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Promising Inclusive Instructional Strategies for French as a Second Language Teachers

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  • Promising Inclusive InstructionalStrategies for French as aSecond Language Teachers

  • Author Team:

    Nipissing University Professor:

    Callie Mady

    Nipissing-Parry Sound

    Catholic Teachers:

    Julie Amendola,

    Josée Charland,

    Tricia Renaud,

    Sarah Surtees,

    Joanne Zettler

    Table of Contents

    Foreword ........................................................................... 1

    Introduction ........................................................................ 2

    Instructional Strategies According to Strands: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing ............................... 3

    Listening ........................................................................ 3

    Speaking ...................................................................... 9

    Reading ...................................................................... 13

    Writing ....................................................................... 15

    Additional Strategies .......................................................... 19

    To Increase Students’ Attention ......................................... 19

    To Increase Engagement ................................................ 19

    To Improve Classroom Management ................................ 19

    To Reduce Anxiety ........................................................ 20

    References ....................................................................... 21

  • Foreword

    The Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board with the support of the Ontario Ministry of Education initiated a professional development series to address the inclusion of students with learning disabilities in French as a second language (FSL) classes: core and immersion, elementary and secondary. FSL teachers participating in the series attended four full day workshops addressing the broad topic of inclusion with specific sessions tailored to meet their needs as indicated at the first meeting. We, Callie Mady and Patricia Renaud, Catholic Curriculum Coordinator – FSL, organized the sessions that included the use of Languages for All (Arnett, 2013) and featured a variety of guest speakers including Fred Genesee (Professor, McGill University), Nancy Wise (French Immersion Educational Consultant), Lynn Barnhardt (Speech Language Pathologist), Donna Lowe (Behaviour Management Consultant) and Trish Tessier (Mental Health Lead). The teachers chose from the instructional strategies presented to implement in their classrooms and reported back on their experiences.

    The teachers shared that they gained in pedagogical knowledge adding strategies to their repertoires to better meet the needs of students with learning disabilities in FSL. In addition to their gains in knowledge, the teachers indicated increased confidence in their ability to meet the needs of students with learning difficulties. The teachers noted increased student motivation, engagement, and participation. With the hopes of sharing of our learning, we are providing FSL teachers with this document that prompts reflection on instructional strategy use.

    We would also like to acknowledge the support and sponsorship of the senior administration team at Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board for its role in the implementation and realization of this project. Furthermore, we thank the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada through the Department of Heritage for their financial support.

    May you and your students reap benefits from your engagement with this resource!

    Callie Mady and Patricia Renaud

  • Page 2

    Introduction

    This document outlines some promising inclusive instructional strategies for French as a Second Language (FSL) teachers. In particular, it categorizes instructional strategies according to the strands of the Ontario FSL curriculum. The goal is to remind and/or present for the first time instructional strategies that FSL teachers can add to their repertoire to respond to the diverse needs of their students with a view to increasing student success. It is worth noting that some of the instructional strategies may be applicable to more than one strand (e.g., many of the strategies to enhance students’ listening comprehension are also applicable to improve students’ reading comprehension).

    This document is a product of a collaborative professional development series that focused on inclusion in FSL classrooms or programs. Callie Mady and a group of FSL teachers, both elementary and secondary, Core and Immersion, worked together to choose and implement instructional strategies grounded in research (e.g., ) with a view to improving inclusion in FSL. Below are the instructional strategies that teachers in the project implemented in their classrooms to support students’ success in FSL. It is therefore not an exhaustive list. Although the strategies are addressed to teachers, once they have been established students can become increasingly responsible for their selection and use. Following the categorization of instructional strategies according to strand, there are additional, more general strategies, that the group found to be advantageous in creating a positive FSL classroom in which students are willing to use French to communicate.

