Level: Intermediate and advanced
Objective: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify and describe the main characteristics of the different political systems in French-speaking countries and their main differences.
– PowerPoint presentation on political systems in French-speaking countries
– Handouts with vocabulary related to politics and government
– Audio recordings with native speakers discussing political systems in different countries
– Internet access for research
Begin the class by asking students to brainstorm words related to politics and government in French. Write their responses on the board and review the vocabulary as a class. Then, divide the students into pairs or small groups of 3 and give them a list of French-speaking countries. Have them research the type of government each country has and write a brief description.
Present a PowerPoint on the different political systems in French-speaking countries. Include examples of countries that use each system and the main characteristics of each system. After the presentation, divide the class into small groups of 2 or 3 and assign each group a different political system. Have each group research a French-speaking country that uses their assigned political system and prepare a short presentation describing the system and how it functions in that country.
Play audio recordings of native speakers discussing political systems in different countries. Have students listen and take notes on the characteristics of each system. Then, ask them to work in pairs to compare and contrast the different systems and discuss which one they believe is the most effective.
To extend the lesson, you could ask students to research current political events in a French-speaking country and write a news report discussing how the political system is affecting the situation. You could also ask them to research political parties in a French-speaking country and create a presentation discussing their platforms and how they relate to the political system in that country.
Level: Intermediate and Advanced
This lesson can take between one to two hours depending on the activities you choose to do. It is better to take more time doing each activity and thus to dedicate 2 classes to this lesson
Objective: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to describe different French museums and their collections while learning French vocabulary related to art.
– Computers or tablets with internet access
– Pen and paper
– The teacher introduces the topic of the lesson by showing pictures of famous French artworks or landmarks such as the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower, or the Palace of Versailles. The teacher asks the students if they recognize any of them and what they know about them.
Presentation / activity 1:
– introduce various French museums such as the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, and the Musée Picasso, and explains their collections and history. Show pictures of the museums and explain where they are located in France.
– introduce vocabulary related to art such as peinture (painting), sculpture (sculpture), exposition (exhibition), artiste (artist), and œuvre d’art (artwork), etc.
– divide the class into pairs or small groups of 3 and assign each group a French virtual museum to explore. The museums can be found on websites such as Google Arts & Culture or the museums’ official websites.
– provide a worksheet with questions for the students to answer while exploring the museum. The questions should include specific artworks or collections to look for and descriptions to write.
– encourage the students to use the vocabulary they learnt in class to describe the artworks and to write short paragraphs in French.
– ask each group to present their findings and to show pictures of the artworks they have explored.
– lead a discussion on the different museums and their collections, and ask students to share their favorite artwork or museum.
– review the vocabulary and encourage the students to continue practicing by exploring more French museums or by watching French documentaries or films about art.
– To introduce students to French literature and its cultural significance
– To improve students’ reading comprehension in French
– To expand students’ vocabulary and improve their language skills through games and activities related to French literature
– Copies of short stories or extracts from French literature (in French)
– Vocabulary lists for each story/extract
– Whiteboard and markers
– French literature-themed games such as Scrabble, and French literature trivia
– Begin the class by asking students what they know about French literature, what books from French authors they know and/or like/have read before.
– Discuss the significance of French literature in French and global culture and education.
Activity 1: Reading Comprehension
– Hand out copies of short stories or extracts from French literature.
– Divide the class into pairs or small groups of 3 and ask them to read the stories/extracts and answer questions.
– Each group presents their answers to the class
The following activities are examples of games you can use in this class:
Activity 2: Vocabulary Building
– Provide the students with a vocabulary list related to the short stories/extracts they read in the first activity.
– Have them work individually or in pairs to create flashcards or a quizlet deck with the new vocabulary.
– Once the vocabulary list is complete, conduct a quiz or game to test the students’ understanding of the new words.
Activity 3: French Literature Trivia
– Divide the class into teams and conduct a French literature trivia game.
– Questions can include famous French writers, their works, and their impact on French culture.
Activity 4: French Literature-Themed Games
– Play Scrabble with French literature-themed words.
– This activity can help students expand their vocabulary, practice spelling, and improve their understanding of French literature.
– Recap the class by discussing the importance of French literature and its contribution to French culture.
