even still be necessary
if the error persists. This kind of activity can be done as an entire class or in
small groups of between four to six students. Students will have to be reminded
that the goal is the generation of words, expressions or ideas and that all
answers should be accepted without criticism. This process can also be used as a
pre-production activity or as will be seen later on as a means of communicating
ideas as it relates to a reading passage or a writing assignment.
Role-playing or simulations are oral production activities which are often
based on listening activities, which have already exposed students to certain
linguistic and sociolinguistic patterns needed for this task. At the Beginner
level, especially, it is advisable to demonstrate or model the process for students.
This can be done by the teacher or through the use of audio tapes or videotaped
scenes. In some cases, students can be supplied with cue cards that present the
entire situation with only certain aspects missing, which are then filled in
spontaneously by the students. Or, just the beginning of the dialogue can be
supplied and students can complete the dialogue. In another case, cue cards
would provide students information on what they are to talk about and no more.
It is up to them, then, to develop the conversation, following the appropriate
protocol for the situation, such as formal versus informal language use, and so
forth. Variations of this process include: partners switching roles, an audience
member intervening and giving one of the characters advice, one participant
actually playing one role while the other role is played by an “imaginary” person
requiring the audience to determine what the “imaginary” person is saying, one
person can play both roles or various groups can replay the same roles with the
class listening for the differences/similarities in the simulations. For students at
the Intermediate/Advanced levels, role-playing can replicate more difficult
situations, such as giving a classmate advice on a problem he/she may be
experiencing or simulating a situation in which one character expresses an
opinion and must support it with documented evidence. These types of activities,
then, allow students to recycle knowledge and experiences.
Conversations are similar to role-playing but differ in the sense that they
relate more to unprepared discourse and to events that often occur in one’s daily
life, such as asking friends about the movie they saw the night before or inviting
a friend out to see a movie. Brainstorming is one activity which can be done as a
precursor to the conversational activity so that the class as a whole or small
groups can determine the kinds of words, expressions or appropriate social
conventions they think they will need for the conversation. From there,
depending on whether the teacher is dealing with Beginner
Beginner, Intermediate or
Advanced level students, he/she may wish to give them time to prepare
mentally or to allow them to carry it out impromptu. The latter format assists
students in becoming more independent and confident speakers as well as better
risk takers in unstructured situations.
When students present their conversations to the class, those who make up the
audience should be actively engaged in an activity that corresponds to the
conversation. Students can be asked to do an activity such as those outlined in
the listening comprehension section or they can be asked to evaluate the
conversation (see peer evaluation in the section on Evaluating Students’
Work
Work). Whatever format is chosen, it is important to involve students in their
peers’ oral productions as this will assist them in directly developing their
listening comprehension and indirectly in improving their oral production skills.
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Interviews are a variation on conversations but require a preparation phase in
which the types of questions that will be asked are often predetermined. For
Beginner level students, the teacher may prepare a sequence of questions or the
questions may be decided upon as a class. An example of this format is a game
called Social Bingo (Omaggio, 1986), in which the students attempt to fill in
their Bingo cards by interviewing fellow classmates so as to determine which
situation belongs to whom. Once they have found the person, they write the
student’s name below the situation. The teacher then decides what vertical or
horizontal line, the X, and so on will be the winning combination. An example of
such a Bingo card follows below.
LE BINGO SOCIAL
B
I
N
G
O
Quelqu’un qui
aime les maths.
Quelqu’un qui
aime les sciences.
Quelqu’un qui
aime les fins de
semaine.
Quelqu’un qui
aime les études
sociales.
Quelqu’un qui
aime l’école.
Quelqu’un qui
aime l’anglais.
Quelqu’un qui
adore la musique.
Quelqu’un qui
aime les
ordinateurs.
Quelqu’un qui
déteste le
français.
Quelqu’un qui
déteste les
études sociales.
Quelqu’un qui
déteste les
sciences.
Quelqu’un qui
aime le français.
Quelqu’un qui
aime regarder
les sports à
l’école.
Quelqu’un qui
aime les clubs
à l’école.
Quelqu’un qui
aime le drame.
Quelqu’un qui
aime les arts
plastiques.
Quelqu’un qui
déteste l’anglais.
Quelqu’un qui
adore l’éducation physique.
Quelqu’un qui
ne prend pas le
déjeuner à
l’école.
Quelqu’un qui
déteste l’école.
Quelqu’un qui
est dans un club
à l’école.
Quelqu’un qui
prend le déjeuner à
l’école.
Quelqu’un qui
a son casier en
désordre.
Quelqu’un qui
déteste les
ordinateurs.
LIBRE
At the Intermediate or Advanced levels, students can be allowed to prepare
their questions in advance, in which case they would be creating a structured
interview. This preparation process can be done individually, in pairs or in small
groups (three or four students). When the students have decided upon their
questions, they can be transferred to cue cards to help facilitate the interview
process, which replicates a process that is often used on television. Interviews
can also be unstructured, but this is probably best done at the Advanced level,
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since this type of activity will encourage students to be more spontaneous in the
application of their language knowledge and to choose the best means of
expressing themselves. This type of activity mainly requires the use of
metacognitive strategies, since students are required to sustain the interview
process by choosing the best linguistic expressions, monitoring their speech and
self-correcting their message. This type of interview is used best for gathering
general information, since it is more like a conversation than a question-answer
session.
A debate is a production activity that requires high levels of language ability
and is best carried out at the Advanced level, since students at this level will
have a larger vocabulary and are able to access more linguistic structures.
Furthermore, this type of activity requires critical thinking skills which are often
associated with more mature students. This type of activity can involve two
steps: 1) researching the topic, and 2) brainstorming prior to the debate. The
first step can involve a “reading for information” stage in which students gather
data regarding the topic to be discussed, which would include the jotting down of
notes which students could use to support their opinions during the debate.
Alternatively, students may wish to interview key resource people who could
supply them with information on the topic, in which case they also would be
using interview techniques. Students could then be grouped according to their
opinions so that as a group they could develop a defence for their opinions. Once
students have pooled their information, the groups can be divided again so as to
carry out a practice session to determine if their defence is solid enough. At the
same time, they can determine what appropriate linguistic forms and vocabulary
will be needed in order to best express their intents. Once the “mock” debate
session has been completed, the second step can take place.
This step involves students in brainstorming linguistic items, such as “floortaking formulae”, i.e., expressions needed to agree or disagree, to show objection,
to support an idea/opinion, to express an opinion, etc., so that they will have at
their disposal the necessary linguistic formulae that will assist them in
sustaining their communication. This type of activity also allows for the use of
negotiation techniques, which can also be brainstormed so that students have
access to ways in which they can clarify another’s communicative intent. Once
the debate begins, the teacher’s role, as an observer, is to note frequent errors in
communication which will be discussed at a later date but not during the
process. Students not participating in the debate are also observers and should
be given a task that relates to the debate, such as writing a summary of the key
points raised by either side or writing an opinion from the observer’s point of
view as to which side presented the best arguments. The summary can be given
orally, followed by a discussion of what types of difficulties the students
experienced in presenting their opinions, which takes the form of analysis and
reflection. This activity, then, is probably the most difficult and challenging for
students. Thus, students must be given ample time to prepare properly for this
task.
The last type of oral production activity to be discussed is the use of games
games.
Games are an excellent means of reviewing linguistic structures or they can
serve as information gap activities. Games are highly motivational and students
easily become involved. Games that are offshoots of well-known games or games
which are broadcasted on television are particularly popular. The advantage of
creating and using games that they are based on these models is that students
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are already familiar with the rules. Two examples will be given to assist teachers in developing their own games.
“ Jeopardy “ is a well-known television program based on the formulation of
questions which contain the answer within the question. This type of game
practices question formats that use intonation or inversion formats. The game is
based on contextualized categories from which students must choose a category
and the number of points. The field of experience “Housing” will be used for
illustrative purposes.
First, four categories are chosen and written on the board with the corresponding
number of points available as shown below:
Les pièces de
la maison
10
20
30
40
50
Les activités
10
20
30
40
50
Les meubles
10
20
30
40
50
Les appareils
ménagers/électriques
10
20
30
40
50
Students are then divided into teams and begin the game by making a statement
which relates to the number of points they are going for, such as: “Les pièces de
la maison pour 10 points, s’il vous plaît.” The teacher then reads the
corresponding problem. These problems can be as simple or as complex as the
teacher desires, adjusting them to suit the students’ language and cognitive
levels. For example, “C’est un endroit dont tout le monde a besoin le matin. Là,
on se brosse les dents, on se rase, on se lave, on prend sa douche, etc.” The
students then responds by asking an appropriate question. For example, “C’est
une salle de bain?” or “Est-ce que c’est une salle de bain?”, or if the students are
able to use the inversion form, “Est-ce une salle de bain?” If the question is
correct the student’s team receives the points. Here are some further examples
for the above-mentioned categories:
Les pièces de la maison
10 - C’est l’endroit où on prépare les repas. (La cuisine)
20 - On peut y avoir beaucoup d’appareils électriques pour les disques, les films,
etc. (la salle de séjour)
Les activités
10 - C’est une activité qu’on fait dans la chambre à coucher. (dormir, étudier)
20 - C’est ce qu’on fait quand on emploie des livres de recettes. (cuisiner,
préparer un repas, faire la cuisine)
Les meubles
10 - C’est là où on se couche le soir. (Un lit)
20 - C’est un objet absolument nécessaire pour prendre un bain. (Une
baignoire)
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Les appareils ménagers/électriques
10 - On a besoin de cet appareil pour cuire le poulet, un gâteau, etc. (Un four)
20 - On a besoin de cet appareil pour sécher le linge. (Une sécheuse)
The game is finished when all the categories have been completed and the points
have been awarded. Teachers should encourage students to prepare the
definitions in groups so that they are not only practising question formats but
also sentence development (adapted from Galloway, 1990).
Another commonly used game is “Tic-Tac-Toe “. This game has simple rules and
can be used in a number of ways, especially to review vocabulary, expressions,
and grammatical structures. One way in which this game can be played is to set
up the tic-tac-toe on the board with each square containing a number as shown
in the following example.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
These numbers correspond to questions or definitions, previously prepared on
recipe cards that the teacher or a student reads to the class. With the class
divided into two teams, one team the X’s and the other the O’s, a member from
one of the teams chooses a number and must answer the question or the
definition correctly. If the student answers incorrectly, the opposing team can
opt to steal the square by answering the question and attempting to provide the
correct answer. Students are highly motivated by this game, since they know the
strategies needed to win at “ Tic-Tac-Toe “.
Information gap games involve students in sharing their information in order to
solve a problem or a puzzle. One type of information gap exercise is to have two
students work together to solve a mysterious coded message in which each
student is given a message, but only half the code. In pairs, students work
together to figure out their message. Groups of students are given a number of
coded messages that they must share with each other in order to solve the
problem, in this case a possible murder. There are fifteen coded messages to this
“whodunit” which one may wish to try with a class. For this reason the coded
messages can be found in Appendix A so that they may be photocopied. The
answers for the messages will follow with the solution given as well.
This type of activity allows students to exchange ideas freely while attempting to
resolve a problem. Activities of this sort are stimulating, motivating and
encourage students to use their linguistic knowledge in a non-threatening
atmosphere. Another information gap activity which demonstrates how
individual students make choices regarding the rules they must follow at home is
included in Appendix A. Students must share their information with another
student or other students to see how similar or different their rules are. The
same activity can be done again, only this time students can create rules for their
parents.
One can see, then, that there are a number of ways in which oral production can
be developed. The field of experience and the project will determine the types of
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activities that will be employed as well as the students’ linguistic abilities. When
choosing experiential/communicative activities/tasks, teachers need to always
bear in mind the students’ linguistic ability and cognitive maturity, in addition to
the degree of preparedness or spontaneity the activity/task will require. Oral
production activities/tasks should also encourage students to use their linguistic,
sociolinguistic, and discourse knowledge to the fullest extent in real-life contexts
and situations which are meaningful to the students..
Reading Comprehension
Reading comprehension, like its listening counterpart, is also a receptive skill,
which once again involves the active processing of messages. This time, however,
these messages are found in print form. This form differs greatly from oral
discourse, too, in that written discourse is characterized by the observance of
correct grammatical usage, coherence and cohesion in thought, and wellconstructed sentences which demonstrate the planning and organizing of ideas,
much of which is often lacking in oral discourse. Therefore, efficient readers do
not only decode and decipher written symbols, but, also, and more importantly,
interpret and construct meaning from these symbols. In this process, ideas,
thoughts, concepts, and values are actively extrapolated and internalized by
readers so as to determine the communicative intent behind the messages.
During the reading process, readers search for all kinds of clues and resort to a
number of resources in order to assist them in the construction of meaning, using
such strategies as, sound-symbol relationships, grammatical, semantic,
contextual, and visual clues, their own experiences, and so forth, as a means of
determining the meanings behind the symbols. In addition, readers need to be
able to relate with the originator of the text, i.e., the author, in order to negotiate
the meaning of his/her communicative intent(s). Thus, as with the listening
skill, reading comprehension also has a twofold purpose: 1) to participate in
discourse, and 2) to obtain information; i.e., reading serves a need or a purpose.
Thus, the kinds of activities and real-life tasks that are used to develop this skill
must represent the need for reading a text by employing such processes as
problem-solving and information-getting.
To carry out these processes it is important to be able to read for meaning which
is contingent upon grasping key contextual clues. Furthermore, without a
context, meaning is difficult to interpret, construct, or reconstruct. For second
language learners, it is important that they be given a context so that the
deciphering and interpreting of meaning can be facilitated. Here again, it is
useful to recall the five basic elements of any context (Tremblay, 1989), which
are:
1. the participants;
2. the relationship existing between the participants;
3. the communicative intent(s) used for participating in the speech act;
4. the medium through which the information is transmitted (e.g., personal
letter, informal note, instruction sheet, novel, and so forth); and
5. the significant background factors pertinent to the context which will affect
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the speech act. (See the section on listening comprehension for further
information on these elements.)
As in listening comprehension, each of these elements plays an important role in
defining the context that is needed in order to attain full comprehension of what
is being read. It is by knowing the importance of context for purposeful reading
that teachers can determine the kinds of reading tasks and activities which are
appropriate and helpful in developing reading comprehension in the second
language classroom. As a result, when choosing reading material it is important
to bear in mind its context-appropriateness and the purpose for reading.
At the classroom level, generally two forms of print materials/resources are
used: didactic materials or authentic documents. Hammerly (1982; 1986)
suggests that didactic materials are prepared specifically for a second language
clientele and for instructional purposes only. As such, their intent is primarily
to teach and develop language elements, since the ratio of new linguistic
elements (e.g., vocabulary, grammatical structures, etc.) to old/already known
elements is very high, with limited focus being placed on reading for problemsolving or information-getting purposes in real-life situations. Recently, however,
some didactic material is moving in the direction of reading for meaning, but it is
important to note, nevertheless, that a real context is often lacking, as is an
authentic reason for reading, making the material less purposeful. Teachers
need to be aware of this in order to add a viable context and the carrying out of
real-life tasks with the reading material that is being presented in these
resources as a means of developing the skill appropriately.
Authentic documents, on the other hand, are prepared for a first language
audience and should be employed in the second language classroom when an
appropriate context allows for their use. These are documents which one would
find in real life, such as telephone messages, grocery lists, pamphlets, application
forms, poems, novels, and so forth. However, teachers must be aware that the
use of authentic documents is often quite time consuming and involves much
more planning for their use than didactic materials, since the ratio of new
linguistic elements to old/already known elements will be much lower. This is
where strategy use becomes a key factor in developing reading comprehension.
Students will need to be shown how to tolerate ambiguity by focusing in on what
they know and not on what they do not know. As a result, they have to be shown
how to use learning strategies to interpret or construct meaning from print. For
example, Beginner level students can be shown how to construct meaning
through the use of cognates. Advertising often uses a number of cognates which
students can be asked to underline or circle. Next, students can use these words
to attempt to “guess” the message or messages which are being shared. This
type of activity teaches students to tolerate the unknown, by building upon what
they already know and gives them a strategy which will assist them in not
getting bogged down in the deciphering of each and every word.
The use of authentic documents will also assist in developing “risk takers” who
can then become efficient and effective readers, since they can resort to a variety
of strategies to enable them to become less frustrated deal with a text which is
unfamiliar to them. As with listening, many of the strategies, such as
hypothesizing, predicting, and anticipating, which are used naturally in one’s
first language, must be brought to a conscious level in a second language in order
to develop and enhance reading comprehension. Other strategies which are
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particular to reading comprehension, such as scanning or skimming for
information, will constantly need to be reinforced if students are to be able to use
them efficiently. Still other strategies, such as using contextual and visual clues,
will assist students in better anticipating the types of messages they will be
reading. Students should also be taught how to use bilingual and unilingual
dictionaries as a meanings of assisting them with words which are “blocking” full
comprehension. Students need to be taught how to use the dictionary judiciously
so that they are not looking up every single word which they are unable to
discern. This is a time-consuming strategy and should only be resorted to when
the word or expression impedes the students’ total comprehension. Students
need to be shown how to glean meaning from a text without having to know the
full sense of every word. By having access to a number of strategies, then,
students can learn to become better and more efficient readers and interpreters
of the second language.
However, unlike listening which involves both interactive and noninteractive
text types (see the section on the program components - experience/
communication- for the definition of these terms), essentially all reading is
noninteractive. In this sense, reading is often more difficult than listening
because readers are mostly receiving information via one-way messages.
Consequently, they do not have the immediate opportunity to stop and negotiate
meaning or do perception checks with the communicator of the intent to ensure
the meaning is being correctly understood. Furthermore, oral discourse is often
embellished by nonverbal communications which will assist in the
comprehension of the message, while written communication is limited, by the
very nature of print, unless it is accompanied by a graphic, an illustration or a
photograph, in assisting in the general comprehension of the message(s) being
shared. For this reason, then, the types of reading tasks the students are asked
to carry out must be realistic and purposeful and the types of texts chosen are
both appropriate for level and the task. To assist in the development of reading
comprehension, three phases are proposed: 1) the pre-reading phase, 2) the
actual reading phase, and 3) the post reading-phase.
The pre-reading phase involves two aspects: 1) contextualizing the reading
which gives students access to the information required to better understand the
text by providing the situation and some background to the text and 2)
anticipating the elements of the text which sets the stage for reading by
defining the purpose for reading the text, determining what kinds of information
might possibly be found in the text, identifying a process which will assist in
finding this information and deciding how it will be recorded. This phase
employs students’ past experiences as a means of anticipating the type(s) of
information or messages which might be shared. Brainstorming is the most
common form of anticipation, since it allows for all students to bring forth the
experiences which they have acquired mostly in their first language and possibly
in their second with written texts, such as grocery lists, telephone messages,
business letters, legends, fairy tales, novels, etc. Further, brainstorming assists
students in becoming consciously aware of the fact that different texts convey a
variety of messages in various ways. The use of contextualization and
anticipation, then, is an important aspect of the development of reading
comprehension, since they provide students with an anchor which will assist
them in decoding the text and deriving meaning from it.
The actual reading phase is composed of two stages: 1) the verification stage
which gives students the opportunity to verify what they have anticipated by
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using such strategies as skimming and scanning to determine if the information
is present or not and where it is generally located and 2) the comprehension of
details which requires the students to seek out and identify specific information
required to complete the communicative task. The latter stage also provides
students with feedback on their general reading comprehension, i.e. their ability
to determine the gist of the main messages being shared. The kinds of activities
in which students can be asked to apply what they have been able to extrapolate
from the text could be as follows: 1) completion tasks where students are
required to supply missing information, 2) summary guides in which students
present in written or oral form pertinent information, or 3) question/answer
guides which demand more than just the recall of information, but rather focus
on synthesis-type questions such as having students determine what would be
the succeeding events based on the information they have at the present time, or
on evaluation-type questions where students are asked to use their past
experiences as the criteria for judging whether or not the passage, as they have
understood it, was consistent with their own experiences. These are just a few
examples of the kinds of real-life tasks which students can be given in order to
demonstrate what it is they have understood. As such, an important aspect of
this stage is to provide students with appropriate and sufficient feedback as to
what they have understood, as well as to determine the depth of their
understanding, since with abstract texts there is often a fair amount of cultural
information and nuances which are present that can possibly hinder or impede
full comprehension of the messages being shared. To ensure, then, that full
comprehension is being attained, students must be given tasks which will delve
into the extrapolation of this information and which are different from those
used in either the pre- or post-reading phases.
ost-reading phase. This step consists of tasks that
The final phase is the post-reading
require the students to reinforce what it is they have just acquired and to relate
it to previously learned material, while at the same time reflecting upon the
strategies employed in the pre-reading and actual reading phases. This phase is
also important, since it develops the students’ ability to take what has been
derived from the reading text and to apply it to either a similar or different
context (a form of transfer or “reinvestment”). The tasks used in this phase
should be different than those presented in the previous two phases to ensure the
recycling of knowledge. These tasks, then, will often require the use of other
language skills such as related oral or written production activities. The kinds of
oral and/or written production tasks which can be carried out would depend
largely on the original reading text. For example, orally, students might be
asked to summarize the reading passage or demonstrate their appreciation of the
text by giving a critique. Writing tasks might include rewriting the ending of the
article or story, writing the information from another point of view or writing an
article for the newspaper based on the information presented.
Another aspect of this phase is an extension of learning which involves tasks
that add new elements to the context so as to recycle and reuse what was
previously learned. Once again, any one of the other language skills can be used
to develop this portion of the post-reading phase. Thus, there are a variety of
ways in which reading comprehension tasks can be combined with listening,
speaking or writing tasks as a means of transposing and transforming the
messages which were originally understood. These tasks, however, need to be in
keeping with the communicative/linguistic level of the students as well as their
cognitive level.
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Again, to better understand the above discussion an example using authentic
documents will be used so as to illustrate the proposed manner for developing
reading comprehension. Like the majority of reading texts, the texts which have
been chosen are “noninteractive” in nature; i.e., students are asked to “interact”
with the text in a one-way fashion, deriving meaning from that which is known
and gleaning meaning for the unknown. The texts are representative of the type
of current reading which students might carry out in their first language, so that
they are able to use this experience to capture the essence of what is being
expressed. The articles below are news clipping from the section entitled “Echos
des T.N-0”, from the Territories’ francophone newspaper “L’Aquilon “. These
clipping have been chosen since they coincide with the Intermediate 2 field of
experience Crime and Violence in which the students could be involved in an
educational project which focuses on the production of a crime re-enactment
program for television. For the purposes of the project, the students read these
clippings so as to gather information on either criminal offences or accidents that
have occurred in the Northwest Territories. The information will be used later in
the production of re-enactments for a television series similar to “Unsolved
Mysteries”. These clippings are as follows:
Adolescent accusé de meurtre à Gjoa Haven par Karen Lajoie
(Extrait No 1)
Un adolescent de 16 ans a comparu devant la cour territoriale à Yellowknife le 6
mai, suite à une accusation de meurtre au deuxième degré à Gjoa Haven. Il a été
renvoyé en détention provisoire à Hay River jusqu’au 24 mai, alors qu’il
comparaîtra à nouveau pour que soit fixé la date de son enquête préliminaire.
La Gendarmerie royale du Canada à Gjoa Haven a déposé une plainte de
meurtre au deuxième degré contre cet adolescent après une brève enquête suite à
la mort subite de Iga Qayutinnuaq, âgée de 21 ans, le 23 mars dernier. La loi
canadienne interdit que L’Aquilon dévoile l’identité du prévue, en raison de son
jeune âge.
Selon un communiqué de presse de la GRC, Mlle Qayutinnuaq a trouvé la mort à
2h30 du matin, le 23 mars. Une autopsie en Colombie-Britannique a révelé que
la jeune femme n’était pas morte de cause naturelle. La GRC n’a cependant pas
précisé la cause exacte de son décès. (le 12 mai 1994, page 2)
Accident mortel de la route à Fort Simpson par Karen Lajoie
(Extrait No 2)
Le 15 mai dernier, Mme Kimberly Slauenwhite conduisait sa voiture lorsqu’elle a
perdu contrôle du véhicule, dans un tournant. L’auto a effectué un tonneau à
environ 10 kilomètres à l’est de la rivière Liard. Selon le sergent Scott Stauffer
de la GRC, Mme Slauenwhite - une résidente de Hay River âgée de 35 ans - a été
éjectée de la voiture et a été tuée sur le coup. L’ enquête de la GRC se poursuit.
(le 20 mai 1994, page 2)
*Reprint permission for the above texts has been provided by L’Aquilon for the sole purpose of
demonstration within this document of the use of authentic texts for the development of reading
comprehension.
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Pre-reading Activities
Before students carry out any of these activities it is important to remind them of
the context, the communicative task, and the communicative intent so that they
are constantly aware of the reason behind what they are being asked to do.
1. Given that the readings are about accidents or crimes, students are
grouped in pairs and asked to draw up a list of the general categories of
information they think they will find in these types of clippings.
Subsequently, groups share their lists and a class list is created to be verified
in the actual reading activity.
2. Students can develop questions based on the five news reporting questions:
who, what where, when, and why. Using only the titles of the clippings,
students determine if they can answer some of their questions. If so, then
they can verify in the actual reading if their anticipations were correct and if
any more details can be added to what they already have determined from
the titles.
Reading activities
1. Verification - Students verify elements previously anticipated during the
actually reading of the clippings. They demonstrate what they have
understood by underlining and labelling the key information in the text, and
then categorizing this information as it relates to the list which was
previously drawn up.
2. Comprehension - Students are told that they are research assistants for
upcoming episodes of “Unsolved Mysteries”. Their task is to obtain
information from the newspaper so that they can write the re-enactment.
Students fill in the “Fiche de Recherche” looking for the information listed on
the form. This form could look something like this.
FICHE DE RECHERCHE
Extrait No 1
1. a) Nom de la victime :
b) Âge de la victime :
c) Lieu de résidence de la victime :
2. a) Nom de l’accusé.e :
b) Âge de l’accusé.e :
c) Lieu de résidence de l’accusé.e :
3. Détails concernant le crime/l’accident
Crime
Accident
(Encercle-un.)
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Où :
Quand :
Comment :
Pourquoi :
4. Autres informations pertinentes :
Extrait No 2
1. a) Nom de la victime :
b) Âge de la victime :
c) Lieu de résidence de la victime :
2. a) Nom de l’accusé.e :
b) Âge de l’accusé.e :
c) Lieu de résidence de l’accusé.e :
3. Détails concernant le crime/l’accident
Crime
Accident
(Encercle-un)
Où :
Quand :
Comment :
Pourquoi :
4. Autres informations pertinentes :
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Post-reading Activities
1. Listening Comprehension Activity
As a means of comparing the way in which information on similar types of
incidents is described in other media, students can either watch a television
broadcast or listen to a radio re-enactment and list the categories of
information which are presented. They then compare this list to the
categories they anticipated in the pre-reading activity to determine if more or
less information is given.
2. Listening Comprehension Task
Using the same oral text mentioned above, students fill in the research sheet
with the information which is presented during the program.
3. Oral Production Task
Students are told that they have witnessed one of these events. They are
asked to call their nearest police detachment and provide further details
concerning what they have seen.
4. Written Production Task
Students write an accident or crime report for their community newspaper
using the reading texts as models.
Extension Activities
1. Oral Production Task
Students are given the task to assist the script writers of “Unsolved
Mysteries” to develop character sketches of either the victim or the accused.
Students play the role of family or friends describing what the person was like
before the incident.
2. Written Production Task
Students are told that the script writers of “Unsolved Mysteries” require a
detailed written description of the suspect/accused for their files. They have
asked for a description of the physical features of this person and examples of
his/her personality.
These tasks are just a few ways in which students’ comprehension of a text can
be developed. As can be seen by the example, throughout the reading process,
students are assigned different tasks at each phase, with the same context and
field of experience transcending all activities. Knowledge and strategies are
continually recycled orally and in written form to provide constant usage of the
messages shared in the texts. This three-phased method is suggested as a
means, then, of developing students’ reading comprehension. It is up to teachers
to tailor this process in keeping with their own personal and evolving teaching
style. What must be keep in mind, however, is that reading is carried out for a
reason and that students need to be given authentic tasks which will ensure that
they are reading for meaning and for a real-life purpose.
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Written Production
Written production is a skill which requires ideas to be formulated and expressed
as printed output. Like its oral production counterpart, written production is
developed sequentially in terms of the kinds of texts to be produced by the
learner; i.e., from copying and formulating simple words or phrases to create
simple messages to drafting autonomous works which involve the expression of
numerous thoughts in a coherent and cohesive manner such as one would find in
essays or short stories.
As with oral language, there are also two main types of written texts.
Interactive texts involve at least two people who are actively engaged in
written communications with each other, giving the texts the flavour of
spontaneity or a lack of preparedness which is often typical of two-person
journals or friendly letters. Noninteractive texts are those texts which the
writer produces but does not necessary expect a direct reaction to what he/she
has written. This type of writing is almost always prepared either fully or
partially and is often followed by a number of drafts which have been edited and
rewritten. This latter process is one which is generally used for the publication
of books or articles or relates to academic tasks such as compositions, book
reports or essays, requiring students to demonstrate their ability to argue a point
coherently while showing cohesion of thought and expression. Prepared texts
often exhibit the following kinds of characteristics: 1) clearly organized
thoughts, 2) rare usage of incorrect words or expressions , and 3) argumentation
which is logical and sequential. Spontaneous written texts, on the other hand,
are often characterized by: 1) point form annotations of thoughts, 2) incomplete
sentences with more errors present than would normally be accepted in formal
written communications, and 3) overt evidence of self-monitoring as some words
are slashed and replaced with others as thoughts and ideas are quickly
reworked. Because of these distinct characteristics, the type of written text will
depend on the context and purpose for writing the message.
Written production is, by its very nature, generally prepared and more precise in
its expression than its oral counterpart. This is so because written
communications, even so-called spontaneous ones, will allow the writer the time
to reflect upon and mentally rework the intent behind the messages before
producing them. As well, once the messages have been drafted, their visual
presence allows writers the opportunity to read and reread the manner in which
the messages were written in order to determine if the sentence structure, word
usage, and grammatical forms have been correctly used to communicate the
messages in the best way possible. If, at this point, writers find that the written
messages are flawed in some way, they can rework the idea(s) until the words,
sentence structure and grammar all reflect the manner in which the messages
were intended to be communicated. On the other hand, oral production is often
not afforded this luxury, since messages are often quickly exchanged and
meaning immediately negotiated as is the case for interactive texts.
When these concepts are applied to the classroom situation, it becomes
increasingly evident that teachers will need to become familiar with the
characteristics demonstrated by these different types of texts so as to be able to
help students differentiate between the appropriate use of spontaneous,
unprepared written communications and formal prepared written
communications. Therefore, at the classroom level, written production activities
will depend upon three factors: 1) the purpose of the writing activity, be it
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experientially-, communicatively-, or linguistically-based, 2) the type of written
production activity that is planned, and 3 ) the communicative/linguistic level of
the students. Bearing this in mind, Beginner level students will generally carry
out simple writing tasks, such as creating want ads, which are very structured in
nature, following models, and focusing on language precision at the word level.
Intermediate students will build on these written tasks and will add others to
their repertoire which will now require the development of a series of sentences
to create short paragraphs for newspaper articles or simple business letters for
example. Advanced students will move towards the development of more
complex and lengthy written communications which demonstrate the ability to
elaborate ideas in a coherent and cohesive fashion as would be the case in the
writing of an essay.
In order to appropriately develop the written production skill, it is important to
note that there are often two aspects which cause second language learners
difficulty and they are: 1) recognizing and applying the sounds known orally to
the written symbols which evoke these sounds and 2) the correct syntax patterns
of the language. These two aspects are best developed and learned through
guided practice exercises . However, these types of written activities are not
considered communicative nor experiential, since they do not convey authentic
messages which are relevant to the learner nor are these exercises a consequence
of an information gap. Nevertheless, these types of written drill exercises do
play a vital role in the development of students’ linguistic abilities as they
provide a knowledge base for the use and application of these linguistic
structures. Still, there lies one danger in using these types of activities, in that
they often do not reflect authentic language use and are almost always
decontextualized. Therefore, it is very important that teachers be aware that
these types of written activities only develop linguistic knowledge and that their
application is limited to the mechanical use of the language, meaning that it will
not necessarily transpose itself automatically to real communicative/experiential
language usage. Rather, this can best be achieved when the communicative
tasks which are assigned to the students are real-life based, using a procedure
which employs examples of authentic models and is followed by guided practice
sessions based on these models. Thus, an important step in developing students’
writing abilities is to determine if the activities the students are going to carry
out are focused on real-life tasks or are simply language exercises, since the type
of activity will determine the kind of “product” and its authenticity.
The way in which an activity can be deemed communicative/experiential is
whether a communicative intent is present and whether the intent can be carried
out authentically in writing or not. For example, an authentic writing task
would be to write a postcard to a friend whereas a non-authentic writing task
would be to write out a face-to-face conversation which would otherwise be
carried out orally. Therefore, in order for a writing activity to be deemed
communicative, it must essentially exhibit authentic language use in a
meaningful and relevant context, which requires students to supply needed or
missing information in order to meet the needs of the communicative intent and
to be experiential, it needs to be carried out in a true-to-life fashion. Authentic
written tasks could include drawing up a grocery list, creating a want ad,
creating a publicity poster, writing a friendly letter or a business letter, writing a
newspaper/magazine article, or writing a brochure, guide or manual. All of these
communications are authentic and fulfill communicative needs which occur in
real life. The types of written tasks assigned to students will, however, be based
on the communicative/linguistic abilities of the students. Beginner
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level students will be limited to tasks which centre around the use of words and
simple sentences, such as the drawing up of lists, creating want ads, simple
announcements and simple publicity posters. Intermediate students, on the
other hand, will be given tasks which will require the development of
paragraphs, such as a small article for the newspaper or a simple guide for
babysitters, whereas Advanced level students will write more elaborate articles
and stories based on the field of experience being developed. Thus, not only will
the tasks need to be tailored to the level of the students, but the students will
also need to have the necessary communicative/linguistic abilities necessary to
be able to carry out the task.
As with the other three language skills, three phases are also being proposed:
1) a pre-writing phase, 2) a writing phase, and 3) a rewriting phase. This
proposal is in keeping with the view of writing as a process more so than a
product activity. As with the other skills the pre-writing phase involves the
“setting of the stage” in which students are engaged in activities which will
assist them in carrying out the communicative task to be assigned in the
writing phase
phase. The purpose of the pre-writing phase is to develop the
necessary linguistic elements in a contextualized fashion which will later be
recycled in the communicative task. This phase is composed of guided practice
sessions which will lead students to be able to replicate the same task at the
writing stage but on a more individualized basis.
In helping students start their written communications, it is important for them
to understand the purpose of what it is they are to write. In other words, the
need for communicating must be made clear and evident. Further, the writing
task needs to reflect the authentic ways in which writing occurs in real life.
Thus, by knowing the purpose, students’ writing will begin to take shape and will
define its form of expression. To begin this phase the following activities could be
carried out: 1) brainstorming ideas which are involved with a particular writing
topic, 2) helping students define the types of ideas they might want to include in
their work. 3) helping students organize their ideas by working out some of their
language problems, 4) reviewing or developing pertinent vocabulary, 5) writing
reflective journals about the writing process, and 6) developing semantic maps to
demonstrate the flow of ideas and how they are connected. In the case of
semantic mapping, a good activity for developing coherence of thought is to ask
students to connect or “map out” their ideas by drawing lines and arrows to form
idea clusters. These clusters can then become the focus of paragraph
development as students trace the beginning of an argument and seek out the
ideas which can be used to support the argument. Any ideas which are
irrelevant or do not serve a direct purpose are then eliminated. This process
then allows for students to actually “see” their ideas in terms of relationships
relative to the argumentation they are developing so that they can begin to
visualize the organizational patterns which could form the basis of a draft
version of their ideas.
Another activity which can be carried it out is to use authentic documents.
Students can use these documents as examples of correct models of
communicative expression and grammatical usage. In this case, students carry
out a guided analysis of the elements of the text and the type of expressions used
to communicate ideas. Students can now use these frameworks for developing
their own messages based on the models presented. Or, these authentic
documents can serve as informative reading to provide students with insight as
to how others express themselves regarding the same topic. Students
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can be involved in a comparison activity in which they can discuss the different
ways in which the same subject has been treated and the different writing styles
which have been used to reflect these same ideas. In essence, then, the prewriting phase serves the purpose of “setting the stage” in that students are
guided through all the necessary steps needed to carry out the task, whether it
be linguistic or communicative in nature.
The writing phase is the moment when students actually begin the process of
carrying out the written communicative task. First and foremost, students need
to be given a situation or reason for carrying out the task. They will also need to
go through a guided and modelled session before they will be able to carry out
the task on an independent basis. Thus, this phase is viewed as the development
of a series of drafts where students reflect and carry out the revision of ideas,
grammar usage, and the overall organization of the work. This phase is an
important one in the development of effective writers since students need to see
themselves playing two roles: the writer of the text and the reader. In other
words, they have to ask themselves the question: Does the reader understand
the messages as written by the writer? The answer they come up with will
determine the extent of their revisions. Thus, it is through a reflective process
and analysis of their work that students will become more competent writers.
Consistently, it has been demonstrated that persons who are more effective in
their written communications are those who possess the following
characteristics: 1) they are willing to do more planning, rescanning, and
revising of their work, 2) they will concentrate on the essence of the message
instead of getting bogged down with grammatical accuracy or searching for justthe-right word, and 3) they understand and accept that an important part of
being a good writer is composing several drafts. Assisting students through this
process is often tedious, but is vital for them to realize that good writing is not
one that occurs “off-the-cuff”, but requires extensive revisiting if students intend
to improve the manner in which they express themselves. Thus, the role of
reader of the text becomes an integral part of the revision process as students
analyze and reflect upon what it is they have written and attempt either
individually, with another student, or with the assistance of the teacher to
discern the difficulties which are presenting themselves on paper. This revision
process, then, is an important stepping stone in making students consciously
aware of the need to find solutions for improving their work. This process may
be accomplished through the use of objectivation grids or self-evaluations which
ask the students to think through the process and to consciously make
corrections by referring to their notes, dictionaries, both unilingual and bilingual,
thesauruses, verb tense references, etc. as a means of revising and improving the
work.
The rewriting phase is the transition point when students are ready to finalize
the written communication. This stage involves students in correcting any final
aspects of the work to produce a refined and polished product. It is at this point,
as well, then, that students receive feedback as to their success and are asked to
reflect further on the writing process they have just gone through by relating in
concrete terms all the steps they carried out to arrive at this point. This process
can be discussed as a group and a chart of students’ reactions can be made so
that the next time the students are asked to carry out a similar task they will
now have a referential framework that they can resort to in order to be able to
carry out the task on their own.
To better understand these phases, it is best to walk through the process with a
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concrete example. Authentic written productions for Beginner level students
will focus on guided and structured tasks which centre around the use of words,
such as grocery lists, menu writing, posters and simple announcements,
whereas students at the Intermediate and Advanced levels will engage in
written production tasks which will require more thought and organization of
ideas as students at these levels will want to express more elaborate and
sophisticated thoughts. Therefore, the following example is intended mostly for
these two levels, but the application of the ideas are equally applicable to the
Beginner level.
A very popular field of experience for students at both the junior and senior high
level is “The World of Work”, since students are very interested in obtaining parttime jobs. At the pre-writing phase students can be asked to participate in any
number of activities. For example, in simulating the filling-out of a summer job
application, students might be asked to brainstorm a list of summer jobs which
they might be interested in. A subsequent step might be to have students read
summer want-ads and to select the one which interests them the most. Then,
they can be asked to write a letter to express their interest in the job. At this
point, however, it is important to ensure that students have the requisite
knowledge necessary to write a formal business letter. Teachers need to walk the
students through the business letter writing process by using an authentic
example to pinpoint the different elements and the manner in which they are
expressed, such as the placement and correct format for the date, the placement
and format of one’s address or the address of the person to whom the letter is
being sent to, the correct salutation usage and any other formal expressions
which might be used in the body of the letter, such as “Je vous prie d’agréer, cher
Monsieur/chère Madame, l’expression de mes saluations distinguées”, to make
the letter more sociolinguistically acceptable. Having gone through this step, the
students now have sufficient information to move on to the next phase.
move on to the next phase.
At the writing phase students could be asked to brainstorm a list of
characteristics which are important to have in order to be able to apply for a
certain position. This activity allows students access to a variety of adjectives
and expressions which they can later use in the class letter and in their own
letters. Next, in order to ensure that the students have fully understood the
letter format and are able to apply their knowledge to the writing of a job
application letter, a letter is done collectively so that students can go through a
guided practice session prior to carrying out the task on their own. Students can
be asked to provide the information as the teacher writes down the ideas. At this
point, the teacher can also go through revision techniques by demonstrating to
students how to use a dictionary to ensure that words are correctly spelt and are
being used appropriately. Students can also be shown how to use a series of
reference materials in order to ensure that their messages are being correctly
communicated. Once these steps have been completed the students can be
asked to carry out the task on their own. When students have completed their
first draft, they can share their work in pairs or in small groups as a means of
determining if all the requisite parts of the letter are present. The purpose of
this revision process is to ascertain if the students have truly integrated in their
own letters the elements which were previously discussed and to see if they are
able to distinguish these parts in a fellow student’s work. The editing process,
then, is a means of verifying if in fact students have been able to apply the
requisite knowledge and to what degree they have been successful.
The next step is to have students write their revised letter in the rewriting
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phase
phase, which will reflect the entire writing process which the students have
passed through in order to be able to arrive at a polished product. At this stage,
it is important that students receive a response back for the effort they
have put into arriving to this point. This might be reflected in the following
ways: by posting up the letters for the perusal of others or by even having
someone personally reply to the letters. This could also be done by the teacher
him/herself. The point of the reaction would be to centre on the likelihood of
such a letter attaining its intended purpose, i.e., obtaining an interview and
ultimately the job. As an extension of this activity, those students who were
successful in obtaining an interview would now move onto the next step which
would be to telephone the business and set up an interview time. This extension
activity now involves the use of the oral production skill.
In essence, then, the development of the written production skill begins with
structured and modelled exercises, leading to the application of this knowledge to
simple writing tasks which are found in real life, such as lists, newspaper
articles, and so forth. As students progress through the communicative/linguistic
levels , they will gradually move to more sophisticated writing tasks which need
to follow a guided practice format in which students will collectively go through
the process before embarking on their own. Once they have completed this step,
they are now ready to freely communicate their ideas by applying their linguistic
knowledge to relevant, real-life tasks, which can now be integrated with the
other language skills in order to complete the students’ language development.
