After reading their first novel in French, to explore the novel further and to demonstrate what they have understood or have felt about the novel, students will be given the opportunity to work alone or in pairs on projects based on Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Students might create a board game, a comic book, or write a song (to name just a few of the possibilities) to demonstrate their knowledge, rather than simply answering questions or writing a summary. For a discussion of multiple intelligences you can go to http://www.thomasarmstrong.com/multiple_intelligences.php
Two Specific Curriculum Outcomes this touches on within “Students will be expected to communicate for different purposes” are “Relate a story” and/or “Examine themes in literary works” (Gouvernement de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, Ministère de l’Éducation, 2010, p. 33).
Dictée Courante (or Running Dictation)
One method of evaluation frequently used in second language learning is what is called a dictée, where typically a teacher reads a text and students are expected to transcribe the text with as much grammatical precision as possible. This is generally a tedious pen-and-paper task that causes stress for many students, even though it is very useful for students to see what areas of grammar they are having trouble with. To make it a bit more active and fun, rather than have the teacher read, the students will be paired up at opposite sides of the room. One student will read a sentence off a piece of paper, run to the other student and say it out loud, trying to remember it as accurately as possible while the other student writes down what is said, again as accurately as possible. They will do this two more times, and then the students switch roles. We’ll then as a class look at what has been written, and try to understand better why certain mistakes were made, and how to correct them.
This activity touches on many Specific Curriculum Outcomes within “Students will be expected to communicate effectively”, two of which are “Apply the rules of grammar correctly” and “Assess the effectiveness of oral and written productions, including their own” (Gouvernement de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, Ministère de l’Éducation, 2010, p. 36). Image source: http://www.islandcrisis.net/2009/04/dissertation-sprinter-day-at-university-of-mauritius/
Book in Pieces, Twice
One activity I like to do to help students to understand how far they have come throughout the year is a group activity where they have to piece together the pages of a book in the correct order. It is taken from a child’s book, and on one of the first classes of the year they are asked to work together to try and figure out the order of the pages that makes the most sense, and then write in point form the sequence of events in the story. This helps them to identify right from the beginning of the program that they are capable of understanding parts of information even if they do not understand everything, which in my opinion is essential for them to grasp in an immersion context. Near the end of the year, they will do this same activity, in the same groups as before, but they will now understand a great deal more of the text when they piece it together and write out the sequence of events.At the end of the activity I will show them their work from the beginning of the year, and they will be able to see how their reading as well as their writing has improved, and they will also likely notice how much better they were able to communicate orally during the activity.
This touches on many outcomes, however within the General Outcome “Students will be expected to use a combination of cueing systems and strategies to read, view and understand texts”, students especially in September will be learning to “Use background knowledge to make sense of unknown words in a text” and “Use understanding of format and text structure to predict content and vocabulary” (Gouvernement de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, Ministère de l’Éducation, 2010, p. 37).
Gouvernement de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, Ministère de l’Éducation. (2010). Arts langagiers 7e, 8e, 9e: Programme d’études. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/french/immersion/francais/index.html