Author Archives: Don

About Don

Don Doehla, MA, NBCT French Teacher Co-Director Berkeley WL Project UC Berkeley Language Center Facilitator @Edutopia.org #langchat team moderator Keen on 21st Century Skills & PBLL

Une bonne idée de lecture pour le cours de #FLE

Une idée tirée du site Oh, mon île! Ce site en a plein, des idées!


Temps d’échange qui permet aux étudiants d’entrer en interaction pour un projet de lecture commune, le cercle de lecture met en jeu de nombreuses compétences à l’oral comme à l’écrit, développe le vocabulaire et fait découvrir des œuvres littéraires.

Bon, pour la grande phrase, c’est fait.

Maintenant, le principe est simple : à partir de la lecture d’une même œuvre, chaque membre du cercle de lecture a un rôle spécifique afin de mener ensemble une conversation sur le texte.

Les étapes:

  • Téléchargez en PDF Les rôles des membres du cercle de lecture.
  • Choisissez une œuvre adaptée à votre public (voir plus bas pour plus d’infos).
  • Première séance : Présentation du cercle de lecture et de l’œuvre au programme + Distribution des rôles (c’est encore mieux quand les étudiants choisissent celui qui les intéresse). Plusieurs cercles peuvent être formés si les participants sont nombreux, certains rôles peuvent être assumés par un binôme ou supprimés, bref, plusieurs techniques sont possibles, à vous de les adapter à votre terrain.
  • Entre les deux séances: lecture intégrale ou partielle de l’œuvre, travail personnel hors classe.
  • Deuxième séance : Cercle de lecture mené par l’animateur de discussion (et soutenu par le prof si nécessaire) : il distribue la parole aux membres du cercle, qui échangent sur leur lecture, font part de leurs opinions, réflexions ou recherches. Si vous avez choisi de fragmenter l’œuvre, vous pouvez programmer un atelier lecture sur plusieurs séances, les étudiants pourront ainsi changer de rôle. La conversation peut durer entre 30 et 45 minutes.

Par ailleurs, vous pouvez prolonger le cercle par d’autres activités autour de l’œuvre, comme enregistrer une version audio, créer une bande-annonce ou encore une affiche, écrire des fins alternatives sur différents modes (tragique, romantique, comique, …), enregistrer un débat à la manière d’une émission littéraire, etc. Je vous conseille aussi de visiter le site de L’inspecteur Lafouine : là, la compréhension écrite va permettre de résoudre des énigmes et de faire jaser sévère.

Bref, il existe de nombreuses activités à mettre en place pour embarquer vos étudiants.

Bon, mais vous allez me dire : où trouver des œuvres motivantes pour les étudiants ?

Le Canopé de l’Académie d’Amiens a mis en ligne en octobre 2015 une liste de sites où trouver de quoi s’amuser. De TV5 Monde à Litteratureaudio.com, vous trouverez des milliers de documents gratuits en ligne et vous pourrez aussi travailler avec les versions audio des œuvres pour accompagner la lecture.

Voici la mine d’or : La grande bibliothèque numérique en ligne

En version payante, diverses maisons d’édition offrent des ouvrages (Le Monde en VF,  Lire en Français Facile, …) proposent des collections avec des livres sympathiques, comme « Enquête Capitale », accessible dès A2.

Sur T’enseignes-tu, Céline Mézange propose 5 œuvres à exploiter.

Sur Français Langue Étonnante, on trouve aussi un article très utile sur les lectures faciles.

Et puis, “spéciale dédicace” au Horla de Maupassant  qui fait un excellent support pour des C1-C2 (les deux versions laissent place à diverses exploitations).

Et vous, quelles lectures proposez-vous à vos étudiants?

Pour continuer à fouiner sur le sujet, le CRID propose une bibliographie intitulée «  La littérature en classe de FLE, nouveaux enjeux, nouvelles pratiques », avec des ouvrages et des sites de références. Rendez-vous ici.