Learning Strategies
In the “Components of the Program of Studies” section, general language
education was defined and learning strategies were illustrated in terms of
concrete strategies that can be deployed in the cognitive, socio-affective and
metacognitive domains. Further, as has been seen in the discussions pertaining
to the development of the four language skills, learning strategies play a major
role in their attainment. The purpose of this particular section, however, is not
to reiterate what has been previously discussed, but rather to describe a few
activities, other than those mentioned in other sections of this Teacher
Resource Manual
Manual, which deploy strategies that can enhance the acquisition of
a second language. In addition, teachers are encouraged to read Oxford’s (1990)
Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know for an
abundance of practical activities relating to strategy recognition and its
application to language learning.
In daily teaching situations, teachers will note that students are, for the most
part, unaware of the fact that they are using strategies to either “learn”
something or “do” something. Oxford (1990) suggests that students should be
made consciously aware of this fact in order to enhance their learning of the
second language and its use. A commercial resource “Elans - Unité Zéro” (Centre
éducatif et culturel, inc.) has been developed which demonstrates to students
how strategies from their first language can be used to comprehend a second
language. The essence of these activities revolves around using oral or written
texts in the students’ first language and asking them to think about the kinds of
things they are doing in order to comprehend them. Students then work in
groups to see how others comprehend the same texts so as to become aware of
other “ways”, i.e., strategies which their peers are using, which may be
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different or similar to theirs. By raising to a conscious level the strategies
students are using, they will come to realize that learning a second language is
not so difficult after all.
An activity that teachers may wish to try with their students is the following.
The first step is to find an oral or written text in the students’ first language
which is well beyond their realm of knowledge and their oral and/or reading
comprehension level such as a highly technical document. The students would
be required to listen to or read a portion of the text and to write down briefly
what they think they understood. Then, they would be asked to reflect upon the
kinds of things they did in order to make sense of the text, simultaneously
writing them down as this reflection process is taking place. All students’
answers would be placed on the board, categorized and then labelled or vice
versa. This naming process would include identifying such strategies as
hypothesizing, guessing, skimming, scanning, taking notes, and so on. The
result of this categorization and naming process is that students now share a
common language when discussing strategy use. Furthermore, it allows them to
know for themselves what strategies they are deploying when dealing with
different learning situations and the four language skills.
To demonstrate further use of strategies, a second language text, preferably a
simple but authentic text, is now used. The students go through the same
process as indicated above and once again attempt to make sense of the text.
Using the strategy list developed previously for their first language, they can
check and verify which strategies are the same ones they used in their first
language and which ones were different. This kind of experience will not only
raise to a conscious level what students are doing when they are “learning”, but
will make them aware of “what” they are doing in order to deal with what they
perceive to be the unknown and the unfamiliar. Soon they will come to recognize
that learning a second language is not so different from learning their first
language. The following activities will illustrate this notion.
One type of cognitive activity that is being used in other subject areas beside
second languages is semantic mapping which is also referred to as “webbing”.
This activity involves brainstorming ideas and making logical connections
between words or phrases. This is an excellent way in which to build second
language students’ active and passive vocabulary, while at the same time
providing them with a means of visualizing this vocabulary, since drawings or
webs between words, phrases or expression are often used for storage in longterm memory.
At the Beginner level this type of activity can be used to develop vocabulary.
For example, in the field of experience “Food”, the centre of the map can be les
fruits and the six spokes branching out from the centre could relate to the
different fruit colours. The students’ task is to categorize the fruits that they
know according to their colour. This semantic map, as shown in Figure 9, could
be filled out using the printed words or drawings or a combination of the two. At
the Intermediate or Advanced levels, semantic maps can be used to
brainstorm ideas or key phrases that may be needed for the preparation of a
questionnaire or a debate, for example.
Another type of activity that etches into memory vocabulary that is being taught
is the Total Physical Response (T.P.R.) technique. This type of activity
involves student physically, through actions or gestures, to store certain
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FIGURE 8
VOCABULARY BUILDING SEMANTIC MAP
Rouge
Vert(e)
pomme
pomme
Orange
LES FRUITS
Brun(e)
orange
un kiwi
Jaune
banane
Bleu(e)
les bleuets
linguistic expressions in memory. Charades can be considered as a form of
T.P.R., since signs and/or symbols are used to define the meaning of the message.
The essence of these activities, then, is to have students physically “act out” the
expressions(s) being taught or reviewed. By actively participating in the
acquisition of the linguistic expressions, students are focusing on and relating
the meaning to an action. Activities of this sort cater specifically to those
students whose learning preference is kinesic; however, for other students, who
preference for learning may be auditory or visual, kinesic activities provide them
with a different modality for learning concepts. Furthermore, these techniques
are highly motivating and from the students’ perspective are considered “fun”.
Consequently, they are not cognizant of the fact that they are deploying and
applying strategies to their acquisition and retention of language; thus, learning
is viewed as less tedious.
Another use of kinesic learning is Readers’ Theatre which combines the oral
reading of a text in which students take active roles in the narration of the story;
that is, a nonscripted text now becomes a script. In this sense, the narrator
directs fellow students to pantomime the actions which are being described in
the text while it is being read aloud. These students, now “actors”, must follow
along in their own texts, since they are now responsible for any dialogue which is
present in the text. These dialogues are read by the “actors” as though they
were actually playing the roles on a stage. This type of activity encourages the
practice of sound-symbol recognition as well as the association of certain
expressions with physical movements. Further, Readers’ Theatre, which is a
form of role-playing, can also assist teachers in teaching students to use the
paralinguistic features which accompany many speech acts, such as appropriate
social distance for different situations, silence, pausing, whistling, and so on teaching aspects which often cause teachers great difficulty. Since these features
are often part of the text, students will become familiar with them in a nonthreatening fashion. Finally, Readers’ Theatre also assists students in gaining
more confidence in using the language and promotes risk-taking behaviour as
students are asked to make sense of the messages in a theatrical fashion.
Risk-taking behaviours relating to reading comprehension can be promoted
through the use of a technique called jigsaw reading
reading. This type of activity is
communicative in nature in that it involves students in working in pairs or
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teams to recreate the text as it would have appeared originally. This activity
requires the original text to be split up into manageable pieces. This can be done
in a number of ways. For example, for a full article, separate paragraphs can be
split up and each paragraph split up one more time so that teams of students
must recreate the different paragraphs of the text. Once all the groups have
completed their separate paragraphs, the whole class organizes the paragraphs
according to how the students believe the text was written. Their version is
verified against the original. Subsequently, students are asked to evaluate their
success and discuss any differences that may exist between their text and the
original. In this way, students become aware of text cohesion and coherence. As
a variation, titles from newspaper articles can be split from the articles
themselves and students must find the appropriate title for the text and justify
why they believe that is the title by finding evidence in the original text to justify
their answers. Cartoons can have their captions removed and students must
match the text with the appropriate cartoon. These types of task, amongst many
others, then, require students to make logical connections between the text and
what they know about different text genre which inductively teaches students
coherence of thought and explicitly demonstrates text cohesion.
An activity that can assist students in developing their memory and recall, in
addition to text cohesion is the creation and retelling of a story
story. This activity
is composed of five stages. The first stage involves the use of picture cards in
which students, in groups of four, are each dealt a picture. Students show their
cards to each another, one at a time, while making up a sentence based on the
picture found on his/her card and linking it to the previous student’s statement.
This process continues until all four student have presented their sentences.
Students practice the group’s newly created story a couple of times. Students are
not allowed to write down the story, since the purpose of the activity is to develop
memory recall and coherence of thought. Students are told, however, that they
must memorize the story as it will be retold to the class later on. In the second
stage students tell their story to new group members. This is achieved by
numbering off the students; i.e., students become either a number one, two ,
three, or four. Once students have been assigned a number, they are instructed
to move. Number ones stay at their original spot and number Twos, Threes, and
Fours all move to the next table. Once all the students are in place, the original
number Ones tell their group’s story. In stage three, number Twos remain at the
table and number Ones, Threes, and Fours move, now requiring the number
Twos to retell their group’s story. In stage four, the same procedure is employed,
only this time the number Threes retell the story. Finally, in stage five, the
number Fours remain at the table and the original number Ones, Twos, and
Threes return. The number Fours must retell the story of their original group.
The other members must verify and check to see if any changes have occurred
since they first created the story. The purpose of this activity is to illustrate to
students how time can change a story from its original state. This is an excellent
activity to carry out, especially when teaching students about legends and the
use of oral storytelling as a means of demonstrating the importance of recalling,
with precision, a story or events after a long period of time.
Another strategy related to memory is note-taking. Taking down notes also
promotes the use of other strategies such as selective attention and organizing
one’s learning. However, according to Oxford (1990, pp. 86 - 88), this is a
strategy that is not normally taught other than in the form of dictation.
Therefore, it is an important strategy to teach beyond the dictation format, since
students learn how to attend to key bits of information. This strategy is best
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used with the receptive skills since it assists students in retaining the
information they have understood.
There are a number of ways in which students may take down notes. Oxford
(1990), however, describes two effective ways in which students can be taught
how to take down information in an efficient manner. One format is known as
the shopping list and requires the use of set categories to determine the main
points being attended to either orally or in written form. Although the format
does impose a certain writing style, its simplicity allows for easier organization
of the information and the identification of the types of categories to be used.
This type of note-taking is especially appropriate for Beginner students, since
their linguistic abilities are fairly limited.
The ways in which the categories are set up will depend on the complexity of the
text. For example, if students are asked to listen to a flight safety
announcement, the categories that might be selected could be the safety items
mentioned and the location of these items, Under each category the students
would write the item they heard and its location. Answers are limited to key
words which can later be transformed into complete sentences if the task
requires this step to be carried out. If students are reading a recipe for making
a pizza, for example, they might choose the categories: ingredients required and
utensils needed. From this information, then, they can reconstruct the recipe
using memory recall to assist them its re-creation.
Another interesting way to take down information and organize thoughts is to
use what is called the T-formation. On a full sheet of paper students write a big
“T”. The top of the “T” or, the crossbar, is used for writing the main theme or the
title for the notes to be taken down. The main categories of information are
found on the left side of the “T” and the right side is for the finer details such as
comments or examples. This form of note-taking is best used at the
Intermediate or Advanced levels, since more sophisticated language would be
used for this type of note-taking. Although this type of note-taking is simplistic
in its format, it still requires practice as it demands the use of higher-order
thinking skills to be able to synthesize information in order to be effectively use
the grid. The advantage of this type of note-taking is that it clearly defines where
the notes are to be written and, at a glance, the students can organize the
information quickly and effectively. In essence, note-taking encourages students
to organize and plan their learning and can become a valuable aid for memory
retention.
To develop organization of thought, in addition to cohesion and coherence in
written productions, jigsaw writing can be used. This activity has students
working in pairs to create a story. Each student in the pair is given one or two
sentences to write and as a pair they must interweave their sentences so as to
create a story. A variation of this type of activity is one in which students choose
a picture and one student begins the paragraph by writing the first sentence.
The second student must now look at the picture, read his/her peer’s sentence
and write a sentence which is linked to the previous sentence. This back-andforth process continues until the students feel their paragraph fully depicts the
picture. Next, the paragraphs are either edited by the teacher or by another set
of peers. Then they are handed into the teacher who will later read them aloud
to the rest of the class. The task of the students is to determine which picture
corresponds to which paragraph. This type of activity helps elicit the creative
application of language use, in addition to deploying students’ knowledge
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about text coherence and cohesion.
As has been seen by the few examples provided above, there are numerous ways
in which students can become cognizant of strategy use and subsequently be able
to apply this conscious knowledge to practical applications. This is another role
which teachers must take on in order to entice students into becoming more
knowledgeable about the strategies they are using and to encourage them to
develop others, by raising to a conscious level the existence of the multitude of
learning strategies that they have at their disposition. In turn, it is up to the
students to transform this conscious knowledge to the learning and acquisition of
the second language.
Grouping Students
Group work is often perceived as requiring intensive teacher preparation, with
the end product resulting in a lot of classroom noise, and little productive
working going on. However, the positive results out weigh the negative ones, as
students are given many more opportunities to interact with people other than
just the teacher, while dramatically increasing the amount of language they will
be listening to or producing themselves. Group work also encourages the use of
socio-affective strategies which will assist students in better acquiring the
language. In light of this, one of the easiest traps for teachers to fall into is
believing that they have to do all of the talking in order for students to learn the
language and produce it properly. This is true in the sense of providing the best
language model, but it is not necessarily the best scenario if one wishes to
increase students’ use of the language. That is where group work will assist the
teacher in giving students more time to engage in language practice.
Students can be grouped in a number of ways: in pairs, in small groups of three
to four or even five to six students. Uneven pairs can be used effectively in the
following ways: 1) one student will act as an observer of the pair that is working
and later provide the pair with feedback, 2) one student can act as a facilitator
for language use or as a guide for keeping the pair on task, or 3) the situation can
work well for practising appropriate group joining or leaving social conventions.
Thus, odd numbers of students can be effectively grouped in these ways, with the
odd-numbered student always playing an important role in the interactions
taking place.
Grouping students will depend upon the activity and the kind of follow-up or end
result that is desired. When grouping students, it is important that students be
given clear and concise instructions so that they know what it is that is expected
of them in order to complete the activity or the task successfully. Even though
there will be times in which the activity or task may be open-ended in nature,
the instructions should be clear and precise. Students should know that an end
result is expected of them and that they are accountable not only to their group
but to the class as a whole.
Students should be grouped according to their strengths and not their
weaknesses, since their contribution to the group’s activities will depend upon
what they are capable of doing and not on what they are not able to do. By
focusing on students’ strengths, they will become compelled to work in a group
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situation and participate more actively as their contribution will be viewed in a
positive manner by other members of the group. Group work will also assist
students who feel uncomfortable in taking part in full class, since their
involvement is perhaps more confined and lower key in a small group, making
them feel less threatened. These kinds of students may benefit more from group
activities in that they may develop greater self-confidence in their abilities so as
to be able to feel more at ease when participating in full class activities.
Grouping students, however, does not necessarily have to follow the general rule
of placing individuals in groups based on their strengths, especially if the activity
is not too difficult, requires a few minutes and takes up less than one class period
to complete. Traditional ways of grouping students have often been carried out
by either numbering off students, asking students to find a partner or having
them turn around or to the side and face the student behind or beside them.
There is nothing wrong with using these techniques, but often they become too
routine and students become so familiar with the procedure that they no longer
take interest in group activities, especially when they find themselves always
working with the same person or people. To add a refreshing touch to grouping
students Galloway (1990, p. 13) provides some innovative suggestions which are
based on vocabulary categorization. Here are some of these ideas:
• As students come into the classroom, they are given a piece of paper with a
month of the year. When the group activity begins, students are grouped
according to the season in which their month falls.
• Each student is given a card with a picture of an article of clothing and
grouped according to the season/activity in which one would use this type of
clothing.
• Students are given cards with items that they can purchase in stores and
grouped according to the store in which they would find a particular item.
This grouping activity could also be used to demonstrate students’ cultural
knowledge as well, since in certain francophone cultures shopping habits are
quite different from those of English speaking Canadians.
• Students are asked to name their favourite food which is then categorized
according to the different food groups such that all the fruits would be
together, all the meats and so on.
What is most interesting about this technique is that students are grouped in a
unique and contextualized fashion that forces them to use their knowledge of the
language in order to group themselves accordingly. This is especially true for
Beginner level students, since this activity is focused around vocabulary, but it
can be equally effective for Intermediate or Advanced students, only what will
change will be the complexity of the categorization process. Therefore, grouping
takes on new meaning because, firstly, students do not know who they will be
working with and cannot complain about their partner or group members as all
students are in the same situation. Secondly, they are required to think about
which category they belong to, rather with whom they are going to work.
Therefore, this type of classroom organization can help alleviate some of the
headaches involved with choosing who should work with whom.
Cooperative learning is also a technique that is becoming increasingly popular
as a part of a classroom’s dynamics. One of the benefits that can be derived from
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using these kinds of activities is the assigning of a specific role to each group
member. As such, the group as a whole reaps the rewards for its efforts not just
its individual members. This technique, however, does require careful planning
and is used mainly for more extensive group work. The following description is
intended to give teachers a general idea of the main concepts involved in
cooperative learning activities. Since a full explanation of the intricacies
involved in the process cannot be carried out here, it is recommended that
teachers refer to the bibliography for more information.
This technique has, as its basic tenet, that learners cooperate in an activity or a
variety of activities in an attempt “to achieve a common goal” (Slavin, 1981, p.
655). In this sense, it decrease the amount of competition and student isolation
that is often associated with individual learning activities. The idea, then, is to
have students “pool” their ideas and /or strengths in order to carry out the
activity (activities) or task(s). However, as Kohn states (1987):
Cooperative learning... means more than putting a bunch of students
together and telling them to get to work. It means creating “positive
interdependence”: structuring students’ interactions so that each depends
on and is accountable to the others. (p. 54)
In order to attain this cooperation, students are required to work towards the
same task or final product, with each group member being made responsible for
a certain aspect of the task or product. Thus, students are engaged in a
responsible way, knowing that their contributions play an important part in the
completion of the task or product. Further, students know that all group
members will be evaluated in the same way and they will share a common mark,
thereby decreasing the amount of competitiveness amongst group members and
the rest of the class in general. In the context of the second language classroom,
however, the principal goal is increasing communication by interacting with
others, not just the retention of material. Therefore, when using a cooperative
learning activity, teachers should be aware that its use is not to be focused solely
on the results or the end product, but rather, its prime goal is to increase
language use through interaction and negotiation.
In essence, there are five key aspects associated with productive cooperative
learning:
1. positive interdependence
interdependence, which occurs when students become
dependent on each other in a positive way such that every member’s
contribution is viewed as being valuable and necessary for the group’s
success;
2. group interaction
interaction, which involves the students in face-to-face dialogue
amongst members to bring information together or to resolve conflicts;
3. individual accountability
accountability, which requires that every member be
responsible to the group, such that any one member of the group can be
called upon by the teacher to describe the group’s progress or the material
learned thus far;
4. social skills
skills, which require student to employ interpersonal skills, such
as showing trust, communicating clearly, listening attentively, supporting
a fellow member, resolving conflicts, and so forth in order to carry out the
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task or project effectively; and
5. group processing which involves students in a form of reflective
evaluation in which they assess the effectiveness of the group and define
those area in which improvement is needed. (Johnson and Johnson,
1989, p. 30)
Teachers should be aware, however, that although these five aspects seem
straightforward enough, it will be necessary to train students in all five aspects,
since many students may only be familiar with some of the aspects and others
not at all. Teachers may feel that this may constitute more preparation;
however, once students are aware of what it is they are required to do, the use of
cooperative learning as a means of grouping students will become second nature
for both teacher and students.
The important key in cooperative learning is the assigning of roles. Each
student is given a specific role to play within the activity or task. The roles are
not the ones we often associate with group work, where we assign the group a
task and allow the students to determine what has to be done, how they intend
to go about accomplishing the task, and deciding who does what, often leaving
one group member bearing the brunt of the work. Rather, the main strategy
here involves clearly defining roles that are used on a regular basis which are
outlined to the students. Over the course of the year, these roles are rotated so
that every student in the group will eventually have carried out all the roles. In
the beginning, teachers should assign the roles, ensuring that each role is
assigned to the group member who can carry it out the best. Each time a new
cooperative learning activity is used, students are given a different role from the
one they previously had so that they can experience all roles. What is most
important, however, is providing a clear explanation and a good model for each
role so that the students are aware of the defined responsibilities that come with
any given role.
In setting up a cooperative learning activity, certain steps need to be carried out
and they are as follows:
1. The teacher describes the objective of the learning activity in terms of
what the group is expected to accomplish.
2. The teacher defines how the group will demonstrate the completion of the
task.
3. The teacher decides on the number of students in each group, the
constitution of each group (e.g., mixed ability), the physical arrangement
of the groups, the time allotted to the activity, supplies needed by the
students, what type of positive interdependence will be created andwhat
social skill(s) will be employed.
4. The teacher defines his/her role and that of the students in the evaluation
process.
The following example illustrates how these four steps can be applied to a
cooperative learning activity.
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GROUP ACTIVITY: CREATING A TRAVEL ITINERARY FOR QUEBEC EXCHANGE
STUDENTS
Objective of the Activity:
Students will prepare a travel itinerary for students visiting from Quebec so that
they can get to know points of interest in the Northwest Territories and the
outdoor activities that are available to them during their stay.
Presentation of the Activity:
Each group will plan a travel itinerary for Quebec exchange students, write it up
and present it orally to the rest of the class. Once all the itineraries have been
presented, the class will choose from each itinerary the activity or point of
interest which is the most interesting and recreate a class travel itinerary from
the itineraries presented.
Teacher Decisions:
1. Students will work in groups of four.
2. Groups will be selected according to mixed abilities and lists will be posted
prior to the beginning of the class.
3. Students will work at tables or desks grouped in small circles or squares.
4. Groups will be given twenty-five minutes to write their itineraries and ten
minutes to edit and evaluate their group work. The itineraries will be
presented in the next class.
5. Groups will be supplied with role cards, paper, pencils, chart paper for the
brainstorming activity, and a felt pen.
6. Positive interdependence will be developed in the following ways:
a) students will have assigned roles, and
b) each group member will share in the presentation by being responsible
for explaining a portion of the itinerary.
7. The social skills employed will be: listening to the suggestions of others,
praising members for suggestions given whether they are used or not, and
helping each other with vocabulary and language use when needed.
8. The teacher will give the students twenty-five minutes to carry out the
activity and ten minutes to evaluate and process their individual and group
participation.
9. Group work will be monitored by the teacher, providing feedback on the
students’ social skills. Students will complete self- and group evaluations on
their performance (see the section on Evaluating Students’ Work for
examples on how to write self-and peer evaluation grids). The teacher will
evaluate only the group’s performance activity.
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Student Activities:
Situation/Contexte: Un groupe d’élèves vient du Québec et comme un groupe,
vous allez planifier un itinaire que contient une varité d’ activités et de points
d’intérêts pour qu’ils puissent mieux connaître Les Territoires du Nord-ouest.
Directives:
1. Faites un remue-méninges des différents endroits et activités qu’ on peut
faire aux Territoires du Nord-ouest.
2. Choisissez des activitiés à faire ou des endroits à visiter et indiquez une
heure précise pour chaque activité ou endroit à visiter en utilisant
l’horloge de vingt-quatre heures.
3. Écrivez une ébauche sur une feuille et vérifiez l’orthographe des mots
employés.
4. Récrivez la version finale sur les grandes feuilles blanches pour votre
classe le lendemain.
5. Décidez qui va présenter quelle partie de l’itinaire.
Autres renseignements:
Souvenez-vous de bien écouter les suggestions des autres membres et de donner
de la bonne rétroaction. Aidez les membres de l’équipe avec les mots appropriés
et la bonne orthographe. Employez un dictionnaire si c’est nécessaire. Chaque
membre est résponsable de jouer le rôle indiqué sur sa carte. Les rôles sont les
suivants : une personne sera résponsable de lire et de superviser la réalisation
des directives, une personne prendra les suggestions lors du rémue-méninges,
une personne écrira la première ébauche et fera la révision du texte et une
personne écrira l’itinaire final.
Le temps alloué pour cette activité est vingt minutes. Après, vous aurez dix
minutes pour évaluer le travail de votre groupe.
The roles described above, i.e., the “organizer”, the “recorder”, the “ editor” and
the “praiser” or “encourager” are written down on separate cards so that each
student can refer to the responsibilities of his/her particular role as indicated on
the card. These cards are kept and used every time a cooperative learning
activity is used. Each time the students are involved in a cooperative learning
activity their role should change from the one they carried out previously. The
definitions for the above-mentioned roles can be found in the glossary. Thus,
cooperative learning activities provide students with another means of using the
language and increasing their interactions with other students in a context-rich
environment.
In summary, then, when grouping students, prior planning is an essential aspect
of a successful cooperative learning activity. Teachers should not fear the added
noise factor as it is only a side-product and not an indication of a lack of control.
In the long run, teachers will find the use of group work a rewarding and useful
experience for students as they are able to maximize their strengths, increase
the use of the oral language they possess, and they are able to share their ideas
and knowledge in real, interactive exchanges.
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Types and Suggested Uses of Learning Resources
There are, generally speaking, two types of resources which can be used in the
classroom to teach French: 1) didactic learning resources and 2) authentic
documents. Each type of resource plays a role in the development of the
language and the use of these resources needs to be planned for in order to
enhance the students’ learning of the language.
In general, didactic resources are commercially produce by publishing
companies. In order to be listed as a recommended resource these materials
must met the criteria as defined by the Department of Education, Culture and
Employment of the Northwest Territories. These resources are recommended on
the basis of how well they correspond to the objectives delineated in the Program
of Studies for French as a Second Language, in addition to considering students’
age, interests and academic level. These resources are composed of student
texts, workbooks, teacher guides, flash cards, audiocassettes and so on. The use
of these resources, in terms of planning and their application to the classroom, is
up to the teacher. (A list of the recommended resources can be found in the
Program of Studies).
Authentic documents
documents, another form available to the classroom teacher, can be
either oral or written texts such as news broadcasts, newspapers,
advertisements, radio broadcasts, etc., and are intended for native speakers
(Galloway, 1990). They “reflect a naturalness of form and an appropriateness of
cultural and situational context that would be found in the language used by
native speakers.” (Rogers and Medley, 1990, p. 468). Thus, their primary focus is
not to teach a language, but rather to convey a message (Galloway, 1990).
Using these documents in the classroom allows students to listen to and view
native speaker language in context. Therefore, within the context of a
multidimensional approach, the use of authentic documents demonstrates real
language use and provides insight into the target culture, i.e., its social, cultural,
and psychological values.
Authentic documents come in basically three formats: 1) print media, 2) audio,
and 3) visual formats. Print media refer to those documents that are found in
print form, such as newspapers, magazines, comic strips, pamphlets, posters,
novels, short stories, etc., which provide excellent models of written language
use. Audio documents refer to those document obtained from radio programs,
unedited taped conversations between native speakers, taped music, etc. Audio
documents are excellent for developing tolerance of ambiguity, because learners
must now rely on other support mechanisms such as, attending to the key points
of the message, not allowing outside noises to distract the listener, tolerating the
unknown, etc. Visual documents pertain to those areas, such as film, music,
videos, television programs, video games, illustrations, etc. The strength in
visual media is that they provide visual support for the learner in two ways.
Firstly, nonverbal cues can assist in determining meaning and secondly, they
contribute easily to the teaching of cultural nuances inherent in the
communication system of francophone cultures. The extent to which these
documents will be used will depend largely on students’ language abilities,
cognitive level, and the educational unit/project being planned.
Authentic documents are an excellent means of developing the general language
education aspect of the program of studies, since learners need to deploy many of
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the same strategies that are employed in their first language in order to
comprehend the text. These documents also provide learners with accurate
language models which can be used for guided practice later on. Audio
documents also assist in the realm of the receptive skills, since the prime goal is
not content retention, but rather the ability to derive meaning from the text. In
the case of reading, for example, a native speaker would employ, depending on
the situation, such strategies as skimming, anticipating, hypothesizing, guessing
the story by means of context clues, scanning, searching for the main point, etc.,
in order to determine the meaning of the text. A second language learner can be
asked to carry out the same tasks; only in this case, the tasks must be carefully
planned and laid out for the learners so that the experience of using authentic
texts becomes both beneficial and rewarding.
When choosing authentic material for classroom use, there are certain things
that a teacher can look for in order to determine if the document is appropriate
or not. First of all, especially with the Beginner level, one should look for texts
that are familiar to the students. These types of texts will allow students to feel
more comfortable with the documents, since the are not confronting something
totally unknown to them. Furthermore, here is the perfect moment to develop
students’ tolerance for ambiguity, since all that is important is to determine the
gist of the document and not total comprehension of each and every word. This
strategy can be applied by highlighting or listing all that is familiar to them, in
both the target language and their first language, so as to begin constructing
meaning from the base they have already developed. This type of application
will not only assist students in developing strategy use, but will also give them
confidence in going into areas that are not familiar to them.
Secondly, one must ensure that there is a sufficient number of contextual clues to
assist students in deriving meaning from the text. These clues can be verbal or
nonverbal in nature, including, for example, cognates (verbal clues), facial
expressions or intonation changes (nonverbal clues), pictorial clues such as
photographs, images, graphs, etc., experiential clues, i.e., similar experiences to
those which students have had in their first language, and linguistic clues such
as word families, language structures previously taught in class, etc. These clues
should also be sufficient in redundancy of ideas, concepts, etc., so as to facilitate
the derivation of meaning. Ensuring that these elements are present will
diminish the frustration students sometimes feel when dealing with a text that
appears to be totally unfamiliar to them.
Thirdly, students can be taught to use strategies such as guessing and
hypothesizing by using what they know to determine the unknown. For
example, with the case of unfamiliar vocabulary, students can be taught how to
discern meaning by using the context or how to search for those words that serve
as meaning builders and to ignore those that serve as sentence cohesion
markers. These strategies also develop thinking skills as well as strengthen
students’ tolerance of ambiguity.
Thus, three factors should be kept in mind when making the final decisions on
choosing texts and how they will be used: 1) appropriateness of the texts one must always attempt to choose texts that cater to the cognitive maturity and
linguistic level of the students, bearing in mind students’ interests and, most
importantly, ensuring sufficient access to the language being used in the text to
create as little frustration as possible, 2) appropriateness of the tasks - the
tasks chosen to accompany the use of the authentic document must fall in line
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with students’ cognitive and affective abilities and be tied intrinsically to the
unit/educational project at hand; every attempt should be made to ensure that
the authentic document can be used later on as a reference and/or language
model when the students are involved subsequently in production activities, and
3) appropriateness of sequence - proper decisions must be made as to the
types of tasks which will be coordinated with the use of the authentic document.
Pre-activities should be used in order to develop students’ ability to anticipate
intuitively the kinds of elements that they might find in the text, using their past
experiences as a building block. For example, before students are asked to read
a job advertisement, they could be asked to brainstorm, as a class or in smaller
groups, the kinds of things they would find in a job ad, where these ads are
found, why they are written, etc. This step, then, becomes important in assisting
students to develop the ability to anticipate elements. The actual activities
activities,
when using the authentic document, must relate to real-life usage. In the
instance of the job ad, students could be asked to search the authentic document
to locate the name of the person to call for more information, to determine the
kind of job and its requirements, to determine if a salary is indicated or not, etc.
Thus, this step ties the authentic document to activities that would be carried
out by native speakers and provides students with a language experience that is
both contextualized and real. The final step, post-activities
post-activities, relates to the
tasks which are most often production activities involving the actual use of the
authentic document. Continuing with the job ad, these activities could take the
form of a simulation involving the person looking for the job and the person
hiring, or it could involve a written activity whereby the students would fill in
the application form related to the advertised job. Whatever the activity, be it
oral or written, it should replicate as much as possible actual activities which
occur in real life. In this way, these activities will serve, at the same time, to
recycle, transfer (reinvest), and reinforce all learning that has taken place
previously.
The advantages of the use of authentic document are quite evident from the
discussion above. Using materials that are available from the region is an
important place to start, since these documents will serve as appropriate
language models. These documents, however, need to cater to the language
proficiency level, age, interests and needs of the students. Here are some
suggestions:
1. Guide des services en français des T.N-O which is available from L a
Fédération Franco-Ténoise
Franco-Ténoise, which lists businesses and establishments
providing services in French in the Northwest Territories. This document
can be obtained by calling the Federation at (403) 929-2929 in Yellowknife,
N.W.T.
2. The Territories also has access to a newspaper which is rich in cultural
information pertaining to francophones in the region, entitled L’Aquilon.
This newspaper may be obtained by subscribing to the newspaper
itself at P.O. Box 1325, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, X1A 2N9 or by
telephoning (403) 873-6603.
3. Any pamphlets by the Federal Government from such departments as Fish
and Wildlife, Parks Canada, Environment Canada, Health and Welfare, etc.,
belong to the public domain, which means that no copyright infringement
occurs if one makes copies for the classroom. To obtain pamphlets in French,
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one need only write to the appropriate office.
4. The Consulate General of France is located at Suite 300 - Highfield Place,
10010 - 106 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 3L8 ([403 ] 425 - 0665) - and
is able to supply teachers with information on France.
5. Teachers can also write letters to companies such as Eaton’s, The Bay,
Canadian Tire, Bell-Canada, etc. and request sales catalogues in French. In
the case of Bell-Canada, not only does having the telephone directory in
French help teach students how to use the telephone book, but the yellow
6. Newspaper and magazine subscriptions, especially to Quebec, are highly
recommended since the information that is presented reflects the culture as
it thinks and functions today. Magazines like “Les filles d’aujourd’hui” and
“ Les débrouillards” give permission to use their texts when the purpose is
educational. They are very current and address the interests of adolescents.
7. Copyright permission for use of the weather symbols which are used in
newspapers has been obtained for classroom use. These may be reproduced
from the sheets found in Appendix D.
Although teachers may not feel very comfortable employing authentic
documents, their use is vital to the development of language proficiency and to
fully carrying out the objectives of a multidimensional curriculum. The next
section will now discuss lesson planning and the development of integrated units
(educational projects), which can incorporate authentic documents in order to
develop the language skills appropriately.
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Planning
Planning consists of the organization and coordination of the program’s
objectives, the learning resources available and the time allotted in order to
deliver the program of studies in a practical teaching situation. As such, there
are three ways in which planning can be carried out: 1) yearly planning, 2)
integrated unit or educational project planning, or 3) daily planning. Yearly
planning, in keeping with the philosophy of the program, involves choosing a
minimum number of fields of experience which correspond to the sub-level being
taught and the order in which these fields will be presented. For example, a
minimum of five fields of experience out of the seven listed for each of the sublevels at the Beginner level is recommended and if time permits and based on
students’ interest and their physical and psychological development, other fields
of experience may be added to suit these varied needs and interests. The
ordering of the fields of experience should be done in a logical and coherent
fashion and in keeping with the learning resources available and the time
allotted to the program by the school board.
Integrated unit planning consists of setting selected objectives in keeping with
those outlined in the sub-levels of the program of studies, deciding the activities
required to achieve these objective and determining the evaluation criteria
against which the students’ progress and success in regard to the objectives will
be measured. To apply the program’s philosophy in the classroom, the
educational project is suggested as the most effective way of integrating the four
components of the program and for developing the four language skills.
The educational project is a unit of organized learning activities of varied
duration in one of the fields of experiences prescribed by the program, in which
the aim is to provide opportunities for learners to fully experience the language
and the culture. The educational project is very flexible in that teachers will be
able to adjust their teaching strategies to the students’ cognitive, socio-affective
and metacognitive levels as well as to their needs and interests.
Teachers need not develop an educational project for each field of experience.
When appropriate and possible, teachers can combine or integrate two or more
fields of experience. For example, at the Beginner level it is possible to combine
the fields of experience “The Senses” and “The Environment” into one
educational project called “Faire une présentation sur l’utilisation de nos sens
pour mieux connaître notre environnement”, which would include a variety of
experiential activities in a number of environments. Thus, by combining fields of
experience larger or more in depth educational projects can be carried out
instead of a number of smaller ones.
It is important to note that when an educational project is being planned, the
program’s objectives will need be adjusted for each field of experience. In
addition, the intent is not to cover all the objectives within each project. Rather,
the important thing is that the students have acquired all of the objectives of the
sub-level before preceding onto the next level. The amount of time allocated to
the program will be a factor in both planning and determining how long it will
take to cover all of the objectives successfully and to ensure that students have
sufficiently acquired the skills, knowledge, and attitudes assigned to the sublevel.
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In this regard, daily planning is the sequential development of the language
skills (listening/reading comprehension and oral/written production), cultural
and linguistic knowledge and learning strategies which will provide students
with the necessary tools to engage in language experiences. In each lesson, the
teacher must try to integrate activities which will treat all four components as
much as possible while at the same time following the proposed teaching stages:
1) the preparatory phase (introduction to the project, development of necessary
knowledge, presentation of the context), 2) the experience phase ( integration of
communicative/experiential activities/tasks as they relate to the four language
skills - listening/reading comprehension, oral/written production), 3) the
reflection phase (verification, feedback and formative evaluation of the language
experience), 4) the reinvestment phase (recycling knowledge and skills in
another context or situation), and 5) the evaluation phase (formal or informal
feedback given to the students pertaining to their performance). By following
these stages, the teacher can be sure that the integration of the program’s
objectives has been attained and that an appropriate teaching methodology
which is conducive to experiential/communicative teaching is being carried out.
The following pages contain explanations and examples of yearly plans,
educational project ideas, and daily lessons plans which are intended to be used
as guides and suggestions only.
Yearly Planning
Yearly planning is based on the arranging of learning activities and the
assessment of students’ language acquisition. Teachers will need to select a
logical sequence in which to present the fields of experience, bearing in mind
such factors as the students’ grade level (elementary, junior high, or senior high),
the students’ proficiency level, the time allotted to the French as a second
language program by the school district and the human and physical resources
available.
Using the program of studies, teachers will start by selecting the fields of
experience which are available to them at their language proficiency level. Then
they will take into account the factors mentioned above in order to determine
what kinds of educational projects or modules can be developed for the selected
fields and subsequently, to order them chronologically. (See Appendix B entitled
“Suggestions for Educational Projects” for some ideas.) Next, teachers will need
to decide approximately how much time should be allotted to each project. It is
not necessary to plan in detail all of the projects at the same time, but organizing
them chronologically ensures that all of the fields of experience will be dealt with
during the school year or by the end of the sub-level.
The “ Year Plans” which follow this explanation demonstrate one way of
organizing the school year. This is not the only way, but it does provide an idea
of how to proceed. These three year plans show how the different levels can be
planned, based on the students’ cognitive level and the time allotted to the
program. These yearly plans are solely for illustrative purposes and do not imply
that this is the only order to follow. Rather, the teaching order for the fields of
experience is up to the teacher. At each sub-level a minimum number of fields of
experience is recommended for each level. Teachers need to refer to the program
of studies for the required number of fields for each sub-level. In order to make a
yearly plan, a blank repromaster of this year plan format appears in Appendix A.
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EXAMPLE 1: YEARLY PLANNING
YEAR PLAN: 1994 - 95
SUB - LEVEL: Beginner 1
GRADE:
Gr. 4, 30 mins./day
MAIN RESOURCE(S): Visage 1/Bienvenue/Aventures
Month
Field of
Experience
Unit
(Educational Project)
Time
Allotted
September
School
• preparing a school visit
• 3 weeks
October
Family
• preparing a family tree
• 4 weeks
November
Community
• preparing a video on the
community
• 5 weeks
December
Holidays
• preparing a calendar of
holidays and special
occasions
• 3 weeks
January
Clothing
• presenting a seasonal
fashion show
• 5 weeks
February
The Individual/
School
• presenting school/
individual activities
• 3 weeks
March
The Individual
• preparing a sociogramme
of the class
• 3 weeks
April
Holidays
• organizing a surprise
party for someone
• 4 weeks
May
Domestic
Animals
• preparing an album with
one's favourite domestic
animals
• 4 weeks
June
Community
• preparing a calendar of
community events
• 3 weeks
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EXAMPLE 2: YEARLY PLANNING
YEAR PLAN: 1994 - 95
SUB - LEVEL: Intermediate 1
GRADE:
Gr. 7, 120 mins./week
MAIN RESOURCE(S): Entre Amis 1, Élans 1 (Part 1/2), Destination 2, Passage
1
Month
Field of
Experience
Unit
(Educational Project)
Time
Allotted
September
Friends
• preparing a recipe book
on "How to Make Good
Friends"
• 4 weeks
October
Self-protection
• preparing a radio
information report on
youth services in one's
community
• 4 weeks
November
Hobbies
• organizing a sports card
fair
• 4 weeks
December
Holidays and
Celebrations
• organizing a "réveillon"
• 3 weeks
January
Self-protection
• preparing a winter
survival manual
• 5 weeks
February/
March
Holidays/
Aboriginal
People
• presenting a slide show
enticing people to visit the
N.W.T. and presenting
aboriginal handicrafts
• 6 weeks
April
Safety
• taking a driver's education
or bicycle safety course
• 4 weeks
May
Holidays
and Celebrations
• organizing a miniHeritage Day
• 5 weeks
June
Aboriginal
People
• making an aboriginal
craft
• 3 weeks
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EXAMPLE 3: YEARLY PLANNING
YEAR PLAN: 1994 - 95
SUB - LEVEL: Intermediate 3
GRADE:
Gr. 10, Semestered - 80 mins./day
MAIN RESOURCE(S): Passage 3, Voyage 1/ Entre Amis 3, En Direct 1,
Destination 3, 4
Month
Field of
Experience
Unit
(Educational Project)
Time
Allotted
September
Clubs and
Associations
• preparing a guide of
school clubs and
associations
• 3 weeks
September/
October
Advertising/
Adolescence
and its
Responsibilities
• preparing a public
service announcement
for radio or television on
the needs or responsibilities of today's youth
• 4 weeks
October/
November
Fashion
• surveying students
shopping attitudes
• 3 weeks
November/
December
The Inuit/
The FrenchCanadians
• preparing an historical
docu-drama on either the
Inuit or Francophones in
Western Canada
• 6 weeks
January
The World of
Work
• preparing a job
résumé writing and
interview skills
workshop
• 4 weeks
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Planning an Integrated Unit
Integrated units, or as they are often referred to, educational projects, are
recommended as a form of planning which ensures that the four language skills
and the four components are integrated and balanced in terms of the program’s
objectives. The development of an educational project involves three main steps
that organize the teaching/learning of a field or fields of experience in a logical
and congruent fashion. Essentially, these three steps are:
Step One:
• select a field of experience or a combination of fields of
experience,
• brainstorm, in a general way, the objectives to be attained, which
will be derived from the program of studies, the main activities
which will be carried out, and the learning resources needed in
order to create the educational project;
Step Two:
• describe in a detailed way, the specific objectives and mini-tasks
for each major activity,
• arrange the major activities in logical order; and
Step Three: • plan daily lessons on the basis of the major activity sheets.
To make sure the procedure is clear, the following paragraphs will serve as a
guide to the work sheets that are found in Appendix A.
