French: Family and Home
Connect to Your Teaching
Reflect on Your Practice
As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them as a group.
- How do you stay in the target language in a beginning class where much of the teaching is new vocabulary?
- How do you help students progress from oral language to written language?
- If you teach without a textbook, how do you structure your lessons and obtain materials? What are the advantages and the challenges of teaching without a textbook?
Watch Other Videos
Watch other videos in the Teaching Foreign Languages K-12 library for more examples of teaching methodologies like those you've just seen. Note: All videos in this series are subtitled in English.
Holidays and Seasons (German) illustrates sentence-strip activities for third-graders, and Chicken Pox (French) introduces written language to kindergarteners.
Put It Into Practice
Try these ideas in your classroom.
- When teaching vocabulary related to the family, provide students with the terms needed to describe today's family structures. Traditionally, words like mother, father, sister, and brother were considered basic vocabulary, while words like stepmother and foster parent were considered more advanced. In a standards-based program, the goal is for all students to exchange information about their families and homes. Therefore, any vocabulary that a student needs for that purpose should be considered basic. Ms. Terry gave her students vocabulary for any family members that they chose to include in their imaginary family trees. You can also have students describe popular literary, television, or film families in order to include a wide range of family structures.
- Use oral activities from elementary and middle school language arts classes to introduce literacy skills. For example, after Ms. Terry was confident that students knew the words for family members, rooms of the house, and household activities, she wrote sentence parts on strips of paper that could be rearranged to form new sentences. You could also have beginning readers match labels and visuals, or select dialogue for the speech balloons in comic strips. For more ideas like these, talk to the language arts teachers in your school. Note that teachers of character-based languages, such as Japanese and Chinese, cannot rely solely on sound/symbol correspondences and must also develop character recognition skills.