I can’t believe that I have reached the end of my penultimate week in the French primary school. Time has gone so quickly, and it is surreal that I only have one week left with my classes. I was looking forward to this day as I knew I would be kept very busy teaching various classes. I usually only have my three CP classes on a Friday, however, due to the disruptions yesterday, I had two extra lessons to teach today.
First thing this morning I went into the other CM2 class to teach them the topic of going shopping. I was very happy to see how enthusiastic they were about learning English. This was the first time I had ever taught this class, so I wasn’t sure how the lesson was going to go. There were a few members of the class that were not as engaged, however, on the whole the class listen and participated a lot within the lesson. I kept the lesson very much the same as I had done it before with my CM2 class because it seemed to work very well. I added one game in that I had tried before and I’m glad that I did because it was a success.
I started the lesson by going over the vocabulary using my flashcards. As I have mentioned in previous reflections, I have realised that using flashcards is very useful when teaching a foreign language. It is an aid that is easy to find and use in any level of the primary school. I would say that it took a little bit longer for the children in the second CM2 class to grasp the vocab, however, I ensured that I did not move on to the next part of the lesson until they were completely accurate with their vocab and pronunciation. After this I played various game using the flashcards, two of which I had already played with my CM2 class. They seemed to really enjoy the games and were very competitive which resulted in further development of vocabulary. They were very focused on learning the various types of shop in order to win against myself and their peers.
Before morning break I had the chance to talk about Scotland and share my PowerPoint presentation with my CM2 class. I was very excited about this lesson as it was a chance for me to share with the children where I come from and talk to them about what school is like in Scotland compared to France. There were very interested and asked lots of questions throughout. One thing that they were very surprised at was that in Scotland we only go to two schools as we do not have middle school. The way in which the Scottish education system works is very different from France. There were also very excited to find out where about in Scotland I come from, they asked many questions about the capital city Edinburgh and about various Scottish traditions. I discussed topics such as clothes, food and drink and school. I presented this lesson in French with a little help from the teacher. This was a great opportunity to show what I have learned over the past few weeks whilst being in the school. It was great to see that the children had so many questions to ask me and were genuinely interested in finding out about Scotland.
After break I was teaching my first CP class of the day. The class that I teach in the morning is always a lot more difficult than the other two classes. This is something I had previously mentioned to my class teacher. I found out after entering the CP class that my teacher had discussed this with the class teacher. The CP teacher spoke to the boys and girls and told them that the other classes listen and work very hard. I have noticed that a few of the children in that class misbehave and often have to be disciplined by standing outside of the classroom. I have no seen this type of discipline in the other CP classes are the children are always very well behaved when I am in the classroom.
I was moving onto a different topic in CP today as the children were now very confident with colours. Some of the CP teacher had expressed that fruits and vegetables would be a good topic to teach. I decided to focus purely on fruit today as I believe that add vegetables into the mix would be confusing for the children. I am glad that I did this as the children in the first CP class found it difficult remembering a few basic fruits. I started off the lesson optimistic that the children would be able to recall ten different fruits by the end of the lesson, however, I realised early on that this would not be the case. I decided to cut it down to five fruits to make it easier for the children to remember. I picked five of the most common fruits so that they were able to recognise the pictures on the flashcards. I am very glad that I had flashcard to do the lesson as I don’t believe that the children would have been able to learn this topic without using flashcards. The entire lesson consisted of the children repeating after me and then trying it on their own. I was not able to move on to the flashcard games that I had planned due to how difficult they were finding the vocabulary. As that class is usually the most difficult class of the day I was hopeful that the other CP classes would find the lesson less difficult.
I found out after lunch that the other CM2 teacher wanted me to go back into her class in the afternoon to do my Scotland presentation for her class. I was informed that the children had been so enthusiastic about my going shopping lesson that they wanted me to go back into their class to teach. This made my day as it is so rewarding finding out that the children enjoy your lessons. Having had the chance to practice my Scotland presentation in the morning I felt prepared going into the second CM2 class. However, the teacher does not speak English and therefore I was unsure if she would be able to translate my English into French for the children as I was unable to say absolutely everything in French. Despite the language barrier the lesson went very well and myself and the teacher were able to translate small amount of the lesson from English to French and vice versa. Again, it was great to see how interested the children were in learning about Scotland.
My last two CP classes of the day went a lot better than the class I had taught in the morning. They grasped the vocabulary very quickly which allowed me to move onto the flashcard games. I wish I had had the opportunity to do this with the first class, however, it wouldn’t have worked if the children weren’t able to recall the vocab. I played a memory game as well as a team game that involved the children going against each other in pairs to see who could point to the various fruits first. The children had a great time and were engaged throughout. They were clapping and cheering for each other whilst playing as well as learning new words. Overall, it was a very successful day of teaching and it felt very good to have accomplished so much in just one day.