Objective: To introduce French online influencers and improve French language skills through watching their videos and engaging in related activities.
Level: Intermediate and advanced
– Access to the Internet and YouTube
– Activity sheets
1. Introduction of the concept of French online influencers, what they are, who some of the most popular ones are, and what they typically do (vlogs, gaming, comedy, etc.)
2. Present the influencers that will be focused on in this lesson: Squeezie, Mcfly et Carlito, and Le rire jaune, and make a brief overview of their content and why they are popular in France.
3. Ask students if they have heard of any of these influencers before, and if so, what they know about them. Encourage a discussion to get students engaged.
Activity 1: Watch a video by Squeezie
1. Have students watch a video by Squeezie on YouTube, such as his “Je teste des objets insolites” series or QUI EST L’IMPOSTEUR ? (ft Eric & Ramzy) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Z1A46FknM .
2. While watching, have students take notes on any new vocabulary words or phrases they hear.
3. After watching, have students share some of the new words and phrases they learned. Create a vocabulary list on the board or in a shared Google doc online. What did they like/dislike about the videos?
Activity 2: Complete a listening comprehension activity with Mcfly et Carlito
1. Have students watch a video by Mcfly et Carlito, such as their CONCOURS D’ANECDOTES vs LE PRÉSIDENT DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE video ( this one is very long but you can show them just a part of it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neqCdyadqFA&t=156s ).
2. After watching, provide students with a worksheet with questions related to the video
3. Have students work in pairs or small groups to discuss their answers and ensure they understood the video/what was shown.
Optional activity if there is time left, or can be done in the next class:
Activity 3: Create a sketch inspired by Le rire jaune
1. Introduce students to Le rire jaune, a famous French YouTuber who creates comic videos.
2. Have students watch a few of his videos and identify common themes or elements (e.g. humor, sarcasm, pop culture references).
3. Divide students into small groups and have them create a short sketch inspired by Le rire jaune. Encourage them to incorporate some of the elements they identified in his sketches.
4. Have groups perform their sketches for the class, allowing time for feedback and discussion.
1. Review the new vocabulary words and phrases learned throughout the lesson.
2. Ask students to reflect on what they enjoyed about learning French through online influencers. Did they find it engaging? Did they feel like they learnt anything new?
3. Encourage students to continue watching videos by these youtubers and other French influencers as a way to continue improving their language skills outside of class.
Goal of the Class: Students discuss on stereotypes they have on French people; they also learn about the various stereotypes existing in different regions of France and also different kind of expressions used in daily speech and referring to these stereotypes. Students practice their listening and speaking skills by watching videos in French on the topic, and then discuss about it both in groups and then with the whole class
Warm-up : 10/15 minutes
Intermediate and advanced : Par groupes trouvez 5 clichés que vous avez sur les Français (in groups find 5 clichés/stereotypes that you have about French people). I gave students 10 minutes to talk about it in groups and then I asked each group to share what discussed. Then I showed them a picture of different typical stereotypes existing about French people around the world with vocabulary included and further explanation of them if needed.
As a transition towards the first activity, I gave them three commonly used expressions in French that are related to stereotypical traits generally assigned to French people: Grande gueule (talk too much, is too direct), dragueur (flirty), nul en langues (bad at languages)
Advanced: for advanced I added more specific cultural input on various stereotypes depending on the regions in France:
- En France, selon les régions il y a aussi des clichés différents: Par exemple, on dit qu’en Bretagne il pleut tout le temps, à Paris les gens sont hautains et arrogants (haughty and snobbish), en Alsace ils mangent que de la choucroute (plat traditionnel avec du chou), la Normandie est principalement peuplée de vaches.
- Ce ne sont que des stéréotypes et donc pas totalement vrai! par exemple, en Bretagne il ne pleut pas tout le temps (mais souvent) et beaucoup de Parisiens sont très gentils (pas tous)
Activity 1: In groups still I then asked them to discuss the following questions revolving around stereotypes on Americans:
- Quels sont d’après vous les stéréotypes que les personnes étrangères ont sur les Américains ? (What do you think are the stereotypes that foreign people have about Americans?)
