Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Finding Success with Middle School Language

I am a high school teacher and I've spent the majority of my time teaching French to grades 9-12, which I truly enjoy.  I am asked to teach the occasional middle school class, however.  This year I'm teaching a small class of sixth graders (in addition to my high school classes) and I chose to buy a brand new program to use with them called Ah, Bon? by Joanne Thomas (2011).  I'm almost finished with the first unit, and I am both amazed and pleased with how well it has gone. 
I decided to buy this program after hearing the author at a conference, and I'm so glad that I did.  This program is superior to anything I've used in the past for so many reasons.  My students are learning a lot, speaking a lot, and they are also enjoying themselves.  In fact, they talked so much about how much they liked French that two other sixth graders transferred into the class several weeks into the year.  Here's a video of my students performing a skit after only 2 weeks of class:
Ah, Bon? includes a reward system that middle school students respond to incredibly well.  It also includes web 2.0 activities and flashcard activities that are motivating and effective with this age group.  And I'm so happy to say that it also includes a wiki space with lesson plans and resources for both teacher and student.  I find that I no longer need to "reinvent the wheel" to help my middle school students learn.  If you teach middle school world language, I would highly recommend this program.  It comes in languages other than French!    


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