Worldwide French

31st October 2003 at 00:00
Your forum for practical tips and ideas

This project took place in French Language Week, which is held in France and all French-speaking countries every March. Thirty-four of our AS-level students took part.

We began by exploring the Francophonie website ( where we found 60 to 70 activities, and homed in on one which called for young people to write messages to their peers in other French-speaking countries, saying what France and being a French speaker meant to them. In addition, every year the website chooses 10 key French words from a particular French author (this year's was Raymond Queneau) and I encouraged our students to make posters, poems, crosswords, stories and word searches using these words. They included bleu, mille, and dimanche.

Some really lovely stories emerged and it was a fun way of using French which tied in with the Unit 2 topic in the AQA syllabus, "France and the French Speaking World". Students get extra marks if they can quote authentic sources not used in the pre-released book and ours were able to do this in their essays. It also involved using ICT in the target language.

Our work was well received in France (all the students emailed their work to the organisers) and will be displayed at a cultural arts centre in Laon.

We recommend that French teachers visit the website early in the new year to find an event that will enliven their subject and motivate pupils.

Clare and Frank Park, teachers, Carmel Sixth Form College, St Helens, Merseyside

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