Learning a language is just as much about learning about the target culture as it is about learning key vocabulary and grammar aspects. However, it can sometimes be difficult to find ways to support communicative language objectives while providing opportunities for students to explore the culture of the target language – and especially when working with beginners!
This activity encourages beginner French language students to explore the La Francophonie while supporting both of these objectives – an exploration of culture through food as well as support in developing communicative learning objectives related to describing objects and people, making comparisons, and expressing and sharing opinions.
This communicative semester-long mini project gets the ball rolling with an initial presentation from the teacher to hook student interest and provide an example for further Miam miam mardis. This example can also serve as a model through which the teacher can help students to investigate some of the grammar they will encounter (ex. accord of adjectives, the use of plus...que / moins...que, etc.). By providing this model at the outset along with general criteria concerning the mini-project, students can work at their own pace and according to their own interests to explore the cultural diversity of La Francophonie and find a unique specialty to share with the class. It also allows them a concrete model on which to base their own presentation.
Then, every subsequent week a different student (or partnership) presents a new dish, specialty, or ingredient discovered, and the class joins in discussion to share their responses and opinions related to what has been presented. Though bringing in a sample to share with the class can be encouraged, this is entirely open to teacher discretion.
Miam miam !
This document includes:
- Curricular learning objectives
- Assignment overview and description for students
- Useful vocabulary page
- Response log handout
- Sign-up list
- Evaluation rubric (based on British Columbia spoken production and cultural awareness learning objectives for grades 8 and 9).
- We can express ourselves and talk about the world around us in French.
- Acquiring a new language and learning about another culture deepen our understanding of our own language and culture.
- Ask and answer a variety of questions about familiar topics (qui, est-ce que, qu’est-ce que, quel, où, quand, comment, combien, pourquoi)
- Describe people, objects, and personal interests
- Compare and contrast basic characteristics of objects and people (using plus...que, moins...que, aussi...que)
- Explain reasons for preferences, emotions, and physical states
- Express basic beliefs and opinions (A mon avis, Je pense que, Selon moi)
- Understand and attempt to express the present tense for common verbs in context
- Identify and share information about Francophone communities around the world
- Describe cultural aspects of Francophone communities, practices, and traditions
- Describe similarities and differences between their own cultural practices and traditions and those of Francophone communities