Première Classe as preparation for ACTFL’s AAPPL

As a World Language department, we have been excited about the ACTFL test called the AAPPL.  We recently changed over from traditional pen and paper tests to Integrated Performance Assessments and it seemed like a good time to gather some baseline data on our program.  And, the AAPPL assesses the different modes of communication that we focus on in our program.

So I was pleased when I came across a free support online to help my students prepare for Interpretive tasks included in the AAPPL, a program created by TV5 Monde called Première Classe.  It uses snippets of authentic video to teach new words and practice grammatical structures and pronunciation.  The activities don’t line up exactly with my 7th and 8th grade curriculum, but if you pick and choose, your students can cover many of the topics usually taught in a middle school language program.  See the list below for the themes.  One word of caution, the site was written for adults and so some of the videos aren’t appropriate for the middle school audience, which is why in addition to directing the students to themes that will be useful, I also stipulate which activities to do.  I have included the handouts that I give to students so you can see how I direct them.

Se presenter     Première Classe 1    
Donner des informations sur son état civil     Première Classe 2
Parler de ses activités     Première Classe 3
Parler de son entourage proche      Première Classe 4
Proposer une sortie     Première Classe 5
Passer Commande     Première Classe 6
Décrire un lodgement     Première Classe 7

The activities on Première class are Interpretive tasks and are good for computer lab time or homework.  Unlike when I do an Interpretive activity or assessment with the whole class, students work at their own pace and working independently with immediate feedback is a nice change.  Some students repeat the short videos many times while others work quickly through.  I ask the students to keep a list of words that they have learned as they work and that list is all the proof I need that they have completed the assignment.  It seems fair to me to evaluate their progress based on a list of new words they have encountered.

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