How to encourage your students to speak French among friends

Last spring, I shared an idea for encouraging your students to speak French on the blog. It shared an idea for your students to do individually (you can check out the post HERE). 

In that post, I mentioned that I do a variety of things all throughout the year. I like to keep things interesting, and my students engaged and challenged.

I also like to switch between individual systems and group systems (where we work together).

This post is going to be about another thing that worked well for us last year (we wrapped it up right before March break). 

This is something you can try if you're looking for a whole-class option, where everyone works together for a common goal or prize.




 HOW DOES IT WORK?

 

For this method, you'll need 10 frames, a poster explaining what you're doing (optional), and paper chain links in whatever colours you like. 

You'll also need a "prize" that your students are working towards -- I like to let them pick a theme day, and when they "win,” PJ day is usually the winner!  ;)

  1. Decide where and when you want your students to focus on speaking French. This last time, I chose in the classroom and in the hallway. You might want to add outside, during special events or  in the cafeteria -- whatever you like! 
  2. Outside of your classroom, be sure to hang up the little poster explaining what you're doing, so that other teachers can "catch" your students speaking French as well.
  3. Display a few 10 frames on the wall. I usually put 10 up at a time. Students will be trying to fill the ten frames with stickers. Each time a student is overheard speaking French = one sticker. Every 10 stickers = a full 10 frame = a "link" added to the paper chain.
  4. Establish criteria with your students -- how can they earn stickers for the grille de 10?
  5. Explain the prize. What are your students working towards? I like free things (no treasure box in my room!) and things that my students are willing to work for. Theme days, computer lab time, a movie afternoon... the possibilities are endless!
  6. I start my chain from the ceiling, and add a link each time a grille de 10 is filled. The chain gets longer and longer, and when it touches the floor, they win their récompense. You might choose to start your chain closer to the ground so they can earn their prize more quickly, especially if it's your first time. We really want them to "buy in" and for the goal to feel realistic! Each time you finish a chain, you can start the next one higher up.
  7. Get started! In the beginning, you'll want to hand out stickers like candy, and then gradually pull back and make them work harder for their stickers. That's why we are trying to fill the 10 frame before adding links (if you gave a link for each French attempt, your chain would likely touch the ground in a day!).


The great thing about this system is everyone is working towards the same prize, but you can adjust when you give stickers based on your students' skills and your expectations for them individually. 

For example, one student might get a sticker for speaking French to me, but for another, stronger, student, I might only give one if I overhear them speaking French with a classmate when I'm not part of the conversation.

 

WANT TO GIVE IT A GO?

 

If you want to give this a try, good news! 

I've added a link for you to sign up and download my poster and 10 frames for free, right HERE. Just add your name & email, click the pink button, and I'll email them to you right away. 

I've made it as easy as possible for you to start this system as early as tomorrow! :)

It's basically just print, cut the 10 frames apart, and go -- I definitely don't feel the need to laminate or anything.



Again, click HERE for your copy!

 And remember, if you're looking for an individual system with individual prizes, you can check out my blog post from a couple weeks ago about my French behaviour bingo & fancy sticker method :)

 


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