Web and Video Language Immersion

Students are bombarded with media and spend too many hours in front of computer and TV screens. Does this mean we shouldn’t show videos in class? Of course not.

There is an important place for watching videos in the French or Spanish language classroom. Second languages are best learned in situ but not every student can jet off to Paris to experience French immersion. Video is a convenient alternative. For years I have used educational videos to help students learn French because it exposes them to native speakers.

Téléfrancais is for children in elementary grades. Sol, a French Canadian comedian, stars in the Parlez-Moi series for older students. I’m on the lookout for more modern materials, but the content and the pedagogy is excellent. My students giggle at the passé fashions but still enjoy the characters and stories.

The beauty of these two series is that episodes are short and funny. They explain vocabulary using sight, sound and repetition, within a controlled vocabulary which accumulates chronologically. For each video I make up a brief worksheet and have students hunt for the answers as they watch. Classes ask me to repeat the video, sometimes twice, to help them find the answers. In language teaching, repetition is gold and any time the students are asking to watch a native speaker over and over, they are concentrating on immersion learning.

French teachers interested in using my Téléfrançais worksheets should send me a message. I will scan them and email them to you personally.

Adult learners and students looking for enrichment can benefit from videos too. Check your local library for movies and TV shows in your target language. Make sure there is an option to view with English subtitles for maximum comprehension. Series which deal with everyday life and express a lot of emotion are especially good for learning common vocabulary, cultural gestures and facial expressions. I learned a lot of Spanish watching telenovelas (soap operas) before visiting Peru and it made a measurable difference in my ability to understand native speakers. If you need to refresh your oral comprehension or you are learning a language for the first time, I recommend watching a serial whether or not you like soaps in your mother tongue.

For pleasure as well as utility I strongly recommend BBC’s interactive web mystery for Spanish learners, Ma Vida Loca. In it, you are a tourist caught in a web of intrigue that takes you all over Spain. I wish there were more free web resources of this quality. If you know any, please share with fellow teachers by leaving a comment.

 

Creative Teacher Librarian

— Teaching more fun!

About

Maaja Wentz loves writing page-turning imaginative fiction. She is a prize-winning author of poetry, articles, and short stories. Her novel, Feeding Frenzy, is a Wattpad featured story and a Watty award winner. A teacher-librarian and avid reader, Maaja enjoys reviewing books. Amazon Page  

Posted in Creative Thinking Teaching and Learning, French, Spanish, travel Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
31 comments on “Web and Video Language Immersion
  1. Jen says:

    Hello Maaja,

    I love the series Parlez-moi but I am having a hard time finding a copy of it, I have season one but I was wondering if you could send me a copy of season two (or I can buy a copy of it from you). I have checked everywhere for the second season and it’s not online, public library, and I had even contacted TVO to see if they have a copy and they don’t.

    If there is anyway you can share the second season with me that would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Jen

  2. Maaja says:

    Sorry I can’t be of more use but I don’t have the technology to copy a copy of an old video tape. If I could, it would infringe copyright. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. I know my school board (TDSB) stopped carrying recordings of this series as of last year. Have you thought of checking out the BBC website for French learning materials? Also, try the links on my old French blog “FSL avec Madame W” http://fsl8.blogspot.ca/ There are lots of good links collected there.

  3. Denise says:

    Hi,

    My name is Denise and I just came across your site while searching for resources for my French classroom in NY. I just learned about “Téléfrançais” and would love to use it in my French classroom. So far, I can only find the videos online but I have read that there were teacher guides to go along with them. Do you know of where I may be able to find them. You also mentioned in your entry that I can message you personally for handouts that you had made for the program, which would be very helpful and useful in our classroom. Where should I e-mail or or how can I contact your further regarding this?

    Thank you,
    Denise

    • Maaja says:

      Hi Denise,

      Sorry I took so long to reply. I have never had handouts for Telefrancais myself. I just make them up one-by-one. I was going to fax them to you but I see you are long distance for me. Maybe I can scan them and send them to you that way? I would need an email address to do that. I think you can do that via this website so that it won’t appear in the comments. (You don’t want to broadcast your email address to the spammers). Once again, sorry it took me so long to see your message.

  4. Chant says:

    Hi!
    Is it still possible to get the Parlez-moi worksheets?
    thanks!
    Chantelle

    • Maaja says:

      Sorry about the late reply. I figured out your email address and will send you the sheets from school this week. Just promise not to use it beyond your own classroom. I didn’t make the videos, just the worksheets that go with them. — Thanks for your patience.

