Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Greeting Your Class

As the years of my career continue, it is often hard to remember where I picked something up or when I even started it.  This is one of those instances, so I apologize that I cannot give proper credit.

Imagine two scenarios:

The bell rings.  It may as well not have, because your students are chattering about anything and everything.  Most likely not in French.  After a few feeble attempts to start class/shush them, finally, a minute or two later, people have quieted down and are listening to you.


The bell rings.  Immediately your students stop their conversation and stand up by their desks.  You greet them with, "Bonjour tout le monde!" (hello everybody).  They reply, "bonjour Madame!"  You then tell them to sit down (in the target language of course) and dive right into the lesson.

The second scenario is how I have done it for as long as I can remember.  From day one, I teach my students that this is how we start class.  They are expected to be silent upon hearing the bell.  It is an AWESOME way to transition into French speaking and class in general.

It may seem simple, but it works.  Yes, there are days where they take awhile to stand up/be silent (funnily enough it's always LATER in the year after they've been doing it for months).  But in general, it is a great way to transition.

Culturally it is great too.  In France, this is how teachers start class as well.  Students stand and are silent when the prof enters to show them respect.  (I'm thinking that's where I got this from, but again.. I honestly do not remember).

Every time I have been evaluated by a principal, this has been something they have picked out and mentioned as one of the pros of the things I do.  They like how I use it to more or less command the attention of my class to get things going.

Give it a shot on the first day of school this fall!  You don't even have to explain it.  Just motion for them to stand up/give them the command in the target language.  Point to yourself and say, "bonjour tout le monde!" and point to them and say "bonjour Madame!"  Then try it.  Point to yourself again and say, "bonjour tout le monde!" and then point to them and see if they respond.  Then tell them to sit down.  By day three, they will have it mastered, I promise :)  It will be a great ice breaker!

Photo from www.french.ac.nz

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