How did you pick this theme or topic?
First class, so I wanted to get to know the students and I also wanted them to get to know each other.
I also wanted to hear them speak to see whether they were in the right class. It could also work for an Intermediate class.
How did you present the material? (Handouts, group work, general discussion, student presentations, etc.)
I introduced myself, then I gave them the sheet of rules that we read together.
They were 12 so I decided to do an ice-breaking activity at first so that they could learn the names of the other students; each student had to find an adjective in French which started with the same letter as their first name, and then had to introduce him/herself using this adjective (ex: Bonjour, je suis Sociale Sandie). The difficulty was that as each student introduced him/herself, he/she had to repeat the names of the previous students (ex: Bonjour Sociale Sandie, Timide Tess, Jolie Jess, je suis Sympa Sarah… etc).
Then, I made them work in pairs; each one had to interview the other for a few minutes and then introduce his/her partner to the other students.
We then had a quick group discussion about what they would like to do as cultural events, what interested them.
How did students react?
They could speak really good French so they seemed to enjoy asking questions to each other. It was actually hard to make them stop interviewing their partner, they talked to each other a little bit too long I think (almost 20 minutes). Some were very comfortable with talking to me or in front of the others, some others were really shy or anxious but since they were introducing their partner, I think it was a bit easier for them to speak.
Did they engage with each other and you?
Yes, they had to interview each other so they talked for 20 minutes in French to each other and then made a summary of the information they managed to gather about their partner.
What materials or media did you use? (articles, satellite tv, digital projector, etc.)
Would you recommend this activity for a future class?
Yes, it was a nice way of getting to know them and evaluating their level in French. It was also nice to have them repeat the name of their fellow students (it allowed me to learn their names too).
Why or why not?
Because they could talk about what they wanted and could get to know each other. And it is also good for them to review the basic introduction sentences. It also allowed me to see who was really an advanced speaker and who was not so advanced. Some of them asked at the end of the class if they could go to Intermediate French because they thought they were not advanced enough to stay in Advanced French.