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Looking for really good primary resources for the non specialist with very poor French ability

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by areyoumad, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. I've just learnt that I'm going to have to cover a French lesson each week next year. I'm dreading it, I failed O Level with a U! and have no confidence in my ability to speak French, let alone understand it. Can anyone recommend any resources that will help me to teach it without having to speak it! A long shot maybe but I beleive I will do more damage than good if I can't find anything.

    Oh and I have tried many times since leaving school to have another go but each time the teacher has reckoned I'm a lost cause!

    Many thanks
     
  2. I've just learnt that I'm going to have to cover a French lesson each week next year. I'm dreading it, I failed O Level with a U! and have no confidence in my ability to speak French, let alone understand it. Can anyone recommend any resources that will help me to teach it without having to speak it! A long shot maybe but I beleive I will do more damage than good if I can't find anything.

    Oh and I have tried many times since leaving school to have another go but each time the teacher has reckoned I'm a lost cause!

    Many thanks
     
  3. Get in touch with your local secondary school. We are in a cluster with loads of other sec and prim schools. We are providing resources and training so that the primary teachers can teach the FL. I'd ring up a few MFL deps.
     
  4. Our local secondary have been teaching our children for the last 3 years and now they have announced that its no longer going to continue because 'they have already taught us how to teach it' - aka stick a piece of paper in front of the children and talk french at them for 30 minutes. I'm afraid they are not going to be much help. Due to our location we only have one secondary school near us.
     
  5. Dodros

    Dodros Occasional commenter

    You really need to be proactive in your own professional development when it comes to acquiring new skills. Back in 1983 I took the opportunity to attend as many computer courses as I could, often at my own expense, when microcomputers first appeared on the scene and I wanted to use them in my teaching. I think the Open University runs a French course from scratch where you can study by distance learning. I would enrol on that if I were in your situation - I did a 2-year course with the OU in the 1990s when I wanted to qualify in special educational needs.
     
  6. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    I was going to suggest the secondary schools as well. Do you know if you have a Regional Support Group near you ? http://www.cilt.org.uk/primary/rsg.htm Would well be worth contacting your nearest one. What part of the country are you in ?
     
  7. Teachers Talking French. A set of 6 CDs, designed precisely for your needs. Here's the description from the TTF website at
    http://www.ttfrench.com

    "Teachers Talking French is an easy to use language booster course for primary practitioners whose French is limited or rusty.

    Its purpose is to enable classroom teachers or teaching assistants working in Key Stage 2 to deliver confidently all or part of their French lessons in French.

    The course consists of a set of 6 audio CDs that portray two primary teachers, Andrew and Sophie, working with a pair of expert tutors. The tutors help Andrew and Sophie to develop their vocabulary, grammatical understanding, pronunciation, fluency and confidence.

    Teachers Talking French follows a carefully planned linguistic progression. Previously taught language is constantly revisited and re-combined with new material, all in familiar primary classroom contexts.

    The recordings are structured and presented in a way that makes it easy for the listener to join in and take an active part in the learning. In addition to the audio lessons, listeners are also able to hear all items of language expertly pronounced by a native speaker."

    I have a review copy. It's good!







     
  8. lisilu

    lisilu Occasional commenter

    I'm sorry that your secondary colleagues seem to have been unhelpful. There are many who are not and offer great support and ideas. There is a point at which the teachers do have to take over from the secondary colleagues though and three years sounds like a good amount of support to have received - a shame it doesn't seem to have helped you. Do class teachers stay in for the lessons or is it done in PPA? Asking because I don't know, as it can be thus but not necessarily.

    I would echo Geekie's suggestion about RSGs - lots of support there. I've also heard good things about Teachers Talking French. Something to ask at the RSG before you fork out as some authorities have bought it for their teachers!

    Also have a look at the Early Start materials - www.earlystart.co.uk - great for the 'non specialist as it's based around video/DVD clips with all the vocabulary presented for you, and all the vocabulary is recorded on a Cd for you to preview before the lesson. Lots of lesson ideas too.

    Good luck anyway and hope your confidence is bolstered somehow - I would NEVER say someone was a lost cause!
     
  9. Thank you all for your responses.

    Geekie, I've heard of cilt, not sure if we have one near here (wilts) but will check it out.

    GroovyGuzi, that sounds like it should be quite helpful.

    Lisilu, perfect, that?s just what I need. In answer to your question the teachers have been in class but it?s been a different teacher each year as we've had a high staff turnover and I haven't benefited from this experience personally. However I have to disagree, I am a lost cause as far as it comes to both languages and music. I know my strengths and my weaknesses and I no longer have the time or money to try again. Defeatist maybe, realistic more like!

