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A Level Speaking Activities

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by tattyb, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Inspiration required please!
    I feel that my attempts to get A Level groups to speak, range from lack lustre to just feable! I am taking on a large AS group this year (17) and they have been "tick box" trained for CAs in speaking (personal opinions on this tactic aside.) They are relatively strong in terms of GCSE exam performance, but not used to spontaneous speech. Given that the style of the GCSE exam couldn't be further from the AS exam, we will need to remedy this quickly. I want to focus on speaking in class and leave a lot of the reading for homework, at least in the first term, but i just can't think of any activites which will encourage this.
    What do you do? Any activities or games would be really appreciated!
    Thankfully our new Y10 are changing to the Edexcel certificate for all three languages, so we could use these suggestions in Y10 too, and deal with the speaking issue earlier.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Inspiration required please!
    I feel that my attempts to get A Level groups to speak, range from lack lustre to just feable! I am taking on a large AS group this year (17) and they have been "tick box" trained for CAs in speaking (personal opinions on this tactic aside.) They are relatively strong in terms of GCSE exam performance, but not used to spontaneous speech. Given that the style of the GCSE exam couldn't be further from the AS exam, we will need to remedy this quickly. I want to focus on speaking in class and leave a lot of the reading for homework, at least in the first term, but i just can't think of any activites which will encourage this.
    What do you do? Any activities or games would be really appreciated!
    Thankfully our new Y10 are changing to the Edexcel certificate for all three languages, so we could use these suggestions in Y10 too, and deal with the speaking issue earlier.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  3. steveglover

    steveglover New commenter

    By all means download the full AS unit from alevelfrench.com which is geared around developing productive skills both oral and written.
    For oral prep you have the listothèque, the idea of which is that you use lists of relevant vocab and expressions under certain sub themes and develp those in a GCSE + kind of a way followed up with contextualised grammar.
    The 10 briquettes d'information listening is designed to feed ideas in an amusing, motivating way following which there are oral activites based on the info provided in the form of questions to prepare and a supported debate to finish with.
    With a view then to examination preparation there are preparatory materials for the conversation and the stimulus based cards.
    You can download the zip file containing all the files for distribution to your students in whatever way you wish.

     
  4. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    There are ideas for games at frenchteacher.net (free). Look in the Teacher's Guide section. The subscriber section has a whole set of vocab lists plus questions to generate discussion. They go with the AQA course and we made a lot of use of them in lessons at Ripon. They also feed into the oral.
    There are no quick fixes for real oral competence. Use texts - a lot. They are great for comprehension and build up fluency. Listening and reading are the basis for oral fluency, not just oral practice. Lots of TL input is what is needed.
    Students will talk if they have something interesting to talk about.
    Have a look here:
    http://www.frenchteacher.net/teachers-guide/using-film/ (ignore the URL - it links to ideas for using texts)
     
  5. I'm a bit hesitant to suggest ideas because I've not started my PGCE yet, but when I was on my Spanish Subject Knowledge Enhancement course last week, and one of the activities that we did was recommended by our teacher for A-Level classes.
    We watched an extract from a film, in which various characters were having a heated debate. At the end of the extract, we were all assigned a role and some props were given out. We then more or less replayed the scene, each arguing along the lines their character had done in the film. Obviously we couldn't remember exactly what had been said, but we tried to express the same ideas as our characters in the film.
    I think the main advantage to this was that it's easier to go for it and not be inhibited if you're arguing someone else's viewpoint, not your own. Nobody wants to expose themselves by expressing an unpopular opinion that they really believe in, but it's easy to play devil's advocate. Also, we were attempting to reproduce language we'd heard in the film. There were plenty of inaccuracies, but everyone had picked up bits of vocab relevant to the topic which we were able to use. Also, by using a film you're getting a bit of cultural insight too.
    When we discussed it afterwards, everyone agreed that we'd probably want to have a bit more preparation time and give more support if we were doing it with pupils, by having looked at the topic a bit beforehand and by providing some key vocab to use.
    Obviously it depends on your class, but I think in some classes it could work.
     
  6. FrauSue

    FrauSue New commenter

    It's good to teach pupils how to adapt texts to express their own ideas. I often use a listening transcript as the basis for this - we might do a gap-fill listening exercise first, then I'll ask pupils questions that encourage them to use the same structures but fill in the gaps with their own opinions. Do this quite early on in the course and it teaches pupils to start adapting given language and phrases for their own ends. In general, encouraging pupils to express their own opinions from the off is the best way, so they realise what's expected of them at A-Level. A useful starter might be to hand out a list of useful sentence starter phrases (e.g. opinion phrases, argument phrases) and warm up by asking every pupil in the room a simple topical question (even just "do you like reality TV?" or similar) to ensure that they all say at least one thing.

    One of my pupils is a big fan of www.livemocha.com for independent learning - you can talk to and listen to native speakers.

    Do you have a language assistant at all?
     
  7. thanks for all the suggestions, will welcome any more!
     

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