French Unit Review Activities
Idaho Digital Learning Alliance's French courses were in need of a more interactive unit review experience. I acted as SME and developer, writing and building communicative activities for four semesters of French courses.
This project was a year-long endeavor with challenges around every corner. But it was deeply rewarding and a lot of fun!
My language teaching philosophy is highly communicative. From day one in an in-person setting, I teaching using no English in my classroom. It's careful and measured so that learners can still follow and not become overwhelmed, but actually acquire the language and the ability to use it. I wanted to carry as much of that philosophy into this project as I could, but there were obstacles.
Because my work here involved writing unit review activities and not building a course from scratch, I was at the mercy of the course's existing structure and content. I had to align every activity carefully to unit and lesson objectives while also aligning activity types to the test questions that learners would later encounter. That meant sacrificing just a little of what I might have done if I had built this whole course from scratch (including output activities, for example). Click this link to view an example of my alignment document to see how I ensured that course objectives and my activities aligned.
Along with that particular challenge, what I enjoyed most with this project was creating a fictitious Senegalese-Canadian family around which all (or at least the majority) of my activities could revolve. I wrote all of their stories, giving every member of the family a personality, profession, birthday, preferences, and friends.
This project is quite difficult to summarize, but in the following video, I take a shot at describing the thinking behind writing review activities for existing course content that doesn't necessarily align with my language teaching philosophy.