To begin the process, first take the page entitled “Step One - Idea Sheet” found in
Appendix A and select the field of experience or combination of fields of
experience to be explored and fill in the Field(s) of Experience circle. Then begin
the planning process by choosing the circle which you feel most comfortable with
and brainstorm the elements needed to complete that circle. For example, if you
feel more comfortable beginning with the program objectives then you start there
by defining what objectives from the four components will be taught. In this
circle the components are labelled in this fashion: e.c. = experience/
communication, c. = culture, l = language, and g.l.e. = general language
education. Once this circle has been completed you move on to either the major
activities circle which describes, in general terms, the main activities which will
be carried out in the four language skills or the learning resources circle which
describes the resources needed in order to be able to fulfill the needs of the
educational project. Step One is completed when all four circles have been filled
in. If you prefer, you may start by referring to Appendix B: Suggestions for
Educational Projects to find ideas which may assist in stimulating the
brainstorming process.
The second step involves taking each major activity listed on the brainstorming
sheet and describing, on the page entitled “Step Two- Major Activity Sheet”, the
specific objectives and mini-tasks required to complete each of the major
activities. As the planning process is being carried out it is advisable to check off
the language skills and components being covered by the mini-tasks as a means
of ensuring a balance between the language skills and the four components. The
language skills have been coded on the major activity sheet in the following
manner: listening comprehension (L.C.). oral production (O.P.), reading
comprehension (R.C.), and written production (W.P.). The four components have
been coded in this way: experience/communication (e.c.), culture (c.), language
(l.), and general language education (g.l.e.).
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When all the major activity sheets have been completed, they should be arranged
in chronological order and numbered accordingly. Once they are in order, you
can begin to develop the daily lesson plans following the suggested methodology
or adopting a planning process which best suits your needs. What is most
important, though, is that each lesson should include an introduction, a number
of activities, including real-life tasks, and a conclusion to tie all aspects of the
lesson together. This process will be explained further in the following section on
daily lesson planning.
The work sheets for creating an educational project can be found in Appendix A.
You may wish to reproduce all or only some of the work sheets, based on your
planning needs. To recap the use of these sheets, “Step One” is for the
brainstorming phase as it relates to the program’s objectives, the major
activities, and the learning resources. The “Step Two” sheet is used for
describing the specific objectives of the major activity and the mini-tasks to be
carried out to ensure that there is a balance between the learning activities, the
components, and the language skills being developed. Finally, the “Step Three”
sheet is for daily lesson planning. As part of the planning process, it is important
to keep in mind and decide when and how formative and summative evaluations
will take place throughout the project. Evaluation activities must be planned for
and should be a part of the entire planning process. (For more information on
this subject, please refer to the section on Evaluating Students’ Work.)
Appendix C contains examples of educational projects which will provide you
with a better understanding of the development of an educational project. They
will show you how to integrate the program’s objectives, the suggested teaching
methodology, and available learning resources into a sequenced learning
package.
Daily Lesson Planning
There are all sorts of ways to plan a lesson. The format you choose will depend
on your teaching style and philosophy. The format for daily lesson planning
presented in this section is derived from the philosophy articulated in the
program of studies and is only a suggestion which can be tailored to suit your
individual needs.
In essence, daily lesson planning reflects teaching methodology in practice; i.e.,
teachers put into practice the process described on pages 40 - 44 of this
document. Generally speaking, there are three main steps in the development of
a daily lesson plan: 1) the introduction to the lesson, 2) the lesson’s activities,
and 3) lesson closure. When these three steps are linked directly to the
suggested teaching methodology discussed previously in this document, they
take on the same roles; i.e., the introduction can either represent the preparatory
phase or the reinvestment phase depending on where that particular lesson is
situated within the educational project. Thus, lesson closure can either
represent the reflective phase or evaluative phase of the teaching cycle, again
depending on where it falls in the process. As can been seen, daily lesson
planning replicates in a more detailed fashion the suggested teaching
methodology.
More specifically, the introduction can play two roles in a lesson. First of all,
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one of the roles consists of an activity that ties the students’ background
knowledge to the language experience which is to be presented later on in the
lesson. The activity that is chosen is intended to motivate the students such that
they will want to actively participate in the lesson. The introduction’s second
role should be to tie together the previous lesson’s attainments with the
objectives of the current lesson. Thus, one must keep in mind that the purpose of
this step is to recycle and reinvest constantly the knowledge and skills being
developed. Hence, the roles of the introduction are to initiate learning and set
the tone for the remainder of the lesson.
The activities are all the mini-tasks needed to attain the objectives described in
the lesson or as they pertain to the educational project. Normally, the procedure
is to develop the receptive skills before developing the productive skills. In
addition, it is equally important to include, as much as possible, a variety of
activities from each component as well as in each language skill as a means of
sustaining the students’ attention and also respecting the number of different
learning styles that are present in the classroom. In this regard, the activities
that are chosen must ensure the constant recycling and reinvesting of students’
knowledge and skills to appropriately develop the use of the language.
The final step in the lesson is closure
closure. Its purpose is to tie together the
elements of the lesson in a reflective manner. One can proceed in a variety of
ways such as asking a question which summarizes the lesson, evaluating the
lesson formally or by reflecting on the lesson’s activities using grids as a guide for
this reflective process (see Evaluating Students’ Work for grid information).
Another possibility is to initiate an activity which would set the stage for the
next day’s lesson. Essentially, then, this step ensures that each lesson is linked
to the next, while at the same time providing the teacher with an opportunity to
evaluate the lessons’s level of success.
Depending on whether the ultimate planning outcome is an educational project,
an integrated unit, or a “stand-alone” lesson, one must delineate the specific
objectives for each lesson. For example, if one is following the process suggested
in the development of an educational project, the specific objectives are already
described on the major activity work sheets. However, if one decides to follow
another means of lesson planning, it will be necessary to formulate the specific
lesson objectives to suit this manner of planning. Therefore, the following
examples illustrate two possible ways in which daily lesson plans can be
developed. The first example pertains to an educational project and the second
one will assist teachers who choose to use another means of planning.
The sample lesson is from the field of experience “Fashion” from sub-level
Intermediate 3
3, illustrating the steps mentioned above. The framework for this
lesson is a television talk show much like the one hosted by Oprah Winfrey. The
activities described in the plan will show which components and steps are being
focused upon in the lesson. The numbers used correspond to: 1) experience/
communication, 2) culture, 3) language, and 4) general language education.
Teachers can find blank repromasters of these lesson plan formats in Appendix
The following section will now focus on what is evaluation, when and how to
evaluate.
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EXAMPLE 1: DAILY LESSON PLAN
Lesson No.:
1 - 40 minutes
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
Mag-Puce: No 1 Automne - Livret, p. 30 - 32
Mag-Puce: No 1 Automne - Cahier, p. 30 - 32
Entre Amis 3 p. 16 - 17 pour la lecture
une chanson de la musique pop québécoise (Roch Voisine, par exemple)
Students
Time
Allotted
opens class with an introduction to the
television program: "Bonjour et bienvenue
à notre programme «C'est la vie!». Aujourd'hui,
nous allons découvrir le sens du mot «la mode ».
Nous n'avons pas d'experts aujourd'hui. Alors
nous allons employer nos spectateurs pour arriver
au sens du mot."
circulates around the class asking the question:
"Pourquoi as-tu décidé de porter ces vêtements?"
gives instructions to carry out group work
•
listen (1)
• 2 mins.
•
answer the question (1)
• 4 mins.
•
in groups, ask the same
question, plus: "Quels
vêtements préfères-tu
porter?" (1)
• 5 mins.
has students participate as a group in a minisurvey of preferences
hands out prepared texts and plays a Québécois
pop song as background music, while students
carry out task (2)
brainstorms with class, using information from
the texts, for the names of different fashion
groups and the elements that separate them
gives instructions for group composition on
fashion to be used in the context of talk show
•
present the preferences
of their peers (1)
• nominate a person from
group to read aloud
prepared texts (1, 3)
• give their ideas (1)
• 3 mins.
• 3 mins.
•
• 5 mins.
Teacher
Introduction
(Preparatory
•
phase)
•
•
Activities/
Mini-tasks
(Experience
•
•
phase)
•
•
•
Closure
(Reflection phase)
•
instructs students to turn to p. 30 - 32 of
Mag-Puce, livret
•
•
asks the question: "Maintenant quelle est
votre définition de la mode?"
•
create a description in
small groups
have a representative
from their group read
aloud their description
discover the meaning of
words by using word
association to see that
"la mode" refers to not
only clothing, but
that words themselves
can be fashionable (2,4)
answer (1)
• 5 mins.
• 5 mins.
• 5 mins.
• 3 mins.
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EXAMPLE 2: DAILY LESSON PLAN
DATE:
OBJECTIVE(S):
(e./c.)
(c.)
(l.)
(g.l.e.)
1. to understand and express orally and in written form, in a
prepared and sometimes spontaneous manner, one's
preferences regarding fashion
2. to research and identify similarities and differences between
formal and informal language use
3. to understand and use the vocabulary for fashion and the
past and present tenses based on the task and the context
4. to use contextual clues to determine the meaning of trendy
language use
Steps
Introduction
(Preparatory
•
phase)
•
•
Activities
(Experience
phase)
carry out a mini-survey of preferences (1)
students read aloud prepared texts while
listening to a Québécois pop song (1, 2, 3)
•
brainstorm the names of fashion groups
and the elements that separate these
groups (1)
in small groups, students choose a fashion
group and write a brief description for the
talk show (1)
a representative reads aloud the group's
description (1)
discover the correct meaning of trendy
words (2,4)
•
•
Closure
(Reflection phase)
begin the class with an introduction
to the television program (see previous
lesson plan for this introduction) (1)
circulate around the class asking the
question: "Pourquoi as-tu décidé de
porter ces vêtements?" (1)
in groups of two, students ask the same
question in addition to: "Quels vêtements
préfères-tu porter?" (1)
•
•
•
•
Resources
ask the question: Maintenant, quelle est
votre définition de la mode?" (1)
Time
Allotted
• 2 mins.
• 4 mins.
• 5 mins.
• Entre Amis 3, p. 16 - 17
• Québécois pop song
(for e.g., by singer Roch
Voisine)
• 3 mins.
• 5 mins.
• 3 mins.
• 5 mins.
• 5 mins.
•
Mag-Puce: No 1
Automne - Livret, p. 32
• 5 mins.
• 3 mins.
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Evaluating Students’ Work
Purpose of Evaluation
Student evaluation is an integral part of the teaching/learning cycle and consists
of a systematic process which provides students, teachers, parents and administrators with information about student learning. This evaluation process encompasses the gathering of evidence in a variety of ways, as it pertains to what
students know about the second language they are learning and to what degree
they are able to apply their skills and attitudes at any given moment in their
language development. A strong student evaluation plan involves both students
and teachers in measuring, analyzing and interpreting this data at various
points in the instructional cycle in order to make decisions as to the nature and
direction of future learning activities and as means of describing a student’s
overall language learning. In essence, an effective student evaluation plan
includes a variety of means of gathering information about students and their
learning and also ensures that these procedures are congruent with the learner
objectives as they are defined in the program of studies.
Since language learning is a continuous process and cyclical in its acquisition,
students need to be made constantly aware of their progress so that they can
continue to improve and refine their language use. Students also need to know
what they are expected to achieve, whether or not they have been successful in
achieving these objectives and to what degree. An evaluation process, then,
which incorporates a proficiency-based, multidimensional perspective will
capture the true essence of students’ knowledge and their ability to perform in
the second language. Therefore, regular, systematic evaluation encourages
students to do their best, to be involved with their learning and to focus their
attention on the language skills being developed and the knowledge they are
acquiring. By using a wide range of evaluation techniques, students will be able
to recognize their language growth and the development of their communicative
abilities. Evaluation activities, then, provide important systematic feedback to
teachers and students which will ultimately enhance the learning process and
the acquisition of the language.
For the teacher, the gathering of this data is also invaluable, since this information will determine how well the objectives have been met and whether or not
the activities used to develop the language have met the students’ needs. Assessing learning effectiveness can lead to either improvement in teaching/learning
strategies or adjustments in instructional needs and activities, such as remedial
or enrichment activities to reinforce learning. Furthermore, this information can
assist in making decision about student placement, achievement or even the
awarding of credits. This information can also be useful when discussing students’ progress with parents and administrators.
In light of this, the process of second language teaching/learning is undergoing
constant change and is continually evolving as more information on language
acquisition becomes available. Consequently, in order for evaluation techniques
to be valid and consistent with this evolutionary process, student evaluation
techniques also have to reflect these changes. Thus, student evaluation must not
only test what students know about the second language, but it must also place
emphasis on measuring students’ language development in terms of their
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ability to communicate meaningfully within a variety of contexts so as to
determine their language performance. In this vein, the evaluation of language
use must move towards a holistic assessment of natural, authentic
communication where students can demonstrate their ability to integrate a wide
variety of language skills within the context of the fields of experience they are
studying. When evaluation assesses the meaningful use of language in context
and involves students in self- and peer evaluation, language learners are
encouraged to take greater responsibility for their own ability to communicate.
Thus, the process of student evaluation should help students to gain everincreasing confidence in their ability to communicate meaningfully and should
provide multiple opportunities for second language learners to successfully
demonstrate their growing knowledge, developing language skills, and evolving
attitudes.
This entire section, then, is dedicated to explaining the numerous ways in which
students can be evaluated in order for them to become fully aware of their own
learning so as to refine what they do well and to work on the areas that need
improvement. It will also discuss ways in which this information can be reported
to students, parents, teachers and administrators.
Summative and formative evaluation
Evaluation information is available in two forms, formative and summative
summative,
both of which will provide learners with information on their learning and
language development. However, the difference lies in the type of information
which is obtained and the different feedback which is given to students. Both
these forms are valuable, but need to be planned for within the instructional
cycle. The following is a brief description of the two forms.
Formative evaluation is an activity within the teaching/learning process which
directly ties instruction to evaluation. It monitors student progress and provides
immediate feedback to students as to the degree of success they have had in
carrying out a specific task and providing students with immediate help if
necessary. This feedback is also important to teachers for making decisions on
the nature and direction of future learning and the planning of other evaluation
activities. In essence, formative evaluation practices constantly assess and
diagnose student performance as a means of gathering information which will
guide instructional decisions and ultimately assist in improving student
performance.
Even at the earliest levels of language learning, students should become involved
in formative evaluation activities. These activities will help students to diagnose
their strengths and weaknesses with respect to the specific objectives of a given
unit/project. Actively involving students in the evaluation process will encourage
them to assume greater responsibility for their learning, while at the same time
developing important learning strategies such as self-direction and selfevaluation. Research by Oxford (1990) has shown how formative evaluation
activities carried out by students, such as reflection and analysis, can be
instrumental in the development of metacognitive awareness which is a level of
thinking characteristic of successful language learners. Therefore, teachers are
encouraged to engage students in participating in this form of evaluation as it
will provide them with valuable insight into their own learning and the processes
they use to learn a second language. As such, there are different types of
formative evaluation which will provide varying sorts of information. These
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formats will be discussed later on in this section.
Summative evaluation, on the other hand, focuses more on the accumulated
results of learning. For the most part, it involves providing information on
student performance, mostly in a quantified fashion, as it directly relates to
learning outcomes. It takes place at specific times in the instructional sequence
such as at the end of a project/unit, a term or a course, in order to determine the
degree of success students have had in attaining the program’s objectives.
Students’ progress can be reported by way of a mark (e.g., percentage, letter
grade), an anecdotal report or a language proficiency level. The report usually
goes to the student, parents and/or school administration. This information is
often used to make decisions about promotion or the awarding of credits (at the
senior high school level) and can be used to inform teachers about the
effectiveness of the program.
This type of evaluation is often equated with culminating activities such as
progress tests which are designed to provide students’ with specific information
on their cultural, language and strategic knowledge. Performance testing, on the
other hand, is intended to give a more global perspective on what students are
able to do with their communicative, cultural, linguisitic and strategic
knowledge. This form of test attempts to analyze the degree to which students
are attaining the program objectives for a sub-level or level of language
proficiency. These tests and their development will be discussed later on in this
section.
In essence, then, students can receive information on their learning in a number
of different ways, both qualitatively and quantitatively. A good evaluation plan
involves both forms so that students can be given access to information which
will assist them in recognizing what they do well and becoming aware of what
areas require improvement. Teachers need to plan for evaluation in the same
way as they plan for instruction. In fact, they are inherent and as teachers are
planning lessons, they should also be thinking about which activities will be
evaluated formatively and which summatively. Furthermore, some evaluation
activities will become a part of one’s daily teaching practices, while others will be
given at specific points in the unit, during the course of the term/school year or at
the end of a sub-level. What is important to know, then, is what kind of
evaluation will take place when and what kind of information can be obtained
from a specific evaluation format. The following table summarizes the essential
differences between these two forms of evaluation.
TABLE 8
SUMMARY OF FORMATIVE AND SUMMATIVE EVALUATION
Formative
Summative
when?
• continuous
• periodic
by whom?
• student, peers or teachers
• teacher
reason?
• diagnostic
• administrative feedback to students,
parents and school administration
decision to make?
• nature and direction of
future learning activities
• promotion of student, awarding of
credits and determination of program
effectiveness
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Two Guiding Principles for Student Evaluation in French as a Second
Language
To assist in the implementation of a systematic evaluation scheme, a program of
student evaluation needs to be based on principles which are consistent and
congruent with the philosophy of the program of studies. To that end, the
following guiding principles are proposed:
1. Overall student evaluation procedures need to reflect an
integrated, multidimensional approach to language learning as
outlined in the French as a Second Language program of studies
(1994).
2. Evaluation of students’ language learning needs to be
comprised of a balanced combination of formative or ongoing
evaluation techniques, in conjunction with summative appraisals,
which are to be used for purposes, such as student placement,
grading, reporting on student progress, awarding of
credits and so on.
Practical Application of the Principles
Principle 1
An integrated, multidimensional approach to language learning reflects the
complexity of language through the integration of the four components
(experience/communication, culture, language and general language education).
For each of these components, the program of studies outlines a progressive
sequence of objectives from the Beginner level to the Advanced level. Within
each of these language levels, objectives pulled from a sub-level can be developed
through specific teaching units or educational projects. These objectives become
the basis for lesson planning, language instruction and the evaluation of
language development. In order for the program’s objectives to be properly and
effectively evaluated, teachers need to know how the components can be
evaluated in an integrated fashion and how each component will have a different
focus in its form of evaluation, depending on what kind of skills, knowledge and
attitudes are to be evaluated. In this perspective, the evaluation of students’
proficiency is best carried out by performance-based testing which will mainly
focus on the experience/communication component with the three other
components playing a lesser role in this type of testing, whereas cultural,
linguistic and strategic knowledge will best be evaluated by progress tests or
classroom activities, where the focus can be specific and isolated. The following
discussion will explain in more detail the main aspects of this principle.
Experience/Communication
Student progress in this component is mainly assessed by measuring the
students’ ability to comprehend authentic texts and to produce oral and written
messages which are related to real life and in keeping with the field(s) of
experience under study. Since the teaching methodology should be based on the
development of communicative growth within given contexts, evaluation
instruments need to reflect the same orientation; that is, this component is best
evaluated in terms of authentic tasks in context. Further, this component
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focuses on how well a student has performed on a particular task. As a result,
the nature of these tasks is determined by the field of experience, a real-life
context, the students’ linguistic level and cognitive maturity.
To evaluate listening and reading comprehension, teachers will need to use
authentic texts and have students carry out tasks which replicate the ways in
which these two skills are used in real life. The most common means of using
these two skills is in the form of note-taking. This can involve filling in missing
information or pulling out information in order to complete a form. For
example, in the field of experience “Food”, Beginner level students can be asked
to jot down a list of food items needed for a party so that later the students can
decide who will bring what, whereas in a unit on “Crime and Violence”, an
Intermediate student might take down information left on the school’s
answering machine regarding the theft of some school equipment so as to be
able to pass this information on to a police officer. In both these examples, the
tasks involve the students in carrying out authentic tasks for real reasons.
The same principle holds true for reading comprehension. In a unit on “ Clubs
and Associations”, Beginner students might be asked to fill in a registration
form in order to join their favourite club, whereas Advanced learners, having
studied the field of experience “Politics”, might be asked to read two different
articles describing opposing positions and decide which of the two sides they
support in preparation for a debate with political candidates running in a
Federal election. Information that is cultural in nature can be pulled out of a
text, but only if its extrapolation is done so for authentic reasons. For example, if
the students have been studying “The International French-speaking
community”, they might be asked to read articles pertaining to Francophone
language rights in a minority situation to determine the varying points of view
in order to write up a summary for their local francophone newspaper. However,
with these two language skills, the evaluation of language use and in many
cases, general language education is subsumed, since what we want to
determine is what is it the students have understood, given the context, and how
much they have understood.
On the other hand, oral and written production tasks are more integrative in
nature. For example, in a unit on “Domestic Animals”, students might be asked
to read and respond to a newspaper ad on domestic pets. Beginner students
could be asked to leave a message on an answering machine regarding the
purchase of a particular animal. In this case, students would be evaluated on
the contents of the message, based on the criteria given to the students, such as
leaving their name and telephone number, describing the animal they want to
purchase, etc. The other components could be included in this evaluation, but to
a lesser degree, by asking students to include a culturally appropriate
conclusion to their message (culture), properly pronouncing their words and
using the correct form of adjectives when describing the animal (language) and
the strategy that could be evaluated would be taking the risk by leaving a
message on an answering machine. This example illustrates how an oral
performance task can be carried out in an integrated fashion.
Written production can also be integrative in nature. For example, Beginner
level students can be asked to write a classified ad in order to sell their used
bicycle. Students could be asked to include in their description, the colour of the
bicycle, the type of bicycle, the selling price, which in this case would mean
placing the monetary symbol in the correct position, thus evaluating culture,
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possibly adding the appropriate expression for “if you need more information,
call”, etc. They would then have to write out the ad as it would appear in the
classified section, evaluating their knowledge of text types which forms a part of
the general language education component. Advanced level students, on the
other hand, need to be given tasks which will demonstrate their ability to link a
number of ideas together in a coherent and cohesive fashion. For example, after
having studied a French-Canadian novel, students could be asked to write a
critique, which would include a summary of the main events of the story and a
discussion of the student’s impression of the work. The students’ work would be
evaluated on the students’ ability to logically link ideas, with accuracy of
expression playing a part of the evaluation, in addition to evaluating the
students’ ability to follow the standard format of a critique.
Thus, it is these kinds of tasks which will assist students in becoming more
involved with their language development if they are assessed according to
meaningful, real-life communicative situations which they might confront
outside the confines of the classroom. Evaluation of this type adds a dimension
of motivation as to how students will perceive their language development and
the evaluation of their language performance.
Culture
In this component, students are expected to be able to identify, research, analyze
and interpret cultural knowledge meaningfully, effectively and in context. The
degree to which this can be done will depend on the language level and cognitive
maturity of the students. Therefore, evaluation in this component will focus
mostly on students’ cultural knowledge and will best be evaluated in progress
type tests or classroom activities. However, students’ cultural knowledge can
also be evaluated in performance tests in that their sociolinguistic knowledge can
be measured directly by the manner in which it is being used. For example,
teachers can evaluate if students have used appropriate social conventions for
beginning and closing a formal telephone conversation or if the students have
used the appropriate closing for a formal letter. As can be seen, both cases are
productions and naturally lend themselves to this type of evaluation format;
however, for listening and reading comprehension this knowledge becomes
subsumed, unless the task asks for the extrapolation of this information in an
authentic fashion. Therefore, the type of context and task will determine if
culture can be evaluated directly or indirectly.
For evaluation at the Beginner level, then, students need to demonstrate their
ability to identify concrete aspects or facts concerning francophone cultures and
other cultures in their surrounding area. These facts can be related to such
information as the identification of: French names in the class, school, or local
telephone book, streets with French names, flags, newspapers or signs in
national parks. Evaluation activities can require students to list, check off or
describe the elements of francophone cultures they have identified. If the task is
performance-based, students can be asked to demonstrate the application of their
sociolinguistic knowledge pertaining to simple tasks such as using the
appropriate greeting when beginning a simple informal conversation with a
friend.
As students grow in communicative ability they can be expected, at the
Intermediate level, to describe the differences and similarities between their
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own culture and local, national and international francophone cultures, in
addition to other ethnocultural groups within and outside of Canada. Evaluation
activities at this level could require students to design a chart highlighting
similarities and differences in a specific area of life for a particular francophone
or aboriginal culture. Or, students could be asked to write a paragraph
describing similarities and differences between their culture and a particular
francophone or aboriginal group in a given field of experience. At this level,
students can demonstrate their knowledge of these differences or similarities by
appropriately selecting the conventions which are in keeping with the task, such
as using all the appropriate conventions employed in a formal letter.
At the Advanced levels, students are required to research, interpret and
analyze the contributions of francophone cultures. For example, students might
be asked to research and reflect upon such topics as the historical roots of the
Quebecois nationalist movement, the advantages and disadvantages of
bilingualism for Canada, the peoples and lifestyles of worldwide francophone
cultures and/or variations in francophone dialects. Evaluation at this level
might take the form of written responses where students are evaluated on
mainly the basis of content, the depth of the analysis or development of their
argumentation through examples and logic and to a lesser degree on accuracy of
expression. In terms of performance, students could demonstrate their cultural
knowledge in an oral production by presenting their opinions in a video letter to
the Prime Minister of Canada, in which case they would have to use the
appropriate register for the letter and employ a more formal tone to their
presentation.
Evaluation activities for this component, then, need to be designed so that they
lead students to develop heightened cultural awareness as they reflect on the
similarities and differences between their own culture and the cultures they are
studying. These activities need to allow students to demonstrate their
knowledge in real, authentic contexts, in addition to providing them with the
opportunity to apply this knowledge to carry out authentic, purposeful tasks.
Thus, evaluation of this component needs to focus on ways in which students’
knowledge and understanding of themselves and of other cultures can be
effectively tested.
Language
The language component develops students’ ability to use the linguistic code
accurately and appropriately as a means of achieving meaningful and purposeful
communication. It is a tool that is developed and refined according to students’
communicative needs and to the type of communication taking place. An
important dimension of this component, then, is knowing that the message is
generally given priority over the form (use of the linguistic code). This does not
mean, however, that linguistic accuracy is not important. Rather, a student’s
communicative ability is viewed as the effective realisation of a communicative
intent and the accuracy with which the message is expressed.
The evaluation of linguistic elements will depend on the language level of the
learner, the task, and the field of experience. Evaluation at the Beginner level
will focus more on the accuracy of pronunciation/spelling, appropriate vocabulary
use, accuracy at the word level, and the correct order of words as it relates to the
message. At the Intermediate level, students will continue to focus on
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appropriate use of vocabulary, agreement between words and correct word order,
but they will also be expected to pay increased attention to correct verb tense
usage in the present, past and future as it pertains to messages composed of a
series of connected simple and complex sentences. At the Advanced level,
students linguistic usage will continue to focus on grammatical accuracy
developed at the lower levels, while including complex tense usage, and the
development of fluency (the ability to communicate freely and coherently). Most
importantly, though, one must bear in mind that the task will determine which
linguistic elements will become the focus of the evaluation, since not everything
can be evaluated nor do we want to discourage students from wanting to take
risks with using the language they are presently developing.
Further, just as linguistic elements are presented and developed within a context
and based on the students’ communicative needs, the evaluation of this
component will also need to follow the same principle. This means that linguistic
elements will also need to be evaluated in context. How they are evaluated will
depend on what the focus is: knowledge or use. Therefore, the language
component will need to be evaluated in two ways. One way will involve
evaluating students’ language knowledge through the use of progress tests or
contextualized classroom assignments. The other will involve evaluating the
students’ ability to apply their knowledge in different situations and contexts
through the use of performance-based testing. The following example will
illustrate the difference between the two formats.
For example, students could be asked to identify the location of different objects
in a room (testing their knowledge of prepositions and related vocabulary), by
having the teacher read a descriptive paragraph relating to the location of these
objects in a room. The reason would be so that students could leave a map for
the painters, so that they could put the objects in the same place after painting
the room. Students would paste the items in the correct location as they are
described or write the name of the object, depending on their linguistic and
cognitive level. In this case, the students would be evaluated on their accurate
location of the objects and the correct recognition of vocabulary and in the case of
writing, the correct spelling of the objects.
On the other hand, to test their ability to use these same linguistic concepts in a
similar situation, students could be asked to give the instructions to the movers
who have just brought their furniture to their new home so that the movers can
place the student’s personal objects in the correct place in the new bedroom. The
language which would be evaluated would be the correct use of the imperative,
the choice of appropriate vocabulary and the correct use of prepositions. As these
examples have shown, when teachers design evaluation instruments for this
component they will have to decide whether it is linguistic knowledge they want
to evaluate or language use. This decision will determine whether a progress
type test or a performance instrument will be used.
At the beginning stages of language learning, then, it is especially important
that students be encouraged to take risks and experience the satisfaction of
communicating messages that are personally meaningful. However, as they
progress in their ability to express themselves more fully, students will need to
recognize that, as they become more accurate in their language use, they will
become more efficient and better communicators. Evaluation procedures,
therefore, will need to reflect this progression towards desired accuracy of
expression, keeping context and task in mind.
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General Language Education
The general language education component includes a number of generally
proven language learning strategies which can help students become more
efficient and independent language learners. The key to evaluating growth in
this component is the inclusion of objectives relating to this component in lesson
plan preparation and in the construction of evaluation checklists for the unit/
project under study. Depending on the objective(s) to be taught/learned and
evaluated, students can be asked to demonstrate the skills or strategic
knowledge they are developing through a variety of techniques.
Like the culture component, language learning strategies can be directly or
indirectly evaluated, depending on the context and the task. Once again to test
strategic knowledge directly, it is best to use a progress test or a specific
language activity, since it is often quite difficult to isolate or control specific
strategies in authentic ways. For this same reason, in the case of performancebased tests, these strategies are most often subsumed. However, metacognitive
strategies such as self-correction or the use of organizational strategies such as
objectivation checklists can become a part of the test instrument in that students
can be asked to reflect upon the processes they used to carry out the task.
Further, in the case of performance testing, students need to be allowed to use
the strategies that best suit their learning style in order to be successful in
carrying out the task rather than attempting to restrict the types of strategies
available to the students.
In light of these limitations, here are some examples of how language learning
strategies can be evaluated directly. For example, to have students demonstrate
Beginner level) in reading, they can be asked to
their recognition of cognates (Beginner
underline them and then use them to attempt to determine the essence of the
message. Recognition of cognates in a listening exercise can be demonstrated by
having students listen to an announcement which contains the listed words in
front of them. Students would check off which words were said and later
determine which ones mean the same as the English counterpart. As in the
reading example, they could be asked to use these words to guess the main
meaning of the announcement. Guessing the meaning of key words at the
Intermediate level might be evaluated by having students list the key words
relating to who, what, where, when, and why as these five W’s relate to the text
they have just heard or read in order to determine its meaning. Or Advanced
level learners may be asked to hypothesize the meaning of linguistic nuances as
a means of better understanding the text. As can be seen by these examples
objectives which, for the most part, relate to the use of cognitive strategies can be
evaluated by assessing the product of the strategy being used.
On the other hand, objectives geared to developing the use of socio-affective and
metacognitive strategies will focus more on process. For example, an objective
such as “voluntarily correct mistakes or errors pointed out by someone else”
Intermediate level) may be assessed best by having students complete
(Intermediate
evaluation checklists or by teacher observation of the student in a
communicative activity. In fact, most of the socio-affective objectives will need to
be evaluated in this way whereas the metacognitive strategies can be evaluated
through the use of self-evaluations and objectivation checklists. In essence,
while some informal, unrecorded observations and evaluations will always be
going on, well-developed observation and evaluation checklists will need to be
used in order to formally evaluate these strategies. Through the use of student
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completed evaluation checklists, both teachers and students will have a clearer
picture of which strategies are becoming automatic and which ones need more
practice.
Thus, this component will best be evaluated in a teaching/learning situation and
within the unit/project being developed. The use of observation, self- and peer
evaluation checklists will assist teachers in fully evaluating this component. If
teachers want to summatively evaluate students’ strategic use, it is
recommended that progress test instruments or classroom activities be used,
since a product can best be attained with this type of evaluation.
Principle 2
Student evaluation in the second language classroom needs to focus on the
process of language learning, by making use of a wide variety of methods and
strategies. Student evaluation also needs to encompass all dimensions of the
learning process so that students can see that they are progressing in their
learning and in their ability to use the language for meaningful and purposeful
communication. Therefore, evaluation practices will need to be balanced
between formative and summative activities. Therefore, a systematic evaluation
schema must be incorporated and elaborated while learning activities are being
planned.
The next two sections will discuss an overall evaluation plan and the different
techniques which can be used to evaluate both formatively and summatively
within this schema. The following table provides some of the key points to
remember when developing an evaluation plan within the framework of a unit or
educational project or during the course of a school year.
TABLE 9
KEY POINTS FOR DEVELOPING AN EVALUATION PLAN
PLANNING FOR EVALUATION
1. Identify objectives to be evaluated
evaluated.
2. Identify test instruments and techniques to be used
used. ( E.g. Individual assignments, culminating project task, progress tests, selfevaluations, objectivations, performance tests, etc.)
3. Determine when to evaluate
evaluate. ( E.g. - every individual assignment or
every second one, a progress test in the middle of the unit/educational
project, a performance test at the end of the level, etc.)
4. Determine how marks are to be allocated
allocated. (E.g. - 30% for
assignments, 40% for the culminating activity, 30% for the progress test,
etc.)
5. Determine how students will receive feedback on their progress
and language development
development. (E.g. - marks only, teacher-student
conference, anecdotal reporting, portfolios, report cards, etc.)
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Formative Evaluation Techniques
Formative or as it is sometimes referred to informal student evaluation is an
integral and ongoing part of the learning process and needs to be a part of one’s
daily classroom routine in order to provide students with valuable feedback on
their learning. Some of the evaluation techniques presented in this section can
be carried out on a daily basis (ongoing evaluation techniques) whereas others
will have to be specifically planned for when unit/educational project plans are
being made. Various techniques will be described and suggestions as to how they
can be carried out and when it is appropriate to use them will also be provided.
Figure 9 provides an overview of these different techniques and how they relate
to different steps in the instructional process.
FIGURE 9
FORMATIVE TECHNIQUES AS THEY RELATE TO THE INSTRUCTIONAL CYCLE
• Instructional Planning
(Development of
unit/project)
• Delivery of the
Unit’s Lessons
}}
- Preparatory Phase
- Experience Phase
- Reflection Phase
- Reinvestment Phase
Formative
Techniques
Summative
Techniques
Observation
Error Correction
Comprehension/
Verification
Reflection/
Feedback
Self-assessment/
Peer evaluations
Objectivation
Classroom Activities
First Draft
Reinvestment
Culminating Activity
Unit Progress Test
Sub-level Performance Test
Level Performance Test
• Evaluation Phase
Observation
Observation is an important formative evaluation technique, since it gives
students direct access to information regarding their learning and language
development. This technique involves teachers in playing the role of facilitator
by freely providing individual guidance and error correction as the students
interact in both communicative and experiential/communicative activities. This
type of technique can be easily integrated into daily teaching practices as it can
be applied immediately to any situation to provide students with information on
their progress on a continual basis.
Observations can be done informally or formally, depending on what kind of data
the teacher wishes to gather. Informal observations do not involve a recording
process; rather, students are given immediate feedback on their learning, either
in the form of praise, encouragement or error correction. Informal observation
practices allow teachers to evaluate both the learning activity and the students’
performance by ascertaining whether or not the designated activity is unfolding
as it should and whether or not the students have the sufficient linguistic
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elements required to carry out the task. This is done by listening to individual
or group language samples to determine if students are on track. If sufficient
numbers of students are experiencing difficulty then adjustments can be made to
the activity or the task. Teachers can also focus their attention on individual
students by supplying these students with the help they require in order to carry
out the activity. Another important aspect of this technique involves providing
students with language correction to ensure that students are using the
language they have learned as accurately as possible. When students are being
observed using the language it is important to know when it is appropriate to
provide students with linguistic corrections which will foster their language use
and not discourage them to take risks. In essence, this technique, when used
informally, allows teachers to encourage students to tolerate ambiguity and to
take risks, by praising them for their efforts and giving them constructive
feedback on their language knowledge in an environment which is positive and
where errors are considered a part of learning.
Observations can also be carried out in more formal ways. Checklists or
observation charts, which are based on either general or specific learner
objectives, are used as a means of formally providing students with information
on their learning. These checklists can be maintained and carried out
periodically in order to monitor students’ language development over the course
of the year. This observation data can be used by teachers to inform parents and
administrators of how the students are progressing. Or, for reporting purposes,
this data can provide teachers with additional information which can be used in
the writing up of students’ language proficiency profiles.
Record-keeping can be done when students are working in pairs or as they are
working in small groups such as in a cooperative learning activity. It is not
necessary to evaluate every student all at once; rather, one group can be done in
one class period and others in different classes, providing that the checklist
provides that kind of flexibility. An observation checklist or chart is developed,
based on what kind of information is to be shared with the learners. Thus, an
observation checklist can be very general in nature, if the information is
pertaining to a student’s overall performance for a given level (as shown in
Figure 10) or more specific, if the type of information is dealing with a student’s
ability to perform a given task (Figure 11), or it can be tied to specific language
learning strategies (Figure 12), which will be observed during the entire course
of the year. The checklists should be written up in such a way that both students
and parents can easily understand what has been observed. Therefore, it is
important to leave a section for writing comments which can be used to provide
more precise information relating to the student’s knowledge, abilities and
attitudes.
Formal observations play an important role in language development in that
they can be used for diagnosing students’ strengths and their weaknesses. This
information can then be shared with each student or their parents as a basis for
a discussion on the student’s language performance. Further, these observations
can become the basis for anecdotal reporting if required. This data gathering
process can also assist teachers in making instructional decisions as to whether
the students are ready to continue on or whether they require more work on a
specific linguistic element or language task. Therefore, this form of evaluation is
a powerful means of gathering data for both instructional and evaluative
purposes and is one which is easily incorporated both formally and informally.
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FIGURE 10
BEGINNER LEVEL OBSERVATION CHART
Beginner Level Abilities
Date
Date
Can...
Date
Student's name:
Comments
1. ... understand a series of simple, oral and
write statement in a given context.
2. ...express his/her communicative intent
by producing simple, oral and written
messages, of at least two or three statements, in a given context.
3. ...demonstrate his/her knowledge of the
French-speaking world by identifying the
presence of French-speaking peoples and
facets of French-speaking cultures at the
local, regional, territorial and national
levels.
4. ...demonstrate understanding and use,
orally and in writing, of correct spelling
and pronunciation, vocabulary and word
order in simple communications in the
present tense.
5. ...identify key words in a communication
to develop tolerance of ambiguity
(cognitive).
6. ...discover the language by establishing
associations between words (cognitive).
7. ...develop a positive attitude towards the
use of the language by voluntarily taking
risks to communicate a message (socioaffective).
8. ...demonstrate the ability to use selective
attention to complete activities and tasks.
Scale:
1 = Unable to do so; showing difficulty
2 = Does so with difficulty
3 = does so with some help
4 = Does so with little assistance
5 = Does so easily
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FIGURE 11
SPECIFIC TASK OBSERVATION CHART
Communicative Task: Presentation of a Weather Report
Date:
Student's name:
Can...
Check if
"yes"
Comments
1. ... describe the weather in the N.W.T.,
including an introduction and a closing.
2. ...identify communities where there are
many French speakers in the territories.
3. ...use appropriate weather-related
expressions and temperatures.
4. ...accurately pronounce words and
expressions related to the weather.
5. ...identify appropriate weather symbols
related to weather expressions.
6. ...present an original weather report:
- following a model
- using creativity to enhance the
message.
Scale:
1 = Unable to do so; showing difficulty
2 = Does so with difficulty
3 = does so with some help
4 = Does so with little assistance
5 = Does so easily
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FIGURE 12
LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES OBSERVATION CHECKLIST
p
el
h
r
fo
pe s
er
s
Ta
ke
s
ks
As
F
m ollo
od w
el s
s
U
se
s
m ref
at er
e en
Pl ria ce
an
ls
sb
l y
Co ea
r
w ope nin
ith ra g
te
Month:
ri
sk
s
Class:
Name
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
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Error Correction
This technique is an important part of ensuring that students will be able to use
the language with precision. Yet, teachers face the dilemma of deciding between
promoting spontaneity in communicative growth and encouraging accuracy of
expression. In this light, the resulting question becomes, if errors are totally
ignored, then, will they become fossilized; i.e., will the grammatical rules and
language structures that are stored incorrectly in memory remain that way (see
Selinker, 1972 for more information on this process)? However, the other side of
the coin becomes, when I decide to correct what should the role of error
correction be in the classroom? The answers to these two questions are not easy
ones and will depend largely on the nature of the task and the learning situation.
Nevertheless, the decision to correct students’ errors should not be taken lightly;
rather, teachers need to be aware of the consequences of too much correction or
too little and to develop their own personal philosophy which coincides with good
instructional practices and the objectives of the program of studies.
Consequently, in the context of a multidimensional curriculum, teachers need to
be aware that error correction is no longer limited to linguistic code corrections,
but includes more subtle and indirect methods such as providing students with
language learning strategies which will assist them in improving their ability to
understand and communicate in French. Error correction also involves finding
ways in which to encourage students to develop their language skills while at the
same time applying their linguistic, cultural and strategic knowledge in as
precise a manner as possible.
When students are working on communicative or experiential/communicative
activities, teachers will need to find helpful and unobtrusive ways to guide
students in accurately clarifying their communicative intents. In these
situations, error correction should not be primarily focused on pronunciation and
accuracy of specific linguistic elements, as this can become disruptive and
threatening for students as they are attempting to convey personal meaning
while at the same time trying to sustain the communication. In these instances,
teachers need to be judicious when correcting students and should resort to
techniques such as providing the student with the correct word or linguistic form
if the comprehension of the message is being impeded by these factors. Or,
teachers can verify students’ intent by paraphrasing or repeating what they have
said or by questioning them in much the same way as would be done in natural
discourse in order to facilitate the comprehension of the message.
