Elementary classroom teachers read to their students in the whole group setting, either with a book they hold or one they project. As the students work to understand the book, students get the support of the teacher. When asked to discuss with partners, they get help from their peers and have time to process their thoughts as they aid their partner. Reading aloud in the large group is an excellent method for beginning language students who are learning to read in the target language.
In Interactive Read Alouds, teachers read a book out loud and then ask students questions on the topic, but about themselves. My class has enjoyed the book Mon Pull. Click here Mon Pull for a PDF of the book. I project the book and read it to the students stopping to ask them questions. Click here to download the Lesson Plan Mon Pull. The drawings are engaging and the questions are of interest to adolescents as they are personalized. In addition the comprehensible input is accessible but a little challenging. We read this book during the unit on clothing.
In Partner Turn and Talks, teachers have students turn to a partner and answer questions about the content book, then a few volunteers are called on to report to the large group. My Middle School students were charmed by the picture book Je mangerais bien un enfant. Click here Je mangerais bien un enfant to go a PDF of the book. Click here Je mangerais bien un enfant for the lesson. I project the book on the board and read. At different points I ask the students to turn to their partner and discuss while I circulate to hear answers. This picture book is accessible yet challenging during a unit on foood.
What if you have one copy of a range of French children’s books? Students like to chose their own book and read it with the help of a French-English dictionary. I have an Interpretive Reading Task Lecture de livre d’enfants for students when reading picture books. I like to have them read individually because they go at their own pace. Reading on their own I see students laugh and smile. In addition they ask about French culture from something they read, i.e. “Do French moms talk very directly and not gently to their kids? Is it different than in the US?”, which I love.
These techniques have been a great addition to my class.