Class observation for: Valentin Duquet, French 202.
Class observation by: Cathy Nock, Interim French Language Program Coordinator. Syracuse University.
Description of class:
- The students are seated in a semi-circle and Valentin is at the front of the class.
- There is a power-point slide displayed on the screen.
- The students do a role play using the new vocabulary items from p.314 in chapitre 9. They had started it in class the previous day. Each group presents a 3-way conversation between a manager, an employee and an accountant.
- Valentin gives them time to explore the topic and they discuss some fairly complex ideas with the new words.
- They then begin to discuss the court-métrage “Bonbon au poivre”. They discuss the questions in Ex. 2 on p. 316, in pairs. Valentin circulates to answer any questions.
- He shows clips from the video and they discuss what is happening. Valentin continues to ask questions and engage the students in conversation. They then go on to p. 320 to work on another exercise in pairs. They discuss the characters and their motivations. Valentin stresses the use of vocabulary and pronunciation. Some students engage in the discussion and answer his questions, others remain a bit quiet.
- He tells them to come up with a different ending in pairs, using the conditional tense. They talk about what would happen under certain circumstances.
- Then they discuss the meaning of the title. Valentin shows them different images of peppers and they come up with hypotheses about the meaning. Then he asks them to come up with a slogan or catch-phrase for the film and they share their thoughts.
- Class is dismissed at 10:25.
- This was an outstanding class, especially from a planning point of view. The lesson was carefully organized, with a variety of activities and visual support on the screen.
- Valentin skillfully asks them questions, encourages the use of new vocabulary and elicits responses from them, all in French. The students do a great job of responding and in some cases, of being creative with the language.
- There is ample opportunity for the students to read, write, speak and listen to French, and Valentin does a good job of holding the pairs accountable for their “product” after each task by having them share what they did with the class. Valentin is approachable and speaks French clearly. It is clear that the students feel comfortable in the class, and he encourages questions and interaction.
- Consider lowering the lights so that slides/images on the screen are more easily visible (the middle button usually works to keep the light off the screen while still lighting the seating area.)
- Keep in mind the importance of moving students physically at least one time, so that they do not remain in the same place for a long period, and also so they all have the opportunity to work with a variety of classmates.
- When doing book activities, to save time you can assign specific questions to each group and then use their responses to engage them in a discussion, rather than each group responding to each question.