Language classes are as fun or as boring as the teacher and students make them. Grammar drills, vocabulary tests, and pronunciation labs are the basis of many successful language classes, but it's also good to incorporate some creative interaction, and projects can be just the thing.
A webquest is an interesting project for French classes or for independent studiers looking to spice up their self-instruction. This project is perfect as a long-term activity for intermediate and advanced students, though it can also be adapted for beginners.
Research various topics related to French, to be shared as a paper, website, and/or oral presentation
- Decide whether students will work individually or in groups
- Review my list of potential subjects, below, and decide whether students will choose their own topic(s) or be assigned
- Explain the purpose of a webquest: to gather information via the internet that will be shared in whatever format(s) the teacher chooses. If a website is desired, consider having students use the PowerPoint templates provided on About's Presentation Software site, which are accompanied by detailed, step-by-step instructions
- Explain about plagiarism and the importance of citing sources. For example, students are welcome to link to any of the material on this or other websites, but should not copy text to their own sites or in their papers.
- Pass out a list of required/optional sections, the desired length, and any other guidelines
- Students do the webquest, then write up reports, create websites, and/or prepare oral presentations
- After all presentations, students could write a summary or comparison of other presentations
Topic(s) can be assigned by the teacher or chosen by the students. Each student or group can do an in-depth study of one topic, such as the Académie française, or a comparison of two or more topics, such as the difference between the Académie française and the Alliance française. Or they might choose several topics and just answer a few questions about each of them. Here are some possible topics, with a few basic questions to consider - the teacher and/or students should use this just as a starting point.
- Académie française: What is this organization? When was it created? Has its purpose changed over time?
Alliance française: What is this organization? When was it created? Has its purpose changed over time?
Celebrations and Holidays: What are some important holidays in France and other French-speaking countries? How do they compare to your country's holidays?
Differences between French and English: What are some key differences?
Fluency: What is fluency? Why is it hard to define?
French in English: How has French influenced English?
French-Speaking Celebrities: Choose several celebrities and explain why they speak French
French Gestures: Are any similar to those in your country? Are any the same gesture with a different meaning?
Introduction to French: How did French evolve? What languages is it related to?
Jobs Using French: What kind of work is speaking French useful for?
Living + Working in France: How can a person live and work in France?
Moroccan Culture: What are some interesting aspects of Moroccan culture? Is there anything shocking?
La Négritude: What is Négritude? How and where did it evolve? Who were the trois pères? Who were some other key participants?
Register: What are the various French registers? Provide examples of words in each one
The "Rude French": Are the French rude? Why or why not? Where does this stereotype come from?
Spanish vs French: How are they similar/different? Is one easier than the other?
Translation and Interpretation : What is the difference? How are they similar?
Verlan: What is it?
What is French? Facts and Figures: Where is French spoken? By how many people?
What Is the Best Way to Learn French?: Compare and contrast the various methods
Why learn French: How can it help you?
The collective webquests will offer an extensive collection of material about French, which can be shared with other teachers, parents, and potential students.