The Learning Strategies That We Will be Focusing On This Year

According to the Alberta Program of Studies for French as a Second Language,

Students use their life experiences, knowledge, skills and attitudes as a basis for developing their second language communicative abilities for real-life purposes; that is, students comprehend oral and written French, and they express and negotiate meaning, orally and in written form, in French. Since language is embedded in culture, students will also acquire cultural knowledge about various Francophone peoples in order to gain a better understanding of these cultures and their own. This program of studies aims to promote in students:

• a desire to learn French for personal benefit,

• a desire to develop communicative skills in French,

• a willingness to experiment with a second language,

• a willingness to participate in a variety of learning experiences in French,

 • an acceptance and appreciation of French language learning as one of the many subject area experiences in which they engage,

• a recognition that learning French supports and reinforces knowledge and skills acquired in other subject areas,

• the acquisition of learning strategies that are also applicable to English language arts and other subject areas,

• the acquisition of language learning strategies that can be transferred to the acquisition of other languages,

• an awareness that the French language is used outside the classroom as a medium for learning and communication, and

• respect for cultural and linguistic diversity

(; pages 1-2)

Learning anything new is hard but there are so many strategies that we are going to use this year that are going to assist the students in other subject areas. These learning strategies include:

Language Learning Strategies

• listen attentively
• perform actions to match the words of a song, story or rhyme
• learn short rhymes or songs, incorporating new vocabulary or sentence patterns
• imitate sounds and intonation patterns
• memorize new words by repeating them silently or aloud
• seek the precise term to express meaning
• repeat words or phrases in the course of performing a language task
• make personal dictionaries
• experiment with various elements of the language
• use mental images to remember new information
• group together sets of things—vocabulary, structures—with similar characteristics
• identify similarities and differences between aspects of French and your own language(s)
• look for patterns and relationships
• use previously acquired knowledge to facilitate a learning task
• associate new words or expressions with familiar ones, either in French or in your own language(s)
• find information, using reference materials such as dictionaries, textbooks and grammars
• use available technological aids to support language learning

• check copied writing for accuracy
• make choices about how you learn
• rehearse or role-play language
• decide in advance to attend to the learning task
• reflect on learning tasks with the guidance of the teacher
• make a plan in advance about how to approach a language learning task
• reflect on the listening, speaking, reading and writing process listen or read for key words
• evaluate your performance or comprehension at the end of a task
• keep a learning log
• experience various methods of language acquisition, and identify one or more considered to be particularly useful personally
• be aware of the potential of learning through direct exposure to the language
• know how strategies may enable coping with texts containing unknown elements
• identify problems that might hinder successful completion of a task, and seek solutions
• monitor your speech and writing to check for persistent errors

• initiate or maintain interaction with others
• participate in shared reading experiences seek the assistance of a friend to interpret a text
• reread familiar self-chosen texts to enhance understanding and enjoyment
• work cooperatively with peers in small groups
• understand that making mistakes is a natural part of language learning
• experiment with various forms of expression, and note their acceptance or nonacceptance by more experienced speakers

Language Use Strategies

• use words from your first language to get meaning across; e.g., use a literal translation of a phrase in the first language, use a first language word but pronounce it as in French
• acknowledge being spoken to
• interpret and use a variety of nonverbal cues to communicate
• indicate lack of understanding verbally or nonverbally; e.g., Pardon? Ne comprends pas? Excusez?, shrug shoulders
• ask for clarification or repetition when you do not understand
• use other speakers’ words in subsequent conversations assess feedback from a conversation partner to recognize when a message has not been understood
• start again, using a different tactic, when communication breaks down
• use a simple word similar to the concept to convey, and invite correction
• invite others into the discussion
• ask for confirmation that a form used is correct use circumlocution to compensate for lack of vocabulary
• repeat part of what someone has said to confirm mutual understanding

• use gestures, intonation and visual supports to aid comprehension
• make connections between texts on the one hand and prior knowledge and personal experience on the other
• use illustrations to aid reading comprehension
• listen or look for key words

• mimic what the teacher says
• use nonverbal means to communicate
• copy what others say or write
• use words that are visible in the immediate environment
• use resources to increase vocabulary
• use familiar repetitive patterns from stories, songs, rhymes or media
• use illustrations to provide detail when producing your own texts


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. artiz89
    Oct 12, 2015 @ 06:09:27

    Hello! I am also a language-teacher. Thank you for sharing these strategies! I think I will come back to your article for inspiration when I plan the next unit!


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