A MUST read for all educators by @BetaMiller via @Edutopia

My post is a response to one by Andrew Miller on Edutopia – a MUST read for every educator!

Thanks to Andrew Miller once again for a great post on Edutopia! I could not agree more with Andrew that there are grading practices which need to be seriously examined. We must ask if we are gaining what we really want in our grading systems. Are students learning, progressing, achieving? What do we really want to see happen in our classes?

I don’t want students to feel like grades are a game to be played – he or she who has the most points wins is not the outcome I want. I want to have students who are empowered, who believe that they can do whatever they seek to accomplish, who have learned and are prepared to change the world, starting with themselves.

Lofty goals? Of course! I won’t believe anything less for my students! We must develop grading systems which honor growth, which empower, and which help support reflective practices. We must support students with fair grading systems, which do not frustrate them, but which help them understand where they are on a continuum of achievement.

I have often said that my motto for my classroom, and one of my mottos for life is this: “It is ok to be where you are; it is not ok to stay there.” I believe we must always strive to keep moving forward. How can I help my students by supporting their growth? I certainly don’t believe that a grading game is going to achieve the goal!

To that end, I offer retake exams (though not the same test), proficiency-based assessments (not discreet item tests), re-teaching opportunities, re-do assignments, reflection opportunities… and much more. I did not start teaching this way, but I am fully there now, and I will continue to look at other ways to support growth for all students, because I believe that each and every one can and will learn if given enough support. Yes, we can do it! C’est possible!

Thank you again, Andrew, for inspiring good dialogue about this important issue.

Best regards,
Don


Thinking about Student Voice and Choice

This note refers to an article posted on Edutopia at this link. It originally was posted on the P21 Bloagazine.

My friend from #LangChat and ACTFL conferences, Marilynn Mansori, has posted a great article on Edutopia! I recommend it to you. The link is posted above.

A quick summary of her note follows.

These four ideas can help teachers start building student voice and choice into language learning.

  1. Use an inquiry approach to language instruction.
  2. Employ personalization strategies that allow students to see themselves in what they learn.
  3. Make the learning relevant to the students.
  4. Invite students to make local and personal connections with the language they study.

To these four points, I would add a 5th, which Meriwynn agreed, is also important for an inquiry-based approach to language learning.

#5. Choose themes of global importance.

Students want to know that they can make a difference in the world. How can we create units which shift the traditional WL curriculum from the typical units of family, food and sports, to more challenging global themes such as world hunger and nutrition, or healthy living in diverse communities?

I love the power of collaboration. Thanks Meriwynn for an inspiring post!

 

learner centered George

 

Upon further inquiry on the topic of voice and choice, I came across this excellent infographic by George Couros, and a blog piece by him at this link, on his website, The Principles of Change.

George states:

As I think that leaders should be able to describe what they are looking for in schools I have thought of eight things that I really want to see in today’s classroom.  I really believe that classrooms need to be learner focused. This is not simply that students are creating but that they are also having opportunities to follow their interests and explore passions.  The teacher should embody learning as well.

George advocates for a new kind of classroom interaction and learning, one in which these eight characteristics are visible and normal:

  1. Voice
  2. Choice
  3. Time for Reflection
  4. Opportunities for Innovation
  5. Critical Thinkers
  6. Problem Solvers/Finders
  7. Self-assessment
  8. Connected Learning

That’s what PBLL looks like, and why I love it! I recommend these resources, and there will be more to come. Stay tuned!

 

 

 


Resources to Fight Bullying and Harassment at School | Edutopia

This list of resources from Edutopia is sure to have something to help you with the challenges of dealing with bullies of all kinds!

“Discover websites, organizations, articles, planning guides, lesson plans, and other resources dedicated to preventing bullying and harassment.”

Source: Resources to Fight Bullying and Harassment at School | via @Edutopia

Edutopia logo

 

 


Assessing the 4 C’s in World Languages?

This post first appeared here on Edutopia.