    The instructional strategies are presented with an accompanying scale with which teachers can self-assess their instructional strategy use. in checklist format to encourage self-reflection. We invite teachers to use the checklists as best suits their practice. For example, it may be useful to choose one strand to meet the needs of certain students at the current time; it may also be beneficial for recollection purposes to go over the entire list and choose a strategy or two to try. We encourage teachers to return to the list over time to add strategies to their repertoires and try different strategies to meet the needs of different students. In addition to the self-assessment scales, we have provided space for teachers to add strategies that are not mentioned, but that they have found effective. This document also provides photos to illustrate certain instructional strategies mentioned, as well as links to videos providing classroom examples of some of the strategies being implemented.

  • Instructional Strategies According to Strands: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writ ing

    Listening

    Check the strategies you use at present, adding strategies that you find helpful that are not on the list.

    To enhance students’ listening comprehension:

    • Monitor rate of speech, slowing down where necessary.

    How frequently do I ...

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetWait 20-45 seconds to allow think time?Speak slowly enough for my students to comprehend?Clearly pronounce and articulate words and phonemes?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    For practical examples monitoring speech, please see:

    http://www.curriculum.org/fsl/projects/cefr-inspired-classroom-practices/dash/play/23316

    http://www.curriculum.org/fsl/projects/cefr-inspired-classroom-practices/dash/play/23318

  • Page 4

    • Adapt speech to enhance comprehension

    How frequently do I ...

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetRepeat?Use words that my students understand (mots familiers)?Clearly pronounce and articulate words and phonemes?Use cognates (e.g. des mots-amis)?Emphasize key words?Rephrase?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    • Provide multimodal support for key words/ideas (e.g., write on board, use visuals)

    How frequently do I ...

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetHave a word wall?Model the use of the word wall?Provide visual support? (e.g. images, posters, sentence starters, learning goals)Use the white/black board?Use appropriate technology efficiently?Use manipulatives to teach concepts?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

  • • Use gestures

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetUse gestures and actions to support speech?Use gestures and actions to prompt students?Use facial expressions to prompt students?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    • Monitor new language use and re-use new language on multiple occasions

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetMonitor that I am using new language?Model new language corresponding to students’ levels?Re-use new language in different contexts?Provide opportunities for my students to use and re-use language in authentic contexts

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

  • Page 6

    • Monitor your own and students’ first language(s) use (i.e., maximize French use)

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetMaximize my use of French?Monitor my use of English?Use English sparingly and judiciously?Provide opportunities for students to share their knowledge of languages other than English and French?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    • Model self-correction

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetUse think aloud to prompt students to reflect on language conventions (e.g., Hmm, mes amis est-ce que j’ai besoin de “ent” ou “e” ici?)Model self-correction?Structure opportunities for students to self-correct?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    • Provide a variety of authentic audio texts

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetProvide opportunities for my students to hear a variety of accents and registers?Provide opportunities for students to demonstrate comprehension of their peers?Play authentic audio recordings for students to hear francophone peers?Make students aware of sound differences between accents prior to listening to an accent with which they are unfamiliar?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

  • • Advance Preparation for listening

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetSeek options to adjust the speed of audio?Choose appropriate relevant audio (grade level, interest, vocabulary, content)?Offer visual support? (e.g. video, French sub-titles, script)Give audio recording to students when possible for additional listening?Share goal of listening with students? (e.g., understand main idea rather than every word)Provide multiple opportunities for watching the same clip?Provide students with a graphic organizer to prepare for and enhance comprehension?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    For a practical example of preparing students to listen:

    See “Activer” video at http://www.curriculum.org/courseplans/grade-9-lesson-plan-01

  • Page 8

    • Modelling

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetModel the selection and use of strategies appropriate to the task and their needs?Explicitly teach the use of active listening?Model listening strategies? (e.g., listen to instructions, predict topic, vocabulary, confirm predictions, take notes, identify ideas, make inferences, repeat what was understood)Prompt my students to use listening strategies?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    Review your instructional strategy use as it pertains to listening. What strategies do you use that work well for your students ?

    Which strategy/strategies could you try to implement more frequently?

