Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Field Trip Time = Practice Time!

Last week, we had the pleasure of taking our 6th grade students to the Alliance Française in Chicago for a cooking workshop and to view the French film, Le Château de ma mère.  It is a wonderful field trip for establishing an immersion atmosphere because all of the activities are conducted completely in French. 

In using the Real Language right away programs, we believe that class time should be practice time.  Naturally, field trip time should be practice time, too, so we implement our immersion system when we have the chance to do field trips.  This helps younger students to get used to the system before their 5-day trip to Québec in 8th grade, and it also allows us to maximize the time we have for French.  The students speak only in the target language all day, even while on the bus.  For this field trip, I gave each student 40 participation points to begin with, and if I heard them speak English, they lost 2 points.  We had lots of billets with us so that they could earn their points back if they slipped up.  Each billet is worth one fifth of a point.  We give them to students who are making an effort to practice French with their classmates and with us.  Everyone was very successful, and some students finished the day with some extra credit, earning 41 or 42 points out of 40.

On the bus, I encouraged a few students to earn some billets by taking short videos of them, introducing themselves in French.  I have posted the clips below; you will hear in the background that the students were not shy about practicing their French with one another!


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