PYP French – some teaching ideas

I would like to share some of the ideas that are popping in my mind about my French PYP classes:

Exploring the phonology of the language by…:

  • keeping a journal of awarenesses (in mother tongue and/or English)
  • creating a concert of vowels (and perhaps make a song with my lovely looping machine)
  • making a skit about sounds combat
  • using scratch to create a programme to practice sounds
  • using scratch and makey-makey to create interactive work of art that speak
  • practicing yoga in French
  • creating breakout edu games
  • engaging in scavenger hunts


Other ideas might be…

  • mindfulness in French
  • conversations with Dash and Dot
  • Makerspace integrations
  • sentence constructions with fridge magnets
  • record a podcast
  • breakout edu
  • cooking
  • stop motion animation
  • Mystery Skype in French
  • Choose a picture and explain why you chose it
  • Virtual field trip (Versailles)
  • Greenscreen
  • Invisible writing tasks
  • Penpals
  • Passion projects (linked to the exhibition)
  • Create a collective illustrated book for children in French

As we personalize learning, students create their own goals and review them regularly to track their progress. We should have a spreadsheet to keep track of them and celebrate achievements.

Using peer assessments and self-assessments, we can promote autonomy and inter dependence. We need to know for ourselves that we know or don’t know a concept, how to correct ourselves or when to ask for support and how to develop inner criteria of self-correctness.

Some of the resources might include…

5Dplanner, 360 degree + Thinglink, Minecraftedu, EdPuzzle (create) and share your recipe online, Voki, Tour Builder, Edpuzzle, duolingo, rosetta stone, story board, Twitter, searching, planning a trip, creating a blog post, makey-makey, sketchnote, aurasma, QR code, infographic…

Some of the ways we can celebrate learning and reflecting…

Every time the students come in the class, they go across the “magic boundary” (ligne magique). They start with a calm activity (breath in and out, yoga or mindfulness in French), they express their intention to work (from the list in the classroom: this list is populated with the students and updated when the need arises).


I have been quite impressed at how much we can get from the ‘discipline’ of journaling.

Closeup Photo of Journal Book and Pencils

Journaling allows us to dive deep into ourselves. We think about ourselves, our learning, we reflect and we become more aware of things we want to accomplish, things that are important to us and how we might get there.

I have noticed that journaling is an excellent tool for self-reflection, a great habit for self-improvement and for learning, and teaching!

I am starting an experiment with my students very soon where they will use their own journal at every class (or at least every week) to record their growing awareness(es) about their learning (while they are learning French) as well as writing down what they notice/d about themselves as learners (and simply as humans / persons)!

I am looking forward to seeing them involved in this exercise and finding out how this might contribute to showcasing learning evidence.

Use of trans-language in the Foreign Language Class

What is trans-language?

Well, it’s a mix of languages! It’s a communication process where the speakers uses several languages!

Why is this useful?

We don’t want to wait for a speaker to be perfect to start speaking! Trans-language is the promotion of communication and expression by using creative ways to make meaning and share ideas.

This is an excellent tool to contribute in a foreign language class because the students are still learning and still making connections to the target language they are learning.

How might we use trans-language in a foreign language class?

I personally like to use trans-language when I have to incorporate instructions or make connections between the content and the IB Learner profile and Approaches to Learning. As I started to use the “Split Screen” strategy, I incorporated trans-language to talk about the meta-language!

The split screen is something I learn during a PD day in my school. It might come from Kath Murdoch’s work on inquiry. Basically, the Split Screen is a way to visually and intentionally show how a specific content we are teaching relates to the “How” (ATLs, Learner profile). For example, in my French class, I write on the board what we might do during the lesson:

Mindfulness Mediation

Creation of ebooks

Exit ticket


If I do a split screen, I might add another column and, with the students, break down the skills we might call for to engage in the different tasks.

Mindfulness Mediation ——————-Learner profiles: open-minded, principled, balanced.

Creation of ebooks ——————— ATLs: Communication

Exit ticket ————————— Reflection about my learning


The Split Screen can be in trans-language or the oral explanation of it could be.


I hope this is useful to some of you 🙂