I have a strict rule about all major class writings being completed in-class. My students know my aversion to online translators but I do permit Wordreference (language dictionaries) when we are short on dictionaries. I use the Middlebury Writing and Speaking Rubrics and AP French Rubrics.
- Start small: There is a split among World Language teachers about how early students can begin writing. I say from Day 1. Speaking and writing take practice, and small building blocks have proven to benefit the most in the long-term. Make your students write from the very beginning. “He is tall. She is funny.” If not, an essay come Level 2 when they’ve never written before will be incredibly daunting.
- Weekly speaking assessments: Students create questions for each sub-theme of a unit, compiled into a common Google Doc. Students have a weekly speaking assessment (every Thursday), knowing that they could be asked any question from the document they collectively created. No hiding the ball and all student ownership of the material. You can find an example here: Weekly Speaking Assessment (Master Template)
- Carousel stories: This is a favorite among teachers and students. Groups of 2-3 students begin a story that is based on recent vocabulary or a chosen theme. Groups rotate on white boards or paper every five minutes, adding onto their classmates’ stories. Make sure to warn them when it is the last rotation to put an ending on the story. (Note: Always include vocabulary and grammar requirements to be a part of their stories.)
- QR Code Museum Project: During an art unit, I take the class on a virtual tour of Le Louvre Museum. Whether from Le Louvre or elsewhere, students choose a work of art and create a fictional story inspired by their art of choice. Once the story is complete, students record a reading of their story, upload the video to YouTube, and then create a QR code. Their art is framed (ok, glued to construction paper) and I print their QR codes to be attached to the corner. Students do a galley walk, listening to each other’s stories.
- I like to use QR Stuff to create QR codes.