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Calligram Self-portraits

 In this activity, students are introduced to image poems called calligrams. They are then asked to create a self-portrait calligram with a short description of themselves. This activity is perfect for beginners who have just learned how to talk about themselves.     Descriptions may include: Name; Age; Origin; Languages […]

A Closer Look at “Beautiful” Artworks

This post presents a lesson designed for an Undergraduate Elective Course entitled “Focus on French Grammar”. Building on an exhibition held at the Musée du Quai Branly in 2018-2019, this content-based activity was tailored to help students practice the use of adjectives in French. As students learn about French colonial […]

Storytelling with Portraits

Pedagogy Scholarship has emphasized that storytelling is effective in L2 learning because it is fun, engaging and highly memorable. Storytelling has been praised for raising learners’ interest in listening to stories, as well as in speaking, writing and reading about them (Claudio Rezende Lucarevschi, The role of storytelling in language learning, 2016). […]

Assigning “Rebel Ladies”

Pénélope Bagieu is a French illustrator whose graphic novels have received widespread recognition. Her blog BD Les Culottées (which was compiled into a book in 2018) provides language educators with engaging teaching materials for intermediate courses and beyond (A2 +). Each comic features a (often overlooked) woman with an unusual […]

Teaching Languages with the Arts: Resources from NYC Museums

This post outlines the teaching resources offered by three NYC museums as a way to start filling your “toolbox” with visual-based activities. Many museums have developed valuable resources for educators interested in implementing activities based on artworks. With a bit of adjustment to your own teaching and learning environment, these may be fruitfully […]

Tactile Vocabulary: Designing Images

In this low-stakes exercise, students create an image that they design themselves, using a set of vocabulary words being studied. For this example, the language unit was focused on fashion, and so each student created their ideal outfit using fashion and textile words in the target language. However, this exercise […]

Around NYC: keeping a journal

Around NYC: Clue into the target language by keeping a journal The following activity is specifically designed to bring our city into your classroom and is great for all language levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. One way to get students to start thinking about the resources around them is to ask them […]

Student Conference

It may seem to your students that their language class has no connection to their other classes. Unless they’re studying linguistics or world literature, they may approach language class as if it takes place in a vacuum. The following activity will encourage your students to make connections between the language […]

Practicing Names of Countries with Artworks

This is a 20-minute interactive winning game in which: Students team up; They observe a set of artworks on Slides; They hypothesize the origin of each artwork among 4 options. (I usually give 20 to 30 seconds for each artwork.) We check their answers together. (Slides in French) Each group that gave […]

Describing Portraits

This is a 25-minute activity in which: Each student chooses a portrait image they like (My set here); In groups of 2, they describe their characters’ appearance; Finally, they present their artwork(s) to their classmates. Depending on the level of proficiency, the instructor may ask them to explain what they found arresting in the […]