  • Speaking

    Check the strategies you use at present, adding strategies that you find helpful that are not on the list.

    To enhance students’ speaking production:

    • Prepare for production:

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetBrainstorm vocabulary/expressions in advance?Offer sentence starters?Provide a model?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    For a practical example of preparing students to speak:

    See “activer” video at: http://www.curriculum.org/courseplans/grade-6-lesson-plan-01

  • Page 10

    • Offer opportunities for authentic, social language use (e.g., describing a lost item to the lost and found, discussing a movie with a friend)

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetProvide ample opportunities for student talk time?Offer multiple opportunities for students to re-use language in different contexts?Situate speaking opportunities in authentic contexts that would be found outside the classroom?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    For practical examples of preparing students to speak, please see:

    http://www.curriculum.org/fsl/projects/cefr-inspired-classroom-practices/dash/play/23322

    http://www.curriculum.org/storage/30/1370607618/FSL-module-3.pdf

    http://www.curriculum.org/fsl/projects/exploring-the-cefr/dash/play/23670

    See “Acquérir” video at http://www.curriculum.org/courseplans/grade-9-lesson-plan-01

    • Explain that mistakes are a normal part of second language learning

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetAllow myself to make mistakes?Provide a safe environment for risk taking?Focus on the content and communicative aspects of students’ production?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

  • • Provide a model for student production

    How frequently do I …

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetModel for students?Give opportunities for students to model for other students?Use media to model? (e.g. smartboards, listening centres, audio clips, video clips)

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    • Give preparation time

    How frequently do I…

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetOffer students opportunities to record themselves to get feedback before sharing?Balance preparation time with opportunities for spontaneous speech?Provide for practice with peers before sharing as a whole group?Allow a student to pass before requiring a response to a spontaneous question while returning to student after others model response?Allow students to write an answer before requiring one orally?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    For practical examples of provision of preparation time, please see:

    http://www.curriculum.org/fsl/projects/cefr-inspired-classroom-practices/dash/play/23322

    http://www.curriculum.org/fsl/projects/cefr-inspired-classroom-practices/dash/play/23324

    http://www.curriculum.org/fsl/projects/on-est-capable-on-peut-se-parler-en-francais-et-on-aime-ca

  • Page 12

    Review your instructional strategy use as it pertains to speaking. What strategies do you use that work well for your students ?

    Which strategy/strategies could you try to implement more frequently?

  • Reading

    To enhance students’ reading comprehension:

    • Give careful consideration of text(s) selected:

    How frequently do I…

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetSelect texts with mostly familiar language for independent reading?Provide texts with and without a visual representation? (a lot of specific images to support early learners)Provide texts on topics of interest to students?Re-use the same texts for multiple purposes?Offer texts with high interest/low vocab?Select a variety of genres?Give different texts to different students?Use fonts with no extra distractions? (e.g. with no tags as it creates distractions)

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    • Pre-plan

    How frequently do I…

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetPrepare pause points in advance to support reading goals?Differentiate the same text? (e.g. same text in different formats, chunking of text)

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

  • Page 14

    • Reading with students

    How frequently do I…

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetUse pre-reading strategies to prepare students to understand content and language? (e.g., activate prior knowledge, connect to personal experience, review text)Preview questions prior to reading?Draw students’ attention to key areas of an individual text? (e.g., title, format pictures)Offer multimodal support for reading? (e.g., have instructions read aloud, have passages read aloud, and demonstrate decoding where appropriate)Use/model “during reading” strategies? (e.g., highlighting known words, using the context to determine meaning, make predictions, comparisons)Offer diverse means of showing comprehension? (e.g. graphic organizers, acting it out, drawing)

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    For a practical example of reading with students:

    http://www.curriculum.org/fsl/projects/cefr-inspired-classroom-practices/dash/play/23317

    Review your instructional strategy use as it pertains to reading . What strategies do you use that work well for your students?

  • Which strategy/strategies could you try to implement more frequently?

