Toni Theisen

ACTFL president and World Languages and Cultures department chair, Loveland High School, Colorado.
Using foreign language OER in the high school curriculum.
Photo: Toni Theisen

As a high school French teacher, I am always looking for OER that will enhance my students’ language learning. Several years ago, I discovered Français interactif, a rich online resource where students not only listen and view videos and interviews with native speakers, but also experience vocabulary in context and expand their understanding of grammar. Each unit has an excellent interactive activity complete with printable worksheets, in addition to a song with lyrics that highlight the theme of each unit. Also available is a free, downloadable textbook in PDF that accompanies all the online media. Students or teachers can download the chapters separately for free or purchase the entire text as a print-on-demand book.

Many of the units match the thematic units of my classes: visiting a market, touring a French house, attending a birthday party. The videos and the interviews bring the language and culture to life. My high school students also like the videos that document college students living their “French lives” while studying abroad. These videos have helped my students understand what happens when studying abroad. I think this aspect has encouraged many to think about studying abroad when they go to college.

In addition to using Français interactif in class, I also have a Wikispace for my classes where students can work independently. Sometimes I link an activity or video from Français interactif on my Wikipage so students can just practice when we have lab time. I also like to use the resources as a type of “flipped classroom” where students learn things at home and leave more time to practice in class. I especially like the Tex’s French Grammar website that offers students another way to comprehend challenging grammar concepts. I have this site linked on the AP and IB summer practice site, too.

Like many high school teachers, I have several multilevel classes. With this OER, students can learn on their own at their own pace while I am working with the other levels in class. Sometimes students just decide to choose a thematic unit and learn beyond what is happening in class. I also let parents know about this OER. They love it because it provides support for their children at home. I’d encourage teachers, students, and parents to learn about the wonderful world of OER.

Français interactif:
Tex’s French Grammar:

Comments are closed.