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Write a Francophonie Report or Country Study

French class project idea

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Language classes are as fun or as boring as the teacher and students make them. Grammar drills, vocabulary tests, and pronunciation labs are the basis of many successful language classes, but it's also good to incorporate some creative interaction, and projects can be just the thing.

Researching a francophone region or country and writing a report or country study is an interesting project for French classes or for independent studiers looking to spice up their self-instruction. This project is perfect as a long-term activity for intermediate and advanced students, though it can also be adapted for beginners.

Project: Create a regional or country report/study


Instructions
  • Assign a French-speaking region or country to each student, or allow them to choose from a list
     
  • Pass out a list of required/optional sections, the desired length, and any other guidelines
     
  • Students write up and turn in reports, with labeled sections for intermediate/advanced projects
     
  • Students make a presentation on their country/region, and provide a brochure or other handout
     
  • After all presentations, students could write a summary or comparison of other presentations
 
Customization This project can be done by individual students, pairs, or groups

Regions/Countries: teacher can choose category, such as all francophone countries, only French-speaking African countries, or regions of France

Sections/Elements: geography (e.g., continent, major cities, rivers/lakes, borders, maps), history, current events, imports/exports, money, population, languages, food, culture, famous people, weather, traditions, fashion, sports, technology, religion, education…

Length: at least 6 sections

Levels:
  • Beginners: Pass out a worksheet with section titles and have students do research and fill in the blanks.
     
  • Intermediates: Assign sections and have students research and write up a report.
     
  • Advanced: Assign some sections and allow students to pick a others from a list; have them write a page or two on things like what they knew/thought about the country before they started, what they like/dislike about the region, how the region compares to their own country.
Post-presentation:
  • Comparisons: One student might compare religion in the different countries/regions, while another looks at fashion and a third at food
     
  • Detailed comparisons: Student compares own region with one or more of the others
     
  • Summaries: Teacher could provide a set of handouts (one for each country, with section titles) for students to fill in while listening to the presentations, so that each student ends up with a sheet of salient facts on each country
     
  • Francophone party: After the presentations, students could share a regional dish from each country, listen to music, discuss travels, etc.
 
Notes

A regional or country study is an excellent means of using French while simultaneously learning about the world of Francophonie. The reports can be put together as a sort of encyclopedia of francophone countries and regions.

For a shorter and simpler project, see Create a travel brochure, poster, or bumper sticker.

The general idea behind this project was shared on the Profs de français forum, where virtual colleagues discuss everything from making lessons interesting to dealing with problem students. Visit the forum to trade ideas and tips with your virtual colleagues.
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