    Writing

    To enhance students’ writing production:

    • Prepare for production:

    How frequently do I…

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetBrainstorm vocabulary/expressions in advance?Offer sentence starters?Provide a model (e.g., models that focus on format, consider the audience)?Model using the writing resources? (e.g. dictionary, word walls, referring to exemplars, asking peers, feedback)Provide time to talk prior to writing tasks (e.g., brainstorm ideas to generate a message)?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

  • Page 16

    For a practical example of preparing students to write:

    See “activer” and “acquérir” videos at http://www.curriculum.org/courseplans/grade-3-lesson-plan-01

    • Provide structure to enhance production

    How frequently do I…

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetOffer an authentic audience and context for students’ production?Monitor the writing process with my students? (e.g., follow format structure, make a plan, rough copy, check work)Differentiate the writing task? (e.g., consider number of questions that require a written response, length of response, type of response)Give opportunities for writing in small groups?

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

  • • Offer resources

    How frequently do I…

    Frequently Sometimes Not YetAllow the use of technology? (e.g., text-to-speech, voice-to-text software, word processing).Teach editing/structure peer editing? (e.g., providing a checklist for language and format)Guide students’ self-assessment (e.g., referring students to success criteria)Offer a variety of writing tools? (e.g., grips, thick pencils, lined paper)

    _______________________________________________________

    (additional strategy)

    For a practical example of guiding students’ self assessment:

    See “acquérir” video at: http://www.curriculum.org/courseplans/grade-6-lesson-plan-01

  • Page 18

    Review your instructional strategy use as it pertains to writing . What strategies do you use that work well for your students?

    Which strategy/strategies could you try to implement more frequently?

  • Additional Strategies

    To increase students’ attention:

    • Consider sensory input (e.g., noise levels, visual clutter, use of coloured paper)

    • Model self-monitoring/self-regulating (e.g., I am feeling restless, I am going to change my seating position)

    • Provide means for students to self-monitor/self-regulate (e.g., have water, move, use fidget materials, noise canceling headphones, cycle under desk)

    To increase engagement:

    • Establish routines

    • Provide different seating options

    • Offer positive reinforcement

    • Give students means to track progress (e.g., check lists, tracking sheet)

    • Use signals such as clapping, lights on-lights off, song or gesture (e.g., to indicate a transition in activities, to get an individual’s attention, to indicate when the student will be responsible for the next answer)

    • Offer choices/student selection where possible

    • Choose topics of interest to students where possible

    • Design open-ended tasks

    • Provide multiple entry points

    • Develop clear, attainable goals and success criteria

    To improve classroom management:

    • Encourage student use of self-regulation strategies

    • Offer a visible agenda

    • Provide additional time for tasks

  • Page 20

    • Provide wait time when asking a question (i.e., more than ten seconds)

    • Consider that the amount of time per activity corresponds to students’ needs

    To reduce anxiety:

    In addition to many of the strategies above that will help to reduce anxiety:

    • Inform the students in advance of changes in routine

    • Model and provide time for simple, brief relaxation exercises (e.g., slow deep breathing)

    • Avoid unannounced assessments

    • Allow students to rehearse answers prior to calling on them

    • Model a positive attitude

    • Share evaluation methods and formats in advance

  • References

    Arnett, K. (2004). Effective teaching and adaptive instruction in core French: A case study of a grade 8 classroom in Ontario. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Toronto: Toronto, Ontario.

    Arnett, K. (2013). Languages for all. Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada.

    Curriculum Services Canada. (n.d.) A guide to reflective practice for core French teachers: Module 6: Learner autonomy and metacognition. Toronto, ON: author.

    Dover, W. (1996). The personal planner and training guide for the paraprofessional. Manhattan, KS: The Master Teacher Inc.

    Ontario Ministry of Education. (2013). Supporting Minds: An Educator’s Guide to Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-being Draft version. Toronto, ON: author.

    Ontario Ministry of Education. (2015). Including students with special education needs in French as a second language programs: A guide for Ontario schools. Toronto, ON: author.

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