Further, before students are asked to understand or produce something, they
might be given checklists to use along with the activity or task, in order to
encourage them to reflect upon the way in which they are going to plan for
learning or to use reference materials, such as their notes or dictionaries which
will assist them in achieving this precision. In addition, students can be given
certain language formulae which they can use for asking for assistance. In all
these cases, students are given the opportunity to learn and to develop the
language in a non-threatening manner. As such, the teacher’s role is that of
facilitator and coach whose primary task is to encourage students to use their
language knowledge to understand and express themselves to the best of their
ability.
However, error correction can also occur in a more controlled fashion. In this
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case, teachers will need to pay particular attention to the way in which students
are using the language both orally and in written form. In these situations,
students are more than likely working on contextualized linguistic activities
which will assist them in learning how to manipulate a certain grammatical
structure. When students are involved in these types of activities it is important
to note, on a consistent basis, what it is the students are doing in order to
provide then with immediate feedback regarding the accurate use of the
structure. This is a vital step in ensuring that students will be able to properly
store the structures for use in real-life communicative tasks.
Therefore, the most important aspect to bear in mind with error correction is
that it needs to be seen as a valuable part of the learning process and a needed
element for the acquisition of the language. Furthermore, error correction needs
to be carried out in an accepting and supportive environment so that learners
feel that making a mistake is not something to avoid, but, rather, is a natural
part of language hypotheses testing. Effective error correction, then, assists
students in becoming better language learners who are willing to tolerate
ambiguity and to take risks.
Comprehension/Verification
Even at the very beginning stages of language teaching/learning, teachers are
encouraged to use the target language as much as possible. In this way, each
class will involve further development of listening comprehension skills as
teachers carry out direct instruction, learning activities or classroom procedures.
To further enhance this development, teachers will also need to use, on a
consistent basis, a verification procedure which involves paying careful attention
to what students are saying and doing and how they are reacting to a particular
learning activity. By verifying how students are functioning with the
instructional process, teachers are able to begin a new activity, to continue the
current one they are working on or to stop to rephrase instructions and redirect
students’ attention in order to ensure that all students are actively engaged in
what is going on in the classroom. Teachers can also confirm if students have
understood instructions for a class activity by asking verification questions such
as: “A quelle page es-tu?”, “Qu’est-ce que vous devez faire?”, Est-ce que tout le
monde est prêt?”, “Est-ce que vous avez compris?”, “Avez-vous des questions?”, or
by asking students to paraphrase instructions either in French or English. In
this way, teachers can ascertain that all students will be able to actively
participate in the learning activity.
When students start group work, teachers can begin verification procedures by
asking a quick question to the group or by listening attentively for a moment to
verify that students are on task. This type of technique will usually provide
sufficient evidence that students have understood what it is they are supposed to
do. Continuous verification is necessary to monitor classroom dynamics and to
ascertain that both the teacher and students are always “on the same
wavelength”. Thus, this type of formative evaluation can assist teachers in
providing them with immediate feedback as to how the lesson is proceeding in
order to determine if any quick changes will be warranted so as to meet the
needs of the students. It is also an efficient means of determining who is
experiencing difficulty so as to be able to assist this student in becoming an
active member of the class, without singling out any particular student.
Finally, it is possible to easily incorporate this technique on an ongoing basis,
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and it is an effective means of keeping students attentive and on task.
Reflection/Feedback
This form of evaluation involves the act of reviewing what has been learned
during an activity, a class, or a unit/project. It is recommended that teachers
involve students in reflection activities on a regular basis in order to obtain
feedback on the learning that has taken place. This type of evaluation is an
opportunity for teachers to verify the perceptions of students, to review what
they have been doing and to determine to what extent they have learnt the
material being presented. For teachers, this kind of feedback provides the input
required to make revisions so as to meet students’ needs. As for the students,
this type of evaluation can help to acknowledge their efforts and to give them
confidence to continue taking risks with the language.
Reflection/feedback activities can take place at specific points in the unit/project
or during closure activities at the end of a class. They can be as simple as a
discussion of the learning activities carried out during the class or they can
relate to the lesson plans for the next day. Such a discussion could involve
teachers in asking students what they did in class that day so as to review not
only the content covered but the language skills developed and to discuss how
they can use this knowledge in the development of their unit/project or other
communicative situations.
Another form of feedback could involve teachers and students in talking about
how a particular set of learning activities that will be carried out during the
course of the next day or days will be tied to learning activities that they are
presently working on so as to assist the students in developing a mental and
written framework. A brainstorming activity could be carried out in which a
semantic map is created so that students now have a visual image of what
progress they will be making at the end of specific points in the project. As each
class goes by, students can add the activities they have been carrying out to the
framework in order to be able to view the progress they have made in their
language development. Brief discussions as to the success of each activity can
also be carried out in order that students develop the ability to reflect upon their
work and attribute value to what it is they are doing. These are only a few of the
kinds of activities which can be carried out, but in essence, all of these types of
activities will provide students with an opportunity to think about what is they
have been learning as a means of developing metacognitive learning strategies.
As can be seen, this form of evaluation involves students in becoming directly
involved in their learning and helps them to take responsibility for what they
have learned.
This technique is also quite simple to incorporate into one’s daily teaching
practices and, as has been demonstrated by the examples given above, an
effective means of making transitions between classes. However, it does need to
be planned for so that teachers can obtain information from the students which
will assist them in being able to determine the effectiveness of the lesson or unit/
educational project so that further instructional decisions can be taken to meet
the needs of individual students or groups of students, such as the development
of remediation or enrichment activities.
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Self-Assessment/Assessment by Peers
Self assessment, or self-evaluation as it if often called, is a technique which
provides students with the opportunity to reflect upon the degree to which they
believe they can perform a given task. Or, it can be used to allow students to
reflect upon their general behaviour as it pertains to the learning of the
language. In essence, this technique involves students in judging for themselves
the degree to which they have progressed in the acquisition of the language.
This type of reflective process can provide students with the opportunity to
develop more self-confidence with the language as they are being given the
chance to think about how well they are able to carry out a task prior to being
evaluated summatively. If, at this stage, they continue to be unsure of
themselves, they can ask for assistance in order to be able to improve in those
areas in which they are experiencing difficulty. This moment of reflection, then,
can motivate students to do better by being more confident in themselves.
Self-evaluations can be administered at any given time during the instructional
process, but it is always useful to do so just prior to the presentation of the
cumulative task in the unit/educational project so that students may be given the
opportunity to think about how successful they will be in carrying out the task.
However, self-evaluations should be used sparingly as students will soon grow
tired of the same routine. In this sense, it is recommended that self-assessment
procedures be administered no more than three to four times a year so that
students can truly feel as though they have progressed.
Self-evaluation checklists are created in terms of what students are expected to
be able to do and are derived from a specific unit’s objectives or they can be
written based on desired student behaviours. They can include as many columns
as necessary for the self-assessment, in addition to a comments column which
will allow the teacher an important opportunity to also reflect upon what the
students see as their progress. The checklists need to be written in such a way
that they encourage students to indicate the degree to which they can perform
the various tasks. Older students may indicate their degree of success according
to a predetermined scale, whereas younger children can indicate satisfactory or
unsatisfactory performance through symbols such as happy/unhappy faces.
Figure 13 is one example of how students might assess themselves in relation to
a task and Figure 14 is an example of how students might assess desired
behaviours.
Self-assessments, then, can also serve as an important mechanism for opening a
dialogue between the teacher and students or the teacher and parents as it
provides a basis from which to discuss certain concerns the teacher may have
already noted in the student’s language development. Using the students’ selfassessments may also help confirm for some students that they are in fact
experiencing difficulty with a certain aspect of the unit/educational project so
that further instruction can be carried out to address these needs.
Therefore, self-assessments can be used in a number of ways which allow
students to self-diagnose their strengths and weaknesses, in addition to
providing valuable information to the teacher concerning the students’ selfconcept and learning needs.
Peer evaluation is another means of obtaining valuable information on student
progress. Instead of assessing themselves prior to their presentation, the
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FIGURE 13
SELF-EVALUATION CHECKLIST
Name:
Date:
Communicative Task: Writing a weather report for the radio
I can . . .
What I Think
Teacher's Comments
. . . describe the weather.
(communication )
. . . identify two francophone
communities in the
Northwest Territories.
(culture )
. . . use the numbers 0 to 40 as
temperatures. (language )
. . . use expressions related to the
weather. (language )
. . . accurately spell weather
expressions. (language )
. . . match weather symbols with
weather expressions.
( general language education )
Possible Scales:
Elementary
Very well
Junior/Senior High School
1. Not very well at all
2. With some problems
3. Fairly well
4. With no problem
Well
Not very well
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FIGURE 14
SELF-EVALUATION BEHAVIOURAL CHECKLIST
Name:
I was able . . .
Date:
All of
the time
Most of
the time
Some of
the time
Not at all
- to finish my work on time.
- to use French during
this activity .
- to help my peers.
- to correct my own work.
- to listen carefully to
instructions.
- to participate with other
members of my group.
- show respect for other
group member's work.
students can have their peers verify the degree to which they can perform the
required task. As indicated above, these checklists can also be based on the
specific unit's objectives or they can be based on desired student behaviours. The
purpose of peer evaluation is to also give students the opportunity to obtain
feedback from another source before being evaluated summatively. This process
also develops valuable strategies such as being able to point out errors in another
person's work, to work cooperatively with a peer and also to selectively attend to
the task by being actively involved in assisting peers to edit their work.
Peer evaluations can also be used to actively engage students in their peers' oral
presentations. In this form of peer evaluation, students are asked to give their
opinion on the presentations (see Figure 15). The benefit of this type of
evaluation is that it can assist students in taking more responsibility for their
work by giving their best performance. However, Once again, it is recommended
that this form of evaluation be used sparingly as it could also intimidate some
students into not wanting to perform at all.
In essence, then, these two techniques can be used to obtain other forms of
information on students' language development and acquisition.
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FIGURE 15
PEER EVALUATION CHECKLIST
My name:
Presentation name:
Names of the presenters:
Yes
Somewhat
No
1. The presentation was easy to understand.
2. The presentation was interesting.
3. The presentation was organized.
4. The thing I liked most about the presentation was:
5. Maybe the group could work on:
Objectivation
Objectivation is an evaluation process that encourages students to step back
from their work and reflect on the learning that has taken place. This technique
can be carried out as either a teacher-led discussion or through the completion of
a checklist. In this process students are involved in examining objectively what
they have learned (knowledge, skills, attitudes, or strategies) and whether they
have been able to apply what they have learned to the task at hand.
Objectivations, done either individually or as a class, can help in determining
what was successful, what was unsuccessful, and how learning can be improved.
This technique differs from self-assessment in that students must think about
what it is they have learned and analyze it in terms of whether or not they have
been able to apply it. On the other hand, self-assessment asks students to reflect
upon how well they think they know what they have learned by using a rating
scale to qualify their degree of success. The strength of the objectivation process,
then, lies in the fact that it is carried out in a non-threatening manner by giving
students the opportunity to assess their own work before it is formally evaluated.
Furthermore, objectivations help students develop important metacognitive
strategies such as self-monitoring and self-correction.
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Objectivation checklists can be developed directly from the learner objectives for
a specific task or unit. Each element that is to be included in the preparation of
the task is listed and the necessary instructions for the completion of the
checklist are also given. The use of yes/no is the usual format (see Figure 16).
Objectivation checklists, such as Figure 16, can be given to the students at the
beginning of a unit or educational project in order to direct their planning and to
guide their learning during the instructional/learning sequence. This
encourages students to take greater responsibility for their learning and to
further develop strategies which will lead them to become more autonomous
learners. Moreover, the objectivation process assists students in acknowledging
whether or not all the necessary steps leading to the successful completion of the
task have been covered. By going through each step, students are given the
chance to improve the quality of their work and to feel more successful in what
they are doing. In the beginning, though, students will need to carry out this
technique with the assistance of the teacher and will need to be encouraged to
take on this task by themselves.
Objectivations also provide the means for a discussion between the teacher and
the students in those cases where students have not understood what may have
gone wrong in the carrying out of the task. Through the use of an objectivation
checklist, the teacher and students can revisit the task by discussing each step
needed to carry it out and together pointing out any steps which may not have
been performed. This process assists students, then, in seeing where they have
been successful and unsuccessful, in addition to becoming aware of the value of
using the objectivation process as a means of verifying that one has indeed
followed every step. By going through this process, students will become more
cognizant of the importance of the use of objectivation as a means of verifying
one’s work.
Finally, objectivation grids can also provide teachers with useful information in
their preparation of anecdotal comments for report cards, in that objectivations
can indicate what students can do successfully and what needs more work. The
data gathered from objectivations can be transferred to teacher notes so that
more explicit information can be reported to both students and parents as it
relates to the students’ language development and acquisition.
In essence, this section has discussed a number of ways in which students can be
given feedback on their work. It is important for teachers to determine which of
these techniques can be incorporated into their daily teaching practices in order
to provide students with data which will assist them in constantly improving
their language development. The following section will discuss formative
evaluation methods.
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FIGURE 16
OBJECTIVATION CHECKLIST
For my weather report, I . . .
Yes
No
1. . . . have prepared in introduction.
2. . . . have chosen three locations in
which there are many French speakers.
3. . . . have chosen at least three expressions
related to the weather to describe these
places.
4. . . . have chosen appropriate temperatures.
5. . . . have chosen the appropriate weather
symbols.
6. . . . have made sure that I can pronounce
my words correctly.
7. . . . have made sure that I am using my
words in the correct order.
8. . . . have prepared a conclusion.
9. . . . have tried to make it interesting.
10. . . . have practised so that I can
present it in an enthusiastic manner.
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Summative Evaluation of Educational Projects
Summative evaluation procedures are used to measure students’ knowledge or
their language performance level at any given moment in their learning. Tests
form the mainstay of this type of evaluation and are useful tools for assigning a
quantitative value to students’ acquisition and knowledge of the language.
However, there are other learning situations which can also be used to evaluate
students’ progress. The techniques discussed in this section can add further
opportunities for monitoring student progress. These situations are presented in
the context of the evaluation of an educational project but can be used with
whatever instructional format is chosen.
The educational project is, however, one of the best ways in which to integrate
the four components of the program of studies, in addition to ensuring the
development of the four language skills. This form of lesson planning and
instructional delivery provides a sequence of organized learning activities within
a given field of experience which leads to the presentation of a culminating
communicative task. In this type of instruction, the focus is on the learning
process and as such allows for summative evaluations to take place at various
moments in the instructional cycle. Students will see the value in this type of
learning and evaluation procedures when they are evaluated over the course of
the entire educational project and not just at the conclusion of the project.
As was mentioned in the section on planning for instruction, evaluation
procedures are not to be considered an afterthought. Rather, the evaluation
process constitutes a carefully planned and organized sequence of procedures in
which students are made fully aware of what is expected of them and are
cognizant of the difference between a learning activity and an evaluation activity.
In determining what should be evaluated, teachers need to begin with the
specific objectives which have been established for the educational project. These
objectives become the basis for the development of evaluation checklists, which
are later adapted for the different steps in the evaluation process. In this vein,
then, one of the major keys to effective evaluation of the educational project is
the development of checklists based on the objectives and the learning activities
which will be carried out. Such checklists are effective because they can ensure
that all of the components of the program of studies will be assessed at some
point and to a certain degree. Further, they establish the evaluation criteria for
the students at the beginning of the educational project, allowing students to
become fully aware of what will be expected of them at the end of the educational
project.
From here, decisions need to be made regarding what needs to be evaluated,
when and how. This involves breaking down the marking schema into the
individual steps of the instructional process to determine what will eventually be
assessed, how it will be evaluated and how much it will be worth. Figure 17 is an
example of the possible steps in an evaluation plan for an educational project, as
well as other steps found over the course of a school year. As can be seen in
Figure 17, all kinds of decisions need to be made before any educational project is
completed and taught in addition to how the particular educational unit fits into
the entire evaluation schema.
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FIGURE 17
POSSIBLE STEPS IN THE EVALUATION PROCESS
Educational Project #1
Comprehension Activity #1
Learning Activity #1
Comprehension Activity #2
Learning Activity #2
Comprehension Activity #...
Learning Activity #...
First Draft of Communicative Task
Unit Progress Test
Objectivation
Final Presentation of Communicative Task
Reinvestment
➡Educational Project #2
➡Educational Project #3
➡Educational Project #...
⇒
Language Proficiency Test for the Sublevel
etc.
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Specific Tasks in the Educational Project
As demonstrated in Figure 17, each educational project will consist of a number
of progressive steps leading to the eventual completion of the project. Depending
on what language proficiency the project is being completed at, teachers may
choose to assign a greater weighting to the development of the individual parts
than to a global assessment of the entire project. This may be especially true at
the Beginner and Intermediate levels where teachers may decide that the
practice of a certain linguistic structure (e.g. formulating questions for an interview) or a particular strategy (e.g. correct use of a dictionary) is necessary within
the confines of the project and in such a case, attribute considerably more marks
to the activities. Ultimately, many of these decisions will need to be based on the
objectives established for the educational project, including the use of formative
evaluation procedures. In the end, some of the results taken from either marks,
anecdotal comments, or formative checklists will be recorded for inclusion in the
final evaluation of the project. The following sections, then, will discuss the
different steps in the project and how they can be evaluated within an entire
evaluation plan.
Development and Evaluation of Comprehension Activities
It is often perceived that it is easier to develop and evaluate the production skills
(oral and written production) than it is the receptive skills (listening and reading
comprehension). Therefore, it is extremely important to pay special attention to
the development and assessment of the receptive skills during the planning and
instructional delivery of the educational project. Consequently, the receptive
skills will need to be evaluated in as equitable a fashion as the production skills.
As such, listening comprehension activities, while receiving more emphasis at
the Beginner level, will continue to be emphasized right through to and including the Advanced level, with evaluation activities being tailored to meet and
assess the growing abilities of students. Therefore, it is important that a number
of comprehension activities be included as part of the evaluation of the educational project as these skills are being developed.
Teachers will find that the inclusion of a number of comprehension activities will
tend to occur more often at the Beginner level since far more time is devoted to
the development of listening comprehension. As such, the educational project’s
culminating communicative task can also become a comprehension (listening or
reading) activity for peers during practice sessions or for the class as a whole
when the culminating task is presented. These particular comprehension activities can be facilitated when students are given charts or forms in which they can
provide information derived from the listening/reading activity being presented.
(See for example the listening activity included in Appendix A for the educational
project dealing with the Weather - Beginner 2.) It is also important when students are asked to listen to or to read their peers’ work, they should be given
authentic listening and reading comprehension tasks to carry out in order to
accurately assess their language performance in terms of these skills.
Learning Activities
Learning activities which deal with the development of oral and written production are most often natural extensions of the listening and reading comprehension activities which have been previously carried out. As a result, these
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comprehension activities now become models for the development and assessment of the production skills. Further, it is at this point when these activities
also become a step in the instructional cycle in which specific cultural, linguistic,
and strategic activities are carried out in order to provide students with the
necessary knowledge they will need in order to eventually be able to carry out
the culminating communicative task. As this knowledge is developed and acquired, teachers may decide to administer a contextualized quiz or unit progress
test in which students can demonstrate the degree of attainment of this knowledge. This information can then be used as a portion of the overall mark being
attributed to the project.
However, most importantly, the type of evaluation procedure used will depend on
what kind of knowledge is being developed. For instance, if students have been
working on question formats they may be asked to conduct an interview in order
to evaluate their knowledge of question formats and appropriate socio-linguistic
behaviours. In this way, students are given feedback on how well they have been
able to formulate their questions and whether or not they have been able to use
socially correct behaviour. Or, students could be given a vocabulary quiz relating
to the educational project in order to determine if students have acquired sufficient vocabulary. Thus, any number of learning activities can be used to evaluate
students’ knowledge and skills provided that they have received sufficient time to
practice and acquire this knowledge before a summative evaluation is to take
place. Further, students should always be notified when a particular learning
activity will be marked and used as a portion of the mark being attributed to the
project.
First Draft of the Communicative Task
Learning activities, then, provide the foundation for the first draft in that they
are a practical integration of the learning that has taken place. As such, the first
draft of the educational project, either oral or written, should nevertheless be an
expression of the students’ best efforts. It should be a product of peer editing and
of teacher encouragement and occasional feedback/correction along the way. To
encourage students to put their best effort into this initial draft, a certain percentage of the final mark may be assigned to this step in the educational project.
Teachers will need to review the draft with the students, not necessarily making
corrections, but pointing out errors and involving the students in the correction
process. This step provides immediate feedback by giving both teachers and
students an opportunity to talk about the errors which need to be corrected and
to determine a process which will assist the students in rectifying the most
prominent errors, since not all errors can be corrected as this will quickly discourage students, especially those already experiencing difficulties. However, it
is important to note that the amount and degree of correction will depend on the
language skill being used (oral or written), the level at which the project is being
carried out and the seriousness of the errors being committed. Ultimately, teachers will have to judge how much correction should be carried out and to what
degree.
This first draft can also serve as a trial presentation for a peer, a group of peers
and/or the teacher. Self assessment checklists or observation charts can be used
by teachers or peers to discuss with students the strengths and weaknesses of
the presentation. This can help students to make improvements before the final
presentation, in addition to providing them with an opportunity to seek help for
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those areas requiring improvement. Further, this step also gives teachers an
opportunity to see which linguistic structures are still causing students difficulty
so that further practice sessions can be given before the final presentation is
made.
Unit Progress Test
Unit Progress Tests, or as they are most often called achievement tests
tests, are
based on a specific set of learner expectations which have been established for an
educational project and measure the degree to which students have met these
objectives. These tests can also take the format of a quiz which is less extensive
in content but more concentrated in what it evaluates, while still being in keeping with the objectives of the project. Because these tests are objective-based,
they can serve a diagnostic function since the results can be interpreted with
reference to a clearly specified set of marking criteria. Consequently, these types
of tests are considered criterion-referenced, since they evaluate the student
against the marking criteria to determine a student’s success as opposed to a
norm-referenced test which measures a student’s achievement against a group’s
average.
The strength of this type of evaluation procedure is that teachers can use the
results to ascertain weaknesses in individual student performance or the performance of the class as a whole. This information can then be used to make
decisions regarding the reintroduction of a certain concept prior to the completion of the present educational project or to ensure that it is recycled during the
next project. In essence, these tests are most often used to evaluate knowledge
type concepts as they relate to the field of experience under study. As a result,
they are a valuable means of providing students with information concerning
their acquisition of cultural, linguistic and strategic knowledge.
Thus, teachers may or may not choose to administer a test after the draft stage
of the project. However, one important reason for choosing to administer a test
may stem from the fact that the culminating communicative task may not measure all of the language skills in an integrated fashion. For example, at the Advanced level, the final communicative task may be an oral production activity
such as a debate. Since this educational project will have involved significant
reading and note-taking in preparation for the debate, teachers may wish to
evaluate their students’ reading comprehension and written production by means
of a progress test to ensure that these skills are still continuing to develop. Or,
for example at the Beginner level, students may have been working extensively
with the imperative in an oral mode to give instructions for an aerobics class. In
this case, teachers may want to evaluate students’ written production by means
of a progress test. Most importantly, though, teachers need to decide if a progress
test/quiz is necessary at this stage of the project and t o determine what exactly
it will be evaluating.
To ensure that the progress test is in keeping with the philosophy of the program
of studies, teachers need to make sure that the test reflects the integrated nature
of a multidimensional curriculum. This means that the test items used must be
contextualized at all times, at the very least communicative, and experiential in
nature when possible. When tests are developed in this manner, they are considered to be congruent with the program’s objectives and ensure test validity.
These types of tests can be made up of any number of test items which are
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pertinent to the field of experience under study and the language level of the
students. In order to assist in this development, the following section will describe the different types of test item formats which can be used to develop an
integrated progress test. Appendix E provides an example of an integrated
progress test and Appendix F contains a checklist to ensure that all the elements
of an integrated progress test are present.
Suggestions for Types of Question Formats*
Over the years, a variety of procedures and techniques have been developed to
test language knowledge, communicative ability and language performance.
Each of these formats has its strengths and weaknesses. Further, each technique
will tend to focus on different facets of language processing and language acquisition. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that students will respond more
effectively to different question formats. Therefore, it is suggested that evaluation instruments and individual test items be based on a range of question
formats which are appropriate to the age group and the communicative level of
the students, rather than focusing on one type of question format only.
This section will present the different types of formats available, their strengths
and their weaknesses and which testing situation best suits the use of a particular test item.
Close-ended Question Formats
The question formats which fall under this category require that students make
choices on the basis of the information given. This format is best suited to assessing specific language knowledge, cultural content, and strategy use. The advantage of a closed-ended format is that it is particularly easy to score. On the other
hand, these types of questions are time-consuming to prepare, if they are to be
good questions. Further, it is important to note that this type of question format
does not elicit authentic language use; rather, these types of questions will
evaluate students’ ability to apply language knowledge. As such, their use is
limited. The most common formats in this category are multiple choice
choice, true
and false
false, and matching
matching.
A multiple choice test item is composed of two parts: a stem and a set of possible answers. The stem contains the test question, while the set is composed of the
choice of responses available to the student. The most common set of answers is
made up of four, with only one answer being possible. Depending on the communicative and cognitive level of the students, the responses may be pictorial- or
language-based. Multiple choice items are best used to test factual content and
can be used to assess either listening or reading comprehension, but are limited
to the recall or analysis of factual information. However, good multiple choice
items are often very difficult to develop, since it is very easy to fall into the trap
of developing distracters in which it is hard to distinguish the correct answer
from similar-looking answers. Furthermore, a lot of time is required to develop
these types of questions.
The true and false format is best used to test factual content. Its biggest drawback is that it is often easy to guess the answer in that there is a 50 per cent
chance of being right. To avoid guessing, students could be required to provide
the appropriate correction for the false statements made. The drawback with this
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format is that it is often very easy to develop statements that are non-factual in
order to have students provide "false" answers. It is suggested that this type of
format be used sparingly, since its use is very limited.
Matching questions involve students in matching items from one list with
others in another list. The advantage of this type of format is that it is easy to
construct and evaluate. The disadvantage of this format is that it is limited to
the testing of knowledge. Teachers should also be aware of the fact that the use
of decontextualized word lists and English-French word matching is to be discouraged. Rather, a more effective use of this type of format is to test word/
symbol or word/picture associations which is a format directly related to strategy
use.
Cloze Procedure
This procedure is often considered an integrative question format and is widely
used to measure global second language proficiency. There are a number of
variations of this format: random cloze, rational cloze and dictation cloze.
Random Cloze
In this cloze format, students are presented with a written text of an appropriate
level of difficulty and interest in which every "nth" word has been deleted and
replaced by blanks of uniform length. The students' task is to fill in the blanks
with the appropriate missing word. The concept behind this test item is that it is
believed that students will draw upon a type of language processing that is
involved in authentic language behaviour, that is, the ability to resort to one's
knowledge of language rules in order to solve a linguistic problem. Although the
cloze procedure is often scored by only accepting the exact response, students
need not be penalized for having given another response if it is appropriate, since
risk-taking is a strategy that is promoted in the program. Therefore, teachers
should keep this in mind when correcting a random cloze.
Example of a Random Cloze
Et maintenant, la météo. C'est bien l'hiver.
Qu'est-ce qu'on annonce
aujourd'hui? Un peu de tout! Quel
horrible! Si vous êtes obligé de
aujourd'hui
-petit conseil: appelez un taxi!
routes sont couvertes de
glace et
très dangeureuses. La police rapporte déjà
accidents. À l'heure actuelle, on
de la pluie verglaçante. Au cours
l'après-midi, ça va se changer
neige. On annonce 10 cm pour
soir, avec possibilité de pluie avant
matin. Donc, voilà! Pas très
intéressant!
vous n'avez pas besoin de
, restez chez vous et
écoutez la
!*
*Adapted from an activity in À La Radio, Unité 3, p.20, by Porter and Pellerin, 1989. Permission to
reprint authorized by Copp Clark.
Rational Cloze
The most useful way to use the cloze procedure within the context of this program, especially at the Beginner level, might be to test specific aspects of the
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target language within the field of experience under study. Rational cloze procedures involve the deletion of predetermined items, for example, prepositions, the
partitive or newly acquired vocabulary rather than the automatic deletion of
every "nth" word. This is an excellent way to contextualize the testing of grammar rules and new vocabulary, in addition to allowing for some creative language
use. (See Appendix E, test item B for an example of this type of question format
within an integrated communicative test.)
Other variations of the cloze procedure may be even more suitable for students at
the Beginner level. For instance, students can be supplied with a list of possibilities and can use this list to fill in the blanks. The responses are provided in
random order as in the example below.
Example of a Rational Cloze
Mots-ressources :
le printemps, après-midi, temps, demain, neige, cm, pluie, verglaçante, soir
Et maintenant la météo. C'est bien l'hiver.
Qu'est-ce qu'on annonce pour aujourd'hui? Un peu de tout! Quel
horrible! Si vous êtes obligé de conduire aujourd'hui - petit conseil: appelez un taxi!
Les routes sont couvertes de
et son très dangeureuses. La police
rapporte déjà plusieurs accidents. À l'heure actuelle, on a de la pluie
.
Au cours de
, ça va se changer en
. On annonce 10
pour ce
avec possibilité de neige avant
matin. Donc, voilà! Pas
très intéressant! Si vous n'avez pas besoin de sortir, restez chez vous et écoutez la
radio!*
*Adapted from an activity in À La Radio, Unité 3, p. 20, by Porter and Pellerin, 1989. Permission to
reprint authorized by Copp Clark.
Dictation Cloze
In this type of procedure, the cloze passage is dictated and students fill in the
gaps in the text as they hear them. This type of cloze becomes a form of listening
comprehension and written production activity rather than a test of reading
comprehension. Consequently, this is another good format for testing language
knowledge, especially at the Beginner level. The dictation cloze can also help
students to develop their ability to concentrate on a particular task, which is an
important strategy used to refine listening comprehension. Before administrating this type of item, teachers will need to decide on the way student responses
will be marked, i.e., they will have to decide whether spelling errors will be
attributed full marks or whether they will accept approximations. The "rational
cloze" example can also be used as a dictation cloze with or without the correct
responses ("mots-ressources") provided.
For the most part, then, unit progress tests are mostly made of the types of items
mentioned above; that is the kinds of test items used in this type of test are very
structured in nature and are used to evaluate a clearly defined set of objectives.
However, from time to time teachers may also wish to use open-ended questions
to test the language skills which are not being evaluated in the final project.
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Open-ended Question Formats
Open-ended question formats require students to respond in their own words, in
either oral or written form, to the information being provided or to the questions
being asked. Such question formats are advantageous since they elicit natural
discourse and as such, are especially appropriate for evaluating language performance in that students need to demonstrate how they are able to apply the
knowledge they have acquired and to what degree.
The types of activities which fall in this category are, for example, role-playing,
simulations, oral presentations, narratives and written compositions such as
posters, invitations, letters (both informal and formal), literary critiques, articles, and so on. Role-playing and simulations are useful question formats for
assessing the student’s command of socially appropriate language and for eliciting particular communicative intents (e.g. requesting, persuading, informing,
complaining, etc.), particular linguistic elements, especially at the lower levels
(e.g. verb tenses, question forms, adjectives, vocabulary specific to a particular
field of experience studied), or the use of particular strategies (such as circumlocution, self-correcting, self-monitoring). This format involves students in a
specific situation in which they play a particular role in either an interactive or
noninteractive manner.
When students are involved in a role-play or simulation which is interactive,
there is a tendency for two or more people to be involved. The disadvantage of
this type of item is that the teacher often needs to be present to evaluate each
student individually, which can often become a very time-consuming and tedious
endeavour. Further, students who are timid and introverted may be inhibited by
this type of question format. Therefore, in these kinds of situations, teachers will
need to provide these students with extra encouragement in order to assist them
in carrying out the task. Negotiation techniques such as paraphrasing, gestures,
further questioning to negotiate meaning, etc., are important strategies to use so
that these types of students will feel less restricted by the testing situation. Most
importantly, students should not be penalized for demonstrating a need for this
kind of help when communicating orally; rather, it should be considered as a
normal part of natural discourse.
Nevertheless, there are disadvantages to using this type of question format. One
of the major disadvantages is that these types of questions are labour-intensive
to administer and very time-consuming to evaluate, but, needless to say, vitally
important for assessing the experiential/communicative aspect of language
learning. Another disadvantage of open-ended questions is the issue relating to
the consistent evaluation of responses. However, this can be resolved by the
development of systematic criteria which clearly define the rating scales or
rubrics, as they are sometimes called, to be used to evaluate the response. When
using these types of questions, teachers need to inform students beforehand of
what is being evaluated and how; i.e., what type of rating scales will be used to
assess the different aspects of the text item.
To ensure that this type of evaluation procedure is viable, teachers need to
develop clear and concise assessment criteria which will be used to judge their
students’ oral and written language performance. The criteria describe, for both
the teacher and the student being evaluated, the parameters permitted to attain
certain standards as they relate to a given open-ended question, to the language
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competency level of the student and to the objectives being evaluated. These
criteria, then, are described in terms of scaled rubrics which will be used to
ascertain the degree to which the students have been able to attain the
specific objectives. These rubrics also delineate, in qualitative terms, the
performance scale for the task and the quantitative value which is being
attributed to each rubric within the scale.
Rubrics are used to evaluate both the content and the quality of the language
performance. Teachers need to determine, prior to assigning the open-ended
task, what content is to be included and, consequently, evaluated and how
the content and quality of the message (language precision) are to be assessed. To create effective evaluation checklists which contain scaled rubrics
for the four components, one can follow these three steps:
1.
List all of the elements which will be judged in each component. Then,
determine what value each component will be given. At the Beginner
level, it is recommended to assign a greater value to the experiential/
communicative component than to the language component, since the
latter is mostly in the development stage. However, as students move into
the higher Intermediate and the Advanced levels, the experiential/
communicative and language components should be weighed equally.
2.
For each criterion, develop a scale which starts with what is considered to
be the best demonstration of performance and move downwards for as
many descriptors as are required. The categories do not have to be
exactly the same in quantity, but a progression must be evident.
3.
Provide a weighting for each rubric, based on what is deemed to be the
best possible performance, an acceptable performance and an
unacceptable performance.
(Adapted from the original source: Herman, Aschbacher, and Winters,
1992 as cited by Pate, Homestead and McGinnis, 1993, p.25.)
The following example will help to illustrate this process. In an educational
project on “Housing”, the final communicative task is to sell items on a radio
flea market program, because the students are moving to another area in the
Territories and these particular items are far too expensive to move. However,
this task is oral. To evaluate the students’ written production, in the unit
progress test, teachers could ask students to write an ad to advertise an item
in their local community newspaper.
In the educational project, they have already been exposed to classified ads in
both English and French, have done an example together as a class and have
already created their own ad. In the testing situation, they are to write an ad
for another item. The ad needs to contain the following elements. Students
are to: 1) indicate the item to be sold, 2) provide a description of the item
(minimum two characteristics), 3) provide a contact name, a telephone
number and the correct expression required for asking for more information,
4) mention the price, using the correct format for writing prices in French
Canada, 5) use the appropriate format for writing a classified ad (isolated
words only, commas and boxed format, ensuring correct spelling, correct use
of adjectives, appropriate vocabulary and correct word order for the ad, 6) use
their knowledge of classified ads, 7) use a dictionary to
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ensure that the words are spelled correctly, and 8) attempt to create the ad to the
best of their ability (risk-taking).
Students are then provided with the following evaluation grid so as to inform
them of exactly what is to be evaluated and how. The values assigned are arbitrary in nature and were assigned in this fashion for illustrative purposes. These
values will change according to the open-ended communicative task, the complexity of the task and the level of precision required by the language competency level. As can be seen by Figure 18, the content and how it is to be evaluated
is clear. Students are fully aware of how their performance will be judged and it
is up to them to perform accordingly.
As teachers develop criteria, they will also become more aware of the fact that
the higher language competency levels will require more precise descriptors and
more categories to define the students’ performance, since the communicative
tasks are more complex in nature and require more sophisticated language
usage.
In essence, then, it is up to the teacher to develop test items which will reflect
the philosophy of the program, match the teaching which has been going on, and
test the specific areas the teacher wants to measure.
Objectivation
As was described on page 124 of this document, teachers may want to ask students to look at their work before the final culminating task is presented. This
step allows students to go through another edit/revision process in order to
improve their work. The development of this kind of checklist is discussed on
page 125.
Final Project
The final product of the project should be presented to an audience, for example,
to the teacher and/or to the whole class (in the case of group work) once the
project has gone through all the necessary revisions for its final presentation.
Evaluation at this point should include both formative and summative activities.
Besides evaluating their own (through the use of objectivation checklists) and/or
each other’s performance (through the use of peer evaluation checklists), students may, in the case of group work, evaluate the respective contributions of
each group member in relation to the final product. The checklist on page 139
(Figure 19) is one instrument that teachers could use or adapt to meet their
needs for this purpose.
In terms of the evaluation of the culminating task itself, as was mentioned
before, students will need to be informed of how and what will be evaluated.
Once again, teachers will need to decide what are the parameters for judging the
students’ language performance as it relates to the particular communicative
task. Again, these criteria need to be described in terms of clear and concise
rubrics which will define, in qualitative and quantitative terms, what is being
evaluated and how. In this way, students will be able to visually see where their
strengths are and which areas need improvement.
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Complete — all elements
requested are present
- appropriate to situation/
context (e.g., simple/complex
sentences, isolated words)
name of item mentioned (1)
description given (min. 2
characteristics) (2)
contact name provided (1)
phone no. provided (1)
used appropriate classified ad
format, isolated words, open
boxed format, commas (3)
mentioned price (1)
Content required:
Total: /20
Not
Insufficient — far too many
acceptable elements are missing
- incomprehensible/
inappropriate to situation/
context
Acceptable Partially complete — almost all
elements requested are present
- somewhat appropriate to
situation/context
Excellent
Communication
Content of message/how formed
Standard
Characteristics of the Message:
/9
4
3
2
1
0
5
6
7
8
9
Culture
- few, if any, appropriate
conventions/information
used for the situation/
context
- some appropriate
conventions/information
used for the situation/
context
- appropriateconventions/
information used for the
situation/context
used correct placement of
monetary symbol
used correct format for
writing price
used the correct expression
required to inquire for more
information
Conventions/
Information required:
/3
0
.5
1.5
2
2.5
3
- far too many errors in
grammar usage, vocabulary,
pronunciation/spelling,word
order and sentence structure
as it relates to the communicative task
- some errors in grammar
usage, vocabulary,
pronunciation/spelling,word
order and sentence structure
as it relates to the
communicative task
- accurate use of grammar
rules, vocabulary,
pronunciation/spelling,word
order and sentence structure
as it relates to the communicative task
correct use of adjectives
appropriate vocabulary
correct word order for text
Precision required:
Vocabulary
grammar, structure
Language
/3
/5
.5
1.5
2
2.5
3
0
- unsustained, not one
strategy used
- partially sustained,
using a number of
strategies
- effectively sustained,
using a variety of
strategies
0
1
2
3
4
5
followed the format of a
classified ad (1)
used a dictionary (1)
took a risk to create a
message (1)
Strategies (possibly)
employed:
Strategies used
General Language
Education
Type of Communicative Task: Classified Ad
Sociolinguistic elements
Name: Any student in the N.W.T. at Beg. 2
level
Date:
G LOBAL OR A L/WRITTEN PRODUCTION CRITERIA
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FIGURE 19
GRID FOR PEER EVALUATION OF GROUP WORK*
Grid for Group Work Evaluation
Name of Evaluator:
Class:
Project:
Date:
Participants' Names
Group:
POINTS TO CONSIDER
• Contributed to the
group's work
1
SCALE
2
3
4
5
Paul
/5
• Gave assistance to others to:
- revise and polish the work
/5
- organize the work
/5
• Persisted in using French
/5
TOTAL POSSIBLE
/ 20
Comments:
Scale:
1 = Not at all
2 = Rarely
3= Some of the time
4 = Most of the time
5 = All of the time
*Adapted from d'Anglejan, Harley and Shapson, 1990.
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Reinvestment
Reinvestment can be the final step in the evaluation process of the project that
reinforces what has been learned in the development of the project and gives
students the opportunity to transfer and recycle the knowledge, skills and
learning strategies just learned, putting them in a different context, with varying
elements and using a different language skill if possible. For example, in the
educational project dealing with the weather, the final communicative task
involves students in preparing a weather report for television for one season. At
the reinvestment stage, students could be required to recycle the knowledge,
skills and learning strategies previously developed to create a weather broadcast
for radio, this time using another season. In this way, students are required to
carry out another oral task, using different weather expressions and a different
form of delivery.
Reinvestment can become part of the students’ mark for the unit. However, each
teacher will need to make the final decision as to the emphasis given within the
total number of marks for the project. Teachers can use a similar grid as the one
which was used for the final evaluation of the project. In this way, the use of
reinvestment also adds a dimension of reliability to the evaluation process. When
students are given more than one opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge,
skills and learning strategies they have acquired with the results being
consistent, the evaluation procedures used can be considered reliable.
Evaluating Language Proficiency
Once students have completed a language competency level such as Beginner 3
3,
it is important to confirm that they have in fact attained the level as described in
the program of studies. Performance tests are one way in which this can be
accomplished, since these types of tests are much broader in scope and are based
on a specified portion of a curriculum. As such, they are most often administered
at the end of a school term, a sub-level, or a level of language learning.
Furthermore, this type of testing can be used to determine the students’
communicative abilities at any given point in their language learning, such that
the results can be used to profile the students’ general language abilities as they
relate to the objectives of the program specifically and language proficiency in
general. These tests are also considered to be criterion-referenced, since they are
based on a specified body of knowledge and skills and criteria are used to score
the students’ language performance.
Thus, one way in which teachers can evaluate language proficiency is through
the use of performance-based items which incorporate the four components of a
multidimensional curriculum. Further, performance-based test items also respect
the notion of language proficiency. Therefore, in order to create test situations,
the following test principles need to be kept in mind. These principles are as
follows:
1.
Evaluation instruments which are being used to evaluate language
proficiency need to reflect this philosophy. The test items used need to be
structured in such a way that students’ responses can be given in an open
and flexible manner, while at the same time verifying that the learner
has attained the specific objectives for the sub-level or the level.
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2.
Performance-based test items need to reflect the same type of teaching/
learning activities which have already taken place in the classroom. That
is, at testing time, there can be no surprises! What this means is that
similar language tasks which have already been presented in the class
can be used, but they will need to be retailored or adapted to suit the
testing situation, so that they can confirm that the envisioned proficiency
level is being attained.