- Est-ce qu’il y a des stéréotypes spécifiques pour chaque états des Etats Unis? Donnez des exemples (Are there specific stereotypes for each state in the United States? Give examples)
- Est-ce que vous connaissez des clichés sur d’autres pays Européens comme l’Italie, l’Angleterre, l’Espagne, etc.? (Do you know any clichés about other European countries like Italy, England, Spain, etc.?)
After they discussed for about 10-13 minutes, we exchange as a class and then I gave them some stereotypes we have in France about Americans:
- Les Américains mangent mal et il y a des fast foods partout
- Les Américains sont très patriotes
- Il y a plus d’armes (guns) que d’Américains
- Les Américains n’ont pas d’assurance santé
- Les gobelets rouges (red cups) dans les fêtes étudiantes
- Les ‘Hugs’ pour dire Bonjour
Activity 2: this second activity is centered on a video I showed them. One is on how Europeans living in France and speaking French fluently view French people, and the other one is similar but is an interview of non-European people living in France.
- En regardant la vidéo, notez les mots que vous ne connaissez pas sur une feuille de papier ou votre téléphone portable (While watching the video, write down the words you don’t know on a piece of paper or your cell phone)
- Les Français vus par des Européens (how Europeans see French people) :
- Quels sont les clichés/stéréotypes mentionnés dans la vidéo? (What clichés/stereotypes are mentioned in the video?)
Then I showed them some slides I created with photos on new vocabulary mentioned in the video, here is an example:
Quels sont les clichés que certaines personnes hors d’Europes ont sur les français?
Quelles sont les habitudes / les comportements typiquement français ?
Last activity : Les gestes et expressions typiquement francais – French also speak using gestures. This video is very funny and explains some of these common gestures used in the common speech in France:
1- j’ai les chocotes/ça fait peur/c’est flippant/j’ai peur
2- I’m drunk
3- j’en ai par-dessus la tête/j’en ai marre
4- ça m’énerve!
5- et toc! / dans ta face
6- les doigts dans le nez (it was easy)
laquelle intégreriez-vous dans votre vie de tous les jours ? (Which one-s would you incorporate in your everyday life?)
Est-ce que vous utilisez des gestes quand vous parlez? (do you use gestures when you speak?
Feedback/end of the class: give one or two words that you learnt today, how many times do you think people do ‘la bise’ in France to introduce themselves?
Ressources used: Powerpoint, Youtube videos, images
Reflection: This class went so well both in the advanced and intermediate classes. The students were participating a lot and we ended up having very interesting points and elements of discussions raised all throughout the class. These classes definitely showed that conversation classes are much more than just practicing the target language, they can also be an opportunity to learn and enlarge point of views, knowledge on various topics/issues, etc. This class led to deep and meaningful exchanges as a whole class.
Goal of the class: learn about a phenomenon/trend in France related to the increase production of eco-friendly clothes and the increase launching of eco-friendly brands. Learn vocabulary on ecology, fashion, and the environment.
Warm-up: Do you like fashion? Do you buy a lot of clothes in a year? Do you like buying specific brands of clothes?
Activity 1 : La mode eco-responsable
- Students are shown 2 short videos, one providing facts and numbers about the textile/clothes industry in France, and how it came to become the second most polluting industry in the world. The second video is about the upsurge of eco-friendly clothes/fashion in France
- After watching the videos, students are asked to state one or two elements they learnt in the videos and talk about it with the whole class. For instance:
- Chaque année 100 milliards de vêtements sont produits dans le monde
- Après l’industrie du pétrole, celle de la mode est la plus polluante au monde
- 700 000 tonnes de vêtements chaque années en France
- La mode éco-responsable
- Les créateurs de marques étiques et écologiques
- 70% des Français disent ne pas être intéressés par la mode
Some vocabulary was provided on colloquial words/expressions used in the videos
- Quantité astronomique – quantité énorme
- La fast fashion – la mode jetable
- Se zapper – s’habiller
Activity 2: Débat – Quelles solutions pour créer une mode plus écologique ?