    Dodros, I'm sure you were not trying to offend but to help but I can assure you that I have undertaken much further study at personal expense and do keep brushing up my skills. I don't actually believe that languages should be taught by non-specialists as I believe that it can do more harm than good. Our secondary colleagues bash us enough without adding our poor pronunciation and articulation ability. I believe that asking non-specialists to teach languages is like asking language teachers to teach A Level physics or teaching the clarinet and just expecting them to be able to do it because they've sat in on a few lessons and been given a scheme! However I am in a position where I am having to teach the subject and I was just asking the specialists about excellent resources so that I can do the best job I can for these pupils.
     
  10. Can any of the French specialists out there recommend Rigolo for KS2?

    I found myself at a demo, but don't "do" French. It looked well-considered in terms of planning, as the literacy and oracy objectives of the framework are tagged in each activity - a real timesaver, I would think, and may help non-linguists get to grip with language teaching. What also looked helpful for the OP is the talking dictionary, you can have it on or off, a French woman you see in a video frame saying the words and doing actions with them. The songs looked fun too.

    Best of luck and DO contact your RSG!!!
     
  11. Thanks lagartija, that sounds like another one for me to investigate. I will be checking out the RSG.
     
  12. lisilu

    lisilu Occasional commenter

    In answer to your question - yes, there is a Wilts RSG - look at www.nacell.org.uk/regional/southwest/index.htm for contact details and when and where they meet. It may be that another one is nearer to you - there is a map to click to find others in your vicinity.
     
  13. thanks for that lisilu. I check it out tomorrow as for some reason I can't access it here. I appreciate the support.
     
  14. lisilu

    lisilu Occasional commenter

    I can't get it to work either! Thought it was jsut my computer being slow! The NACELL site was fine earlier so will work another time -perhaps it's on an end of term go slow like the kids!!
     
  15. Dodros

    Dodros Occasional commenter

    >Dodros, I'm sure you were not trying to offend but to help but I can assure you that I have undertaken much further study at personal expense and do keep brushing up my skills. <

    Then why not invest in yourself again by doing some further study of French yourself, either by following GroovyGuzi's suggestion of a CD-based course, or by following a distance learning course as I suggested, or by following some of the others' recommendations?
     
  16. Dodros, if you read the thread you will see that I have taken on board others suggestions. How do you know that I am not already doing something else (as I am) that would make it impossible for me do a distance learning course. Stop being so arrogant and patronizing. You do not know anything about me other than I have come to ask specialists for some help. I am so glad that there are some helpful people on this forum who could help me with the problem that I had in a very practical way. Your attitude is what we seem to face on a daily basis from our secondary colleagues and you are doing them no favours. Thank you for your comments.

    To everyone else thank you for you suggestions. I have found some useful resources that will enable me to do the best job I can as a non-specialist.
     
  17. Glad its not just me then lisilu. I've tried it today as well and I'm still not getting anything. I will keep on trying.
     
  18. Dodros

    Dodros Occasional commenter

    areyoumad:

    If you have read any of my contributions to other threads you will know that my intention is always to help, never to cause intentional offence. I thought I was being constructive when I suggested a distance learning course because you mentioned your prior lack of qualifications in French and your belief that French should be taught by non-specialists. I was intending to offer some of my own French resources which I've written for students with special educational needs and which might well be suitable for primary school children, but I fear that too would be interpreted as patronising and arrogant, so I'll keep my counsel. I am very sorry that my attempts to assist have been perceived as negative. That was never my intention.
     
  19. Might be an idea to get school to invest in a French course for primary with teachers book/textbooks/worksheets and CDs/cassettes, then you won't need to speak French etc if you're worried about it. There are also lots of good websites that you can subscribe to or register free in some cases if you have IWBs?
     
  20. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    Dodros really is always very very helpful areyoumad, honest.

    There's obviously something up with the Nacell website at the moment. If you Google "regional support group wiltshire" you get some links with "Wiltshire Regional Support Group holds regular sessions at Braeside and Nursteed School, Devizes" - if you want to do something before the end of term you could try those schools and see if you can get a contact.

    Ooh! Just found this http://www.cilt.org.uk/comenius/southwest/ks2.htm and this http://wisenet.wiltshire.gov.uk/documents/dsweb/Get/Docum...

    Hopefully this will help you get in touch with someone.
     

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