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How I teach vocabulary in my French Immersion classroom

  • Post category:Vocabulaire

In this post, I will give you step-by-step instructions about how I teach new vocabulary in French Immersion.

1. Brainstorm Vocabulary Words

When introducing a new topic, whether it be back to school vocabulary or words that have the sound “a”, start by asking students what words they already know. They might not know any if this is their first year taking French but they might surprise you. When they give you new vocabulary, write it down and make them feel validated for trying.

2. Introduce new words with pictures

As you know, when learning a language, you need visuals, visuals, visuals! Whether you want to show a picture of a classroom or better yet, walk around your classroom and label different words, it’s up to you. You can also show word strips that you’ll later use for your word wall. Either way, make sure to read words with students together and use this opportunity to review pronunciation, syllables and sounds. It’s important that the word and picture be together so students can make the association.

How I teach vocabulary in my French Immersion classroom

3. Vocabulary Practice

In my opinion, this is the best way for students to retain vocabulary: games! Use your word wall strips to play games, in your centres, for writing, reading and oral communication.

Ideas for writing

– Give students a few words and ask them to copy it down in their notebook and draw a picture

– Ask students to write a simple sentence or a paragraph using the word given and draw a picture after

Ideas for reading

– Put students in partners and give them a few word strips each. Ask them to read one word to their partner and the partner has to try to spell it out or draw a picture of it or even describe what the word is

– Write simple sentences or paragraphs that include those words and use that for students to read

Ideas for oral communication

– Play charades with words. A student has to give a definition of the word to the class and the class has to guess what it is. The student who guesses takes a turn giving the definition of another word. At the beginning, give them sentence starters and model how they should be giving definitions:

**C’est un objet/une personne/une place.

**C’est rouge/vert/jaune.

**C’est petit/grand.

This is a great opportunity to introduce simple descriptive adjectives.

– Play a game similar to Taboo. A student has to give words that are similar to the word he/she has to help the class guess their word.

4. Set up centres that use those words

Centres are a great way for students to work with new vocabulary, use them, understand them and make them part of their daily routine.

In my centres, I use a lot of games so students have fun while learning (watch out for another post about my favourite games to use in centres). Below are just a few examples of centres that I’ve used and that focus on new vocabulary:

How I teach vocabulary in my French Immersion classroom
How I teach vocabulary in my French Immersion classroom
How I teach vocabulary in my French Immersion classroom
How I teach vocabulary in my French Immersion classroom

So there you go. These are a few ways that have always worked for me to introduce new vocabulary and help students retain them.

How I teach vocabulary in my French Immersion classroom

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