3.
Evaluation items need to reflect an experiential/communicative
approach. That is, learners will need to carry out tasks which are communicative, meaningful, purposeful, interesting and plausible.
4.
Evaluation items need to emphasize real-life communicative needs. That
is, learners need to carry out tasks which require them to comprehend or
communicate oral or written messages in order to fulfill communicative
intents.
5.
Communicative tasks need to be contextualized in order to provide the
learner with all the necessary background information to be able to
successfully carry out the task. Therefore, each item needs to provide the
learner with a situation/context which defines this background information, describing relevant information pertaining to the who, what, where,
when and why of the context/situation.
6.
Culture, linguistic elements and language learning strategies all form an
integral part of an item. Depending on the task and the language skill
being evaluated, these components may be evaluated directly or indirectly.
7.
Each item needs to provide clear and concise instructions which indicate
to the students what they are going to do and how they are to go about
carrying out the task.
8.
Before students are asked to carry out a task, they are to be provided
with the evaluation criteria (either a general statement of how marks are
to be awarded or scaled descriptions of performance based on the objectives and language skill being evaluated) and the marks attributed to the
task.
9.
Performance standards are then set in order to define degrees of success
in terms of what is deemed to be an unacceptable standard, an acceptable
standard and a standard of excellence.
10.
Once the test has been completed, these results can be compiled in order
to describe the learner’s language proficiency by means of a language
proficiency profile which can be written in either a quantitative or qualitative manner.
These are the main principles which apply to the development of a language
proficiency test. There are, however, specific steps that need to be followed in
order to create test items which will fall into a test of this sort. The next section
will discuss how a performance-based item can be developed.
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Creating a Performance-based Test Item
In order to create items which will suit an experiential/communicative approach
and be based on performance, the following steps need to be followed:
1.
Choose a field of experience from the program of studies as it relates to a
particular proficiency level.
2.
Think about all the experiences which can happen in real life in relation
to the field of experience which has been chosen.
3.
Choose one experience and create a scenario for this experience by defining important details such as the “who, what, where, when and why” so
that students have the necessary information which will assist them in
successfully carrying out the task.
4.
Define the communicative task by stating what language skill is being
evaluated and by also indicating the reason behind the task (communicative intent). In other words,
LANGUAGE SKILL
•
•
•
•
Listening (comprehension)
Reading (comprehension)
Speaking (oral production)
Writing (written production)
IN ORDER TO
+
Communicative
Intent
(Reason for the
message)
5.
Explain how to carry out the task by describing in clear and concise terms
what to do, how to do it and the order in which it is to be done.
6.
Define all the elements needed by the student in order to carry out the
task (e.g., checklists, illustrations, authentic oral or written texts, etc.). It
is important that these elements respect the authentic manner in which
the task would be accomplished in real life. For example, normally one
does not write out a telephone conversation; therefore, students should
not be asked to do so, neither in a teaching nor a testing situation. However, it is viable to jot down a few notes before calling someone in order to
ensure that all topics are covered in the conversation. Therefore, it is
important to determine what is the most authentic way in which to carry
out the task and what is required to carry out the task.
7.
Define the manner in which the performance will be evaluated, using
rating scales (criteria and checklists) or descriptors to define how the
performance will be evaluated. This may be related to specific descriptors
or to a holistic/global view of the performance.
8.
Give a weighting to each criterion/descriptor to determine the entire
mark for the test item.
9.
Define the performance standard in terms of what students should be
demonstrating upon completion of the item.
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These are the main steps involved in creating a test based on language performance. However, ultimately, it is up to the teacher to determine how many items
are required to make up a test which will demonstrate the envisioned proficiency level. Nevertheless, it is recommended that there be at least one item that
evaluates each of the four language skills. This recommendation is being made
as it is felt that no matter what the field of experience, the student should be
able to demonstrate the same type of performance regardless of the field and
that at least one example of each skill is sufficient to determine a student’s
global language proficiency profile.
In essence, then, this section has discussed ways in which a student’s language
progress and development can be evaluated in terms of marks that are related to
different points in an educational project and movement along the language
proficiency continuum. The next section will describe ways in which this information can now be transformed into a qualitative format for reporting student
language development and acquisition.
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Reporting Student Progress
An important part of any evaluation system is the manner in which information
is reported to students, parents, teachers and administrators as it relates to the
communicative performance of students during the course of a lesson, a unit, a
semester, or the entire year. Moreover, it is equally important that reporting
instruments be reflective of the philosophy predicated by the program of studies,
in addition to being congruent with the manner in which students have been
evaluated. Therefore, all evaluative instruments and reporting procedures need
to mirror each other in order that the same type of information is transmitted.
In this sense, reporting procedures will need to provide information which has
been derived from evaluation instruments which have measured the language
skills both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Nevertheless, the methods used for reporting student progress will vary, either
by the school jurisdictions’ evaluation policy and/or the grade level of the student.
However, student progress does not necessarily need to be limited to a mark.
Anecdotal reporting procedures provide another alternative to quantitative
grading, by describing to parents what a student can do in French. Observation
or objectivation charts are excellent tools which can be used effectively for
reporting student progress on a continual basis or anecdotal reports can be
prepared for report card use. Below are two examples of anecdotal reports which
could be written on the comments section of a report card. These comments are
based on formal observations and on the completion of a particular
communicative task.
FIGURE 20
SAMPLE ANECDOTAL REPORTS
Student 1:
Mark is able to understand the main information given in a weather
report. He can identify different parts of the Territories where there
are a number of French speakers. He is capable of identifying weather
expressions and can match them with the appropriate weather
symbols. Mark is able to speak about the weather, but will need to
continue to work on his pronunciation so that he can be clearly
understood.
Student 2:
Susan is able to fully understand a weather report. She is able to
identify various towns and regions in the Territories where there are
many French speakers. She can accurately use the numbers 0 -40,
weather expressions and weather symbols to create her own weather
report. She generally pronounces her words well but will need to
develop more natural French intonation. As she gains confidence, she
will also be able to make her presentations more enthusiastically.
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This type of information is useful to parents as it provides them with insight as
to what kinds of concrete activities the students are carrying out in the
classroom. However, most schools will expect teachers to prepare a formal mark
(letter grade or percentage) which is based on a number of evaluation activities,
including the final mark on educational projects and the accompanying listening,
reading, writing and speaking activities of these projects. In fact, this mark will
more than likely be based on a wide sampling of student work and will need to be
balanced out so that it properly reflects the amount of time spent on each
language skill.
However, in order to provide students with a better understanding of their
language development, other forms of reporting need to be provided. This
involves assessment procedures which go beyond the standard notation format
(e.g., percentages) and are composed of a variety of evaluative instruments which
provide students with information on their progress over the course of the school
year. In order to carry out this type of assessment successfully, it is important to
formalize an evaluation plan which identifies how the data will be gathered and
the recording procedures which will be used to quantify and qualify this
information. These assessment procedures can be carried out in a number of
ways. One of these is through the use of task-based assessments which
principally judge students’ performance by means of criteria, indicating what
they know and how well they are be to apply this knowledge. Other formats
include self-, peer evaluations and portfolio assessment. Assessment of this sort
focuses on learning and student success. Moreover, it also assists teachers,
students, parents and administrators in identifying the students’ weaknesses in
a more positive fashion and in turn, facilitating in the identification of more
effective teaching and learning strategies. This can result in student
improvement in these areas and help decrease the chances of learning
deficiencies remaining undetected.
A reporting procedure which is becoming increasingly popular as a means of
discussing students’ progress is through the use of portfolios and language
competency profiling. A portfolio involves the organized collection of a variety
of examples of students’ work in the four language skill areas which is
illustrative of the attainment of instructional objectives and performance-based
outcomes. The examples are also accompanied by an analysis and description of
each piece of work for two purposes: 1) to relate to students important
information regarding their success in different areas and 2) to provide
diagnostic information to future teachers regarding the students’ language
proficiency. The portfolio, then, contains examples of how students are
demonstrating their oral and written comprehension in a variety of texts and
examples of what students are capable of doing orally and in written form.
Thus, portfolios represent the “students’ language learning journey” (Powell) as
they progress through the proficiency levels and are made up of selections of the
students’ most representative works and not every piece of student work.
The annotated descriptions which accompany the portfolios are given in holistic
terms which inform students, parents, and any other interested parties of the
range of authentic communicative tasks which the students are capable of
carrying out and to what degree. In addition, the portfolio illustrates the
strengths and weaknesses of the students’ abilities as they relate to each of the
language skills and the components of the program of studies. Portfolios also
include students’ reflections on their own work and may include parental
feedback if so desired. Including students’ participation in the development and
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maintenance of the portfolio requires students to actively participate in the
learning process and the acquisition of the language skills. Portfolios also allow
students the autonomy to decide what should be contained in their portfolio as a
means of making them more accountable for their own learning. Thus, the use of
portfolios provides teachers, students and parents with an overview of what has
been accomplished in terms of students’ learning over a period of time and
promotes active student participation and responsibility in the learning process.
The advantage of portfolio assessment is that the language samples can be used
for placement as well as diagnostic purposes. In addition, this type of
assessment demonstrates to students, and others who wish to view the portfolio,
the progress which has been made in concrete terms, as opposed to the sole
reliance on a mark for information. This can be quite motivating for students,
because they can trace their progress from the beginning to the end of the school
year, or semester, or from year to year. It also allows them access to their own
communicative growth, so that they can see how the same communicative tasks
can be carried out at different language levels and how the same tasks will vary
in their richness and precision as students move along the levels’ continuum.
This information should be shared not only with students, but also with parents,
other teachers, administrators and future employers as an indication of the
students’ language proficiency as it relates to the program.
The process of incorporating a portfolio assessment procedure into an already
established evaluation plan can often be a complex and arduous task, which
takes time and careful planning, but once in place, becomes a routine rather
than a burden. However, in order for portfolios to have educational value, an
organized system for gathering examples of student work and a marking schema
must be in place from the start. Students must be informed right from the
beginning as to what will be contained in the portfolio and what criteria will be
used to judge the portfolio. Students also need to know the reason behind the
use of portfolios and how they fit into the entire evaluation schema; i.e., what
value is being attributed to the portfolio, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in
relation to other summative evaluation instruments, such as the marking of
assignments and tests. Further, they need to be informed of the fact that
portfolios can also be used for placement purposes as it relates to the next
proficiency level. Thus, it is very important to determine the role of the portfolio
and to indicate to the students how the portfolio will be evaluated and used to
inform others of their progress and language development.
To facilitate the assessment of the portfolio, a “Language Competency Profile”
can be used to describe what students are capable of doing in each of the four
language skills and to what degree. It provides a global picture of students’
language performance as it relates to the learner objectives of the program of
studies. If necessary, the global statements can be quantified using a rubric
system which will further define whether the students are performing at the
desired level or not. “Language Competency Profiles” can also be used for each
language skill. In this way, they can be used for diagnostic or reporting purposes
such that they can detail the students’ strengths and indicated areas which are
in need of improvement for a particular language skill. What is most important
to bear in mind, though, is that portfolios can consume a lot of time in their
evaluation if evaluation checklists are not prepared beforehand and a maximum
amount of time is allocated to their evaluation. Thus, the use of portfolios must
be planned for in advance otherwise its use can become a harrowing experience
for both the teacher and the students. However, if portfolio use is well planned,
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it can become an enriching experience for all.
What follows are examples of how student data can be profiled for assessment
purposes. The first example (Figure 20) illustrates how a teacher could write a
profile for a particular skill, in this case oral production, based on data gathered
from a formal evaluative situation. One reason for reporting students’ progress
in this manner, may be to assist a student in gaining confidence with the
language in a way that is less threatening than a mark. Or, it can be used in
addition to the mark, so that students can see where they are doing well and
what areas need to be improved. Or, the profile could be sent home so that the
teacher could communicate to the student’s parents how their child did in a
particular communicative situation as a means of reporting student progress in
between formal report card periods. Although Figure 20 is presented in a
qualified manner, language competency profiling can be quantified in terms of
percentages or through the use of a point system. This decision will need to be
taken by the teacher in keeping with school jurisdiction requirements.
The second example demonstrates how a year-end language competency profile
may be written so as to provide information on placement for the following year,
in addition to describing the degree of attainment of the level as it relates to the
achievement standard (Figure 21). This type of reporting can be valuable for the
students, their parents, other teachers and administrators, especially in the case
of placement. This information defines, in clear terms, what the student is
capable of doing in all four language skills and in relation to the objectives of the
program of studies.
As the examples will demonstrate, reporting student progress is no longer
limited to a mark; rather, it requires that a number of different methods be used
in order to inform students of their progress, to let them know where their
strengths lie and to indicate what areas are in need of improvement. This form
of reporting, then, will assist students in not only improving their ability to use
the language, but will increase their confidence and motivate them to learn.
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Culture:
- demonstrates cultural knowledge, by being able to identify
a francophone presence in the Territories
- demonstrates ability to use appropriate simple social
conventions such as “Bonjour,” “Merci," “Au revoir"
General Language Education:
- has used knowledge of the elements of a weather report in
order to create his own report
- has added humour to his text, which shows a positive
attitude towards the language and the willingness to take
the risk to create a message
- has been able to follow directions in order to carry out the
assignment successfully
Experience/Communication:
- able to link a series of simple sentences to create a weather
report
- messages are appropriate to weather report; intents clear
and obvious
- is able to provide in a prepared manner sufficient
information as it relates to the presentation of minimum
and maximum temperatures and for the most part,
appropriate weather conditions (only 1 example was not consistent with
weather conditions)
Language:
- has used appropriate vocabulary related to the context and
task
- is still exhibiting some difficulty with pronunciation of
final consonants especially /s/ and some vowel sounds /ui/,
/ai/, /ou/ but these errors do not interfere with
comprehension of the message
- has acquired the use of the present tense, but some
hesitations are evident with new language structures
which are at the developmental stage; however, this is
appropriate for this level
Type of Communicative Intent: Informing someone of weather conditions
Date:
A weather report for radio
Type of Communicative Task:
Name:
Oral Production Profile
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Reading
Comprehension
in French to demonstrate global
understanding of simple texts, like
classified ads or simple notes
appropriate social conventions and related
vocabulary in structured situations, such
as short announcements
the level, at least 75% of
the time
conversation, leaving simple messages
noted, but minimal
texts to demonstrate understanding
the language in at least 70% of
the oral texts
modelling, to communicate the message
effectively in 70% of the reading
facilitate the understanding of
oral tasks
effectively in at least 60% of the
as risk-taking, gestures and
- using strategies of the level, such
- accent acceptable
messages effectively
to communicate written
with at least 75% accuracy
and own reference material
such as copying, modelling
- able to use strategies
75% of the time
- spelling accurate at least
minimal
order, but once again
—
at least 75% accuracy
- some problem with word
grammar of the level with
accuracy
- some problem with word order
- able to use vocabulary and
of the level with at least 70%
least 75% of the cases
following a model in at
in structured situations
simple social conventions
- able to use vocabulary and grammar
at least 70% of the time
conventions in structured situations
- able to use appropriate simple social
visual and contextual clues
- able to use word families, cognates,
N/A
posters, in all fields of
such as asking simple questions in a
- able to use appropriate
classified ads and
at least 60% of the time with tasks
on an answering machine, etc.
lists, create simple
fashion, in all fields of the level,
- able to write simple
Written
Production
questions and describe in a simple
- able to list, name, respond to simple
Oral
Production
cognates effectively to
- able to use word families and
N/A
N/A
pulling out isolated words and phrases
and phrases in French related to
N/A
messages in 75% of the cases, by
the cases, by pulling out isolated words
-able to understand simple messages in 60% of - able to understand simple words and
Oral
Comprehension
Date: June 25, 1995
- meeting acceptable standard for Beginning level 2 — able to move on to Beginning level 3
General Comments
General Language
Education
Language
Culture
Experience/
Communication
Language
Skill
Component
Grade/Level: Six/Beginner Level 2
Name: Any student in the Northwest Territories
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Technology in the Classroom
The use of technology in the classroom is important, since technology in and of
itself represents some of the values held by society. Thus, by using technology,
teachers are indeed bringing another form of culture into the classroom.
However, one of the drawbacks of technology is that it changes more rapidly than
it can be implemented into the classroom. A further drawback specifically
concerns computers in that program designers do not appear to be able to design
and write programs which are congruent with second language learning and
language acquisition. Consequently, what programs do become available are
often not enticing to the listener/viewer. In spite of these drawbacks, there are
ways in which technology can be employed in the classroom and integrated into
classroom teaching practices.
The first important piece of equipment that should be used in the classroom is
the cassette deck, since this type of equipment allows for the presentation of
audio material which is required for the development of listening comprehension.
It also provides a means of listening to authentic auditory documents in a
controlled fashion. In addition, a radio component is often included as part of
this equipment, giving students an opportunity to listen to unedited language
such as news broadcasts, interviews, and songs. Teachers are encouraged to use
the radio in addition to the cassette deck so that students realize that there are
other avenues in which they may have access to authentic discourse. A
secondary use of this type of equipment can be the creation of a separate
listening centre for those students who may need remediation or for those who
have finished their work early. Teachers can locate other authentic documents
which students would find interesting which could foster further interest in
learning the second language. Listening activities of this sort will encourage
students to listen to French outside the confines of the classroom.
The cassette deck can also be used to record student productions when it is
equipped with this feature. Recording students’ productions can be especially
valuable when students are involved with pen-pals, since they can record a letter
as an alternative to a written letter. In addition, this feature of the cassette deck
can be of assistance to teachers when an oral evaluation is taking place,
especially for those situations in which natural discourse could be recorded, such
as a presentation, an interview or a radio announcement. By recording students’
voices, teachers can focus their evaluation practices on the criteria they have
delineated and not be concerned with evaluating the entire production.
Evaluating in this manner will not only be less subjective, but will also provide
students with invaluable information on their progress in general and more
specifically, on what areas need attention or improvement. (See the section on
Evaluating Students’ Work for more information on criteria development.)
Thus, the cassette deck not only provides a means for listening to the language
in authentic situations, but it can also be used to evaluate students’ oral
productions.
Another valuable teaching tool is the overhead projector, since it can be used for
compiling the results of small group work, for brainstorming activities, for
drawing semantic maps, for teaching vocabulary, for drawing students’ attention
to a particular grammatical point, and so on. Moreover, its use may be more
natural than a chalkboard or white board, since teachers are facing the students
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and are communicating face-to-face with them in a more interactive manner
than they would be if they had their backs to the students. In addition, students
find using the overhead projector both fun and motivating, since they are able to
use it in a similar manner. In fact, this latter point can be most beneficial in
boosting the morale of students who are experiencing difficulty with the
language or with their behaviour. Being responsible for even just the operation
of the overhead projector will allow these students to play an active role in the
classroom. In this vein, their role will be viewed in a positive manner by both
their peers and the teacher. In this sense, then, technology can be used as a
means of classroom management as well.
Another piece of equipment which is available is the language lab, but for many
this equipment is a reminder of the past and serves no purpose. However, if the
language lab is used appropriately, it can play a role in enhancing and
supporting the program of studies in a number of ways. Firstly, the language lab
can become a centre of exploration for students in which they can practice
communicative tasks without feeling inhibited or intimidated. For example,
students can practice leaving a message on an answering machine and listen to
their message to see if they can detect any errors in pronunciation, in vocabulary
or grammatical usage. In this way, students can seek out individual help from
the teacher as a means of improving their message or they can learn how to
listen to themselves so as to self-correct their own messages as a means of better
communicating. Moreover, this technique becomes especially important for timid
or weaker students. Thus, the language lab can be used to boost students’ selfconcept and self-esteem rather than deflate it. Further, it can be a place in
which students can assist each other in oral presentations. Students can record
their presentations in a “trail run” fashion and ask fellow students to evaluate
informally or through the use of grids the work they have presented on tape (see
the section on Evaluating Students’ Work for the development of peer
evaluation grids). The feedback obtained from their peers will provide students
with an opportunity to improve their message before a formal evaluation takes
place, thus, allowing them to gain more confidence in their oral work and further
fostering the development of self-correcting strategies.
The language lab can also be advantageous piece of equipment when using
authentic oral texts. Students can tape a version of the text and practice the
skills discussed in the listening comprehension section, such as anticipating
elements of the text. In this way, students will be more willing to take risks with
authentic texts, because the “risk” factor has been decreased by the fact that
students can now decide how much they are able to handle at one time and how
often they listen to the text. As they become more secure with the language they
will be willing to take more risks. This is especially important for older students,
since they tend to hesitate to listen to the unknown and to produce the language
for fear of making a mistake. The language lab can diminish this fear by
allowing these students the time to process the language and experiment with it
at their own pace. However, it is equally important to note that students also
have to be taught how to tolerate the unknown and use the known to recreate
the message(s) being shared. The language lab can also assist in this manner in
that the teacher decides, depending on the type of text being listened to, what
number of times would constitute an authentic number of listenings.
Another important role of the language lab is in terms of evaluation, especially
students’ final oral productions. When teachers opt to use the language lab in
this manner, they should bear in mind that students must be carrying out realclx
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life tasks which would require the taping of one’s voice, such as prerecording a
weather report, leaving a message on an answering machine or voice mailbox,
presenting a public announcement, and so on. Teachers will find, then, that the
types of tasks used for evaluation in the lab, will involve mostly noninteractive
communication, i.e., tasks which are of the one-way type, such as
announcements, oral presentations, reports, and so on. Consequently , dialogues
may not necessarily be effectively evaluated in this manner, since they involve
face-to-face communication; however, the exception is a telephone conversation
which, if the lab is equipped with the technology allowing for the spontaneous
selection of partners, will put students in the unique situation of initially
communicating with an unknown person. Most importantly, though, the
language lab should not be used to evaluate the students’ ability to analyse the
language; rather, students must be evaluated on their ability to effectively
communicate in real-life situations and under a variety of conditions. Thus, the
language lab can serve a number of learning functions as well as help promote
the development of a number of language learning strategies, such as tolerating
ambiguity, taking risks, and self-correction, to mention only a few.
A discussion on technology would not be complete without a reference to the use
of computers and CD ROM in the second language classroom, since they are both
becoming increasingly more prevalent in education. Unfortunately, though, their
use in the second language field still remains quite limited, since the programs
available are basically analytical in nature and lack authenticity and real
communicative language usage. Consequently, the programs which are available
focus mainly on language drills whether for remediation or individualized
grammar practice. However, teachers wishing to use the computer in the
classroom should and are encourage to do so, bearing in mind that the type of
programs available are few and limited in quality.
In spite of this drawback, teachers can try word processing programs developed
for Francophones to assist students with their written productions. In this way,
the computer can be used as a instrument of exploration, since students can
work with the written language in a non threatening way, as they learn to tie
thoughts and ideas together in a coherent and cohesive manner. However,
computers should not be considered as an alternative means of teaching the
written grammatical aspect of the language, since computers cannot effectively
teach students how to write; however, they can assist students in understanding
the writing process. Again, the types of tasks that students can carry out on the
computer must replicate real-life tasks, such as writing an advertisement, a
want-ad, a personal letter, a report, and so on.
Another real-life use of the computer is through the twinning of students from
francophone centres with those in anglophone areas through the use of modems
and now through the use of information superhighways such as Internet and
SchoolNet. This type of technology allows students instantaneous access to
francophone pen-pals through an electronic mail system, providing them with an
opportunity to communicate directly to their pen-pals via the computer. These
communication systems give students access to information on a worldwide basis
via electronic mail systems. Teachers and students can access this information
by connecting to gopher resources such as Edufrançais which will allow them to
communicate with native Francophones. However, teachers need to be aware
that one of the problems of the Internet is that it was originally set up by the
U.S. Military as a means of maintaining contact with its military installations in
the case of a nuclear war. Thus, it was set up for English use only. Therefore,
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most computers have problems reading diacritical marks and many texts are
difficult to send and read. Another problem arises from the fact that this system
requires a lot of system support such as a number of computers and a number of
telephone lines. This can be a costly endeavour and may reduce its use in the
classroom. However, it is not inconceivable that in the not-too-distant future,
technology of this type and more sophisticated versions of the same may become
more readily accessible to second language classroom teachers.
CD ROM, on the other hand, is a growing field in which students are being given
access to vast amounts of information which can be stored and compressed on a
compact disc. These “Read Only Memory” discs provide students with a fountain
of information on just about any subject. This area is also still limited in the
number of discs which are available, but it is a rich source of authentic language
use. For example, teachers can subscribe to a biannual newspaper source in
Quebec (Société nationale d’information inc.) which provides access to hundreds
of newspaper articles from a number of French language newspapers. This field
is just beginning to be explored and will soon become a wealth of information
concerning the different francophone cultures that exist.
As this technology continues to be developed its use will become more prevalent
and advantageous. In spite of some of the limitations of computer technology,
teachers can easily have access to video equipment which can be used not only to
view commercial productions, but it can also be used to produce students’ work
as well. Commercially produced videos can provide a visual look at the target
culture and can capture many of the non-verbal nuances that audio cannot.
Further, video not only captivates its viewers, but it also assists them in being
able to better comprehend oral texts. This support mechanism is certainly true
for Beginner level students. In addition, videos are usually shorter than films
and often treat topics of interest to students, such as music videos. A number of
activities can be done with video, such as having students anticipate the ending
of the sequence, changing the ending of the excerpt, creating a cliffhanger,
creating a spoof of a soap opera and so on. There is an endless number of
activities that can be done with video; however, not all teachers have the time to
come up with these activities, but Stempleski and Tomalin (1990) have. In their
book, entitled Video in Action: Recipes for Using Video in Language Teaching,
they describe a number of activities which are graded by language level and
focus. Teachers are encouraged to use this book if they need ideas.
Another form of video is the interactive videodisc. Its development and
accessibility to the classroom, however, are quite limited due to its high
production costs. Nevertheless, a discussion on its use is warranted. Interactive
videodisc technology entails the use of discs that function in a similar fashion as
compact discs, except that in order to play the disc a television screen and a
videodisc player are needed. Like its CD-ROM counterpart, information is
digitally stored on a disc; however, the difference lies in that images are used
which can instantly be accessed by the use of a code as opposed to the fast
forward button of a remote. Furthermore, this technology can be hooked up to a
computer in such a way that the viewer can now “interact” with the video screen
by giving the computer either commands or information.
This type of technology has been used in England to teach culture with excellent
results. Students were asked to watch a scenario and then asked to decide what
they would do in such a case. They would enter their information into the
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computer which in turn would demonstrate to the students the culturally
appropriate decision. In England, they were not able to continue the
development of these discs due to their exorbitant costs and had to cancel the
rest of the project. Nevertheless, teachers should be aware that this technology
does exist and could very well be available in the future as the production of
these videodiscs becomes more viable.
Another piece of technology that can assist in the development of a second
language is the use of satellite dish transmissions. At the present time, this
technology is accessible to classroom teachers, but once again at an extremely
high cost. The advantage of this type of technology is that it allows students
direct access to the target culture in any part of the world. As in the case of
computers, a classroom is twinned with another classroom in the francophone
world, and at a set time of the day the schools are connected via satellite. Within
minutes, students are able to talk instantaneously to other students anywhere
in the world. However, the cost is not the only drawback in this case; time
differences between locations can impede, if not make it almost impossible, to set
up the appropriate link-up times, unless special arrangements are made by the
corresponding schools. This is especially the case with transatlantic
transmissions. Nevertheless, even within the Territories or at the territorial
level, it is not inconceivable to twin schools so that students can practice their
skills with other students in similar language learning situations.
Should all this not be possible, there is still one final piece of technology that is
accessible to all teachers and students and that is the telephone and the
facsimile (fax) machine. The telephone can be used in a number of ways.
Students can be asked to phone 1-800 numbers in Quebec to obtain information
on popular tourist attractions, for example. If they are twinned with a school, a
teleconference can be set up so that students can practice speaking to each other.
Old, used telephones can be obtained from the telephone company and set up in
the classroom so that students can experience dialing a long distance number,
such as to France, and simulating a telephone conversation with a tourism
officer, for example. The ways in which the telephone can be used are endless.
The facsimile (fax) machine is another way, too, in which students can exchange
texts, write letters and receive authentic documents from a variety of agencies,
companies and other sources. A person need only look at the ways in which this
technology is used naturally in real life in order to find its application to the
classroom setting.
In essence, then, technology can play a major role in the way in which a second
language is taught. Teachers are encouraged to find ways in which these
innovations, which affect one’s daily life and reflect the lives of the target culture
as well, can be applied to the classroom to not only enhance classroom teaching,
but also to add authenticity to language learning.
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Enrichment and Remediation
This section will focus on how the French as a Second Language Program (1994)
can provide enrichment or remediation for students. Given the inherent
flexibility of this program, which has been discussed in other sections of this
document, the design is, in and of itself, subtle enough to allow for teachers to
develop enrichment or remedial activities based on students’ needs. The purpose
here, then, is to provide some examples of what enrichment and remediation
would look like within the design of this program and within given learning
situations. As has been mentioned in other sections of this document, the
examples discussed here are only suggestions and are only meant to provide
teachers with ways in which enrichment and remedial activities can be
developed.
Considerable research into the nature of learning has not yet brought us to a full
understanding about learning, but what we do know with certainty is that
learning varies from one person to another with respect to cognitive strategies,
learning styles, preferred modalities and so forth. With this in mind, teachers
are encouraged to match activities with students’ needs, thereby affording them
the opportunity for growth and success. As well, activities need to be varied and
in keeping with students’ growing confidence and demonstrated competence so
that their repertoire is steadily and gradually enlarged. As such, teachers are
encouraged to adapt and modify the program of studies as they see fit, in keeping
with the particular strengths and weakness of the students with whom they are
working, i.e., to provide enrichment or remediation as required.
Enrichment
Enrichment in the French as a second language program can be viewed in a
number of ways, such as extending basic learning objectives for skills, knowledge
or attitudes, going into more depth in given topics or projects, extending and/or
adding on assignments, transforming the nature of given assignments or
projects, using peer teaching techniques, teaching younger groups of French as a
second language learners and so forth. Because of its student-centred,
experiential nature, the very essence of this program encourages full and active
participation of the students as they relive or live new experiences in the second
language. This involvement will enhance and enrich all students’ lives as they
embark on their learning of the target language in this manner. In essence,
they are being “enriched” as learners as they move through this program.
Enrichment, in terms of the program of studies, can mean a number of things,
depending upon the learning situation. For example, with the field of experience
“Outdoor Life”, a number of projects come to mind, such as, “preparing for a
nature hike in one’s area” or “preparing for a camping trip to Great Slave Lake”.
In both cases, the use of the word “prepare” suggests that the project will be
carried out within the confines of the classroom; however, both of these projects
can become more “enriching” if they are actually completed outside of the
classroom. For example, in “preparing for a camping trip to Great Slave Lake”,
one can actually go to the lake, camp there, carry out nature walks and in the
evening, sing francophone camp songs. Further, students can investigate if the
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area is a federal park, in which case students can visit the various park offices in
order to interview bilingual personnel. In this way, students can experience, first
hand, the benefits of being bilingual. Becoming aware of this information and
experiencing it in a true setting is an enriching way to develop and use the
second language as well as broadening students’ personal horizons. A number of
fields of experiences in the program allow for extending experiences to outside
the confines of the classroom and teachers are encouraged to do so when it is
possible and conceivable.
Extending basic learning objectives relating to certain skills, knowledge or
attitudes is possible in virtually all of the fields of experience that are presented
in the program. With the field of experience “Fashion”, for example, one might
prepare an educational project in which a fashion show of teenagers’ styles is the
culminating activity, but in order to enhance the project, it would include
research and reports on comparative clothing budgets for anglophone and
francophone Canadian youth as a means of providing the spectators of the
fashion show with informative commentary. Questions such as the following
might be asked to direct the students’ research: Do clothing budgets differ
between francophones and anglophones? Do francophone youth have a different
concept of fashion than their anglophone counterparts? and so forth. This
evidence may be obtained by using similar English and French-language popular
magazines and newspapers and comparing the information. The results of this
research can then be integrated into the commentary as part of the fashion show.
In this way, this type of presentation can be enriching for both the presenters
and the spectators.
Enrichment activities are certainly not limited to learning activities, rather they
can also include evaluation techniques. In order for students to become more
independent and responsible for their learning, they should be encouraged to
evaluate their performance as a group and as an individual. Evaluating one’s
own progress is enriching in itself, because this process involves students in
using metacognitive strategies to encourage and carry out introspective thinking.
This process involves thinking about how one thinks and evaluating the success
of an activity or a task. Carrying out these types of activities will develop more
confidence and self-discipline. Thus, student experimentation with language and
evaluation processes will result in greater creativity and further enrichment.
These few examples demonstrate the flexibility of enrichment within this
program. Teachers need only to measure the needs of their students to
determine what kinds of activities can be enriching and further foster their
students’ language development.
Remediation
Remediation, on the other hand, is the “flip side” of enrichment; i.e., it requires
assisting students in areas in which they are experiencing and demonstrating
difficulties or are lacking essential background information in order to carry out
a task. Remediation can involve an entire group or can be carried out on an
individual basis. It may require simplifying basic learning objectives for skills,
knowledge or attitudes, reducing the complexity of assignments, or redesigning
the nature of given assignments or projects to suit the needs of the students, and
so forth.
Doing more of the same with what students perceive as activities in which they
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are uncomfortable or unsuccessful is unlikely to motivate them nor lead them to
be successful in the acquisition of the language. Therefore, teachers are
encouraged to find ways in which to instill success in all learners as they learn
the language. Thus, teachers may need to allow some students greater
involvement in oral activities if that is their inclination, while others do more
reading research and writing activities. Changing the nature or requirements of
a culminating project activity may allow students to meet the same objectives
differently, but still meet them with success. This is to be encouraged, since it is
in keeping with not only the philosophy of this program but also with how we
learn in real life. Further, teachers will find that students coming from other
schools within a school district or from other school jurisdictions may not
necessarily have all of the required communicative/linguistic skills needed for
the activities which will be carried out. In these cases, teachers will have to
make the necessary adjustments in their lesson planning to meet these needs.
For example, to return to the field of experience “Outdoor Life” and the project
“preparing for a camping trip to Great Slave Lake”, teachers may find that
students are weak in using sequential adverbs in order to describe events.
Because of the nature of the project, the use of adverbs will enhance students’
descriptions, so the teacher may decide to take the time to work on the use of this
grammatical point. This is one way in which remediation can take place with an
entire group. On the other hand, only one student may be experiencing difficulty
with this point, in which case the teacher will need to take the time to assist the
student in attaining this point on an individual basis by designing particular
activities which will provide the student with the necessary knowledge and skills
required to carry out the tasks given to the entire class.
Thus, what is one student’s enrichment may be another student’s remediation.
The preceding section on enrichment provided some examples of ways in which
to adapt and modify activities in accordance with this principle. Furthermore,
within this document, there are examples of activities which can be modified to
suit remedial purposes based on the students’ needs or which can be extended in
order to enhance students’ learning. Ultimately, what is most important in the
entire process is to know one’s students well and to provide them with the
necessary activities and communicative tasks which will lead them to success
and greater motivation for learning the second language.
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Glossary
anaphora
anaphora: any pronoun that can replace a noun; for example Paul is tall. Paul
can be replaced with he. He is the anaphora.
behaviourists
behaviourists: those who believe that language is a learned behaviour; i.e.,
language is acquired through habit-forming behaviours based on the
stimulus-response premise.
cognitivists
cognitivists: those who believe that language is acquired consciously within
the framework of a meaningful system based on rule formation and drillpractice routines.
coherence
coherence: contextualized, logical links between ideas in discourse.
cohesion
cohesion: links between linguistic elements at the word, sentence or discourse
levels.
communicative activity
activity: is one in which students engage in sharing information in a communicative situation which is not necessarily authentic
communicative intent
intent: a linguistic function which involves a speaker/writer
attempting to relate some idea or thought to a listener/reader, such as
asking/giving information, accepting/refusing an invitation, questioning/
answering and so on.
communicative task
task: an activity which is carried out in real life, such as
taking down a telephone message, reading a bulletin board, interviewing
a plumber, writing a post card, etc.
discourse
discourse: group of organized statements expressing one or more ideas either
orally or in written form.
drills
drills: those activities which are mechanical in nature and more often than not
involve the replacement or transformation of a grammatical point in
decontextualized sentences; e.g., pronoun replacement exercises involving changing nouns to the “il/elle” or “ils/elles” forms.
“editor”
“editor”: the person responsible for checking the final product of a cooperative
learning group and leading the group in the final decision making
process regarding their group work.
“encourager”
“encourager”: the person responsible for encouraging cooperative learning
group members to participate in the task, to share their ideas and
opinions and to work hard on the task as a group.
fossilization
fossilization: process whereby words or phrases are incorrectly stored in
memory. A process which if often difficult to eradicate.
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grammatical element
element: a synonym for linguistic element (see definition
below).
linguistic element
element: aspect of the linguistic code - sound, written symbol,
vocabulary, grammatical rule or aspect of discourse.
“organizer”
“organizer”: the person responsible for organizing his/her group in a cooperative learning task by asking the other group members to describe their
roles and to confirm that they understand their roles.
paralinguistic features
features: pauses, hesitations, silence, social distance, body
posture, etc., that in and of themselves have meaning.
“praiser”
“praiser”: the person responsible for praising cooperative learning group
members for their participation, their ability to listen, share and assist in
the completion of a task.
preference for learning/thinking
learning/thinking: the modality (e.g., auditory, visual,
tactile, etc.), thinking mode (e.g., inductive/deductive, linear/divergent) or
learning atmosphere in which an individual feels most comfortable in
acquiring knowledge or a new skill.
“recorder”
“recorder”: the person responsible for writing down the feedback given by
the “praiser” and “encourager” to other members of a cooperative learning
group as they work through their learning task. The verbal expressions
used by the “encourager” and the “praiser” are recorded on individual
sheets. This person is also responsible for writing down the initial
thoughts and ideas of the group.
register
register: special variations of a language that is used in different contexts
(e.g., home, work place, school, advertising, journalism).
reinforcement
reinforcement: a technique which reinforces a positive or desired behaviour.
repetition/mimicry exercises
exercises: those activities which often involve mechanical participation on behalf of the student as they repeat after or mimic a
model; for example, asking students to repeat a list of words containing
the (õ) sound, such as ont, garçon, mouton, etc.
seeded passage
passage: a text often prepared by the teacher which intentionally
contains a certain linguistic element which is to be analysed; for example,
asking students to identify possessive pronouns in the following text: Hier,
je suis allé(e) à mon magasin favori pour acheter un nouveau t-shirt et j’ai
rencontré un de mes copains de l’école. Il était là avec ses parents et il
voulait acheter le même t-shirt que moi...
self-concept
self-concept: the image or vision a person has of him/herself, concerning his/
her abilities, worth and lovableness.
self-confidence
self-confidence: the demonstration of confidence in one’s abilities.
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self-esteem
self-esteem: the value or opinion a person maintains about him/herself.
spontaneous expression
expression: an oral or written text that is for the most part
coherent, but often lacks cohesion and completeness in the following
ways: false starts, hesitations, repetitions, incomplete sentences, points
only and more errors, in general, than would be tolerated ordinarily in a
more formal, prepared oral or written discourse.
stimulus-response
stimulus-response: anything visual, auditory or tacit that evokes either a
verbal (oral or written) or physical response.
structuralists
structuralists: those people who believe that language is acquired through a
taxonomy of structures; that is, language is viewed as the study of
separate elements and then reconstructed into phrases.
text
text: a combination or series of connected ideas presented orally or in writing to
express a message (e.g., salutation, a speech, a radio broadcast, a letter,
a novel).
tongue twisters (accroche-mâchoire): a phrase or sentence, often nonsensical,
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Wesche, M.B. (1992). Performance Testing for Work Related Second Language
Assessment. In Language Assessment for Feedback: Testing and Other
Strategies, E. Shohamy and A.R. Walton (eds.). Kendall/Hunt Publishing
Co. Dubuque, IW: pp. 53-71.
Zamel, V. (1983). The Composing Process of Advanced ESL Students: Six
Case Studies. TESOL Quarterly, 17, 165 - 188.
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Further Suggested Teacher References
An important part of second language teaching is to remain in constant contact
with developments in the field. One of the best ways is to read material written
by lead researchers and theoreticians. This section is a compilation of key
writings in the field, but is by no means exhaustive. Teachers are strongly
encouraged to read as many of these texts and articles so as to develop a
fundamental basis for understanding the field as a whole. Teachers are further
encouraged to become members of second language associations and to subscribe
to journals in the field in order to continue their own personal growth and
expansion of their knowledge as the field continues to develop new concepts and
trends. A listing of these key associations and journals follows this reference
section.
Ardnt, H. and Pesch, H. W. (1984). Non-verbal Communication and Visual
Teaching Aids: A Perceptual Approach. Modern Language Journal, 68(i),
28 - 26.
Barnett, M. A. (1983). Replacing Teacher Talk with Gestures: Non-verbal
Communication in the Foreign Language Classroom. Foreign Language
Annals, 16(3), 173 0 176.
Boucher, A. M., Duplantie, M. and LeBlanc, R. (1986). Propos sur la pédagogie
de la communication en langues secondes. Montreal, QC: Centre éducatif et
culturel.
Breen, M. P. and Candlin, C. (1981). The Essentials of a Communicative
Curriculum in Language Teaching. Applied Linguistics, 2, 89 - 112.
Brumfit, C. (1984). Communicative Methodology in Language Teaching.
London: Cambridge University Press.
Brumfit, C. J. and Johnson, K. (eds.). (1979). The Communicative Approach to
Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Canale, M. (1983). From Communicative Competence to Communicative
Pedagogy. In J. C. Richards and R. W. Schmidt (eds). Language and
Communication, pp. 2 - 28. London: Longman.
Canale, M. and Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical Basis of Communicative
Approaches to Second Language Teaching and Testing. Applied Linguistics,
1, 1 - 43.
Carels, P. E. (1981). Pantomime in the Foreign Language Classroom. Foreign
Language Annals, 14(5), 407 - 411.
Cohen, J. L. (1987). The Use of Verbal and Imagery Mnemonics in Second
Language Vocabulary Learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 9,
43 - 62.
Coste, D. (1980). Communicatif, fonctionnel, notionnel et quelques autres. Le
Français dans le Monde, 153, 25 - 34.
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Foley, K. S., Harley, B. and d’Anglejan, A. (1987). Research in Core French.