Students were asked in groups of 3/4 to draw a mental map with at its center : “la mode eco-responsable”. They have to find solutions to create more eco-friendly approaches to fashion and shopping. Then they make a presentation about it in front of the class, helped by the mental map they filled out with ideas and solutions:
- dessinez et remplissez une carte mentale. Incluez plusieurs solutions pour créer une mode eco-responsable et durable (sustainable) – vous pouvez vous inspirer de ce site internet: https://www.wedressfair.fr/
- chaque groupe fait une presentation de leur projet lorsqu’il est terminé
Ressources : Powerpoint, Youtube, handout (mental map)
Reflection : This class went very well, the topic interested the students, the presentations were very resourceful and students came up with deep and smart solutions. We ended up the class prolonging the debate and extrapolating to other areas of societies and consumerism that could be improved in a more eco-friendly way. We also ended up changing topics towards the last 10 minutes of the class and talked about Cartoons, and I showed them the opening themes of one of my childhood French cartoons and we talked about it.
Goal of the class: learning about important figures and periods of French history
Warm-up: in pairs or groups of 3 they start discussing the following questions related to French history and historical figures
- Est-ce que vous aimez l’histoire?
- Quelle est la période de l’histoire de votre pays, et/ou d’un autre pays, que vous préférez?
- Si vous pouviez remonter le temps, dans quelle période de l’histoire iriez-vous et pourquoi?
- Y a-t-il un/des personnage-s historique-s que vous admirez?
- Connaissez-vous les noms de personnages historiques connus dans l’histoire de France?
- Y a-t-il une période de l’histoire de France que vous connaissez mieux que d’autres?
Activity 1: Les personnages clés de l’histoire de France
The main activity was a game I created for the students to learn about important figures of French history. I created 4 groups of students who had to work together and match different pictures/paintings of popular French historical figures with their main role in French history, their profession/main activity (what they are basically well-known for) and the century they lived in. (Associez les images des figures historiques françaises à leur nom, le siècle dans lequel ils ont existé et leur rôle/activité principale pour laquelle ils sont célèbres)
Activity 2: l’histoire coloniale de la France
This second activity was designed to conclude the class talking about a significant aspect/part of French history that is colonialism. I started by giving the students information and dates related to French colonies, etc. Then students watched the first 10 minutes of a documentary in French showing archive videos and images on this period of French history.
- les Colonies Françaises:
- La France des colonies (1830-1939): « À partir de 1830, la France se lance à la conquête du monde et au début du siècle suivant (20eme siècle) elle contrôle 1/10ème de la surface de la terre. Son empire, le deuxième après celui de la Grande-Bretagne, comprend le Moyen-Congo, la Côte d’Ivoire, le Dahomey, la Haute-Volta, le Soudan français, la Centrafrique, la Guinée, le Niger, le Tchad, la Mauritanie, Madagascar, l’Indochine, le Maghreb et des terres en Océanie” – (Source: caminteresse.fr)
Ressources : Powerpoint, Youtube, a game that I created (matching photos of great figures from French history with their role in history/profession/main activity, and the century they lived in)
Reflection: This class was extremely interesting both for me and the students. It was challenging to match all the pictures/figures with who they were and when they existed, but it was fun, interactive, and instructive. This class opened further discussion on French history, history in general, and colonialism
This class was done online and could also be done in person.
Warm –up (10 minutes) –group discussion = (main zoom chat : send the link of the Google Doc with vocabulary on the routine as well as the following questions students have to discuss in breakout rooms)
•Quel est selon-vous le WE idéal? Qu’est-ce que vous aimez faire en général le WE? – What do you think is the ideal WE? What do you usually like to do on weekends?
Activity 1: Video ‘French people describe their WE’ (20 minutes –8 minutes for the video, 10 minutes for the group discussion) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unmu4yKfBg0
• Instructions: jot down what you understand from the video –écrivez sur une feuille de papier / sur votre ordinateur -ce que vous comprenez dans cette vidéo: Quelles sont les activités que les personnes interviewées aiment faire le week –end ? – What are some activities that the persons interviewed like doing on Weekends? Qu’est-ce qu’ils aiment faire avec leurs amis ? – What do they like doing with their friends?
