What do I have in common with a francophone person? A multi-week cultural unit for Novice learners

For the past 3 years, I have been teaching Novice learners exclusively and I have been striving to develop their intercultural competency while continuing to invite even more francophone people from the global majority and historically resilient communities in my Novice curriculum. Making space and sharing the space.

A few weeks ago, I shared an overview of my “What do I have in common with a francophone person?” cultural unit with CI for French teachers on FB. The response and interest from teachers was amazing! So, I spent several weekends organizing and formatting my materials in order to share them with you. I am thrilled to be sharing this multi-week cultural unit with you at no cost. If you like what you find and would like to make a donation, my paypal is cecileflaine@gmail.com and my Venmo is @Cecile-Laine.

Important note: I typically start this unit in October and finish it at the end of January. When I said “making space”, I meant it. Also, I teach Middle School students for 65 minutes 3-4 times a week, so that is what is reflected in my lesson plans. You know your students best, feel free to adapt.

ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS

French is spoken across the world due to France’s history of colonization.

A Francophone person often speaks multiple languages and has multiple cultural heritages.

Francophone cultures are extremely rich and diverse. While I know it will take me years to develop a deep understanding, appreciation, and empathy for these cultures, I am excited to start developing an understanding and appreciation via exchanging with an e-pal, and gaining some knowledge about the contributions of a variety of Francophone people.

CAN-DO STATEMENTS

Interpretive Reading and Listening
I can identify the topic and some isolated facts from simple sentences in informational “texts” (listen, view, and read) describing francophone people.
I can understand familiar questions and statements from simple sentences in conversations about myself and others.

Interpersonal/Presentational
I can request and provide information to my French e-pal by asking and answering a few simple questions on very familiar and everyday topics, using a mixture of practiced or memorized words, phrases, and simple sentences. (Not included in the materials)

Intercultural competency 
I can identify a few contributions by famous Francophones (products).
I can identify a few francophone cultural celebrations (practices).
I can locate francophone countries on a world map and answer a few questions about these countries.

L4J social justice 
I can respectfully describe ways that Francophone people are similar to and different from each other and from me, using novice language.

TOPICS

  1. Special francophone persons
  2. Le Monde francophone
  3. Fet Gede
  4. Bilal Hassani
  5. New Year’s resolutions
  6. Angelique Kidjo
  7. Léopold Sédar Senghor
  8. Culminating project: Black History Month exhibit

LESSON PLANS AND MATERIALS

Click here to gain access to the fully-organized unit folder.

I have been updating this unit for many years now and will continue to do so. The (un)learning is never done. If you find errors or have ideas to continue improving this unit, please get in touch with me or leave a comment.

3 comments

  1. Cecile – I’m speechless. Truly your experience and generosity are a light to the modern language community. The thought and care in this unit is evident in each and every part. The biggest challenge in Teaching my young middle school learners has been finding material at their competency AND interest level (not too bébé, and not adult task oriented). And culture has always been the area that fell shortest. Thank you for taking educators by the hand to show us how we can make our language classrooms examples of uniting humanity throughout the world.

    • Thank you so much , Terri-Ann, for your very kind words. I share your sentiment re: Middle School students, they deserve to interact with meaningful topics but they often don’t have the language to process them, so this has definitely been a mission of mine over the past few years.

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