This is a snippet of a new song I have written for the KS2/KS3 transition project I have been involved with.
It's a song about a teacher who feels pretty uncertain about having to speak French and definitely doesn't want to sing it in French! (if the cap fits ...!!) It highlights the phoneme ('-é') and shows how the same sound can come from many different spellings.
It was also designed to teach the 2nd verb infinitive concept + Je peux / je ne peux pas.
I personally feel that this structure should be taught before any other verb tense work. It didn't twig with me until I was quite an advanced language learner spending time in France that this was the easy way to build a lot of sentences. I really wished someone had pointed it out sooner as I would have had success at a much earlier stage of my personal language learning journey. Let me know what you think!
It's a really good action song for your pupils to get into. When I get around to it, I will try and upload a video of me doing the actions with a class. You can of course, make up any you like too. One thing to bear in mind though is to choose actions that you can do following the beat of the song. This really helps to cement the tune and lyrics into your pupils' memories.
This is a snippet of the tune, and the lyrics. There isn't a vocal track on this as yet but you can clearly hear the tune on the top piano part. The whole song will be available to download from the www.souffler.co.uk site with all of the teaching material support towards the end of this summer.Sample Clip ⓒ souffler Sample With Vocals ⓒ souffler
You can create follow up work around the je peux / je ne peux pas structure. One idea I know works is this: warn them that they are going to be able to ask my permission the following lesson to do anything they can say in French. Now, obviously there have to be boundaries but with younger children they don't tend to push it too far. Teach them how to say "Comment dit-on (x,y,z,) en français?" to find the correct verb infinitives to use or tie in with some dictionary work. Have some sweets to hand. Eventually they will come up with phrases such as:
- je peux avoir un bonbon? (which they can't eat until they ask ..)
- je peux manger le bonbon?
- je peux boire?
- je peux sortir? (usually I agree but give them a time limit of 30 seconds which we count down as a class)
- je peux danser?
- je peux chanter? ... and so on
Another variant is to ask them a question using French they will not understand
eg: Tu peux manger une guèpe? (Can you eat a wasp?)
They have only 2 possible answers : "Oui je peux : Non je ne peux pas" They have to simply guess which one to choose. You tell them in advance that some of what I am asking them they will like admitting to being able to do, some they will definitely not like admitting to it!
Anyway, much hilarity ensues!
This technique is inspired by my daughters who, when hosting a French girl on one of these 3 week English study course programs, decided to teach her complete gobbledee gook and pass it off as the latest 'street' language. Poor thing, I don't think she ever recovered from proudly announcing to her English teacher that she had bought a hairy jockstrap believing this to be the correct phrase for a bracelet. L'Entente cordiale!