Then we discuss it as a class and the students share what they understood and think about it –10 to 15 minutes –
Vocabulary input: What do these words mean? (Habituellement, Je bosse, aller en boîte, le confinement, se balader, faire un tour à…, profiter, la province); If there is some time left I propose a game they would play in Breakout rooms– ‘Qui est-ce?’ OR ‘Tu préfères’:
Tu préfères…Voyagez dans le monde entier sans pouvoir revenir à ton pays d’origine ou jamais sortir de ton pays ? Arriver toujours 1 heure avant à tes rendez-vous ou toujours arriver 1 heure en retard ? Passer toute ta vie à manger de la junkfood ou ne plus jamais manger tes plats préférés ? Vivre dans la maison de tes rêves dans un quartier chaud ou vivre dans une maison moche dans le quartier de tes rêves ? Être pauvre aux côtés de l’amour de votre vie ou être multimillionnaire sans jamais connaître l’amour ?
Resources:Vocabulary sheet (google doc provided)with expressions and words to be able to talk about one’s routine, Zoom Screenshare, Youtube, Powerpoint
Warm-up (15 minutes): Questions to discuss in group around Morning Routines and habits
The students have to discuss the following questions in groups of 3 to 4 students: Avez-vous une routine le matin? Que faites-vous habituellement après le réveil? (petit-déjeuner? Douche? Sport? Yoga? Lecture? Méditation?) – Do you have a morning routine? What do you usually do after waking up?
Qu’est-ce que tu fais en premier le matin?–What is the first thing you do after you wake up? Quelles sont les bonnes habitudes que vous aimeriez prendre le matin?–What are some good/healthy morning habits you would like to develop?
Qu’est-ce que tu manges au petit-déjeuner?–What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Est-ce que tu es un/une «lève tôt» ou un/une «couche tard» – are you an early bird or a night owl?
Provision of a vocabulary sheet with a lot of words, expressions and idioms pertaining to the morning routine in French (I included more difficult expressions/turn of phrases and idioms for the advanced level class). This sheet is designed to be a support for the following activities as well.
Activity 1: (20/25 minutes)
The first activity is based on creativity (writing) in groups of 2/3 students. First, I ask them to individually write on a small sheet of paper one word in relation to the word ‘Morning’. Then they all give them to me, I shuffle them, I create groups of 2/3 students, and each group randomly picks two papers. Based on the words they picked, they have to come up with a short story of about 100 words. This activity not only calls on to students’ imagination and creativity, but the way it is designed (team work) also makes it a good way for them to practice speaking in French by working on writing their story. They really liked this activity and it took them approximatively 20/25 minutes to write their story, after which each group chose to either tell the story or act it out. The whole class had a lot of fun!
Another activity that could be done in this class is the following:
Les Français nous racontent leur routine matinale dans les rues de Paris –French people tell us about their morning routine in the streets of Paris : Video screening of Parisians interviewed in the street on their morning routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lMIShoMuIk.
This video is very good not only for the vocabulary and expressions used by the persons interviewed but also because it teaches the most accurate ways of expressing one’s habits in a colloquial manner.
Instructions: Jot down what you understand about the interviewees’ daily routine; what did they understood about the interviewees’ morning routines: Quelles sont les routines matinales des personnes interviewées dans la video?
The last part of the activity can be a little quiz on words and expressions mentioned in the interviews that are either colloquial or idiomatic.
Warm-up (10 minutes): Students share in groups of 3/4 what are/were their favorite cartoons and animated movies growing up and nowadays.
Activity 1: Screening of a video extract from Toy Story 1 (animated movie)–10 minutes-,
the French version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb-EW5gwkrk (l’arrivée de Buzz).
Students have to think about these two questions while watching the extract: Que se passe-t-il dans cette scène? Décrivez les personnages et ce qu’ils font? (What happens in this scene / describe the characters and what they are doing)
Vocabulary/cultural Input: (5/7 minutes) in this scene, as it is the French version, characters speak in a colloquial way and use a lot of idioms/expressions that French people use in their daily speech/conversations. Students are asked whether or not they know or understand the meaning of the following words and expressions mentioned in the extract:
Je l’ai pas fait exprès (faire exprès), Voilà qui tombe vraiment à pic (Tomber à pic), On arrête pas le progrès, causer (//parler), ultra moderne (at the cutting-edge)
Activity 2: Students are asked in groups of 3/4 to imagine they are film producers from Hollywood who wants to create a movie adaptation of Toy Story with real actors. They are casting directors and have to find actors and actresses who would according to them impersonate the best the animated versions. When they found the actors, they do a small presentation to convince me that their casting is the best one.