Input-based sub plans for Novice learners

I used to hate having to come up with sub plans for my Novice Learners. They need comprehensible and compelling input: who can provide that while I am away?

Enters Alice Ayel, French teacher and storyteller. Her YouTube channel is filled with short videos where she tells simple 5 to 10 min stories using what Dr. Krashen calls supplementation, ways to make language comprehensible.

Now, when I am absent [or on the days I need some self-care, we all have those], my Novice students watch a few of her videos with French subtitles on, and complete one of the following mini-tasks:

  • counting how many times a structure is repeated in the story
  • making an educated guess about the meaning of a word or phrase
  • writing a short summary of the story (In L1)
  • answering 1-2 questions (In L1 or L2 if your students are at that level)

The tasks have built-in differentiation: some students will feel more comfortable counting structures, while others are ready to grasp the full meaning of the story. Everyone will find something at their level, and what’s most important, students are getting comprehensible input while I am away!

Feel free to add your Alice Ayel input-based activities in this document and never have to worry again about sub plans for Novice learners!

photo credit: Alice Ayel @

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