 

At my school we are discussing how we might fit all our assessments under the 4 C’s of 21st Century Skills – communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. Why? Because these four skills are our school-wide learning outcomes, and we want to see how we can make them more clear for students. We’re trying hard to be more serious about these expected learning outcomes for our students.

It seems faily clear how World Languages fits under communication. Our national and state-level standards all aim at supporting students to achieve proficiency in a second language, in three modes of communication, oral and written production, i. e., interpretive communication (reading, viewing and listening for understanding), interpersonal communication (speaking and writing in two-way formats), and presentational communication (both speaking and writing to an audience). We have lots of rubrics to assess and guide students toward these outcomes, and according to proficiency levels – novice, intermediate and advanced. Accordingly, the biggest percentage of our grading system will aim at communication outcomes.

We also understand collaboration fairly well. We have students work together on projects, often in PBLL-aligned units, as well as in other small groups, and we have developed rubrics to guide students to demonstrate leadership and initiative, individual responsibility, and facilitation and support. We have already had some good success with these rubrics.

What about how to assess critical thinking and the creative process? We engage students often in inquiry-based learning, and ask them to create projects wherein they demonstrate critical and creative thinking as applied to their products. We do not have many grades in these two categories, however, so we feel as though it may be somewhat contrived to have separate categories for them.

The rub is this: what else do you think is worth assessing vis-à-vis these two particular skills in a World Language curriculum? What percentage of a student’s grade would you consider reasonable to devote to critical thinking and creativity? What’s more, are there other things you would want to include in an overall grading system which are not really classifiable under the four C’s? If so, what are they? We have some ideas, but we’re quite curious to know what you think as well.

So World Language gurus, we would love to hear your ideas. We’re trying to make this work, but we’re not yet sure how to solve the puzzle. Help us figure it out!

Looking forward to your comments, so until then, cheers!

Don


Going deeper with PBLL planning

This question was posted recently on Edutopia

Dear Don,

Thank you for your article. I am a French teacher at the American School of New Delhi and I am currently preparing a COETAIL program (Certificate of educational technology and information literacy) . As part of my last course, I have decide to implement a PBL task. I am teaching a beginner group and our next unit is about ‘food’. I have been inspired by your article to ask the students to set up a restaurant in a francophone country. As a novice with PBL, I would be really grateful if you could give me some advice to ensure a succesful and enjoyable experience for my students : do you give your students any vocabulary or structures beforehand? how do you make sure that they communicate with each other in the target language (considering that I have a beginner group, they might use more English than French)? How do you assess them along the way? How do you track individual’s participation in the group? I’ll appreciate any advice, rubrics, resources I could use to help me set up that project. Merci beaucoup!

 

Hi Julie – you have some GREAT questions! Well done on experimenting with PBLL (project-based language-learning) as well.

I usually introduce a PBLL-aligned unit with some form of comprehensible input in the form of a story related to the learning targets and including a driving question for inquiry. For example, for this “food unit,” the driving question(s) is/are: How can we help to preserve the rich culinary heritage of the Francophone world? The learning targets are formulated in “I can statements” = I can + language function + theme. For example:

  • I can describe how to prepare a recipe from the target culture.
    I can ask and answer questions about the foods of the target culture.
    I can help someone select a dish from a menu.

My story will model all these learning targets. I include key vocabulary and structures (not grammar! but syntactical relationships, or sentence frames) as a model of the language they will learn and produce. My story may have episodes as well, to break it down into segments, as all at once could be overload. I do not provide lists of words, I ask students to share out new words they are learning, and we create a word wall – usually on Padlet.com, but also the walls of the classroom. I am not keen on a “defined list” – I want students to own their vocabulary. There can be choices here.

Students work in groups of four ideally. More is too many, three is the least. They have assigned roles (decided by the group) to ensure everything is done well – project manager, secretary, questioner/clarifier, producer…). I help scaffold interpersonal communication between students with sentence frames – on Padlet and on paper. I also circulate around the room constantly, checking in with groups as they do their research. I ask and answer questions in French, and support their use of the target language. Students are encouraged to use target language as much as possible, but they are not required only to speak French.