An Annotated Bibliography. Research and Evaluation Task Force.
National Core French Study. Winnipeg, MAN: Canadian Association of
Second
Language Teachers.
Galloway, V. (1987). From Defining to Developing Proficiency: A Look at the
Decision. In H. Byrnes and M. Canale (eds.) Defining and Developing
Proficiency: Guidelines, Implementation and Concepts. Lincolnwood, IL:
National Textbook Company.
Hamers, J. and Blanc, M. (1983). Bilinguité et bilinguisme. Bruxelles:
Mardega.
Higgs, T. V. (ed). (1984). Teaching for Proficiency, the Organizing Principle.
Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T. and Holubec, E. S. (1986). Cooperation in the
Classroom (rev. ed.). Edina, MN: Interaction Book.
Krahnke, K. (1987). Approaches to Syllabus Design for Foreign Language
Teaching. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Littlewood, W. (1981). Communicative Language Teaching. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Miller, A. F. (1985). Vest Pocket Ideas: Improving Communication Using
Negatives and Partitives. Foreign Language Annals, 18(2), 127 - 132.
Mohan, B. A. (1986). Language and Content. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Moirand, S. (1982). Enseigner à communiquer en langue étrangère. Paris:
Hachette.
Nemetz-Robinson, G. L. (1987). Cross-Cultural Understanding. New York,
NY/Toronto, ON: Pergamon.
Omaggio, A.C. (Ed). (1985). Proficiency, Curriculum, Articulation: The Ties
that Bind. Middlebury, VT: Northeast Conference on the Teaching of
Foreign Languages.
Pattison, P. (1987). Developing Communicative Skills: A Practical Handbook
for Language Teachers with Examples in English, French and German.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/
Paulston, C.B. (1980). Bilingual Education: Theories and Issues. Rowley,
MA: Newbury House.
Phillips, D. (Ed.). (1988). Languages in Schools from Complacency to
Conviction. London: Centre for International Language Teaching (CILT).
Rivers, W.M. (1983). Communicating Naturally in a Second Language.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Savignon, S.J. (1983). Communicative Competence: Theory and Classroom
Practice. Don Mills: Addison-Wesley.
Savignon, S.J. and Berns, M.S. (Eds.) (1984). Initiatives in Communicative
Language Teaching. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Schiffler, L. (1984). Pour un enseignement interactif des langues étrangères.
(Trans.) Jean-Paul Collin. Paris: Hatier-CRÉDIF.
Stern, H.H. (1981). Communicative Language Teaching and Learning: Toward
a Synthesis. In J.E. Alatis, H.B. Altman and P.M. Alatis (Eds.). The Second
Language Classroom: Directions for the 1980’s. New York, NY: Oxford
University Press, 131-48.
Ullmann, R. (1988). Evaluation in the Second Language Classroom.
Edmonton, AB: Alberta Education, Language Services Branch.
Van Patten, B. (1986). The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines: Implications for
Grammatical Accuracy in the Classroom. Studies in Second Language
Acquisition, 8, 56-57.
Wallerstein, N. (1983). Language and Culture in Conflict. Reading, MA:
Addison-Wesley.
Wesche, M.B. (1983). Communicative Testing in a Second Language. Modern
Language Journal, 67(i), 41-45.
White, J. (1984). Drama, Communicative Competence and Language Teaching:
An Overview. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 40(5), 595,99.
Widdowson, H.G. (1978). Teaching Language as Communication. London:
Oxford University Press.
Zarate, G. (1986). Enseigner une culture étrangère. Paris: Hachette.
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Educational Reviews
Canadian Modern Language Review
237 Hellems Avenue
Welland, Ontario
L3B 3B8
Foreign Language Annals
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
2 Park Avenue
New York, New York
10016, U.S.A.
Le français dans le monde
Hachette
1289, rue Labelle
Montréal, Québec
H2L 4C1
Modern Language Journal
University of Nebraska
P.O. Box 688
Omaha, Nebraska
68101, U.S.A.
Second Languages Bulletin/Bulletin de Langues Secondes
Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers
369 Montrose Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3M 3M1
TESOL Quarterly
TESOL Central Office
Suite 300, 1600 Cameron Street
Alexandria, Virginia
22314, U.S.A.
Professional Teacher Organizations
Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers
369 Montrose Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3M 3M1
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Appendix A
Reproducible Worksheets
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Survey Example
Suggested activities:
Housing
This survey can be used with the field of experience “Housing
Housing”.
The following activity is an example of a survey that students first complete
individually. They then use their answers to participate in other class activities
related to the original survey. Next, students share their answers with a
partner who records their answers on a second questionnaire. This second step
forces students to ask their partners a question which would suit the statement.
It also serves as a language exercise, since the students are now reading the
information in the third person singular of the verbs, but need to transform this
information to questions in order to be able to fill in the survey. Once this step
has been completed, group results or class results can then be done. In the case
of group work, students could be asked to prepare an oral report describing their
group’s results to the rest of the class. In this case, they would now be using
plural forms of the verb. Then, each group’s findings could be compiled in order
to develop a class profile. Here, too, the students would be recycling plural
forms.
To begin any communicative or experiential/communicative activity, it is always
important to contextualize the activity by providing a plausible situation/
context. Below is an example of a possible scenario that could be used with this
survey.
Situation/context
The council in your town/ city is planning to build a home for sick children and
would like students’ opinions on the type of facility it should build. Your class
has been selected to participate in the survey.
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Un sondage des préférences*
NOM :
ÂGE :
1. Coche (√ ) la réponse appropriée.
a) J' habite
b) J' habite
dans une ville.
dans un village.
dans une maison.
dans un appartement.
à la campagne.
dans un condo.
dans une cabane.
2. Coche (√ ) si tu es d'accord, pas d'accord ou si tu ne sais pas.
D'accord
Pas d'accord Je ne sais pas
a) Je préfère les grandes maisons.
b) J'aime vivre dans une maison.
c)
J'aime avoir une télévision
dans ma chambre.
d) J'aime avoir une salle de bain
pour moi-même.
e) Je préfère habiter près d'un
centre commercial.
f)
Je pense qu'il est important
d'avoir beaucoup d'appareils
ménagers pour simplifier
la vie.
g) J'aime avoir une maison
avec beaucoup d'espace.
h) Je préfère...
... avoir une chambre pour moimême.
... partager une chambre avec
quelqu'un.
i)
J'aime avoir une maison avec...
... un jardin.
... une piscine.
* Adapted from Galloway, 1990.
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Un sondage des préférences*
NOM :
ÂGE :
1. Coche (√ ) la réponse appropriée.
a) Il/elle habite
b) Il/elle habite
dans une ville.
dans un village.
dans une maison.
dans un appartement.
à la campagne.
dans un condo.
dans une cabane.
2. Coche (√ ) la réponse donnée par ton/ta partenaire.
D'accord
Pas d'accord Il/elle ne sait pas
a) Il/elle préfère les grandes
maisons.
b) Il/elle aime vivre dans une
maison.
c)
Il/elle aime avoir une
télévision dans sa chambre.
d) Il/elle aime avoir une salle de
bain pour lui-même/elle-même.
e) Il/elle préfère habiter près
d'un centre commercial.
f)
Il/elle pense qu'il est
important d'avoir beaucoup
d'appareils ménagers pour
simplifier la vie.
g) Il/elle aime avoir une maison
avec beaucoup d'espace.
h) Il/elle préfère...
... avoir une chambre pour
lui-même/elle même.
... partager une chambre avec
quelqu'un.
i)
Il/elle aime avoir une maison
avec...
... un jardin.
... une piscine.
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Listening Comprehension/Oral Production
Communication Activity
Suggested activities:
Housing
These activities can be used with the field of experience “Housing
Housing”.
The purpose of this activity is to have students exchange information that they
have heard with a partner. Together they have to decide if the information they
have heard is correct or not. The teacher can prepare a commentary, like the one
below, to provide students with the necessary information needed to carry out
the task. On the plan, students indicate where the items are placed. Once the
description has been completed, in groups of two, students use the observation
form to decide whether the objects are placed in an appropriate location or not.
If not, they are to suggest a better place for the objects.
The objects which are chosen are up to the teacher, as is the commentary. A
similar activity could later be carried out by students, working in small groups (3
- 4 ), in which they create the commentary for their classmates, using simple
directions and imperatives which were previously brainstormed with the
teacher.
In order to make language learning real, it is always important to start even
communicative activities with a situation/context. Here is a possible scenario for
this activity.
Situation/context
You have decided to go to school in another part of Canada and you need a new
place to stay. You call the school and they give you the person in charge of the
dormitory. They have sent you a plan in the mail, but they have not indicated
which furniture is available nor where it is located. So you decide to speak to
the person to note this information on your plan. (A second situation/context will
be need to carry out the second portion of the activity.)
Possible commentary
J’ai une chambre parfaite pour vous. Pour mieux comprendre comment
cette chambre est absolument fantastique, regardez votre plan de maison
d’étudiant et dessinez les objets où je vous les indique.
Pour commencer, en entrant dans la maison d’étudiant, à votre gauche,
vous trouverez votre lit jumeau. C’est formidable, n’est-ce pas? Comme
ça on peut dormir en arrivant à la maison. Puis, dans la salle de bain, et
vous serez à la mode, vous trouverez...
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Plan de maison d'étudiants
Penderie
Cuisine
Salle de séjour
Salle de bain
Chambre
Chambre
Penderie
Penderie
Salle de bain
Penderie
Penderie
Salle de récréation
Salon
Porte d'entrée
Escaliers
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Grille d'observation
OBJET
BIEN PLACÉ
MEILLEUR ENDROIT
Oui Non
1. Un lit jumeau
2. Une lampe
3. Une table pour
huit personnes
4. Un sofa
5. Un réfrigérateur
6. Une télévision
7. Un téléphone
8. Un miroir
9. Une commode
10. Un ordinateur
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Information Gap Activities
Information gap activities provide students with the opportunity to share
information with or to provide information to another person or group of persons
in a controlled fashion. An information gap activity can also be a controlled
problem-solving situation. These types of activities allow students to use the
linguistic structures they have been working on in a fun and motivating way
before they move on to more experiential/communicative tasks. The two
activities which are found here, nevertheless, need to be contextualized in order
to ensure that the students are still communicating for real purposes.
• Activity 1
This activity can be used with the field of experience “Housing” and deals with
students having to make decisions regarding the current rules they have to
follow at home. Students begin the activity individually by matching which
phrases from column A match with column B to create their house rules. Then,
the students share their rules with members of their group to see if their rules
are similar or different. Next, as a group they will create a new list based on the
member’s rules and share these rules with the class. As a class they can now
create new rules for their parents and siblings.
Possible Situation/Context
The Federal Government has just proclaimed next week “Family Week” and one
of the activities for the week is to get families talking. One thing that always
seems to be a source of conflict is House Rules. Here is your chance to discuss
the rules and possibly change them.
• Activity 2
This activity involves a “whodunit” type scenario and could be used with the
field of experience “Violence and Crime”. In this activity, students are required
to share their clues with the others in order to solve the mystery. Students form
groups of six to eight members and in pairs, work out one or two clues based on
the code they are given. Once all the codes have been broken, students pool
their information together to solve the murder. This activity may take up to 30 35 minutes to complete.
Possible Situation/Context
As a part of crime prevention week, the local police station has set up a super
sleuth contest to teach members of the community the importance of sharing
“Crime Tips” with police. They have set up this game to see if any one can solve
the crime. You decide to take on the challenge.
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Les règles de la maison*
Chaque maison à des règles pour les membres de la famille. Associe les
expressions de la colonne A à celles de la colonne B pour décrire les règles chez
toi.
A
B
Ne pas manger...
- la télévision après 20 heures.
Ne pas écouter...
- de la musique forte.
Ne pas regarder...
- (dans) la salle de bain.
Ne pas laisser les assiettes sales...
- (dans) le salon.
Ne pas jouer...
- (dans) la chambre.
Ne pas sécher les cheveux...
- sur le plancher.
Ne pas laisser les vêtements...
- avec les mains.
Faire les devoirs...
- dans le lavabo.
Nettoyer...
- (dans) la salle de séjour.
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Answers:
1. M. X est l’ami de Jeannette et il l’aime beaucoup.
2. Jeannette est allée au restaurant «Chez Pierre».
3. Pierre travaille comme chef au restaurant.
4. Jeannette a beaucoup mangé.
5. M. X est un agent de police.
6. On a trouvé un couteau au restaurant.
7. M. X était très jaloux de Pierre.
8. Jeannette aimait bien les repas de «Chez Pierre».
9. M. X était au restaurant à 21 heures.
10. Jeannette est décédée vers 21 heures.
11. C’était le couteau de M. X.
12. Les empreintes digitales de Pierre étaient sur le couteau.
13. Pierre n’a pas travaillé ce soir-là.
14. Jeannette a mangé avec un étranger.
15. Pierre a emprunté le couteau de M. X.
SOLUTION:
Vu que Pierre n’était pas le chef ce soir-là, Jeannette est morte d’une intoxication alimentaire. Pierre a laissé le couteau de M. X dans la cuisine et l’autre
chef l’a employé sans le lavé. C’était un accident ou un meutre? À vous de
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Type of Oral Text:
Reason for
Listening
(what)
Activity
(how)
Identification
Orientation
(based on
contextual
elements)
Comprehension
of Main Idea(s)
Detailed
Comprehension
Reinvestment
of Knowledge/
Skills
Limited verbal\non-verbal
(e.g., pantomime, T.P.R.,
show of hands, drawings, etc.)
Verification of context
(e.g., matching, providing answers,
choosing correct answers, etc.)
Transfer of details
(e.g., adapted cloze exercises,
charts, grids, applications, etc.)
Summary of text
(oral or written)
Duplication of text
(e.g., role-playing, dictation,
transcription)
Extension of text
(e.g., oral discussions, debates,
written reviews or articles)
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YEAR PLAN:
SUB-LEVEL:
GRADE:
MAIN RESOURCE(S):
Month
Field of
Experience
Unit
(Educational Project)
Time
Allotted
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STEP ONE – IDEA SHEET
Educational Project:
Learning
Resources
Objectives
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
Field(s) of
Experience
Major
Activities
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STEP ONE – DETAILED IDEA SHEET
Educational Project:
Objectives
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
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STEP ONE – DETAILED IDEA SHEET
Educational Project:
Learning
Resources
Field(s) of
Experience
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STEP ONE – DETAILED IDEA SHEET
Educational Project:
Major
Activities
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STEP TWO – MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET
ACTIVITY No.:
DESCRIPTION:
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
Components
Mini-tasks
e./c.
c.
l.
Skills
g.l.e.
L.C.
O.P.
R.C.
W.P.
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STEP THREE – DAILY LESSON PLAN
LESSON No.:
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
Teacher
Students
Time
Allotted
Introduction
Activities/
Mini-tasks
Closure
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DAILY LESSON PLAN
DATE:
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
Steps
Resource(s)
Time
Allotted
Introduction:
Activities
Closure
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CLIMATOGRAMME
pour
30 o
25 o
20 o
15 o
10 o
5o
0o
-5 o
-10 o
-15 o
-20 o
-25 o
-30 o
-35 o
jan.
fév.
mars
avril
mai
juin
juil.
août
sept.
oct.
nov.
déc.
cci
French as a Second Language
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CLIMATOGRAMME
pour Yellowknife
30 o
25 o
20 o
15 o
10 o
5o
0o
-5 o
-10 o
-15 o
-20 o
-25 o
-30 o
-35 o
jan.
fév.
mars
avril
mai
juin
juil.
août
sept.
oct.
nov.
déc.
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CLIMATOGRAMME
pour Inuvik
30 o
25 o
20 o
15 o
10 o
5o
0o
-5 o
-10 o
-15 o
-20 o
-25 o
-30 o
-35 o
jan.
fév.
mars
avril
mai
juin
juil.
août
sept.
oct.
nov.
déc.
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Grille pour un bulletin de météo (évaluation de la compréhension orale
par l'apprenant)
NOM:
DATE:
Nom de
l'annonceur
Nom des villes :
Températures
maximales :
Températures
minimales :
Symboles
météorologiques :
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
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Grid for Group Work Evaluation
Evaluation*
Name of Evaluator:
Class:
Project:
Date:
Participants' Names
Group:
POINTS TO CONSIDER
•
•
•
Contributed to the group's
work
1
2
3
4
5
SCALE
/5
Gave assistance to others to:
- revise and polish the work
/5
- organize the work
/5
Persisted in using French
/5
TOTAL POSSIBLE
/ 20
Comments:
Scale :
1=
2=
3=
4=
5=
Not at all
Rarely
Some of the time
Most of the time
All of the time
ccvii
General Comments:
General Language
Education
Language
Culture
Experience/
Communication
Language
Skill
Component
Grade/Level:
Name:
Oral
Comprehension
Reading
Comprehension
Oral
Production
Date:
L A N G U A G E CO M P E T E N C Y PR O F I L E
Written
Production
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Type of Communicative Intent:
Date:
Culture:
General Language Education:
Experience/Communication:
Language:
Grade/Level:
Type of Communicative Task:
Name:
O R A L PR O D U C T I O N PR O F I L E
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Type of Communicative Intent:
Date:
Culture:
General Language Education:
Experience/Communication:
Language:
Grade/Level:
Type of Communicative Task:
Name:
W R I T T E N PR O D U C T I O N PR O F I L E
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ccx
Total:
/
Insufficient — far too many
elements are missing
- incomprehensible/
inappropriate to situation/
context
Partially complete — almost all
elements requested are present
- somewhat appropriate to
situation/context
Acceptable
Not acceptable
Complete — all elements
requested are present
- appropriate to situation/
context (e.g., simple/complex
sentences, isolated words)
- few, if any, appropriate
conventions/information
used for the situation/
context
- some appropriate
conventions/information
used for the situation/
context
- appropriateconventions/
information used for the
situation/context
Conventions/
Information required:
Sociolinguistic
Content of message/how formed
Content required:
Culture
- far too many errors in
grammar usage, vocabulary,
pronunciation/spelling,word
order and sentence structure
as it relates to the communicative task
- some errors in grammar
usage, vocabulary,
pronunciation/spelling,word
order and sentence structure
as it relates to the
communicative task
- accurate use of grammar
rules, vocabulary,
pronunciation/spelling,word
order and sentence structure
as it relates to the communicative task
Precision required:
Vocabulary,
grammar, structure
Language
Type of Communicative Task:
Communication
Excellent
Standard
Characteristics of the Message:
Date:
Name:
G LOBAL OR A L/WRITTEN PRODUCTION CRITERIA
- unsustained, not one
strategy used
- partially sustained,
using a number of
strategies
- effectively sustained,
using a variety of
strategies
Strategies (possibly)
employed:
Strategies used
General Language
Education
French as a Second Language
Teacher Resource Manual
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French as a Second Language
Teacher Resource Manual
Appendix B
Suggestions for Educational Projects
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Introduction
The purpose of this section is to provide teachers with suggestions for the
development of educational projects for each field of experience in the program of
studies. Even though the number of fields of experience is prescribed, the
creation of educational projects as a means of developing and attaining the
program’s objectives is offered only as a suggestion. The final decision as to the
choice of learning/teaching activities and the planning of these activities is up to
the teacher. However, when planning for instruction the following factors always
need to be kept in mind: the students’ language level, the learning resources
available, and the amount of time allotted to the program.
To provide teachers with some direction as to the kinds of activities that can be
carried out, one educational project title has been selected from each sub-level
and a suggested list of activities for each of the four components is given. Once
again, teachers are reminded that these activities are only suggestions and do
not reflect completed educational projects. Rather they provide examples of the
kinds of activities which could be carried out under the title of the project and as
it relates to the students’ language proficiency level. For the activities
mentioned in the experience/communication component of each project, teachers
will find that the main language skill that is being used in the activity is
identified. The skills have been abbreviated in this manner: Listening
Comprehension - (L.C.), Reading Comprehension - (R.C.), Oral Production (O.P.), and Written Production (W.P.). To assist in planning, a list of the
program’s fields of experience by sub-level is provided on the following page.
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Fields of Experience by Language Proficiency Level
Beginner 1
Beginner 2
Beginner 3
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•
•
• Outdoor activities
• Transportation
• Northern Food
• The Environment
• The Senses
• Clothing
• Famous People
• French in Daily Life
The Individual
The Family
The School
The Community
Clothing
Holidays
Domestic Animals
The World of Wonders
Friends
Physical Exercise
Holidays and Celebrations
The Weather
Food
Hobbies
Wild Animals
Housing
Intermediate 1
Intermediate 2
Intermediate 3
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•
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•
•
•
• Adolescence and Its Responsibilities
• Advertising
• Being a Young Parent
• The World of Work
• Fashion
• The Inuit
• The French-Canadians
• Clubs and Associations
• Trips and Excursions
• Animals
Holidays and Celebrations
Safety
Friends
The World of Work
Self-Protection
Aboriginal People
The Acadiens
Hobbies
Holidays
Hygiene
Environmental Conservation
Crime and Violence
Friends
Trades and Professions
Consumerism
Immigrants
The Québécers
Social Activities
Music
Health and Physical Exercise
Advanced 1
Advanced 2
Advanced 3
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• The Health of the Young Adult
• Politics
• The World of Handicapped Persons
• French-Canadian Literature
• Québec
• Hobbies
• Current Events
• Controversial Issues
Personality
The Media
Science
The Arts
A Well-known
Francophone Area
• The International FrenchSpeaking Community
• The Challenge of
My Future
• Myths and Legends
Being Independent
The Future of the World
The World of Technology
Fine Arts
Sports
Canadian Ethnic Diversity
News Items
Current Events
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BEGINNER LEVEL
BEGINNER 1
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• THE INDIVIDUAL
- Make a class presentation about
oneself
- Survey one's likes and dislikes
- Prepare a directory of main telephone
numbers for self- protection
• THE FAMILY
- Prepare a family tree
- Prepare a family album
- Make an oral presentation about family
activities using a collage
• THE SCHOOL
-
• THE COMMUNITY
- Give a tour of one's community
- Present member's of one's community
- Prepare a tourist pamphlet for
young visitors
• CLOTHING
- Present different ways to wear clothes
- Prepare a school clothing fashion
magazine
- Prepare a clothing guide for special
occasions
- Present a fashion show
• HOLIDAYS
- Prepare a Valetine's Day celebration
- Prepare a calendar of holidays and
special occasions
- Organize a surprise party for someone
• DOMESTIC ANIMALS
- Prepare an album of favourite domestic
animals
- Give a tour of a pet shop
- Prepare a competition for domestic
animals to be held at the school
- Present a skit on farm animals
- Prepare a domestic pet guide for
apartment dwellers
• THE WORLD OF WONDERS
- Prepare a world of wonders storybook
- Prepare a cartoon
Component:
Experience/
Communication
Give a tour of one's school
Prepare a back-to-school handbook
Design the perfect school
Design a school for the year 2010
Present one's classroom
Suggested Activities
• Tour the school following oral/written
instructions (L.C./R.C.).
• Label a school plan following oral
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BEGINNER 1
Field of Experience:
Educational project chosen:
The school
Give a tour of one's
school
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
Communication
• Tour the school following oral/written
instructions (L.C./R.C.).
• Label a school plan following oral
instructions (L.C.).
• Make an oral presentation about the
school and who works in each classroom (O.P.).
• Write a simple announcement about the school
tour (W.P.).
• Give a tour of the school to a parent or a
peer (O.P.).
Culture
• Identify people who speak French in the
school.
• Identify francophone schools in the region.
• Identify objects representative of francophone
cultures in the classroom (e.g., Québec flag,
French dictionary, etc.).
Language
• Identify the people who work in the school
(e.g., le directeur, le professeur de français,
etc.).
• Name the objects in the classroom.
• Name the rooms in the school (e.g., le
gymnase, la bibliothèque, etc.).
• Use "voici/voilà, le/la/les" to identify objects.
• Learn the numbers to be able to identify
classrooms.
General Language
Education
• Play a competition memory game using
flashcards related to classroom objects and a
Total Physical Response technique.
• Read a story about a school and circle the
familiar words to build meaning.
• Show where objects are in the classroom.
• Pick out the key words needed to follow
directions and complete an activity.
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BEGINNER LEVEL
BEGINNER 2
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• FRIENDS
- Prepare a profile of one's best friend
- Organize a friendship party at school
• PHYSICAL EXERCISE
- Prepare an album of favourite sports
- Organize a sport-a-thon to benefit a
class activity
- Plan a school "participaction" day
• HOLIDAYS AND
CELEBRATIONS
- Celebrate the Tooynk Time of Iqaluit
- Participate in the Yellowknife Caribou
carnival
- Present activities held at the Quebec
carnival
- Organize a Heritage Day for the school
- Make a presentation on a "Pow Wow"
• THE WEATHER
- Give a weather forecast
- Prepare an October climate report for
all Canadian provinces
- Prepare a seasonal calendar
- Prepare a quarterly climate report for
all principal N.W.T. communities
• FOOD
- Go on a grocery shopping trip
- Prepare a food guide for teenagers/
children
- Prepare a picnic basket
- Prepare for a visit to a restaurant
• HOBBIES
- Create a new social game
- Survey favourite hobbies
- Prepare a one-day agenda for a holiday
• WILD ANIMALS
- Prepare an album on one's favourite
wild animals
- Prepare an album about a zoo visit
- Prepare an album about wild
animals of the N.W.T.
- Interview a hunter
- Write a simple report on the polar bear
• HOUSING
- Design a new home or bedroom
- Report on the different types of
housing in the N.W. T.
- Create instructions for building an igloo
- Report on one's community housing
needs
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BEGINNER 2
Field of Experience:
Educational project chosen:
Housing
Design a new home or
bedroom
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
Communication
• Tour the house following oral/written
instructions (L.C./R.C.).
• Label a house plan following oral/written
instructions (L.C./R.C.).
• Make an oral presentation about the rooms in
the new house and who in the family does
what kind of activity in each room (O.P.).
• Write a simple announcement to sell your old
house (W.P.).
• Give a tour of the new house to a peer (O.P.).
Culture
• Identify French street names in the
community.
• Learn how to write an address in French.
• Identify different types of housing used by the
Aboriginal peoples (e.g., igloos).
Language
• Identify the different rooms in the house (e.g.,
la salle de bains, la cuisine, le salon, etc.).
• Name the objects in the different rooms.
• List the activities that one can do in each room
(e.g., Nous mangeons dans la cuisine.).
• Use "un/une, le/la/les" to identify objects and
where they are located.
• Use numbers to be able to identify
addresses.
General Language
Education
• Identify vocabulary that is borrowed from
other languages.
• Underline or point out cognates in a housing
advertisement.
• Reply voluntarily to questions (e.g., "De
quelle couleur est ta chambre à coucher?).
• Prepare a visual dictionary on items in a
house.
• Pinpoint the key words in an oral and/or
written communication regarding a task to be
accomplished.
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BEGINNER LEVEL
BEGINNER 3
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
- Plan a camping/fishing/hunting trip
- Prepare a survival guide
- Organize a nature/field trip (e.g.
“Green Class”, “Camp de Neige”)
• TRANSPORTATION
- Give a bicycle safety course
- Organize a bicycle/dog sled excursion
- Report on the means of
transportation in the N.W.T.
• NORTHERN FOOD
- Prepare a northern food recipe
- Prepare a northern food guide for
youth
- Organize a northern food fair
- Write a northern food recipe book
• THE ENVIRONMENT
- Prepare a guide on Canadian National
Parks
- Organize a volunteer cleanup
campaign for one’s neighbourhood or
community
• THE SENSES
- Design experiments to discover the
importance of the senses
- Describe the life of a blind/deaf person
- Survey experiences with the senses
• CLOTHING
- Design a clothing survey to determine
what students buy
- Organize a clothing flea market to
benefit the school or other activity
- Design fashions for the year 2010
- Hold a fashion show
• FRENCH IN DAILY LIFE
- Prepare a brochure on the French
services available in one’s community or
in the N.W.T.
- Research the importance of the
French language in certain jobs
• FAMOUS PEOPLE
- Prepare a report on one’s favourite star
- Prepare an interview of a star
- Produce a guide on “How to Become a
Star”
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BEGINNER 3
Field of Experience:
Educational project chosen:
Transportation
Give a bicycle safety
course
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
Communication
• Understand and describe how to use a bicycle
in a safe fashion (L.C./O.P.).
• Describe orally or in written form the rules of
the road (O.P./W.P.).
• Trace on a map directions given orally (L.C).
• Understand and describe how to properly
inspect a bicycle (L.C./O.P.).
• Make an oral presentation on one’s bicycle
(O.P.).
• Write a simple announcement about the
bicycle safety course (W.P.).
• Understand and describe where one hurts
after falling off a bicycle (L.C./O.P.).
Culture
•
•
•
•
Language
• Understand road symbols and use them.
• Provide the appropriate hand signal or road
sign for instructions given by the teacher.
• Name the parts of the bicycle.
• Name the parts of the body and how to use the
expression “avoir mal...”.
• Use the imperative form to give inspection
advice.
General Language
Education
• Find another word using a word from the
same family (e.g., pédale = pédaler; bicyclette
= cycliste; vite = vitesse).
• Understand the meaning of an unknown word
using a known/familiar word (e.g., arrêter =
arrêt).
• Voluntarily give an original description about
one’s bicycle.
Name where one finds bilingual road signs.
Identify francophone cycling competitions.
Identify different road/safety laws in Québec.
Become aware of the use of bicycles as a
means of transportation or sporting activity
for a variety of francophone regions.
• Observe who uses bicycles and where.
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INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
INTERMEDIATE 1
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• HOLIDAYS AND
CELEBRATIONS
- Organize a mini-Heritage Day
- Organize a “cabane à sucre”
- Organize a Senior Citizens Day
• SAFETY
- Take a driver’s education or bicycle
safety course
- Prepare an emergency escape plan for
the home
- Prepare information brochures on the
prevention of local hunting and fishing
accidents
• FRIENDS
- Prepare a skit on the behaviour and
attitudes in friendships
- Prepare an interview/television panel
on the role of peer pressure
- Prepare a guide about choosing friends
- Create an advice book on “How to Make
Good Friends”
• THE WORLD OF WORK
- Prepare for a job interview
- Discuss the advantages and
disadvantages of a part-time job
- Prepare a report on students’ career
choices, the educational requirements,
potential salary, etc.
• SELF-PROTECTION
- Prepare information brochures on the
prevention of local hunting/fishing
accidents
- Prepare an information report on youth
health services in one’s community
- Prepare a pocket directory of
emergency contacts in one’s community
• ABORIGINAL PEOPLE
- Prepare a book of Aboriginal legends or
stories
- Prepare a slide show on the Aboriginals
of one’s community or other areas of the
N.W. T.
- Organize a nature weekend with
Aboriginal peoples
- Prepare an Aboriginal meal
- Organize an Aboriginal craft fair
- Describe an Aboriginal handicraft
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
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INTERMEDIATE 1
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• THE ACADIANS
- Prepare a report on a specific aspect of
Acadia
- Organize an Acadian Day
- Prepare a presentation about a mural
containing Acadian symbols
- Organize an exchange trip with an
Acadian class
• HOBBIES
- Organize a sports card fair
- Present one’s favourite collection
- Organize a card sale/exchange for
collectors
• HOLIDAYS
- Prepare a tourist brochure on one’s
favourite region
- Plan a dream holiday
- Prepare a slide show to entice people to
visit the N.W.T.
• HYGIENE
- Prepare a brochure on how to treat a
cold
- Prepare a health diet and schedule of
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INTERMEDIATE 1
Field of Experience:
Educational project chosen:
Friends
Create an advice book
on “How to Make Good Friends”
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
Communication
• Listen to a talk-show in order to gather
information on friends (L.C.).
• Describe orally or in written form the rules for
making good friends (O.P./W.P.).
• Role-play a problematic situation between
friends (L.C/O.P.).
• Read letters written to friends to determine
the kind of information friends share (R.C.).
• Brainstorm common characteristics of good
friends (O.P.).
• Write a letter to “Ann Landers” to ask for
advice on what makes a good friend (W.P.).
• Write an article for a book which treats an
aspect of becoming/ being a good friend (W.P.).
Culture
• Research the names of francophone youth
clubs at the territorial and provincial levels.
• Research the kinds of activities these
associations sponsor for adolescents.
• Create an exchange network between Quebec
and the N.W.T. to obtain advice from Quebec
students.
Language
• Review all question types.
• Answer questions in the present tense.
• Use devoir, pouvoir and vouloir to create
sentences which give advice, adding
commonly-used adverbs to make the sentences
richer.
General Language
Education
• In an unfamiliar text, guess the meaning of
key words (subject, action) in order to
understand the communication.
• Use peer-editing techniques in order to assist
other students in discovering their mistakes.
• Discover the cultural rules for writing a simple
advice letter in French.
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INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
INTERMEDIATE 2
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSERVATION
- Prepare a campaign to express one’s
views on pollution
- Prepare a school brochure on how to
limit/avoid pollution in one’s community
- Organize a recycling fair
- Create a selective garbage pick-up plan
for one’s community
- Prepare an energy conservation guide
for youth
- Present a list of pollution problems in
the N.W.T. and suggest solutions
- Design positive publicity posters on
environmental conservation
• CRIME AND VIOLENCE
- Report on strike violence in the N.W.T.
- Report on vandalism in one’s
community
- Prepare a report on crime in Canada
- Report on vandalism and violence in
one’s school
• FRIENDS
- Prepare for a debate on people’s
behaviour and attitudes towards their
close friends
- Report on teenage friendships
- Create an advice club for teens
• TRADES AND
PROFESSIONS
- Organize a career day
- Plan and give a childcare course
- Interview a doctor, a lawyer, a
plumber, etc. on the pros and cons of the
profession
• CONSUMERISM
- Design a new shopping centre
- Prepare a sale for a store
- Prepare a brochure on consumers’
rights and responsibilities in the N.W.T.
- Predict shopping patterns for the
year 2010
- Prepare a consumer’s guide for the
purchase of one’s first car, sound system,
motorcycle, etc.
- Report on the most successful
commercials for youth
- Learn how to prepare a budget
- Organize a flea market
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INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
INTERMEDIATE 2
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• IMMIGRANTS
- Participate in a cross-cultural
celebration or holiday
- Organize a multicultural celebration in
one’s school or community
- Present a slide show on the various
ethnic groups in one’s community or in
the N.W.T.
• THE QUEBECERS
- Prepare a documentary about
Quebecers living in one’s community or
in the N.W.T.
- Report on the Quebec educational
system
- Organize a Quebec day
- Design a mural that is symbolic of
Quebec people and explain it
- Organize a trip to Quebec
• SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
- Plan a school dance
- Prepare a dating guide
- Create a magazine for different groups
in the school, based on their interests,
clothing, etc.
• MUSIC
- Organize an evening of music
- Make a presentation on one’s favourite
musician/singer
• HEALTH AND PHYSICAL
EXERCISE
- Teach someone how to play a sport:
Intercross or (...Inuit sport)
- Prepare an aerobics course
- Teach a modern or folk dance class
- Create a guide to healthy living
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INTERMEDIATE 2
Field of Experience:
Educational project chosen:
Music
Organize an Evening of
Music
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
• Listen to French language songs to
determine the main messages and then
categorize the songs according to genre (L.C.).
• Describe orally or in written form the
importance of music in one’s life (O.P./W.P.).
• Read interviews about famous French
language singers to gather information for the
program (R.C).
• Write a descriptive commentary for each
musical item in the program (W.P.).
• Write the program for the evening (W.P.).
Culture
• Research the names of francophone singers at
the territorial, provincial and national levels
and the genre of music that they sing.
• Learn an Acadian folk song for the evening.
• Watch a Quebec musical variety show in order
to determine the way in which musicians are
introduced and what information is given
about the artist. Compare this format
to an English-speaking variety show
Language
• Learn the difference between the passé
composé and the imparfait.
• Use superlatives to describe different singers.
• Use adverbs which end in “-ement” to make
sentences richer.
General Language
Education
• In an unfamiliar text, use a dictionary to
understand the meaning of key words (subject,
action) of an oral or written communication.
• Use peer-editing techniques in order to assist
other students in discovering their mistakes.
• Select strategies which will be appropriate in
the planning of an evening of music.
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INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
INTERMEDIATE 3
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• ADOLESCENCE AND ITS
RESPONSIBILITIES
- Prepare a debate on the pros and cons
of leaving one’s family to live alone in an
apartment
- Prepare a debate on relationships with
friends
- Create a newspaper for youth
- Prepare a skit on peer pressure
• ADVERTISING
- Prepare a school newspaper
- Prepare a radio or TV commercial
- Prepare a television show (e.g., a
televised game show) with commercials
• BEING A YOUNG PARENT
- Organize an information course on
“Going to school and being the parent of a
child”
- Interview a minor who is a parent
- Write a guide on the responsibilities of
a young parent towards his/her child
- Design a brochure on the agencies
that offer help to minors who are
parents
• THE WORLD OF WORK
- Prepare and give a course on how to
apply for a job
- Present the jobs and professions that
will be the most in demand during the
next twenty years
- Organize a debate on trade unions
• FASHION
- Organize a fashion show for 15 - 18
year old students
- Create a T.V. show on fashion
- Report on youth’s attitudes towards
fashion
• THE INUIT
- Prepare a book of Inuit legends/stories
- Present a slide show on the Inuit of
one’s community or other areas of the
N.W.T.
- Organize a nature weekend with Inuit
peoples
- Prepare an Inuit meal
- Organize an Inuit Fine Arts exhibition
- Prepare a pamphlet on an Inuit sculpture
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INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
INTERMEDIATE 3
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• THE FRENCH-CANADIANS
- Prepare a documentary on
Francophones of the Western provinces
and Territories
- Report on the history of the Franophones
of the Western provinces and Territories
- Present a slide show on the FrancoOntarians
• CLUBS AND ASSOCIATIONS
- Prepare a guide of school clubs and
associations
- Start a school club
- Produce a pamphlet describing youth
clubs and associations in one’s
community
• TRIPS AND EXCURSIONS
- Plan a travel fair
- Organize an exchange trip
- Plan a week-end excursion
• ANIMALS
- Present the place of animals in
spiritual life
- Report on animal violence
- Prepare a campaign against or for the
use of laboratory animals
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INTERMEDIATE 3
Field of Experience:
Educational project chosen:
Fashion
Create a T.V. show on
fashion
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
Communication
• Watch and listen to a fashion show
presentation in order to determine the type
of information given (L.C.).
• Design a survey to determine students’
preferences in clothing (W/P.).
• Survey students’ clothing preferences and use
this information to write the commentary for
this portion of the T.V. show (L.C/O.P./W.P.).
• Read fashion magazine articles to gather
information on clothing and social trends
(R.C.).
• Use information gathered from magazines to
write the commentary for a critique on clothing
trends for a segment of the T.V. show (W.P.).
• Simulate an interview with a fashion designer
(O.P.).
• Create a name for the T.V. show and write the
credits (O.P./W.P.).
Culture
• Research the names of francophone fashion
designers at the territorial, provincial, national
and international levels and investigate their
philosophy about clothing.
• Research when fashion shows are held, where,
who is invited and for what reason.
Language
• Review use of passé composé and imparfait.
• Introduce use of indirect and direct pronouns.
• Use cohesions markers to create sentences
which are richer.
General Language
Education
• In an unfamiliar text, use a variety of
reference materials to assist in determining
meaning.
• Use self-monitoring techniques in order to
discover one’s own mistakes.
• Use reference materials to verify the accuracy
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ADVANCED LEVEL
Advanced 1
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• PERSONALITY
- Create a video on the perfect school
principal
- Create the profile of artist
- Evaluate one’s own personality through
test analysis
• THE MEDIA
- Research the role of the media
- Explore how a topic is treated by
different media
- Create a documentary on the ways in
which information is disseminated
• SCIENCE
- Organize a science fair
- Prepare a report on an inventor, his/her
invention and its contribution to society
- Create a T.V. show on technology in the
classroom/home
• THE ARTS
-
• A WELL-KNOWN
FRANCOPHONE AREA
- Give a guided tour of a famous Frenchspeaking area
- Create an historical recipe book of
specialities for a particular area
- Create a tourist guide for a specific area
in France such as Evian
• THE INTERNATIONAL
FRENCH-SPEAKING
COMMUNITY
- Create an exhibit featuring various
French-speaking countries
- Create a guide about music in Frenchspeaking Africa
- Write a simple biography about a famous
French-speaking person
• THE CHALLENGE OF MY
FUTURE
- Give a career counselling course
- Create a guide on how to start a business
- Prepare a report on future careers and
professions
• MYTHS AND LEGENDS
- Create a francophone myth or legend
- Create the story of a legendary hero
- Create an annotated bibliography of
Canadian legends for young people
Give a guided tour of an art gallery
Create a play
Create a video on a famous Inuit sculptor
Create a video entertainment guide
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ADVANCED 1
Field of Experience:
The Challenge of
My
Future
Educational project chosen:
Give a career counsel-
ling course
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
Communication
• Invite a number of persons to talk about their
careers to determine the main tasks carried
out by these people ( L.C.).
• Design a survey to determine students’
career intentions (W/P.).
• Carry out the survey orally and record
students’ answers (L.C./O.P.)
• Use survey results to guide the reading of
university and college calendars from
French-speaking universities to determine
what their entrance requirements are (R.C.).
• Consult the career and professions section of
French language newspapers and magazines to
determine the kinds of careers which are
prominent (R.C.)
• Prepare the course by jotting down notes about
the difference between jobs of the past, the
present and the future (O.P./W.P.).
• Present the course to fellow students (O.P.).
Culture
• Research the names and addresses of
francophone universities and write formal
letters to request information.
• Research the school systems of Quebec and
France and compare them to the N.W.T.’s
educational system.
• Research the importance and value of being
bilingual in order to obtain a job.
Language
• Review use of passé composé and imparfait
• Introduce use of simple future and present
conditional.
• Use the relative pronouns ce qui, ce que, ce
dont to create complex sentences.
General Language
Education
• In an unfamiliar text, distinguish between
relevant and irrelevant information to
understand the main messages.
• Use self-monitoring techniques in order to
discover one’s own mistakes.
