Top 5 Magic Teaching Tips for the FSL Classroom

Are you teaching FSL (French as a Second Language) this year? If so, this blog post is for you! I know these tips will help ensure that French class is where your students want to be. Which is kind of like a magic trick? Right…

1) Build in Success

Everyone likes things that they are good at. It’s like human nature. So we need our students to feel like they are “good at” French. When we take the time to ensure that each and every one of our students experiences success with FSL, we are helping them to like French. This will encourage them to persevere more throughout the entire year of FSL lessons.

One way that I ensure each and every one of my FSL students experiences success is by focusing on simple units first. I like to start by teaching French numbers. Need help with teaching ideas? Check out THIS blog post all about teaching French numbers to 100.

2) Provide Positive Reinforcement

Provide praise and encouragement to help students feel more confident and motivated. This is ESPECIALLY important if you have any students who struggle with their behaviour. Catch them doing something right and praise, praise, praise. Just be careful because kids can smell a rat from a mile away. Your praise needs to be authentic.

positive reinforcement in FSL class

Some simple comments include:

  • I love how you made a real effort to speak in French today!
  • Great job figuring out what that word means! You have awesome inferencing skills.
  • Thank you for actively participating in the game. You are such a great leader.

3) Daily Oral Language Opportunities

Why do we want to learn second languages? When I was in school, I was motivated to learn French so that I could travel more easily. I pictured myself sitting in France, chatting with the locals and falling in love with the French man who owned the restaurant. Now while the whole French man thing didn’t actually happen, I have been to France a few times now and being able to talk to people has been a huge lifesaver. How else are you going to ask where the bathroom is?

Kids need to practice SPEAKING French. They need oral language opportunities WAY more than they need endless vocabulary worksheets.

So, build oral language opportunities into each and every one of your FSL classes. This can be as simple as playing a Would you Rather Game or using some French Conversation Prompts.

4) Make Learning Fun and Interactive

Use games, songs, and projects to engage students in the lesson and keep them interested. When you take the time to make FSL class fun and engaging, students learn way more.

Some of my favourite go-to games include:

  • Dix
  • Pamplemousse
  • Charades
  • Pictionary
  • Hang Man (I always change this up to drawing like a snowman or a flower, etc.)
  • Telephone
  • Loto
  • Pop
  • Go Fish
  • Concentration

Want some fun French game ideas? Check out THIS blog post!

Need some engaging French units that include projects, games, activities and detailed lesson plans? Click HERE to check mine out!

5) Utilize visuals

Visuals like pictures and videos can help students learn and remember new words, phrases, and grammar structures. That is why each and every one of my French activities incorporates visuals!

Here are some ideas for incorporating more visuals into your FSL class.

  • use Google Slides presentations with images when introducing new vocabulary terms
  • use Conversation Prompts that have visuals to help students better understand
  • use assessments that have visuals so that students can more easily recall their knowledge
  • ask students to sketch drawings of different French terms on mini whiteboards during games like Pictionary
FSL digital quiz using visuals

There you have it, my 5 best tips for teaching FSL. I hope that you can incorporate at least one of these French teaching ideas into your classroom this year.

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