Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Semester 1 results: French 2

I am struggling with my French 2s this year.  I don't know what it is, but they are just not my favorite.  It seems like it's always a little bit like this because French 2 is where the upper classman who just finished French 1 mesh with the smarty pants who took French 1 in middle school.  The dynamic is strange and I have some huge attention seekers in those classes.

Anyway, here are my results of what my kids (and only the kids that had me last year and this no smarty pants who took French in 8th grade) did on their writing final.

 This is a student who is not the best student.  He struggles with paying attention.  I love that he throws in phrases like "Suddenly!" Also, his story is terribly tragic with the object of Mason's affection killed in a car accident.  Might be hard for a native to understand the story, but it's there...
 This is from an otherwise perfectionist student.  I'm proud that she is able to get away from that perfectionism a little bit to write a story with a few mistakes.  I just need to get her to make more mistakes to get more output from her...  I love that she used "lui a dit" correctly (even though her story jumps from past to present throughout) and used conjunction words to make the story sound more natural.
 This is my student who struggles the MOST.  He could give up.  He could drop.  Instead, he comes to see me during study hall because he feels safe with me.  I show you this one to hopefully encourage you to focus on relationships sometimes more than grades.  This kid has been through HELL and I can't imagine how he manages to focus at all in class.  But he just decided last month that he's going to try and make it in college.  I pray so hard that he finds an advocate wherever he goes because I know he can do it and make a better life than what he's living right now.
This is my first year with this student, but she wanted to skip into French 2 so badly that she contacted me last year (when she was an 8th grader) to see if I could help her do that.  So I gave her some novels to read, asked her if she had any questions, and that's it!  This is what she has been able to accomplish with reading only for one year (and even less, actually) and one semester of CI.  I have to admit, she a genius at languages...she must be!  She soaks it in like a sunflower with sunshine.  I can't wait to see what she can do in another semester!
And finally, my class clown's writing.  I have to fight with him most days to keep him from becoming a distraction.  We've had the talk about being an actor and not a distractor, and most days he redirects well...  This piece is almost 100% grammatically perfect.  With zero direct grammar instruction and I guarantee this kid isn't playing on on his own time for funsies.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Semester results: French 3

I also did La Personne Spéciale this semester with my French 3 classes (and French 2 as well) because a lot of these students had never met each other before (and some I had never met either).  I feel like their comprehension is better than in years past.  For example, we watched some Cyprien videos on youtube with the subtitles in French, and they said that they felt pretty confident that they understood what was going on.  I was able to do a lesson that I love (Alma movie talk) with them and embellish a ton because I knew that they would be able to understand.  So how are their results?  Well, here are the results from students who have ONLY had me as a French teacher.  In this case, these are students who were not "gifted" enough to start French in 8th grade (or were too busy taking music classes to start then).  Also, in Missouri, there is no language requirement, so a lot of the struggling students drop after year 2.
 I don't know why I can't get this to my apologies.  This student had almost perfect grammar for a French 3 student (in my opinion).  Especially if you read it out loud (for example, qui s'appelé should be qui s'appelait, but they are pronounced the same).  I love how the direct pronouns are in the correct places.  I doubt she could even tell you why they belong there.  Really impressive.
 This sample isn't as impressive as the last one.  This student is quiet and doesn't engage a lot with the class, but the high frequency words are there.  Not much else to say about this one.
 This is another quiet student.  Whenever she gives a presentation, the students are amazed that she can talk!  She is super smart, though, and is one of those students who sucks it all in even though she doesn't feel like spitting it back out.  There are a lot of really good things here.  The fact that she was able to use her vocabulary to tell a pretty good story, in my opinion.
This student had me last year in French 1 and wanted to skip to French 3, so she's not as precise as the other French 3 kids, but MAN, does she pick up vocabulary!!
There it is!  One semester of French 3.  I have some other really excellent students, but I only wanted to show students that I can claim 100% responsibility for...

Semester results-French 1

Okay, so we spent all of first semester on La Personne Spéciale, learning about all twenty-six students in my class.  I had one student who REALLY did not want to participate, so I saved her for last and talked her through it.  Instead of making her answer in a complete sentence (and let's not get into the forced output argument), I just let her answer one word or nod her head.  We went very slowly and I don't think any of the other students noticed that I was interacting with her differently than I had with others.

I thought I had results to share, but I forgot that I removed the speaking and writing portions of their test to allow them more time before assessing their language output.  All in all, I am EXTREMELY pleased with what they know and how they surprise me every day with their capabilities in the language.  Actually, I do have some five-minute free writes from last week, so I'll post those!  We had just started our first story, but had only spent about 20-30 minutes total with the new structures: Il y avait, elle s'appelait, aimait, voulait.

I've included a good one, a lower one, and the worst one.

The good one shows the accuracy that is possible with NO EXPLICIT GRAMMAR.  Most of my students are able to write with very few errors because they have seen the correct structures so many times.  The only thing I'm bummed about is that, by focusing an entire semester on LPS, they didn't get very good at talking about a lot of things.  Think about how much they can say after just learning those words from our first story...  So that's sad, but I think they'll pick them up quickly next semester.  Stay tuned...

Here is the worst one.  She got a few things out of her own brain before copying the colors from the color poster on the wall.  This student was absent SO much.  I think she is going to end up dropping at semester and trying again next year.  It's just soooo hard to catch up from a lot of absences.

This is another poor sample.  This student seems to pay attention in class, but he is not very socially active in class.  He prefers to keep to himself and shares little.  I'm hopeful that as he feels more comfortable, he will engage more and have better results.

That's it for this semester of French 1!