• Use reference materials to help choose and use
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appropriate grammar rules to improve
communication.
the
ADVANCED LEVEL
Advanced 2
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• BEING INDEPENDANT
- Create a brochure on living in an
apartment
- Create a video on buying a car
- Prepare a round table discussion on
being independant
• THE FUTURE OF THE
WORLD
- Outline a view of life in the Nunavut
Territory
- Prepare a public hearing on the subjet of
arms
- Prepare a proposal on the right to
peaceful interference
• THE WORLD OF
TECHNOLOGY
- Organize a telecommunications
seminar
- Prepare a presentation on work tools
- Prepare a public hearing on future
means of transportation
• FINE ARTS
- Write a biography on a dancing star or a
famous painter
- Give a tour of a fine arts studio
- Give a tour of a theatre
• SPORTS
- Create a T.V. show on sports in the
French-speaking world
- Prepare a sports magazine
- Create a documentary on a famous
French-speaking athlete
- Prepare a round table discussion on
drugs and sports
• CANADIAN ETHNIC
DIVERSITY
- Create a radio program for
Francophones in the N.W.T.
- Prepare a panel discussion on students’
attitudes and behaviour towards
immigrants in the community
- Create a pamphlet on immigration in
Canada
- Prepare a guide for French-speaking
immigrants on how to integrate into
Canadian life
- Write the biography of an immigrant’s
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reasons for leaving his/her native
country
ADVANCED LEVEL
Advanced 2
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• NEWS ITEMS
- Create a news feature on gambling for
television
- Prepare a movie critique on a French film
- Prepare a radio report on interest rates
• CURRENT EVENTS
- Prepare a report on unemployment
- Prepare an elaborate campaign on
dropping out of school
- Prepare a presentation on the single
parent family
- Develop a report on poverty in the N.W.T.
and elsewhere
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ADVANCED 2
Field of Experience:
Educational project chosen:
Being Independant
Create a brochure on
moving out
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
Communication
• Brainstorm things that are important to know
about moving out (O.P./W.P.).
• Listen to an interview between a landlord and
a potential renter to determine the kinds of
questions asked and the information which is
given (L.C.).
• Survey students about their attitudes towards
moving out and what they know about moving
out (L.C/O.P.).
• Debate the pros and cons of moving out (L.C./
O.P.).
• Read an article on someone’s experiences on
moving out to gather information for
the brochure (R.C.)
• Design and write the paragraphs of the
pamphlet (W.P.).
Culture
• Read the classified ads for renting an
apartment in Montreal or other francophone
communities to determine if there are any
cultural differences implicit in the ads.
• Research the beliefs of different francophone
societies with regard to living alone.
Language
• Review use of passé composé and imparfait
and explain the use of the plus-que-parfait.
• Introduce use of the present participle as a
means of enriching a sentence.
• Discuss the structure of discourse in pamphlet
writing.
General Language
Education
• Distinguish between fact and opinions/
emotions in the use of unfamiliar material.
• Use self-monitoring techniques in order to
improve the communication of a message.
• Use reference materials to verify the accuracy
of one’s oral/written communications.
• Identify and use cohesion markers to make
discourse more cohesive.
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ADVANCED LEVEL
Advanced 3
Fields of Experience
Suggested Educational Projects
• THE HEALTH OF THE
YOUNG ADULT
- Create a news program on anorexia,
obesity
- Create an anti-drug and anti-drinking
campaign
- Write a guide on how to reduce stress and
anxiety
• POLITICS
- Prepare and simulate an electoral
campaign for one of Canada’s political
parties
- Write an article on democracy in the
world
- Create a docu-drama on the life of an
important political figure
• THE WORLD OF THE
HANDICAPPED PERSON
- Create a pamphlet on the integration of
handicapped persons into society
- Report on handicapped athletes
- Create a video on a famous handicapped
person
• FRENCH-CANADIAN
LITERATURE
- Rewrite the role of a character in a play
- Write a biography on a French-Canadian
author
- Dramatize a chapter in a novel
• QUEBEC
- Recreate the life of an important
historical figure in Quebec
- Create a tourist guide on Quebec
- Report on the Québec educational system
• HOBBIES
- Prepare a discussion panel on discos, the
movie theatre, television as a viable
means of entertainment
- Report on reading literature vs.
participating in a sports as a hobby
- Create a news feature on volunteer work
as a hobby
• CURRENT EVENTS
- Create a news report on Free Trade
- Write a newspaper article on taxes
- Present a veteran’s viewpoint on war
• CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES
- Debate the issue of euthanasia
- Prepare a panel discussion on a present
day controversial issue
- Present a personal opinion on a topic
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ADVANCED 3
Field of Experience:
Educational project chosen:
Politics
Prepare and simulate an
electoral campaign for one of Canada’s political
parties
Component:
Suggested Activities
Experience/
Communication
• Listen to a speech to determine the kind of
information given and how the information is
shared (L.C.).
• Find and read campaign publicity from
potential candidates to determine their party’s
platform and campaign promises (R.C.).
• Survey students about their attitudes towards
certain political issues (L.C/O.P.).
• Prepare campaign publicity such as
commercials, posters, placards, and buttons
(O.P./W.P.).
• Read actual critiques of a political debate
(R.C.).
• Hold a debate between candidates (L.C./
O.P.).
• Write a critique on the debate (W.P.).
Culture
• Research the manner in which political
critiques are written and interpret how these
critiques reflect that particular society.
• Watch a political debate to determine floortaking procedures.
Language
• Refine one’s discourse using knowledge of the
language.
• Identify and employ the current language
expressions used in this context.
• Do refinement exercises based on the students’
linguistic and contextual needs.
General Language
Education
• Research facts to defend one’s point of view.
• Use self-monitoring techniques in order to
improve the communication of a message.
• Use reference materials to verify the accuracy
of one’s oral/written communications.
• Identify and use cohesion markers to make
discourse more cohesive.
• Find situations in which French can be used
while doing research.
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Appendix C
Examples of Educational Projects
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Appendix Overview
This appendix presents two educational projects for two diifferent language
proficiency levels. The first educational project is for the Beginner level and
provides the descriptions for the major activities and the eight individual
lessons which could be carried out. The second educational project, for the
Intermediate level, provides only the major activities, which can later be developed into daily lesson plans.
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Sample Unit: Beginner Level – Grade 4 Entry Point
LEVEL: Beginner
SUB-LEVEL: Beginner 2
FIELD OF EXPERIENCE: The Weather
EDUCATIONAL PROJECT: Present a weather forecast for television
and radio
ALLOTTED TIME: 8 lessons at 30 minutes per lesson
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Educational Project: Present a Weather Forecast for Television and Radio
Learner
Expectations
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
Learning
Resources
Field(s) of
Experience
The Weather
Major
Activities
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Educational Project: Present a Weather Forecast for Television and Radio
(cont'd)
Objectives
e./c.
To understand and produce an
oral weather forecast (based
on a predetermined season).
l.
To understand and use:
weather expressions, numbers
as temperatures, the seasons,
dates and other necessary
vocabulary related to weather.
c.
g.l.e.
To identify Frenchspeaking regions in the
Territories.
- To associate weather expressions with their appropriate
meteorological symbols.
- To articulate voluntarily
statements that are presented.
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Educational Project: Present a Weather Forecast for Television and Radio
(cont'd)
Learning
Resources
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Bienvenue – Étape 7
Ici la France – Component 4
blank maps of the NWT
a televised weather program from RadioCanada
À la Radio – Unit/ 3
climatograms
flash cards for weather expressions, the
seasons, words and activities
Field(s) of
Experience
The weather
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Educational Project: Present a Weather Forecast for Television and Radio
(cont'd)
Major
Activities
•
•
•
•
present a weather forecast
learn the weather expressions
prepare a climatogram of annual mean
temperatures for one's area
identify the location of French-speaking
communities on a map of the NWT
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ACTIVITY No.:
1
DESCRIPTION:
Learning the weather expressions orally.
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
To understand weather expressions.
To understand and use the weather expressions and numbers as
temperatures.
To associate the weather expressions with their corresponding
meteorological symbols.
weather expression flash cards, activity flash cards, À la Radio kit
Components
Mini-tasks
e./c.
l.
g.l.e.
L.C.
1. present the weather expressions
X
X
X
2. play a memory game with the
weather expressions
X
X
X
X
3. review the numbers through the
use of mathematical problems
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
4. give the appropriate weather
expression depending on the
meteorological symbol/illustration
for the temperature
5. give the minimum/maximum
temperature depending on the
weather expression
X
c.
Skills
O.P.
R.C.
W.P.
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ACTIVITY No.:
DESCRIPTION:
OBJECTIVES:
RESOURCE(S):
2
Preparation of a climatogram for the year of the average temperature for the
place where one lives.
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
To understand and predict temperatures for each month.
To understand and use temperatures and months of the year.
To associate average temperatures with the months of the year.
climatogram worksheet
Components
Mini-tasks
e./c.
c.
Skills
l.
g.l.e.
L.C.
1. present the months of the year
X
X
X
2. play a memory game with the
months
X
X
X
X
X
3. predict the average temperature
for one's area
X
X
X
X
4. fill in the climatogram based on
the students' predictions
X
X
X
X
O.P.
R.C.
W.P.
X
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ACTIVITY No.:
3
DESCRIPTION:
Identification of French-speaking communities in the Northwest Territories.
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
To understand where French-speaking communities are located in the
Territories.
To identify these communities on a map of the Territories.
To pronounce these places properly and to write them down on a blank
map of the Territories.
To be able to locate different communities on a map of the Territories.
a map of the Northwest territories, blank maps of the territories
Components
Mini-tasks
1. find French-speaking
communities on a map of the
Terrritories
2. fill in a blank map with the
names of the French-speaking
communities found on the map
Skills
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
L.C.
O.P.
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
R.C.
W.P.
X
X
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ACTIVITY No.:
DESCRIPTION:
OBJECTIVES:
4
Oral presentation of a weather forecast.
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
To understand and produce orally a weather forecast based on a
predetermined season.
To identify two French-speaking areas in the Territories.
To use three weather expressions correctly with the appropriate temperatures based on the date chosen.
To associate these weather expressions with the correct meteorological
symbols.
weather broadcast from Radio-Canada, Bienvenue 2 – Étape 7, Ici la
France – Component 4
Components
Mini-tasks
Skills
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
L.C.
1. listen to a Radio-Canada
television broadcast and
determine the weather forecast
X
X
X
X
X
2. determine the elements of an
authentic television weather
report
X
X
X
X
X
3. prepare an oral weather forecast
X
X
X
X
X
4. present an oral weather forecast
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
5. understand fellow students'
weather forecasts
X
O.P.
R.C.
W.P.
X
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LESSON No.:
1
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
No. 1
activity flash cards
flash cards for different seasons
weather expression flash cards
worksheet
addition/subtraction flash cards
Teacher
Students
Time
Allotted
Introduction • Problem solving:
• reply "oui/non"
the teacher shows an activity
flash card and asks the students
if it is possible or not to carry out
the activity based on the
weather flash card shown
E.g.: Activity - skiing - flash
card of the weather
- L'été quand il fait soleil.
- L'automne quand il pleut.
- L'hiver quand il neige.
- etc.
5 mins.
Activities/
Mini-tasks
10 mins.
Closure
• presents weather expressions
the memory game
• match the illustrations to the
weather expressions presented
orally
• match the expressions by
numbering the responses
• gives the students a worksheet
and presents the weather
expressions
• gives mathematical problems
• give the answers to the problems
orally (+, -)
• shows addition/subtraction flash • play "Tour Around the World" *
card
5 mins.
• asks questions like: "Est-ce qu'il • answer the questions
est possible de faire du ski quand
il fait chaud?"
2 mins.
3 mins.
5 mins.
*To play, a student competes against another to see who comes up with the correct answer the quickest.
(The goal - speed.)
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LESSON No.:
2
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
No. 1
À la radio – Unité 3
weather expression flash cards
Teacher
Students
Time
Allotted
Introduction • shows a few thermometers on
the blackboard by saying for
example: "Il fait 20 oC. Il fait
chaud., etc."
• asks the question: "C'est vrai ou • answer "vrai/faux"
faux?"
5 mins.
Activities/
Mini-tasks
Closure
• gives situations like: "S'il fait _
o
C, quel temps fait-il?" to review
vocabulary
• gives students Activity F (À la
radio) worksheet
• gives students Activity A (À la
radio) worksheet
• presents a memory game using
the weather flash cards
• answer the questions with the
teacher's help
7 mins.
• write down the temperatures
5 mins.
• listen and circle the correct
response
• divided into two teams, choose a
flash card and provide the
correct response for a point
4 mins.
• asks questions like: "À quelle
température est-ce qu'il fait
beau, frais, etc.?"
• answer the questions
3 mins.
6 mins.
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3
LESSON No.:
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
No. 2
seasons and months flash cards
climatogram worksheet*
overhead transparencies for Yellowknife and Inuvik climatogram**
Teacher
Students
Time
Allotted
Introduction • shows the season flash cards
• answer "oui/non"
saying: "C'est l'été. En été, il
fait très froid. C'est vrai, n'est-ce
pas?", etc.
3 mins.
Activities/
Mini-tasks
• match the illustrations with the
expressions presented
• listen to the presentation
3 mins.
• answer the questions
5 mins.
• answer the questions
6 mins.
• answer the questions and fill in
the blank climatogram for their
town or village
6 mins.
Closure
• presents the flash cards for a
memory game
• says: "C'est le printemps. Quels
sont les mois du printemps?" and
presents the months of the year
• asks questions like: "En quel
mois est la Saint-Valentin?", etc.
(use all kinds of celebrations)
• shows the overhead transparencies of the climatogram saying:
"Voici un climatogramme de
Yellowknife. La température
moyenne pour le mois de janvier
est -28 oC. Quelle est la
température moyenne pour le
mois de février?", etc.
• asks questions like: "Ici, quelle
serait la température moyenne
pour le mois de janvier?", etc.
• puts the answers on the blackboard
• says: "Ici en été, la température • answer "vrai/faux" or provide
moyenne est -15 oC?" or "Ici en
the correct answer
mars, la température moyenne
est 4 oC?"
3 mins.
4 mins.
*Found in Appendix A.
**Found in Appendix A.
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4
LESSON No.:
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
No. 3
Ici la France – Component 4
Bienvenue – Student book
cahier, tape, map of the Northwest Territories
blank map of the Northwest Territories*
Teacher
Students
Time
Allotted
Introduction • plays the video "Ici la France"
• watch the video without sound
without sound
• asks questions like: "Quel temps • give oral responses to the
questions
fait-il ou quelle est la
température?", while replaying
the video
3 mins.
Activities/
Mini-tasks
Closure
5 mins.
• directs students to page 49, e.g.,
2 and page 50, e.g., 3 in text
• shows a map of the Northwest
Territories, asking students to
name sites in the Territories
• asks the question: "Saviez-vous
où sont les communautés francoténoises?"
• gives a map to each student for
writing down the names of the
sites mentioned
• give oral responses to questions
8 mins.
• provide the teacher with city
names
3 mins.
• provide answers
3 mins.
• write the names of where
francophone communities are
located
5 mins.
• asks questions like: "Quelle
température fait-il à Fort
Simpson?", etc.
• answer the questions
3 mins.
*Found in Appendix A.
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LESSON No.:
5
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
No. 4
a television weather broadcast from Radio-Canada
Bienvenue – Student's textbook
cahier, flash cards
Teacher
Students
Time
Allotted
Introduction • plays a television weather
broadcast from Radio-Canada
• asks questions like: "Quelle
température fait-il à ____?"
• watch the weather broadcast
4 mins.
Activities/
Mini-tasks
• listen and number the response
which corresponds to the
message
• fill in pp. 40-41 of their cahier
• gives students Activity E (À la
radio) worksheet
• answer the questions
• replays the Radio-Canada
broadcast
• asks students to turn to p. 52-53 • answer questions
in the student text
• see if they do or do not have
• plays the game «télépathie»*
(*Before the class begins, ask the
telepathy
student to step outside the
classroom with you. You tell
him/her that he/she has telepathy. That is, using the flash
cards which will be taped onto
the blackboard, between you and
the student you will decide what
signal you will use to determine
the weather expression, you, the
teacher are "thinking" about.
Before you start the "transmission " of the message whisper the
expression to another student to
verify that the student in
question does have telepathy.)
Closure
• asks the questions: "Quels
• answer orally
éléments y a-t-il dans un bulletin
de météo?"
3 mins.
5 mins.
10 mins.
6 mins.
3 mins.
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LESSON No.:
6
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
No. 4
a television broadcast from Radio-Canada
map of Canada
Teacher
Introduction • plays the weather forecast,
asking" "Qu'est-ce que nous
entendons dans un bulletin?,
Quel temps fait-il à ___?"
Activities/
Mini-tasks
Closure
Students
• answer the questions
• answer the question (or reverse
• uses the map of Canada and
the roles: students ask question,
asks: "Quel temps fait-il à ___?"
teacher or fellow students
answer)
• asks a student to choose the
• ask and answer the question
meteorological symbols for a
place in Canada and asks the
question: "Quel temps fait-il à
___?"
• asks students to take out their
• prepare and practise their
map of the Northwest Territories
weather forecast with a partner
and to choose the location of two
French-speaking communities
and three other areas to create
their own weather forecast
• answer orally
• asks the questions: "Quels sont
les éléments d'un bulletin?;
Quels sont les symboles typiques
d'un bulletin pour ...?" (saison?)
Time
Allotted
6 mins.
5 mins.
5 mins.
10 mins.
4 mins.
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7
LESSON No.:
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
No. 4
weather broadcast from television
worksheet for listening comprehension testing*
Teacher
Students
Time
Allotted
Introduction • plays the televised weather
report
• asks comprehension questions
• watch and answer questions
5 mins.
Activities/
Mini-tasks
• practise with a partner
3 mins.
• present their weather reports
and fill in the worksheet with
name of the site, minimum and
maximum temperatures and the
symbols used
20 mins.
Closure
• gives students time to practise
their weather reports
• watches students giving their
reports
• asks the question: "De quelles
• answer the question
villes est-ce que nous avons
entendu des bulletins de météo?"
2 mins.
*Found in Appendix A.
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LESSON No.:
8 *Reinvestment lesson
DATE:
MAJOR ACTIVITY SHEET:
RESOURCE(S):
No. 4
a radio weather broadcast from Radio-Canada
Teacher
Students
Introduction • plays the weather report from
• listen
radio
• replays the weather report, this • give information
time asking students to provide
as much information as they can
Activities/
• ask the question: "Quelle(s)
• answer the question
Mini-tasks
est(sont) la(les) différences entre
un bulletin à la radio et à la
télévision?" and puts a list of
student responses on blackboard
• using the list drawn up by the
students, gives the criteria* for
the presentation of a weather
bulletin
Closure
• asks the question: "Qu'est-ce
que nous entendons dans un
bulletin de météo à la radio?"
Time
Allotted
1 mins.
4 mins.
5 mins.
• work on their weather reports
for taping at home that night by
using an objectivation grid to
ensure elements are there
• practise their reports in groups
of two for feedback
13 mins.
• answer the question
2 mins.
5 mins.
* See the ssection on Evaluating Student s' Work for an example of an objectivation grid. Teacher
evaluates weather reports using a criteria-based form. An example of this form is also found in the
section on Evaluating Student s' Work .
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Sample Unit: Intermediate Level – Junior/Senior High
LEVEL: Intermediate
SUB-LEVEL: Intermediate 2
FIELD OF EXPERIENCE: Crime and Violence
EDUCATIONAL PROJECT: Create a television crime re-enactment
program for Jr./Sr. High School students
ALLOTTED TIME: 3 to 4 weeks
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Educational Project: Create a television crime re-enactment program for Jr./
Sr. High School Students
Learner
Expectations
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
Learning
Resources
Field(s) of
Experience
Major
Activities
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Educational Project: Create a television crime re-enactment program for Jr./
Sr. High School Students
Objectives
exp.
Experience the creation of a crime re- c.
Research what services are
enactment.
available in French for victims of crime
comm.
by using sources such as the R.C.M.P.,
Understand, orally and in written form,
television crime re-enactment programs
key information about crimes which have
been committed, such as who was involved such as "Info-Crime" in Quebec, newspaper
in the crime, where did it happen, what did articles, magazines, law offices, etc.
the suspect look like, etc.
Produce in oral and written form suspect
description and information detailing the
crime (narrating in detail).
l.
g.l.e.
Understand and produce the vocabulary
• Use resource materials such as a dictionary
needed (personal traits, clothing, and
to discover the meaning of an unknown word.
adjectives) to describe a person/event using
either the "passé composé" or the
• Voluntarily correct one's own errors when
"imparfait", respecting correct word order
someone else points them out.
and by employing cohesion markers to
describe the events chronologically (e.g.,
ensuite, après, adverbs, etc.).
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Educational Project: Create a television crime re-enactment program for Jr./
Sr. High School Students (cont'd)
Learning
Resources
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Video "Pour tout dire - Haut les mains!"
À la radio - Unit 4 - Act. C
- Unit 12 - Act. A, C
- Unit 13 - Act. D
Communication 1 - Act. 13
Communication 2 - Act. 48
Communication 3 - Act. 5
Communication plus 4 - Act. 54
A re-enactment clip
clothing flash cards (for review)
Entre Amis 3 - Unit 1 - for clothing descriptions and
the use of past tenses
Articles from Francophone newspapers describing
crimes
R.C.M.P. or local police detachment's "Neighbourhood
Watch" suspect description sheets
R.C.M.P. personal safety pamphlets
Pictures of people
Field(s) of
Experience
Crime and violence
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Educational Project: Create a television crime re-enactment program for Jr./
Sr. High School Students (cont'd)
Major
Activities
1. Watch the video "Haut les mains!" and describe
the experience.
2. Review vocabulary and linguistic structures such as
qualifying adjectives and the development of the past
tenses (passé composé, imparfait) for narrating/
describing events/people.
3. Understand and produce descriptions.
4. Read pamphlets from the R.C.M.P. and journal articles
on crimes or crime prevention and then write an article
describing a crime committed in the school/community.
5. Create the re-enactment of a crime.
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ACTIVITY No.:
1
DESCRIPTION:
Watch video "Haut les mains!"
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
Understand orally the girl's situation and describe orally what has
happened
Identify the francophone milieu where this situation is taking place
Understand and use orally the linguistic structures needed to
understand and produce a message
Formulate hypotheses about the intents communicated
Video "Haut les mains!"
Components
Mini-tasks
Skills
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
L.C.
O.P.
√
√
√
√
√
√
2. Describe the girl's experience
√
√
√
√
√
√
3. Discuss this girl's experience and
possibly one students have
experienced
√
√
√
√
√
√
4. Write a brief reflection about this
experience in students' personal
journals
√
√
√
√
1. Use the video "Haut les mains!"
to embark students on the project
- watch the video, following the
methodology proposed by the
series
R.C.
W.P.
√
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ACTIVITY No.:
2
DESCRIPTION:
Review vocabulary, qualifying adjectives and development of past tenses
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
Understand and produce, orally and in written form, descriptions
Understand and use vocabulary and appropriate linguistic structures,
such as the past tenses (imparfait and passé composé) to narrate and
describe people/events in the past
Compare different descriptions to determine the role of adjectives and
adverbs for describing people/events
Clothing/body part flash cards, Entre Amis - Student Book, pp. 4, 5, 7
and Eval. Act. No. 1, pp. 14, 15, 16, Communication 2 - Act. 48
Components
Mini-tasks
l.
g.l.e.
L.C.
O.P.
√(com.)
√
√
√
√
√
√(com.)
√
√
√
√
√
3. Do the activities listed above in
"Entre amis"
√ (com.)
√
√
√
√
√
√
4. Do Act. 48 in Communication 2
√ (com.)
√
√
√
√
√
√
√(com.)
√
√
√
√
√
√
1. Create a semantic map by using
the body part flash cards to
brainstorm ways in which to
describe these features
2. Create a second map with the
clothing flashcards, using the
same procedure
5. Describe orally what students in
the class look like using the
present tense and then in
written form using the past tense
e./c.
c.
Skills
R.C.
W.P.
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ACTIVITY No.:
3
DESCRIPTION:
Understand and produce descriptions
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
l.
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
Understand and produce suspect descriptions
Research and identify the name of the crime re-enactment program in
Quebec
Understand and use the linguistic elements needed for describing
someone or for narrating an event
Voluntarily correct one's errors when someone else points them out
Communication 1 - Act. 13, À la radio - Unit 4 - Act. C, Unit 12 - Act. A,
C, Unit 13 - Act. D, Communication plus 4 - Act. 54, pictures of people,
re-enactment clips, suspect description sheets
Components
Mini-tasks
l.
g.l.e.
L.C.
√(com.)
√(com.)
√(com.)
√(com.))
√(com.)
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
2. Watch a crime re-enactment and
pull out key information about
the suspect
√
√
√
√
√
3. Role play a police/witness
interview using the suspect
description sheets
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
1. Do the following activities:
- Communication 1 - Act. 13
- À la radio -Unit 4 - Act. C
Unit 12 - Act. A, C
Unit 13 - Act. D
- Communication plus 4 - Act. 54
4. Present the role plays to the class
and students provide oral
feedback on each other's
presentation
5. Role play (in the language lab if
possible) a telephone call to the
police describing a crime and the
suspect
e./c.
√
c.
Skills
√
O.P.
R.C.
W.P.
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
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ACTIVITY No.:
4
DESCRIPTION:
Read authentic documents on crime and then writing an article
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
Research and identify legal services which are available to victims in
French
l.
Understand and use one's linguistic knowledge to understand and
produce a newspaper article
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
Understand and produce, orally and in writing, information on crimes
and crime prevention
Use a dictionary to assist in understanding or producing unknown words
and use authentic texts as language models for recreating one's own text
Articles from Francophone newspapers describing crimes, pamphlets
from the R.C.M.P.
Components
Mini-tasks
1. Use a jigsaw reading strategy to
understand a R.C.M.P. pamphlet
on crime prevention and personal
safety
2. Use the pamphlet for the basis of
research on legal and police
services available in French, to be
shared in oral and written form
with the class. (Interview a
bilingual officer or lawyer if
possible to obtain more
information.)
e./c.
l.
g.l.e.
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
3. Read articles from francophone
newspapers which describe crimes
and analyse the descriptions
4. Write an article on a crime which
has occurred in the school or
community, using the French
newspaper articles as models
5. Have a peer edit the article, using
reference materials such as a
dictionary and orally discuss
errors
c.
Skills
L.C.
O.P.
R.C.
W.P.
√
√
√
√
√
√
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ACTIVITY No.:
5
DESCRIPTION:
Create a crime re-enactment program
OBJECTIVES:
e./c.
c.
Identify whom one could contact for services in French, using the
expressions employed in the re-enactment
l.
Understand and use all the linguistic elements developed in the unit to
create the descriptions
g.l.e.
RESOURCE(S):
Understand and produce orally descriptions and narrations needed for a
crime re-enactment
Use reference materials and peer editing to voluntarily correct one's
mistakes
Video clip of a crime re-enactment program, Communication 3 - Act. 15
Components
Mini-tasks
e./c.
c.
Skills
l.
g.l.e.
L.C.
O.P.
R.C.
W.P.
√
√
√
√
√
√
1. Do Communication 3 - Act. 15, as
a class to begin to create the
program
√(com.)
2. Watch a real re-enactment (in
French) and analyse what
information is given and what
particular language expressions
are used
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
3. Use the model developed in class
to create one's own re-enactment
(small group work)
4. Evaluate each group's
re-enactment.
Content must include:
- Qui a commis le crime?
- Quand?
- Où?
- Une description du suspect, et
- L'emploi des expressions
appropriées à ce genre
d'émission
√
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Appendix D
Weather Symbol Flashcards
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Appendix E
Sample Unit Test:
“Weather Report Test”
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This test is an example of a pencil and paper unit test that can be given in order
to test students’ knowledge about the language acquired in the unit, i.e., the
vocabulary and expressions learned, some cultural facts which have been
acquired and the use of specific language learning strategies. This example tests
only three of the four language skills (listening comprehension, reading
comprehension and written production; i.e., oral production would have to be
evaluated separately and in this case it would be done in terms of the project,
which is a more authentic manner in which to evaluate this field of experience.
This type of test will provide teachers with information on what students know
and what they can do with the linguistic knowledge they have acquired, but it
does not test true language performance, because the manner in which language
is being used in this test is not necessarily authentic. Nevertheless, language is
used in a contextualized and communicative manner. A performance test item
for this field of experience would best be done in an oral format in which students
could be asked to use weather information they have heard to make decisions or
to retell the weather to someone for an authentic reason. Needless to say,
language tests do need to be given and what is important is to ensure that they
are contextualized and replicate the kinds of activities which were carried out in
the classroom. This test is just one example of how this might be done.
It is also important to note that since this sample test is designed for Beginner
level students the use of English for both the context and the instructions is
appropriate, since we want to evaluate what the students know and not to
penalize them for not understanding the context and instructions, especially if
they are complex.
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DÉBUTANT 2 - LA MÉTÉO
Nom :
Date :
Total :
/50
A. (Listening
Listening comprehension
comprehension: communication, language, general language
education)
Context
Context: As a member of the school newspaper, you are also responsible for
presenting the daily forecast to the school. You listen to the radio
before going to school in order to take down some notes. You use
your territorial map to write your notes on.
Instructions:
1. Listen to the forecast for three different places in the Territories.
2. Indicate beside each area mentioned the minimum and maximum
temperature and draw one weather symbol to indicate the weather
condition mentioned.
(1 point for each correct maximum temperature given.) /3
(1 point for each correct minimum temperature given). /3
(1 point for each appropriate meteorological symbol used.) /3
Total: /9
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B . (Reading
Reading comprehension/written production
production: communication, language,
general language education)
Context
Context:
In order to prepare your weather report for the school, you decide
to use the standard form for the daily weather report to fill in
today's weather forecast. This way you are sure about what it
is you are going to say over the intercom.
Instructions:
1. Look at the weather map below.
2. Use the map to assist you in filling in the blanks.
Bulletin de météo
Et maintenant, voici la météo pour aujourd'hui. Dans le sud des
Territoires, on prévoit une température d'environ
.
À Yellowknife, il y aura
et le temps sera
.
Plus au nord, on annonce des chutes de
de
à
centimètres. À Inuvik, la température maximum sera de
C
et il fera
. Dans l'est des Territoires, il fera
partiellement
avec une possibilité de
.
C'est tout pour aujourd'hui et bonne
.
(1 point for each correct answer given.)
/11
(1 point for each expression or word correctly written.)
/9
Total: /20
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C. (Culture
education)
Culture and general language education
Context
Context: You continue to proofread the school newspaper and you find that
the answers to this week's puzzle are missing. You decide to try
out the puzzle, so as to be able to provide the answers.
Instructions:
1. Look at the symbols.
2. Indicate beside each symbol whether it is from a newspaper in
France by writing a F or from a newspaper in Quebec by writing
a Q.
Casse-tête de la semaine
Savez-vous d'où viennent ces symboles météorologiques? Écrivez
un F s'il est de la France ou un Q s'il est du Québec. Bonne
chance! (Voir la dernière page pour les bonnes réponses. )
60
○
○
○
○
○○ ○
○
○
❆❆❆❆
(1 point for every correct answer given.)
Total:
/5
D. (Reading
Reading comprehension: communication and general language education)
Context
Context: As you continue to proofread the school newspaper, you notice that
a new activity has been added to the paper. You decide to read it
and do the activity to find out what it is all about.
Instructions
Instructions:
1. Read the message and follow the instructions given in the
puzzle.
Un peu de terminologie :
1. Souligne tous les mots qui ressemblent à l'anglais dans le message suivant :
Voici un bulletin de météo d'Environnement Canada : « Possibilité de
précipitations ce soir dans la région d'Arviat. »
2. Quel est le message? Utilise seulement les mots soulignés pour deviner le
sens du message. Tu peux utiliser l' anglais pour expliquer ta réponse.
(1 point for every correct word underlined)
/7
(1 point for explaining the meaning of the sentence.) /1
Total:
/8
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E. (Reading
Reading comprehension
comprehension: language and general language education)
Context
Context: You are on the final page of the school newspaper and you are
looking at the legend for the weather report. You realize the layout
is incorrect and you need to let the word-pro know where each
symbol must go. You decide to number the symbols to match the
appropriate weather expression.
Instructions:
1. Read the words and look at the symbols.
2. Match the appropriate meteorological symbol with the word by
writing the appropriate number beside the symbol.
Légende :
1. ensoleillé
2. très nuageux ou couvert
3. pluie
60
4. neige
5. vent du nord 60 km
❆
6. verglas
7. averses
8. ensoleillé avec nuages intermittents
(1 point for each correct match.) /8
Total: /8
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Appendix F
Guidelines for Creating a Communicative
or a Performance-based Test
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Test Design Guidelines
The following guidelines provide the steps for creating either a
communicative/linguistic progress test or a performance-based assessment
instrument. The guideline you will use will depend on what kind of
information you want to gather. If you want to evaluate knowledge in any of
the four components it is best to use a communicative/linguistic progress test
such as the example given in Appendix E. But if you want to determine how
well students will be able to use the communicative, cultural, linguistic and
strategic knowledge they have acquired, it is best to design an instrument
which will evaluate their language performance in experiential situations.
A. DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIVE/LINGUISTIC
UNIT TEST
Step 1: Define the linguistic, cultural, and strategic elements which are to
be evaluated.
Linguistic:
Cultural:
Strategic:
Step 2: For each element to be evaluated, create a plausible
communicative context in which the element could be used.
Use the field of experience to find situations in which this element
could be used realistically.
Step 3: If cultural knowledge is to be tested, ask the following questions
to determine if in fact the material to be tested can be evaluated in
a contextualized manner. This step will help decide if cultural
knowledge can be tested.
Yes
No
Can cultural facts be discerned?
Can francophone/aboriginal activities be
identified?
Can differences/similarities be gleaned
from the material?
Can a francophone or an aboriginal
contribution be noted ?
Can an interpretation of francophone culture
be derived?
Step 4
4: Decide on the test format(s) you would like to use to evaluate
the different aspects of students' knowledge:
multiple choice
true/false
matching
cloze activities
completions
close-ended questions
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Step 5
5:
Decide on the particular linguistic elements to be evaluated, but
always keeping in mind that the context and meaningful
communication are important when developing the item. Here are
some suggestions for language structures which should be evaluated in
this type of test.
vocabulary related to the field of experience
present tense usage
adjectives
imperative
adverbs
affirmative sentences
negative sentences
interrogative sentences
irregular verbs
reflexive verbs
pronoun replacements
past tense
future tense
conditional tense
subjunctive tense
other tenses
connectors (conjunctions, prepositions, etc.)
Step 6
6:
Decide on which learning strategy (strategies) will be evaluated in the
test. Here are some suggestions.
listing cognates heard in an oral text
underlining cognates in a written text
using a dictionary to determine meaning of a word or phrase
following a model
associating a word with a symbol
Step 7
7:
For each test item developed, write clear, concise instructions.
Step 8
8:
Determine what criteria are to be used to determine the success of the
student.
These are all the necessary steps to follow in order to create a communicative/
linguistic progress test. The following guideline is for the development of a
language performance test.
B . DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED PERFORMANCE TEST
Step 1
1:
Specify the sub-level or level which is to be tested.
Beginner Level
Intermediate Level
Advanced Level
Step 2
2:
Determine which fields of experience are to be evaluated.
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Step 3
3:
Determine the number of test items. It is recommended that at least
one item be developed for each language skill for a minimum of four
test items. A good number of items is five, since one item can be used
to test two skills in an integrated fashion.
Step 4
4:
Choose a field of experience and determine the life experience which is
to be evaluated. For example, "leaving a message on an answering
machine".
Step 5
5:
Determine what performance outcome is expected from the item, such
as, " The students will demonstrate the ability to select and categorize
information in order to complete a research form". After the item is
completely developed you may find that you will need to make some
adjustments to the performance outcome that will be evaluated.
Step 6
6:
Define the situation/context in terms of " who", " what", " where",
" when" and " why " as it relates to the experience and the information
that the students need to know in order to be able to carry out the
communicative task.
Step 7
7:
Define the communicative task that the students are to carry out;
i.e., a communicative task (product that is concrete in nature) tied to a
communicative intent (a language function) plus the reason for
carrying out the task. For example, writing a letter (communicative
task) in order to invite a friend (communicative intent) to come
and visit over the summer holidays (reason for task ) lets the
students know why they are doing the task. Here are some
possibilities of tasks and communicative intents.
TASKS:
• announcement
• questionnaire
• film critique
• invitation
• job announcement
• advertisement
• telephone message
• letter (audio/written)
• conversation
• survey
• article for a magazine/newspaper
• interview, etc.
COMMUNICATIVE INTENTS:
• listing items
• describing
• narrating
• asking for information/directions
• giving information/directions
• expressing an opinion
• hypothesizing/predicting
• explaining, etc.
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Step 8
8:
Determine what kinds of things are required in order to carry out the
task. For example, to write a invitation to some friends, students will
need a form which looks like an invitation. If it is a listening
comprehension item they made need a form to take down notes or for a
reading comprehension task, they may require an authentic document
on which they can underline main or specific points. It is at this point,
too, that it becomes obvious which components will be evaluated
directly and in an authentic manner and which ones will become
subsumed under another component. For example, with the language
learning strategies, using underlining techniques in a reading compre
hension item is authentic whereas asking students to list cognates is
not necessarily authentic in a language performance item, but it is
possible in a communicative/linguistic test.
Step 9
9: Define the instructions in terms of the number of steps required to
carry out the communicative task. These instructions need to be clear,
precise and concise. Do a practice run of this step by asking a
colleague to look them over, because it is important that the
instructions do not interfere with the students' ability to carry out the
task successfully.
Step 10
10: Define the manner in which the students' performance will be
evaluated. Create the performance criteria using either checklists for
oral and written production items or the content elements for the
listening and reading comprehension. If at all possible, attempt to
develop a performance test in which each language skill accounts for
25% of the test instrument.
Step 11: Develop a proficiency profile form, such as the one found in Appendix
A, which can be used for reporting the students' language performance.
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A Final Checklist for a Performance-based Test
Once you have completed your performance-based test you may wish to do a final
check to ensure that the following elements have been taken into consideration:
1. Does the test as a whole:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Yes
No
reflect the purpose of the test?
assess the program's objectives as they relate to all
four components of a multidimensional curriculum - experience/communication?
- culture?
- language (the linguistic code)?
- general language education?
relate to the students' experiences and
knowledge?
relate to the field(s) of experience explored?
reflect plausible contexts?
reflect real-life communicative tasks?
reflect francophone/aboriginal cultures in a nonstereotypic fashion?
evaluate the linguistic knowledge developed and
acquired?
encourage language strategy use?
provide students with clear, concise, and precise
instructions?
challenge the students to use what they know?
2. Does the test help learners to:
•
•
•
•
•
assess their own abilities?
use different levels of thinking skills?
see how they have progressed in their acquisition
of the language?
be creative with their linguistic knowledge?
contribute their own personal knowledge and experiences?
If you answered "no" to any one of these questions, it might be fruitful to return
to the test and determine which areas need to be changed or modified.
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Appendix G
Examples of Communicative
and
Performanced-Based Test Items
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Introduction
The purpose of this appendix is to provide suggestions for communicative and
performance-based test items at each main proficiency level and in each of the
four language skills. These items are only intended to illustrate the different
ways in which the language skills can be evaluated either communicatively or in
terms of performance-based assessment. In this regard, the following points
should be considered: when a test item is being developed, it is important to
know what its intended purpose is; i.e., is the item to be used in an integrated
progress test or as a part of a language proficiency test? Other aspects which
also need to be considered when developing a test item are: the language level of
the students, the objectives of the program of studies as they relate to the four
components of the program, the learning resources which have been used and the
time available for the evaluation.
The test items found in this appendix have been divided according to the
language skill and language proficiency level being evaluated. Communicative
as well as performance-based test items are included so that teachers may see
the difference between the two types. Communicative test items focus on
evaluating the students' ability in a given language skill where communication is
occurring, but neither an authentic situation/context can be found nor can it be
carried out in an authentic manner, whereas a performance item evaluates the
students' ability in an authentic way and in a realistic fashion.
The test items will vary in the type of information given, but for the most part
the following categories will be found: general information relating to the item,
the objective(s) being evaluated, the field of experience being emphasized, a
context/situation when possible, and the instructions for carrying out the item.
At the end of each item, possible evaluation criteria will also be suggested.
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BEGINNER LEVEL
LISTENING COMPREHENSION - COMMUNICATIVE ITEM
General Information:
This item allows for the evaluation of the students' understanding of specific
vocabulary and language structures. Learners show their understanding by
determining which illustration is being described, either by pointing it out or
circling it. To develop this item, it is necessary to find at least three or more
drawings or photographs of characters which the learners are familiar with.
One illustration is selected and a simple description is developed which focuses
on the picture.
This test item can be varied by changing the field of experience. For example,
one can describe a particular season, a familiar school object, or a familiar
location (e.g., the school’s cafeteria) and the students determine what item is
being described from the choices which are presented. Students will be
evaluated on the correct response given. The message and vocabulary used
should be fairly simple.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience : Clothing
Objective being evaluated : Students use their knowledge of vocabulary
relating to clothing in order to determine which person is being described by
associating the description to an illustration.
ITEM
The learner examines three drawings or photos of people dressed differently.
The teacher describes one of them and the student must circle the one described.
Descriptive details may include: colour, type of clothing, and certain physical
traits (beard, glasses and so on).
Instructions:
1. Listen to the description.
2. Circle the item being described.
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Sample description:
« Je cherche quelqu’un qui porte une chemise blanche. Il ne porte pas de
cravate. Il porte un chapeau blanc, sans dessin. Il ne porte pas de lunettes. »
Evaluation Criteria:
One mark for the correct identification of the item described.
LISTENING COMPREHENSION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
This item allows for the evaluation of the students' understanding of specific
details. Learners show their understanding by filling in a message pad to
provide information for another person. Each student is supplied with a form
which looks like a message pad in which the students can write down their
message.
This test item is based on situations students are familiar with. It is important
that they be given the opportunity to rely on their own experience as it relates to
taking down information. To assist them in carrying out the task they should
think about the last note they may have written at home. Allow students enough
time to think about what kinds of information are generally taken down.
The item can be varied by changing the person to whom the message is being
addressed and the content of the message, e.g., your brother’s friend wants to
meet him at 7:00 p.m. at the movies; your sister’s appointment with the doctor
has been cancelled and so on.
Students will be evaluated on what information is taken down and not its
precision, since what we want to know is how much information is the student
able to understand.
This item focuses on the following:
Fields of Experience: The Family/Trades and Professions
Objective being evaluated: Students use their knowledge of vocabulary
relating to trades and professions, the family, and time in order to take down
information for someone.
