iFLT 2014

If anyone is looking for a conference to attend in the next year, the fourth International Forum on Language Teaching Conference (iFLT) will be taking place this summer in Denver, Colorado. It will be held from July 15-18, 2014 and will consist of an opening workshop with Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like A Pirate, as well as sessions with many other presenters. Some of the other awesome presenters will include Carol Gaab, Diana Noonan, Kristy Placido, Carrie Toth, Katya Paukova, Jason Fritze, and Ben Slavic.

I heard great things about the conference last year and am sure it will be a hit again this year! Registration is not up on the website just yet, but you can contact Carol Gaab or Diana Noonan here if you have any questions.

Tissue Paper Animals

This video could work well as a MovieTalk clip to get repetitions of the structure “he/she makes” and the various animal names. Thinking of trying it with my grade 9 class. For some reason French students seem to really struggle with the forms of “faire” (to do/to make). Do teachers of other languages find this structure is a hard one for students to pick up?

And if you’re interested, here is a clip showing how the video was made:

Educreations App

An app I have been using more and more of this year is called Educreations. On a storytelling day, I hand my iPad to the kid who wants to have the artist job. He or she draws on the iPad as the class tells the story. You can add text or images, but I have them try to keep it simple with images most of the time. They can change colours, and they just draw with a finger.

They make different “slides” in a row of each of the main events in the story. Then at the end of class, I take the written story from my story writer and hit “record” and I read the story out loud. I sync what I’m saying with the proper slide by hitting the arrow button to advance the slide as I’m reading the story. Then when you hit done, the file saves in your Educreations account and can be accessed from the Educreations website or replayed on the iPad.

The only drawback to the app is that you cannot edit the audio once you start recording. So you have to either do it perfectly the first time, or live with the mistakes!

I always replay the videos the following day to recap the story. The kids like to see what the artist drew, there’s generally some laughter, and they are hearing the story one more time. They usually find it so easy by that point that they don’t even have to work hard to understand it! See an example story with audio by clicking on the picture below.



Speak It!

I found a new app called “Speak It!” which I downloaded on my iPad today. I didn’t know if it would work, but I was looking for an app that would read out French text (in French). I also wanted to be able to save it as an audio file because I want to eventually post every story we do in class on our school’s online learning environment (Moodle). I figure this way, if I post the reading and the audio and a few other things from each story, students can use these materials to review or to catch up when they are absent from a class. This app does everything I need it to and has several different French voices, including both male and female voices, as well as Canadian French and regular French voices. The foreign voices are an in app download, but the app is only $1.99 and each voice is $0.99 so it’s not too expensive. All of the other voices that are available include the following languages: French, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Swedish. You should be able to play it in the AIFF file format it is saved in if you email it to yourself and open it in QuickTime. This file format means the file will be quite large (about 8 MB), but if you import the song into iTunes and go to File –> Create version –> MP3 version, it will convert it to an MP3 file which will be considerably smaller. Below is an example using our French story from today.

**There seems to be a bug where if you use Bruno’s voice (in French) and save the file, it does not work! I would recommend choosing a different French voice. I know the Canadian French one works, but not sure about the others.**

Guess Who?

Adapted from Jim Tripp’s script “Nice to Meet You”


  • c’est – this is
  • je m’appelle – my name is
  • dit – says
  • aime – loves


Point to various students around the class and say, « C’est qui? »

Describe each student and circle and compare/contrast with other students: name, girl/boy, hair colour, eye colour, hair length, glasses, earrings, hat, etc.


C’est Angela. Elle est une fille. C’est Jacob. Il est un garçon. Jacob dit, « Salut! » Angela dit « Comment t’appelles-tu? » Jacob aime Angela. Il est nerveux, alors il dit, « Je m’appelle Justin Bieber. » Mais il y a un problème! Angela n’aime pas Justin Bieber.

C’est Jessica. Elle est une fille. C’est Roger. Il est un garçon. Roger dit, « Salut! » Angela dit « Comment t’appelles-tu? » Roger aime Jessica. Il est nerveux, alors il dit, « Je m’appelle Barack Obama. » Mais il y a un problème! Jessica n’aime pas Barack Obama.

C’est Ronald McDonald. Il est un homme. C’est Amanda. Elle est une femme. Amanda dit, « Salut! » Ronald McDonald dit « Comment t’appelles-tu? » Amanda aime Ronald McDonald. Elle est nerveuse, alors elle dit, « Je m’appelle Katy Perry. » Ronald McDonald dit, « OMD, c’est Katy Perry! »


C’est Katy Perry. Elle est une femme. Elle est une belle femme. Elle a les cheveux noirs. Elle a de longs cheveux. Elle a les yeux bleus. Elle a des boucles d’oreilles violettes. C’est le père Noël. Il est un homme. Il est un vieil homme. Il est un homme laid. Il a les cheveux roux et blancs. Il a les cheveux courts. Le père Noël dit, « Salut! » Katy Perry dit, « Comment t’appelles-tu? » Le père Noël aime Katy Perry. Il est nerveux, alors il ne dit pas « Je m’appelle le Père Noël. » Il dit, « Je m’appelle Justin Timberlake. » Mais il y a un problème! Katy Perry n’aime pas Justin Timberlake.

C’est Indiana Jones. Il est un homme. Il est un bel homme. Il a les yeux bruns. Il a les cheveux bruns. Il a les cheveux courts. Il a un chapeau brun aussi. Il n’a pas de cheval. C’est Barbie. Elle est une fille. Elle est une belle fille. Elle est jeune. Elle a les cheveux blonds. Elle a de longs cheveux. Elle a les yeux bleus. Elle a des lunettes roses. Indiana Jones dit, « Salut! » Barbie dit, « Comment t’appelles-tu? » Indiana Jones aime Barbie. Il est nerveux, alors et il ne dit pas « Je m’appelle Indiana Jones. » Il dit, « Je m’appelle Ken. » Mais il y a un problème! Barbie n’aime pas Ken. Barbie déteste Ken. Il frappe Ken 4.2 fois. Barbie aime l’aventure. Elle aime Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones est triste et il pleure.

C’est Lady Gaga. Elle est une femme. Elle est une femme bizarre. Elle est très laide. Elle a les yeux noisette. Elle a les cheveux bleus et blancs. Elle a les cheveux courts. Elle n’a pas de lunettes. C’est Perez Hilton. Il est un homme laid. Il a les yeux bleus. Il a les cheveux blonds. Il a les cheveux courts. Il a des lunettes de soleil jaunes. Lady Gaga dit, « Salut! » Perez Hilton dit, « Comment t’appelles-tu? » Lady Gaga est nerveuse, alors et elle ne dit pas « Je m’appelle Lady Gaga. » Elle dit, « Je m’appelle Miley Cyrus. » Perez Hilton aime Miley Cyrus! Il dit, « OMD, c’est Miley Cyrus! » Il est content. Lady Gaga est contente aussi. Ils sont contents!