The Gold Mine : TV5 Monde

Looking for relevant video clips to use in teaching language takes time. I have been wishing for one site where video clips would be curated, labeled by topic and proficiency level and presented with activities. TV5Monde does all that. Allow me to give you a tour of this resource and pass on to you what I have learned about finding novice level authentic videos and rewriting the activities to make the clips even more useful.

There are three programs within TV5Monde that I have found especially useful: Première Classe, Paroles des clips and Parlons français, c’est facile! All three products use authentic clips with leveled activities to teach language. Of course you can use just the clip and make your own activity too.

I use each program differently. For Première Classe I use the videos and the activities just as they are presented. As the Première Classe activities allow students to work independently at their own pace, I have my students do them when we go together to the computer lab or borrow the computer cart. I find that there are enough activities per theme that the students can spend 30 minutes in the computer lab working independently on the topic of our current unit. I make a sheet to guide students to the activities I want them to try. As the program offers them feedback, I don’t have them record anything specifically about the exercises they have done, instead I have them keep a list of vocabulary words and phrases they learn while doing the activities.

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The music videos that are presented in program Paroles des clips are useful for whole group activities and I can often use the activities that are presented with the video by printing them as is. The class watches the clips together and each student does his or her own work on the worksheet. Then we come together as a class to discuss what we have understood. The music videos are invaluable because without them my collection of songs would be quickly out dated. Paroles des clips introduces me to new artists and saves me time by guiding me directly to songs that are slow enough for novice speakers and have vocabulary useful to the topics that I teach at the novice level.

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My approach to the program Parlons français, c’est facile is different yet again. For the clips I discover through this program, when I show a clip from the collection to the whole class, I have the class do an activity while I walk them through it. To this end, I look at the online exercises that are presented with the clip and rewrite them as an activity that I initiate with the whole class. These are the clips I can most often use for straight Interpretive Mode activities to evaluate students, often with the Interpretive Mode activity template from ACTFL.

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TV5 Monde has supplied me with authentic videos to teach novice students. These videos bring French culture into my classroom in a way that the text book videos didn’t. The authentic clips give me a lot of cultural material to discuss with my students. It is truly a gold mine.

Interactive Read Alouds and Partner Turn and Talks

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.

More Interactive Read Alouds: Le chien de Lapin and the Lesson, Mon hamster est un gangster and the Lesson