ITEM
Situation/Context: As you enter into your house, the telephone rings. You
answer and it. You are asked to take down a message for your mother.
Instructions:
1. Look at the message pad.
2. Listen to the message.
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3. On the message pad, write down for whom the message is, who phoned and
what the message is about.
Message Téléphonique
Possible Message:
« Oui, bonjour. Je suis Mme Boudreau, la réceptioniste de Dr. Tremblay, votre
dentiste. Je vous appelle pour confirmer le rendez-vous de votre mère chez le
dentiste demain matin à neuf heures. Merci. Au revoir. »
Evaluation Criteria
Criteria:
One mark is given for every correct piece of information supplied: who called
(1 point), for whom the message is intended (1 point) and what the message is
about: confirmation of mother's dentist appointment (1 point), the following day
(1 point), at 9: 00 a.m. (1 point). Total number of points - 5 points.
READING COMPREHENSION - COMMUNICATIVE ITEM
General Information:
This item allows for the evaluation of the students' understanding of specific
vocabulary and language structures contained in a short descriptive paragraph.
Learners show their understanding by determining which illustration is being
described, either by pointing it out or circling it. To develop this item, it is
necessary to find at least three or more drawings or photographs which the
learners are familiar with. One illustration is selected and a simple description
is developed which focuses on the picture.
This test item can be varied by changing the field of experience. For example,
one can describe a particular animal, a person, or a familiar location (e.g., the
community's police station) and the students determine what item is being
described from the choices which are presented.
Students will be evaluated on having chosen the correct answer.
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This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience : Trades and Professions
Objective being evaluated : Students use their knowledge of vocabulary
relating to trades and professions in order to determine which person is being
described by associating the description to an illustration.
ITEM
The learner examines three drawings or photos of people dressed differently.
The student reads the description and circles the appropriate answer.
Instructions:
1. Look at the illustrations.
2. Read the description.
3. Circle the item being described.
Sample description:
«Cette personne est quelqu’un très spécial. Pendant toute l'année, même quand
il fait froid ou il pleut, cette personne circule dans les rues ou sur les routes
toujours pour faire la livraison du courrier. Qui est-ce?»
Evaluation criteria:
One point for the correct response circled.
READING COMPREHENSION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
This item can be used to evaluate the students’ ability to extrapolate information
accurately from an announcement found on a school bulletin board, using
vocabulary that the students already have been exposd to in a teaching situation.
To vary the item, other objects can be advertised for sale.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience : Domestic Animals
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Objective being evaluated: Students use their knowledge related to
domestic animals and classified ads in order to understand the information
given in the announcement.
ITEM
Situation/Context: When you were at school the other day you noticed an
announcement on the school bulletin board relating to a pet. You went home
and told your parents that you were interested in the animal. Your parents
would like some more information on the animal before they give you
permission to have it. They ask you to take down some information so that
you can discuss it after school.
Instructions:
1. Read the list of things your parents want you to find out.
2. Read the ad.
3. Fill in the list with information from the ad.
Cherche l’information suivante :
1. Type d’animal
:
2. Sexe de l’animal
3. Type de poil
4. Couleur
5.
Âge
:
:
:
:
6. Numéro de téléphone de la
personne à contacter :
7. Quand on peut contacter la personne
:
Chat à donner
Joli chat cherche une maison. C'est un mâle âgé
d'un an. Il a le poil long, gris et blanc. Si vous
êtes intéressé, vous pouvez téléphoner au 743 2565 le soir ou les
fins de semaine.
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Evaluation Criteria:
One point for each correct piece of information supplied: the type of animal, the
sex of the animal, the type of fur, colour (one point for each colour mentioned =
2 points), the animal’s age, the contact telephone number, and when the person
can be contacted, for a total of 8 points. Language precision should not be
marked, since what is being evaluated is the extent to which the student
understood the message.
ORAL PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
The telephone is an important means of communication, especially among
adolescents. In order to use this means of communication to the best of one’s
ability, one need only find a realistic situation in which students are required to
leave a message for someone. These situations can vary: inviting a friend to a
sporting event or to a movie, requesting help to do some homework, and so on.
Students can vary for whom the message is being left, such as an adult, a
teacher, a relative of the caller, etc. Once the situation has been selected, decide
on what information students must provide in the message and clearly indicate it
in the instructions, e.g., indicate who is calling and at what time you would like
the person to call back. As a result, this item presents a genuine, simple
communicative situation which is fairly simple in nature.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Leisure Activities
Objectives being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to leave a
simple message on an answering machine (communication), using an appropriate
saluation and closing (culture), using their knowledge of numbers, possessive
pronouns and vocabulary related to the field of experience, correct pronuncation
and correct word order (language), and by taking a risk to leave a message
(general language education).
ITEM
Situation/Context: You have just been invited to go to your friend’s house for
dinner, but no one is home when you call so that you can let your parents know
where you will be. You decide to leave a message on the answering machine to
let them know your whereabouts.
Instructions:
1. Before you leave your message, think about how you will indicate:
- who you are,
- the name of the friend you are having dinner with, and
- your friend’s telephone number and address.
2. When you are ready to leave your message, make sure that you include the
information indicated above and that you begin your message with an
appropriate saluation and end it with an appropriate closing.
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3. Tape your message.
4. You may call back a second time if you feel you may have left something out.
Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points for each of the following items being mentioned:
•
•
•
•
name of the student
name of the friend
friend’s telephone number
friend’s address
/8
Cultural Content
Content: One point for each of the following items being used:
• appropriate greeting
• appropriate closing
/2
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one
of these areas:
•
•
•
•
correct pronunciation
appropriate vocabulary
correct use of possessive pronouns
correct word order
/4
General Language Education: One point for having taken the risk to leave a
message on an answering machine.
/1
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /15
ORAL PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
This item focuses on the description of an object which is lost or a person who is
missing. The item is described over a public address system which could be
located in a school, a shopping mall or a bus station, for exam ple. To administer
the test item, students can be given a picture or some information on a card
which relates to the lost person or item. Students can use this information to
create their message.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Clothing
Objectives being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to describe a
lost object in a simple manner (communication), using their knowledge of
agreement between adjectives and nouns, vocabulary related to the field of
experience, correct pronuncation and correct word order (language), and by
taking a risk to produce a message for a general public announcement (general
language education).
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ITEM
Situation/Context: You are at the zone track meet and you need to find your
friend for the next event. You decide to go over to the information table to let
them know what your friend looks like and what he/she is wearing.
Instructions:
1. Think about what you want to say and how you are going to say it.
2. Your message needs to contain:
- the name of your friend
- an appropriate expression for interrupting someone
- a description of three physical features of your friend, and
- a description of three items of clothing, using such descriptors as colour,
size, etc.
3. When you are ready, present your description.
Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: One point for each of the following items being mentioned:
•
•
•
•
name of the student
three different physical features
three different items of clothing
three clothing descriptors
/10
Cultural Content
Content: One point for using an appropriate expression for entering
into a conversation:
/1
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for each error in any
one of these areas:
•
•
•
•
pronunciation
appropriate vocabulary
correct agreement between subject and adjective
correct word order
/8
General Language Education: One point for having taken the risk to leave a
message on an answering machine.
/1
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /20
WRITTEN PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
This item allows for the evaluation of the students' ability to use their knowledge
of inviting someone to a party in a written manner. The invitation format allows
for the testing of cultural knowledge in an authentic way.
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This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Holidays and Celebrations
Objectives being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to invite a
friend to a party using a written invitation format (communication), using their
knowledge of the correct way for writing the date and time and using an
appropriate expression for asking for a response to the invitation (culture), using
vocabulary related to the field of experience, correct spelling and correct word
order (language), and by using their knowledge of invitations to create their own
(general language education).
ITEM
Situation/Context: Next weekend is your best friend's birthday. You decide it
would be fun to have a surprise birthday party for him/her. So your first step is
to send invitations out to your friends.
Instructions:
1. Look at the invitation.
2. Fill the blanks with the information which is requested.
3. Use an expression which is required to ask someone to reply to the
invitation.
Tu es invité à une
surprise-partie!
Quand?
À quelle heure?
Où?
Pour qui?
Pourquoi?
De :
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Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points mentioning each of the following items being mentioned:
•
•
•
•
•
when the party will be held
at what time
where
for whom
the reason for the party
/10
Cultural Content
Content: One point for each of the following items:
• correct format for time
• correct format for the date
• correct expression for asking for a reply
/3
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one of
these areas:
• correct spelling
• appropriate vocabulary
• correct word order
/6
General Language Education: One point for using knowledge of invitations in
order to create one.
/1
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /20
WRITTEN PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
This item allows for the evaluation of the students' ability to use their linguistic
knowledge in a creative manner. To develop this item, choose two French words
which can be easily combined to create a new word. Each word needs to have
information about it that is familiar to the student, such as the names of sports
which in and of themselves are meaningful. For example, when one mentions
baseball, the number of members in the team and the rules to the game are
usually known. The idea behind this item, then, is to create the definition for a
newly created word.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Outdoor Activities
Objectives being evaluated : Students demonstrate their ability to describe a
a new sporting event in a simple manner (communication), using their
knowledge of imperatives, vocabulary related to the field of experience, correct
spelling and correct word order (language), and by taking a risk to produce a new
game (general language education).
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ITEM
Situation/Context: It is Participaction Week and everyone has been asked to
create a new game based on sports which already exist. You decide to create a
new game calle "Pétocky", a combination of the rules for hockey and pétanque
(lawn bowling).
Instructions:
1. Think about the rules for hockey and the rules for pétanque.
2. Choose six rules to describe - three from hockey and three from pétanque.
3. Write down the rules on the form provided. (Use the imperative form.)
Règles pour le jeu
Pétocky»
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points for each rule mentioned:
• three different hockey rules
• three different rules from the game pétanque
/6
/6
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one
of these areas:
• correct spelling
• appropriate vocabulary
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• correct use of the imperative form
• correct word order
General Language Education:
• one point for having taken the risk to create a new game.
• one point for having used his/her knowledge of these two sports
/6
/1
/1
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: / 20
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
LISTENING COMPREHENSION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
This item evaluates the students’ understanding of various descriptive details
based on the type of item being described as in the case of this item a pocket, a
handle, and so on. Students take down the information relating to the lost item.
To develop this kind of item, select an object with which the students are familiar
and find a realistic sitution in which it can be lost, e.g., for forgetting a bag on
the bus or the train. A text will need to be prepared which has the recorded
information so that some authenticity can be maintained.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: The World of Work
Objective being evaluated: Students will demonstrate the ability to
extrapolate simple concrete information from an oral text in order to take down
some information.
ITEM
Situation/Context: During the weekends, you work in the lost and found office
at the bus depot. A young girl has called and left a message on the depot’s lost
and found number. She has left a description of the lost item. As part of your
job, you take down the information relating to the lost item.
Instructions:
1. Read the lost and found form.
2. Listen to the text and fill in the information as it is being given.
3. Listen to the message again to verify if you have taken down all the
information.
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Objet perdu/trouvé
Nom de l’objet perdu/trouvé :
Description de l’objet (couleur, particularités, etc. ) :
Quand l’objet a-t-il été perdu :
Où a-t-il été perdu :
Nom de la personne :
Son numéro de téléphone :
Possible text:
«Mon nom est Jacqueline Dubois. J’ai oublié mon sac hier dans l’autobus 25. Il
était dix-huit heures. Mon sac est en toile grise et il est assez épais. Il a une
poche sur le côté et il se ferme avec une fermeture métallique. Il a aussi une
bandoulière pour le porter sur l’épaule. Vous pouvez me contacter au 756 - 1234,
si vous le trouvez. Merci et au revoir.»
Evaluation Criteria:
One point for each piece of information correctly identified: name of the item,
description of the item (colour, type of material, pocket on the side, a metal
zipper and a shoulder strap), when lost, where lost, the contact name and
contact telephone number - for a total of 10 points.
LISTENING COMPREHENSION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
This item evaluates the students'ability to understand a brief excerpt from radio
in which a part-time job is being advertized. The item is intended to evaluate
the students’ ability to take down simple, concrete information. For this kind of
task, it is important to try and use authentic French-language radio or television
programs when it is at all possible as this will assist students in becoming more
accustomed to different francophone accents and different speeds of delivery of
the spoken language. It is a good idea to try and choose excerpts which reflect
the interests of the students, like for example, looking for a summer or part-time
job.
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This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: The World of Work
Objective being evaluated: Students will demonstrate the ability to
extrapolate simple concrete information from an oral text in order to take down
some information.
ITEM
Situation/Context: You are presently working at the “Hire-a-Student” office
and someone calls to leave information on a job the company wishes to advertise.
You take down the information as it is presented, using the job information card.
Instructions:
1. Read the job information card.
2. Listen to the message.
3. Fill in the form, by placing the information in its appropriate place.
Offre d’emploi
Nom de la compagnie :
Titre du poste :
Expérience requise (3 choses) :
Heures du travail :
Personne à contacter :
Numéro de téléphone de la personne à contacter :
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Possible text:
«Bonjour, je m’appelle Yves Leblanc de l'Association culturelle francophone de
Yellowknife. Pour les vacances d’été on est à la recherche d’un ou d’une jeune de
14 à 16 ans qui peut travailler comme moniteur ou monitrice toutes les fins de
semaine à l'Association culturelle francophone. Les heures de travail sont de 9
heures du matin jusqu’à 4 heures de l’après-midi. De plus, j’ai besoin de
quelqu’un qui a déjà travaillé avec des enfants et qui sait bien comment leur
expliquer de nouvelles activités. Il faut aussi aimer être dehors et pratiquer
différents sports. On peut me contacter au 733 - 4040. Merci.»
Evaluation Criteria: One point for each piece of information correctly
identified: name of the company, the name of the job, the experience required
(three different things), the work hours, the contact name and contact telephone
number - for a total of 8 points.
READING COMPREHENSION - COMMUNICATIVE ITEM
General Information:
In this test item students need to look for written contextual clues which will
assist them in understanding the item. To develop this item, choose an object,
subject or person which can be described and develop a paragraph, using many
descriptive details, but which does not give the object away easily.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of Experience: Health and Physical Exercise
Objective being evaluated: Students will use their knowledge of sports
vocabulary in order to identify what is being described.
ITEM
Instructions:
1. Read the description.
2. Identify what is being described.
Possible Text:
Pour pouvoir pratiquer ce sport qui peut être dangereux, tu dois porter un
équipement spécial. Le but de ce jeu est de faire circuler un petit objet de
caoutchouc, sur glace, entre les différents joueurs de la même équipe. Il faut
arriver à le placer dans les filets de l’équipe adverse. Ce sport demande de la
rapidité, des bonnes habilités et de la précision en même temps qu’une
excellente forme physique. La saison dure de six à sept mois par année.
Quel est ce sport?
Evaluation Criteria: One point for giving the correct answer.
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READING COMPREHENSION - COMMUNICATIVE ITEM
General Information:
By using authentic articles from magazines, you can create items which will
allow for the evaluation of students’ ability to demonstrate their understanding
of select information. This is one means in which multiple choice items may be
used in a somewhat realistic manner.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Music
Objective being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to understand
simple ideas by selecting the correct response from a series of possible responses.
ITEM
Situation/Context: In a French-language magazine you see the following
article and contest form. You decide to enter the contest by filling out the
questionnaire.
Instructions:
1. Read the short article.
2. Use the information in the article in order to answer the questionnaire.
Vive la musique!
Depuis dix ans il y a des musiciens et musiciennes du Canada et des ÉtatsUnis qui participent à «Music Fest». C’est une compétition qui a lieu chaque
année à Toronto et où se rendent des chanteurs, des chanteuses et des divers
groupes qui viennent des universités, des collèges et des écoles secondaires de
partout. En 1994, une jeune Québécoise a gagné le premier prix. Cette bourse
était de 3 500$ canadiens. La fille québécoise l’a utilisée pour payer son
inscription à l’Université d’Ottawa afin d' étudier dans leur programme des
Beaux-Arts. Le concours était parrainé par le Gouvernement Féderal du
Canada. Cette année, le concours sera parrainé par les gouvernments
nationaux des deux pays et le premier prix sera le double de l’année passée. Le
concours est ouvert à tout le monde. Alors, si vous aussi vous voulez y
participer, il faut vous inscire avant le 30 décembre. Alors, n'attendez plus;
c'est le moment de vous inscrire!
Q UESTIONNAIRE D U CONCOURS :
1. L’article parle
a)
b)
c)
d)
d’une compétition musicale au Québec.
d’une compétition musicale en Ontario.
d’une compétition sportive à Toronto.
d’une compétition éducative à Saint-Paul.
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2. C’est une compétition
a)
b)
c)
d)
à laquelle les Canadiens et les Canadiennes peuvent participer.
à laquelle seulement les Américains et les Américaines peuvent
participer.
à laquelle tout le monde en Amérique du Nord peut participer.
à laquelle seulement les élèves secondaire peuvent participer.
3. Tu peux t’inscrire
a)
b)
c)
d)
si tu fréquentes une école élémentaire.
si tu fréquentes un CÉGEP.
si tu fréquentes l’école secondaire ou postsecondaire.
si tu es musicien(ne) profesionnel(le).
4. Tu dois t’inscrire
a)
b)
c)
d)
avant la fin de l’année.
avant la rentrée scolaire.
avant les autres.
après le 30 décembre.
5. Cette année le premier prix
a)
b)
c)
d)
est une bourse provinciale.
est une bourse fédérale.
est en dollars américains.
est de 7 000 dollars canadiens.
Evaluation Criteria:
One point for every correct answer given, for a total of 5 points.
ORAL PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information
In order to create this type of item one need only look for a realistic situation in
which students need to apologize or express other emotions such as sympathy or
regret. This item allows for the evaluation of informal language use in a
spontaneous situation and tests the students' ability to use the appropriate
sociolinguistic forms required for the situation. During this type of conversation,
students will also have an opportunity to use negative or interrogative forms.
To add more authenticity to the item, make two telephones available to the
students.
Students are evaluated on both their ability to communicate meaningful
messages and to do so with precision.
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This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Friends
Objectives being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to invite
someone out orally (communication), using appropriate greetings and closings
used in an informal conversation (culture), using appropriate question formats,
verb tenses, correct pronunciation, and correct word order in order to correctly
express their message (language) and using planning techniques as a means of
organizing their message.
ITEM
Situation/Context: It’s Friday night and you have just finished your
homework. So you ask your parents if you can invite a friend to go with you to a
movie. Your parents give you permission to go, so you call your best friend on the
phone to invite him/her out.
Instructions:
1. Decide which movie you want to go to with your friend.
2. Jot down a few notes regarding the name of the movie, where it is
playing, at what time it starts. Remember to ask if your friend is able to go
with you.
3. Think about what you will say if he/she cannot go with you.
4. Simulate the conversation with a peer.
Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points for each of the following items being mentioned:
•
•
•
•
•
name of the movie
where it is playing
at what time it starts
asking the friend to go
reaction to friend's not being able to go
/10
Cultural Content
Content: Two points for each of the following items being used:
• appropriate greeting
• appropriate salutation
• consistant use of informal language
/6
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one of
these areas:
•
•
•
•
•
correct pronunciation
appropriate vocabulary
correct use of verb tenses
appropriate question formats
correct word order
/7
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General Language Education: Two points for using planning techniques
before beginning a communicative situation.
/2
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /25
ORAL PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information
This type of item evaluates the students’ ability to narrate ideas in a coherent
fashion in the form of a presentation. This item requires students to link ideas
using cohesion markers such as “d’abord, ensuite, puis, alors, etc.” as they
describe what they are presenting. This type of item also ensures the use of past
tenses in an authentic manner.
The use of a movie review always allows for the item to stay current; however,
the presentation can vary from a movie review, to the recounting of an accident,
to a description of one’s most memorable holiday, etc. To facilitate the evaluation
of the item, students can be asked to record the message.
Students are evaluated on both their ability to communicate meaningful
messages and to do so with precision.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Social Activities
Objectives being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to describe
orally an event, using a combination of simple and complex sentences,
(communication), using appropriate verb tenses, cohesive elements to connect
ideas, correct pronunciation, and correct word order in order to express their
message (language), in addition to using planning techniques as a means of
organizing their message and self-correction techniques in order to improve the
quality of their message (general language education).
ITEM
Situation/Context: Tomorrow, it’s your turn to describe the "Movie of the
Week". You decide to practice your speech on tape to make sure that it is just
perfect for tomorrow’s presentation
Instructions:
1. Decide which movie you want to talk about.
2. Your movie review will need to include the following:
• the name of the movie
• the names of the principal actors
• the main events: who, what, where, when and why, but do not disclose
the ending
• your opinion of the film in general and
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• how many stars you would give the movie and why.
3. Jot down the key ideas. Remember to use words which connect you ideas
such as “d’abord, ensuite, puis, après, etc.”
4. Record your movie review.
5. Listen to your movie review and make notes on the things you would like to
improve upon.
6. Rerecord your message by including the proposed changes.
Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points for each of the following items being mentioned:
• the name of the movie
• the names of the principal actors
• the main events: who does what - 2 points, what is done - 2 points, where
it happens - 2 points, when it happens - 2 points and why it happens - 2
points
• the student's opinion of the film
• how many stars awarded and why
/18
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one of
these areas:
•
•
•
•
•
correct pronunciation
appropriate vocabulary
correct use of verb tenses, especially " passé composé " and "imparfait "
appropriate use of cohesion markers
correct word order
/13
General Language Education: Two points for each strategy used:
• planning one's message
• attempting to self-correct the message in order to improve its quality.
/4
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /35
WRITTEN PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information
This item is a fun to carry out in that students are involved in narrating simple
concepts, using their knowledge of both the past and present tenses to relate
ideas about a trip. This item allows for the evaluation of the students’ ability to
write a series of simple sentences.
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Students are evaluated on their ability to get their message across and the
correctness of the language they use.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Trips and Excursions
Objectives being evaluated: Students demonstrate the ability to describe
their trip to a family member by using a series of simple sentences
(communication), appropriate greetings and closings used in an informal note,
and indicating a cultural fact about Paris to demonstrate their knowledge about
the area (culture), while using appropriate vocabulary, verb tenses, correct
spelling, and correct word order in order to correctly express their message
(language) and taking the risk to write an original message (general language
education).
ITEM
Situation/Context: You’ve just had a fun-filled, action-packed day in Paris and
have bought a number of postcards so that you can write to friends and family
back home. You decide to write a postcard to one of the members of your family
to let them know what you have just done today.
Instructions:
1. Decide to whom you are going to write the card.
2. Give three details about what you have done in Paris. Also include one
detail that specifically talks about what you have seen in the city and another
detail which describes the weather, for a total of five details.
3. Make sure to use the appropriate forms for greeting someone you know and
an appropriate closing for the postcard. Do not forget to date your postcard.
4. Use the postcard below to write your message. Remember to fill in all parts
of the postcard.
L'Arc de Triomphe
Paris, France
Timbre
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Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points for each of the following items being mentioned:
• three different details concerning the trip
• one detail describing the weather
/8
Culture
Culture: Two points for mentioning a cultural fact about Paris
Two points for each of following items being used appropriately:
• the date
• an informal greeting
• an informal salutation
/2
/6
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one of
these areas:
•
•
•
•
correct spelling
appropriate vocabulary
correct use of verb tenses, especially " passé composé " and "imparfait
correct word order
/12
General Language Education: Two points for taking the risk to write a
postcard
/2
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /30
WRITTEN PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information
In order to create this type of item one need only look for a realistic situation in
which students need to write formal letters. In this way, the item can centre on
formal language use. As a result, students will need to use the appropriate
sociolinguistic conventions required to fulfill the needs of the task.
An item of this type can require students to write a draft copy as would be done
in real life. Students can be asked for their draft copy as a means of verifying
that they have developed an organizational plan and have carried out some
degree of editing.
This item focuses on the students’ ability to write a series of coherent sentences
in order to get their message across.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Trips and Excursions
Objective being evaluated: Students demonstrate the ability to request
information concerning accommodations for a trip to Paris (communication),
using the appropriate sociolinguistic conventions employed in a formal letter,
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including the consistent use of the “vous” form (culture), using appropriate
question formats, verb tenses, correct spelling, and correct word order
(language), using planning techniques as a means of organizing their message
and employing reference materials to improve the quality of their message
(general language education.
ITEM
Situation/Context: Your class is organizing a trip to Montreal at Spring
Break. Everyone has been asked to obtain information. You volunteer to
research hotel accommodations.
Instructions:
1. Read the two hotel addresses. Choose one.
2. Write a letter to the hotel and include the following:
- requirement of accommodations for fifteen teenagers and three
French teachers
- date of your arrival
- date of departure
- a question about the cost of each room per night
- a question about facilities
- one thing that you would like to know
3. Make sure to use all of the appropriate writing conventions for a formal
letter (appropriate form for the date and address, appropriate greeting,
appropriate closing sentence and appropriate salutation.
4. Write a draft of your letter.
5. Use reference materials to edit your draft.
6. Rewrite the letter incorporating your corrections. Hand in both your draft
and your final copy.
L'Hôtel de Paris
901, rue Sherbrooke est
Montréal, Québec
Relais Montréal Hospitalité
3977, avenue Laval,
Montréal, Québec
Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points for each of the following items being mentioned:
• requirement of accommodations for fifteen teenagers and three
French teachers
• date of your arrival
• date of departure
• a question about the cost of each room per night
• a question about facilities
• one thing that you would like to know
/12
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Culture
Culture: Two points for using each of following items in an appropriate fashion:
•
•
•
•
•
the date
the address of the hotel
the greeting
a concluding sentence
the salutation
/10
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one of
these areas:
•
•
•
•
correct spelling
appropriate vocabulary
correct use of verb tenses, especially "futur simple"
correct word order
/14
General Language Education: Two points for using each of these strategies:
• planning and organizing one's work by writing a draft
• using self-correction techniques by editing one's work through the use
of reference materials
/4
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /40
ADVANCED LEVEL
LISTENING COMPREHENSION - COMMUNICATIVE ITEM
General Information:
This skill needs to employ, when at all possible, authentic documents as a means
of evaluating students’ ability to tolerate ambiguity and variance in linguistic
usage and pronunciation. In order to create an item of this type, choose topics
which students will find interesting and which meet the needs of the particular
field of experience under study, e.g., the world of technology, the fine arts, sports,
politics, etc.
Students are evaluated on their ability to extrapolate specific information.
Language precision is not evaluated, unless it is totally unclear what is being
stated.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: The Arts
Objective being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to extrapolate
appropriate information to meet the needs of a questionnaire.
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ITEM
Situation/contexte : Tu veux écrire un article pour le journal de ton école au
sujet d’une nouvelle artiste québécoise. Tu décides d’écouter une émission
radiophonique où elle sera interviewée. Avec l’aide de l’enseignant, ou d'un
autre élève, tu as préparé une fiche de recherche.
Directives :
1. Lis les questions de la fiche de recherche .
2. Écoute l’entrevue.
3. Réponds aux questions en employant des renseignements pris de l’entrevue.
4. Écoute une deuxième fois pour vérifier si tu as obtenu toute
l’information demandée.
FICHE DE RECHERCHE
1. Comment s’appelle la vedette?
2. Quel rôle a-t-elle obtenu?
3. Au départ, combien de comédiennes voulaient ce rôle?
4. Combien restait-il de comédiennes après la première élimination?
Juste avant le resultat final?
5. Comment est-ce que ce rôle a vraiment marqué le début de la
carrière de la jeune actrice?
6. Pourquoi a-t-elle déjà beaucoup voyagé?
7. À quel âge a-t-elle découvert le métier d’actrice? Dans quelles
circonstances?
8. Comment était-elle à cette époque-là? Donne deux détails.
9. Dernièrement, qu’est-ce qu’elle a appris?
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Possible text:
Intervieweur : Bonjour chers auditeurs et auditrices de l’émission «Les BeauxArts d’aujourd’hui». Nous avons aujourd'hui comme invitée, Geneviève Rioux,
une jeune actrice québécoise déjà très connue dans son métier et qui va
maintenant jouer le rôle de son rêve, celui de Juliette. Bienvenue à notre
émission.
Geneviève : Merci beaucoup. Ça me fait vraiment plaisir.
Intervieweur : Comme vous le savez, Roméo et Juliette sont les deux rôles
principaux réservés à des jeunes acteurs. Quel effet cela vous fait-il d’avoir été
choisie?
Geneviève : C’est une chance extraordinaire! Mais ça n’a pas été facile de le
obtenir. Au départ, nous étions 250 comédiennes en lice, rêvant d’être la Juliette
de Shakespeare. Après une première élimination, nous étions 40. Ensuite,
quatre . . . et finalement, j’ai décroché le rôle. Les gens me disent : «Avec ce rôle,
tu lanceras vraiment ta carrière». Pourtant, je travaille sans arrêt depuis cinq
ans. J’ai aussi beaucoup voyagé grâce au «Déclin de l’Empire américain». Mais ,
franchement, je dois avouer que Juliette est une clé qui ouvrira bien des portes.
Je pense que je vais en entendre parler longtemps!
Intervieweur : C’est un rôle dont vous rêviez depuis longtemps?
Geneviève : Bien sûr que oui! C’est un personnage que je voulais absolument
jouer. Ou plutôt rejouer. Vous savez, j’ai découvert le métier d’actrice à quatorze
ans, justement en jouant Juliette à l’école. J’avais l’âge du rôle. J’étais timide en
ce temps-là; je passais mon temps dans les livres et le théâtre a fait éclater ma
coquille. Mais, en réalité, c’est cette expérience qui m’a donné le goût de devenir
comédienne. Mise à part cette expérience, j’ai appris aussi qu’il faut maintenant
être très dynamique et avoir beaucoup de talent pour être capable de décrocher
ce genre de rôle.
Intervieweur : Merci Geneviève d'être venue et on vous souhaite ce qu'il y a de
mieux dans l’avenir.
Evaluation Criteria: Two points for each correct answer given depending on
the question requirements.
READING COMPREHENSION - COMMUNICATIVE ITEM
General Information
This type of item is created by using authentic newspaper or magazine articles.
The intent of this item is to evaluate the students’ ability to seek out information
contained in the text in order to be able to gather information.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: The Media
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Objective being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to extrapolate
information from an authentic text in order to take down notes.
ITEM
Situation/contexte : Tu es très intéressé(e) à participer au développement
d'une campagne publicitaire où l'accent est mis sur les consommateurs. Alors, tu
décides de te renseigner sur le sujet en lisant différents articles pour développer
ton opinion. Tu demandes à ton prof du cours de communication de t'aider à
trouver des articles et à préparer des fiches de recherche. Ensuite, tu utiliseras
ces renseignments lors de ta prochaine présentation pour le comité organisateur.
Directives:
1. Lis les questions de la fiche de recherche.
2. Maintenant, lis attentivement le commentaire du journal «Le Franco».
3. Réponds aux questions en utilisant des renseignements du commentaire.
Fiche de recherche
1.
Pourquoi l’auteur de ce commentaire s’est-il amusé la semaine passée?
2.
Quelle sorte d’emballage y a-t-il avec les «Ritz»?
3.
Pense-t-il vraiment que les compagnies multinationales se préoccupent
de la santé des consommateurs? Explique ta réponse.
4.
Ce commentaire est-il une blague ou est-il sérieux? Justifie ta réponse.
5.
Es-tu d’accord avec ce commentaire ou non? Justifie ta réponse.
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Commentaire
Les plaisirs du magasinage . . .
Je me suis amusé la semaine dernière à scruter les étalages de mon marché
d’alimentation. J’y ai remarqué que maintenaint, avec toutes les campagnes sur
la santé, l’exercise physique, la protection de l’environnement, etc., les
compagnies s’évertuent à nous présenter une foule de produits nouveaux et
autant d’emballages.
Prenez par exemple les Ritz; vous avez maintenant les réguliers, avec 50% moins
de sel, au blé entier, au fromage et les mini, etc. De plus on spécifie sur
l’emballage qu’il n’y a pas de cholestérol, très peu de gras, etc.
Se peut-il que les compagnies multinationales se préoccupent de la santé des
consommateurs au point de diversifier et d’améliorer leurs produits? Peut-être!
Mais il n’en reste pas moins que vous ne paierez pas moins cher vos Ritz parce
qu’il y a 50% moins de sel.
Il en va de même pour les savons à lessive qui sont présentés dans de nouveaux
contenants recyclables. Il y a le savon régulier, liquide, en granules, sans
phosphate, sans parfum, avec parfum air des prairies ou poudre de bébé, etc.
Il est évident que dans tout cela, il faut être prudent et prendre le temps de lire
attentivement les étiquettes ou les dessus de boîtes avant d’acheter. Il n’en reste
pas moins que c’est le consommateur qui devrait dicter aux compagnies ses
préférences et sa philosophie face à l’écologie et à l’environnement et que les
associations pour la défense de l’environnement devraient jouer un rôle plus actif
et plus positif auprès des compagnies multinationales au lieu de se contenter de
dénoncer à grands cris, les criminels qui polluent notre environnement.
Pierre Brault
Le Franco, le vendredi 7 septembre 1990.
Evaluation Criteria: In this case marks are attributed based on the
complexity of the question.
ORAL PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information
This type of item allows for the evalution of the students' ability to narrate a
current event by incorporating a number of details and showing coherence and
cohension in the ideas being presented.
To carry out this item fully, students will need to have had some preparation
time in order to gather accurate information which they can use in their
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presentation. The topics which may be used in this item would have already
been discussed in class and can deal with events which may have occurred
locally, nationally or internationally. Sometimes, a local event has the
advantage of relating more closely to the students' lives. Events related to
francophone cultures in Canada and around the world could also be stressed so
that students can seek out information as a means of better understanding
certain aspects of these cultures and becoming more aware of their presence.
Students may find topics of interest in French-language magazines such as,
L'Actualité, Châtelaine, Paris Match, Elle, Flles d'aujourd'hui and so on.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Current Events
Objectives being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to narrate a
series of ideas, using a combination of sentences which are simple and complexe
in nature and are developed in a coherent and cohesive fashion (communication),
using cultural information which they have pulled from a number of sources (c.),
using language precision at the word, sentence and paragraph level, with
agreement being demonstrated between the determiner/subject/verb, using
correct verb tense usage, cohesion markers, and correct pronunciation
(language) and using reference materials to improve the quality of the message
(general language education).
ITEM
Situation/contexte : Les élèves de ta classe de communication vont créer une
émission radiophonique. Chaque élève est responsable de se renseigner sur un
événement d'actualité et d'être prêt à le présenter n'importe quand. Aujourd'
hui c'est ton tour de prendre le poste d'annonceur de radio.
Directives :
1. Choisis un événement à traiter.
- un événement culturel : pièce de théâtre en français jouée dans ta ville/
ton village, la remise des Génies, les films canadiens à Cannes, etc.
- un événement sportif : tournoi de hockey, la Coupe Stanley, le base-ball,
les prochains Olympiques, etc.
ou
- un événement qui vient d'arriver sur la scène locale, nationale ou
internationale : p. e., les feux de forêts dans les Territories du Nord-ouest.
2. Avant de commencer ton émission, note les idées-clés de ta présentation en
utilisant les questions suivantes pour te guider :
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Où s'est passé cet événement?
Quand est-ce que c'est arrivé?
Comment les choses se sont-elles passées?
Quelles en sont les raisons?
Qui est impliqué?
Quelles ont été les réactions du public?
Quelles sont tes réactions à cet événement?
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3. Ta présentation doit aussi inclure d'une façon cohérente et cohésive :
•
•
•
une introduction
les détails (minimum 5) concernant l'événement et un détail culturel
un conclusion
4. Utilise un dictionnaire ou d'autres ouvrages de référence pour assurer que
tu as séléctionné la meuilleure façon de t'exprimer.
5. Quand tu es prêt(e), enregistre ton message.
Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points for each of the following items being mentioned:
• an introduction
• five details about the event
• a conclusion
/14
Elaboration of the Content
Content: Two points each for a demonstration of:
• coherence in the message
• cohesion between the ideas
Culture: Three points for including a cultural fact related to the event
/4
/3
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one of
these areas:
•
•
•
•
•
correct pronuciation
appropriate vocabulary
correct use of verb tenses (past, present and future tenses)
correct word order
use of discourse markers such as tandis que, lors que, puis que, etc.
/15
General Language Education: Two points for using each of these strategies:
• planning and organizing one's work by using a guide
• using reference techniques to create one's message
/4
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /40
WRITTEN PRODUCTION - PERFORMANCE-BASED ITEM
General Information:
Students write an article in which they express an opinion on a current topic
which they feel strongly about. This type of item allows for the evaluation of the
students’ ability to write cohesively and coherently using a series of paragraphs.
Further, this type of item requires students to use discourse elements to tie a
number of ideas together in the form of paragraphs.
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In order to create this type of item, one needs to choose a realistic situation, e.g.,
writing in the school paper, writing a commentary in the editorial section of a
local francophone newspaper, etc. and having the topic deal with a subject which
is of high interest to the students, such as drug abuse, violence in schools,
Canadian unity, etc.
Students are evaluated on their ability to express their opinion effectively and
the precision with which they express their message.
This item focuses on the following:
Field of experience: Current Events/Controversial Issues
Objectives being evaluated: Students demonstrate their ability to express
their opinion in a cohesive and coherent fashion, using a variety of simple and
complex sentences (communication), using appropriate verb tenses, correct
placement of adverbs, appropriate use of discourse elements, agreement between
subject, adjectives and verbs, correct spelling and correct word order (language),
using the development of a draft and reference materials to improve the quality
of the message (general language education).
ITEM
Situation/contexte : Tu écris régulièrement dans le journal de ton école. Cette
semaine, tu décides d’écrire un article sur la violence dans les sports parce
qu’hier soir tu as assisté à un match de hockey où il y a eu un bagarre entre les
joueurs des deux équipes. Malheureusement, un des joueurs a été très blessé.
Cette personne t’a inspiré à écrire cet article.
Directives :
1. Pense aux opinions que tu aimerais exprimer au sujet de la violence dans
les sports.
2. Dans ton article, tu dois avoir :
•
•
•
•
un titre
une explication de ce qui est arrivé en utilisant une variété de phrases
simples et complexes
ton opinion du sujet et une explication de ton point de vue
une conclusion
2. Écris une ébauche de façon cohérente et cohésive.
3. Vérifie ton travail en utilisant des ouvrages de référence.
4. Récris ton article en incorporant tes changements.
Evaluation Criteria:
Content
Content: Two points for giving the article a title which is appropriate to
the content
/2
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Four points for having included the following elements:
•
•
•
•
an introduction
an explanation of what happened
an explanation of one's own opinion
a conclusion
/12
Elaboration of the Content
Content: Two points each for a demonstration of:
• coherence in the message
• cohesion between the ideas
/4
Language Precision: Marks are deducted at 0.5 a point for errors in any one of
these areas:
•
•
•
•
•
correct spelling
appropriate vocabulary
correct use of verb tenses (past, present and future tenses)
correct word order
use of discourse markers such as tandis que, lors que, puis que, etc.
/18
General Language Education: Two points for using each of these strategies:
• planning and organizing one's work by writing a draft
• using editing techniques to impfove the quality of one's message
/4
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE ITEM: /40
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Appendix H
Directory of Suggested Sources for
Authentic Documents
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Associations
L’association des parents francophones de Yellowknife
C.P. 2243
Yellowknife, T.N.-O.
Y1A 2P7
Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada
1, rue Nicholas
Bureau 1404
Ottawa, Ontario
M6P 1Y4
(Formerly Fédération des francophones hors Québec)
Tél. : (613) 563-0311
(Please note: Provincial/Territorial affiliates of the F.C.F.A.C. are found throughout Canada.)
La Fédération Franco-Ténoise
C.P. 1325
Yellowknife, T.N.-O.
X1A 2N9
Tel. : (867) 920-2919
Fax. : (867) 873-2158
Canadian Parents for French
309 Cooper Street
Suite 400B
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 0G5
Films and Videos
Direction de l’information
Bureau du Commissaire aux Langues Officielles
66, rue Sater
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0T8
National Film Board/Office National du Film
C. P. 6100
Station A
Montréal, Québec
H3C 3H5
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Magazines and Reviews
L’Actualité
Éditions MacLean-Hunter Canada
1001, boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest
Bureau 1100
Montréal, Québec
H3A 3E1
Châtelaine
Éditions MacLean-Hunter Canada
1001, boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest
Bureau 1100
Montréal, Québec
H3A 3E1
Elle
Canebsco Subscriptions Services Ltd.
70 McGriskin Road
Scarborough, Ontario
M1S 4S5
Hibou
Les Éditions Héritage, Inc.
300, avenue Arran
Saint-Lambert, Québec
J1R 1K5
Vidéo-Presse
Éditions Pauline
3965, boul. Henri-Bourassa Est
Montréal, Québec
H1H 1L1
Music
To obtain information on popular French language singers and recent albums,
write or call:
Radio activités
3981, boul. Saint-Laurent
Bureau 715
Montréal, Québec
H2W 1Y5
(Please note: Subscription to the magazine is necessary in order to receive
information.)
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Newspapers
L’Aquilon
C. P. 1325
Yellowknife, T.N.-O.
X1A 2N9
Le Devoir
211, rue du Saint-Sacrement
Montréal, Québec
H2Y 1X1
Le Franco
8923 - 82 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T6C 0Z2
Le Monde
15, rue Falgnière
75501, Paris
France
La Presse
7, rue Saint-Jacques
Montréal, Québec
H2Y 1K9
Le Soleil
390, rue Saint-Valliers
C. P. 1547
Québec, Québec
G1K 7J6
Posters and Brochures
Bell Canada
Public Affairs Department
1050, Beaver Hill, Room 610
Montréal, Québec
H2Z 1S4
Bureau du Québec
Highfield Place Building
10010 - 106 Street, 10th Floor
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 3L8
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Teacher Resource Manual
Posters and Brochures (cont’d)
Centre Franco-Ontarien de Ressources Pédagogiques
339, rue Wilbrod
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K1N 6M4
Consulat Général de France
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10010 - 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 3L8
Tel: (403) 425 - 0665
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Communications Branch
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Éditions Soleil Publishing Inc.
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Welland, Ontario
L3B 5Y5
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1981 McGill College
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Montréal, Québec
H3A 2E9
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K1Z 8K1
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Relations écrites avec l’auditoire
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French as a Second Language
Teacher Resource Manual
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French as a Second Language
Teacher Resource Manual
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