  5. Dino Guar says:

    Hi Maaja,
    I wanted to use the videos with my daughter, who is learning French in school. Could I still receive the worksheets to ‘Parlez-moi’?
    Thanks,
    Dino

    • Maaja says:

      Sorry about the late reply. I’ll email it to you this week. Just promise not to use it beyond your own home. I didn’t make the videos, just the worksheets that go with them.

  6. Madamie says:

    Oh my, this is exactly what I was looking for… ideas of what to do with Téléfrançais! I am also going to check out Parlez-moi! I would love copies of your activities. Merci!!!

    • Maaja says:

      Thanks for your interest Madamie. I will try to send you the files when I have access to them tomorrow. In the meantime, please note I have made sheets to got with Telefrancais only. They are my own work, building on the work of the videos. Please use them only for your own personal teaching and do not pass them on. If your colleagues want a copy, they can contact me here. Take care. — Maaja

  7. Maria Aranda says:

    Hi Maaja,

    You are probably starting to get tired of people bothering you about the worksheets. I teach French in a school in Australia and my students have loved the couple of episodes we’ve watched.

    Could I still receive the worksheets to ‘Parlez-moi’? Thanks so much for everything

    Maria

    • Maaja says:

      Yes, this is the blog post I get the most replies to! Sorry, I just realized I have scanned Téléfrançais but not Parlez-Moi. I’ll check and get back to you at the email address you are using here….

  8. Kim says:

    Bonjour! I see it’s been a while since you’ve added posts to your site. I am wondering if I may have copies of your Parlez-Moi sheets? I have been teaching Core French in Ontario for 15 years now and have yet to come across worksheets for Parlez-Moi. They would only be for classroom use of course. Let me know if you’d be willing to share. Thanks so much.

    • Maaja says:

      I can send you what I have. It is just for you to use. While I’m at it, can I add you to my Loon Lake Reading Club? I’m publishing my first novel in the fall and I’d love to send you a free story…

      • Kim says:

        Absolutely! I’d love to be a part of your Reading club. And yes, I will be the only one to use them. Thanks so much!
        Just use the email attached to this reply. That’s my school board email address.
        Thanks so much!

  9. Hello, our French Instructor found your site. He used Téléfrançais last year with our intro kids and tried to make a transcript of all the dialogue that we will be more than willing to share with you (once we double check it for all the typos!). We found Parlez-moi to use this year.

    Would you be willing to share your worksheets/materials for both? Our non-profit school accepts no more than 16 students per year, and most years has many fewer than that. This year we have six students. Our budget is extremely limited so shared resources are the way we try to go most often.

    Best,
    Amanda

    • Maaja says:

      Sure, no problem. Just keep in mind these are my imperfect, teacher-made materials. They aren’t supposed to be for commercial use (or for a school’s use) so you can give them to your French teacher for his personal use with his class. I don’t think it’s fair for you to keep a copy for the school, no matter the size. I’ll send the email for you to forward on to that teacher from work.

  10. Sue O says:

    I would love to see what you created for both telefrancais and Sol.

  11. Jelica Mihaldzic says:

    Bonjour, Maaja.

    I just came across your website and me to, I would be very grateful if I could get a copy of worksheets for Parlez-Moi. I am teaching Core French in BC and I would use the handouts only in my French 8 and 9 classes.

    Thank you so much,
    Jelica

  12. Mme Dunn says:

    Hi Maaja, I would love to receive copies of the materials you have created that support both Téléfrançais and Parlez moi. Thanks so much for sharing them. 🙂

    • Maaja says:

      I emailed you copies of my Parlez-Moi sheets. I hope they are useful to you. Also, you will find a link in my email to get a couple of free short stories. These days my focus is more on writing fiction than writing about teaching.

  13. Margaret says:

    I love the videos with SOL and was thinking about making worksheets for my class, but if you’re still sharing yours….would love!
    Merci!

    • Maaja says:

      Dear Margaret,

      Anything to make another French teacher’s life less hectic. I will sent the files to you via email. These days I’m more into writing fiction than creating French materials but SOL is too good not to use, non?

      Maaja

  14. maria taylor says:

    Hello Maaja,

    I’m a middle school core French teacher and I just came across your site. I would be incredibly grateful if you would still consider sharing the materials you made for SOL and Telefrancais. Thank-you so,so much for helping all of us out.

    Maria

  15. Mary Catanzaro says:

    Salut! I just came across your website and would also love a copy of the Parlez-Moi worksheets for my grade 7 and 8 classes. You are a gem for sharing so freely.
    Merci 🙂

    • Maaja says:

      Hi Mary,
      Thanks for taking an interest. I will email you the files but ask that you don’t share them with anyone. These are my own, working teacher’s files they are “as is.” I will send them along and hope you find them useful. Happy teaching and bonne journee!

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