I have rubrics for several things: collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and of course communication: oral and written, in the three modes of communication – interpretive, interpersonal and presentational. I am working on updates of my rubrics, including making variations for novice, intermediate and advanced level fluencies. The ones I have made are on my website at https://drdmd.wordpress.com – see the tab labeled “PBLL” – note that this page is under construction, but there is a link to my old site where there is all I have posted so far. More to come on this! You will find a lot of resources there.

I am writing a “how to” book on PBLL, but it is in draft, not yet done. More to follow on this!

I hope this gets you started! Thanks for your post, and best wishes on your good work!

Cheers,
Don


The Importance of World Languages and Intercultural Competence

The national debate about education seems omnipresent in the media, whether on TV or the radio, in newspapers and magazines, or in social media, from Facebook to Twitter, and more. As a nation, we look to our schools to educate students for participation in an increasingly flattened global economy. We hear about the importance of teacher accountability, of better test scores in math, sciences, and English. We also need to hear much more about creating increased opportunities for students to learn other languages, starting in early grades, so they may have sufficient opportunity to reach high levels of communicative proficiency and intercultural competence. The time has come for us to open up the debate more fully about this important question.

While it is true that English enjoys a position of prestige on the global scale, we should not to take it for granted; we cannot predict what the future may hold. Even so, America must develop citizens who can communicate well in other languages. We have to address national security concerns, to be sure. We must also to prepare students who can demonstrate respect for our trading partners. Beyond those concerns, we do well to ensure that students are prepared to understand our neighbors, friends, allies, foes, and those within our own borders who are members of language minority communities. Language learning opportunities open doors for mutual appreciation, understanding and respect. As a world leader, America needs citizens who show an interest in building positive and equal relationships with other nations. When we make that kind of investment, we gain much more than a business transaction. We also gain the prospect of making new friends and allies.

There is another benefit to language study that warrants our attention. Students who learn other languages also gain insights into other cultural perspectives, and intercultural competency, which is defined as the ability to communicate in culturally appropriate ways, while showing appreciation and understanding of others, and maintaining a spirit of openness and respect for others. To attain to a high level of intercultural competency, students require enough time not only acquire another language to sufficient proficiency, but also time to explore, explain, investigate, and reflect upon the perceptions of other cultural groups, their values and their beliefs.

 

As students investigate other cultures through authentic resources, they gain insights into the commonalities and the differences between cultures. According to studies by Kramsch, Deardorff, Moeller, and others, cultural inquiry leads to greater insights into one’s own culture, a greater awareness of the similarities and differences between cultures, and greater self-awareness. As students reflect on the results of their inquiry, they come to realize how culture impacts one’s attitudes and worldview. They reach a deeper understanding of others, and they also grow in flexibility, adaptability, empathy, and respect.

Intercultural Competence – A Conceptual Framework

To achieve these worthy goals, we must be bold in our efforts to increase language-learning opportunities in the early years of our children’s educational journeys. In my own school district, for example, we recently completed a group inquiry into the ways we could offer more opportunities for students to begin language study in early elementary years. We have a Spanish-English dual immersion magnet school, which has been in existence for several years. This highly successful program is modeled on the French immersion schools of Canada, which have a long-proven record of success in supporting students to become bilingual, interculturally aware, and cognitively more advanced than their monolingual peers. In my district, we have added a second dual immersion magnet school, and plan to add others. In addition, we have worked to establish clearly defined language learning pathways in K-12 so students will be able to pursue language studies across their educational journey. Efforts such as these should be considered and implemented across the country.

Clearly there are many advantages to establishing such language-learning opportunities for the future of our country and its citizens. Let us begin in earnest to discuss how we can ensure we meet these strategically essential goals, and how we may prepare our children to be globally aware and communicatively proficient in more than one language. The future of America’s standing in the world is at stake. Now is the time to act thoughtfully, thoroughly and intentionally, to meet these important objectives.