Blog Archive

Monday 26 November 2018

Using Authentic Texts - An MFL Approach

Yann Deplechin writes:

Using authentic texts raises the linguistic expectations of students, appeals to all sorts of cognitive functions, and it motivates and engages. I always introduce the texts in this way: "this is not a text aimed at students studying French, this is a text from a real French magazine, aimed at people who already speak French. There is no way you will understand everything. But you will, with knowledge and intelligence, manage to translate a fair few words, maybe a few sentences, and possibly find out what the text is all about"
These words are chosen to raise their interest, and to emulate them (in brief, I appeal to their pride, which makes most or all of them want to engage). Introducing the text like that is, I think, is vitally important. Also,  there is a theory, which I find to be true, that students will better memorise new information (or here, a word or expression) that they "catch" themselves, rather than one that is delivered to them by their teacher.

When approaching this in class, the text is displayed uninterrupted on the screen and each line is numbered with the interactive pen. Students are then randomly selected to define meanings of specific highlighted words.

Students engagement and effort is then rewarded with a house point in the following ways:
1. A single house point for a word which they have studied in school.
2. Two house points for a word which students have had to guess.
3. Three points if students add the conjuncture "this one is a verb, and it is in past / present / future tense, or three points if a whole sentence is translated. 

After 5 minutes the following questions is posed:  "What will be on the photo when the text is zoomed back out". Finally, the whole text is translated into English, in front of them, following each word of the text with step by step.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a motivating strategy and builds transferable skills.