The Canadian Office of the commissioner of official languages conducted a recent study on the state of FSL and immersion in Canada. In short, it found that parents across Canada want their kids to learn French, and they want it to be available at school.
At the same time, there’s a shortage of FSL and immersion teachers, and some of them leave. Why?
The biggest reasons cited are not enough time to get everything done and classroom management issues.
In manufacturing, “not enough time to get everything done” is a “production capacity” issue. It’s handled using a number of strategies such as:
- Reducing the load
- Finding efficiencies, merging redundant tasks, eliminating non value-added tasks, etc
- Finding bottlenecks and fixing these before fixing the rest of the process
- Facilities and locations optimization
- Automation, machinery, tooling…
- …and many more such strategies…
What does this have to do with teaching French?
A lot. If teachers don’t have time to meet with parents, plan courses, deal with classroom management, find resources, plan for differentiated instruction, evaluation and so on, eventually, research tells us, teachers get frustrated to the point where some leave.
Good strategies specific to teaching include going paperless, blending learning and using integrated sites like Planet French, www.planetfrench.com
According to a survey by the Brother International Corporation, over half of us spend a huge amount of time every week searching for stuff we can’t find on our computers.
We decided to tackle the issue of saving teachers time. We had several meetings with teachers and with our internal teams, and came up with ways teachers could quickly find levelled resources they needed on just about any topic, including texts, videos, activities, you name it.
Thus came the creation of 3 search functions on the online platform Planet French. Planet French offers French teachers and all their students an online platform with over 600 pieces of content for grades 2 to 12, including weekly Canadian news videos in levelled French, complete online French courses on French culture and everyday real life situations, French immersion content for social studies and sciences and more.
The easiest and first way to search for content on planet french www.planetfrench.com is to use the loupe on the top right hand corner of the site. Just hit the loupe and type in a keyword.
The system will find relevant content for you.
The second way is to click on the “Les cours” menu tab. This reveals clickable links to courses by grade and level.
The third way is through the advanced search on the “search” menu tab, or on the right hand side of most pages. Clicking the “Search” reveals a list of checkboxes from which teachers can select their search criteria: by CEFR level, by difficulty level, and/or by topic.
A student just got a puppy and that’s what the class wants to talk about? No problem. Click the loupe, type in “chien” and voilà! You’ll be served with videos, activities, ebooks and even narrated audiobooks.
It’s a huge time saver.
Another time saver we tackled was the need to find resources at different levels around the same topic in order to apply differentiated instruction. Using the same topic saves time.
3 levels of difficulty in the same book saves time:
We made books and videos at different levels of difficulty in the same French kit. This is another huge time saver, and teachers love it.
See what they have to say in this short video clip.
You can find multi-levelled French kits on www.booksmarts.biz. They ship as printed books with DVDs and links to the corresponding online content, or you can subscribe your school or school board for online access to all the Booksmarts kits as well as weekly Canadian news videos in levelled French on www.planetfrench.com at just $399 per yr per school with promo code BP25399 when ordering from this link. Note: Discounted bulk pricing is available to school boards ordering for multiple schools. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-877-637-7323 for pricing.