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.

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.