When you’re teaching French vocabulary, one of the most important things you can do is to introduce new vocabulary words in a way that is both effective and engaging. Whether you’re a core or immersion teacher, there are a few different ways you can go about presenting new French vocabulary words to your students.
Do your students get really excited when you start a new unit? My students have always looked forward to a new unit because above all else, they love learning new words! It makes sense. It’s a chance for them to express themselves even better, right?
Here are a few of my favorite methods for teaching French vocabulary.
One way to introduce new French vocabulary words is to create a word wall. This will help them associate the written word with an image. You can say them out loud and have your students take turns coming up to the word wall to point out each word as you say it. This will help them remember the meaning of each word and how to pronounce it.
If you want a fun and interactive idea for teaching French vocabulary, try using an activity like write the room to have students create their own French vocabulary lists. Hang the signs around the room and have students write in the words as they move around, creating their own French vocabulary lists.
Students will get the visual input like they did with the word wall, but the added fun of movement will help get them engaged. Because they’ll be writing their own words as they are moving, it’s great for visual learners, kinesthetic learners, and also those who learn best by writing. Have them read the words out loud to a partner as they fill out their sheets for an extra learning benefit!
French flashcards for partnered practice
Another activity I like to do when teaching French vocabulary words is to use flashcards. You can either make your own flashcards or purchase a set online. To use flashcards, simply hold up each card as you say the word out loud. Have your students repeat the word after you so they can practice pronouncing it. You can also have your students pair up and take turns holding up the cards for each other.
Want to add some movement? Put them up around your room and let students do a gallery walk, moving from card to card. Add a challenge by having the more advanced students use the new words in a sentence.
This will give your students some extra practice with pronouncing the words and will also help them learn how to spell each word correctly. Plus, I’m a huge fan of giving students plenty of time to work in partners or groups. It makes my job easier, it makes class more fun, and they get some much-needed social time.
Use French music
A third way to introduce new French vocabulary words is to listen to music. I talk about this all the time, because it works! Students retain vocabulary better when they can hum a song along with it. Plus, they just love music so much, and it’s a really helpful way to improve French listening comprehension.
One year, during our French travel unit, we listened to this song quite a few times while we talked about packing for our trips! It definitely got stuck in their heads, and they sure did memorize the phrase “J’ai mis dans ma valise…” I’m always looking for new French songs students will love!
There are many different ways that you can have fun teaching French vocabulary words to your students in a way that is both effective and engaging! Try out a few of these methods and see which ones work best for you and your students.
Talk to you soon!
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