French game to recycle and repeat: Jean-Jacques Julier

New photo by alice ayel / Google Photos

I am back home after a big road trip which took my whole family all the way down to Portugal, then Spain and finally to La Bretagne in France. We got to discover beautiful places and meet amazing people and we also had the chance to reunite with family and old friends. It was a wonderful summer holiday but everything comes to an end and it is now back to reality! My boys are back to school but… I am not! I am still on maternity leave which gives me the chance to continue with online private lessons and also create languages courses and resources… I have tons of ideas and projects racing in my mind but I need to slow down and take it one step at a time. The number one priority is to look after my family and especially after boy number 4 who is turning 11 months old in a few days! I then want to post more useful ideas and resources for language teachers and learners, to design a valuable French curriculum map ( à la Martina Bex for Spanish) because I have noticed that there is not much comprehensible input stuff available online for French teachers. I also want to share more recipes which are simple to do and which can feed a numerous family. I would loooove to become a certified TPRS teacher (but let’s see if I get more people who want to acquire a language with me!)… And so many other things like doing more yoga or singing in a choir again…

To start off on the right foot, I have decided to re-start the yoga camp with Adriene to re-center and to help me achieve all the things I would like to achieve! If I was at school and had a homeroom, I would definitely write a mantra on the board in the morning and spend a few minutes meditating the mantra with my students. The mantra today was I embrace so I would ask students what they would lean into today, what they would hug and embrace. What a fabulous way to start the day and to keep positive energy going on!

I also want to share a great game that I have been using in my French lessons online and which gives learners the opportunity to repeat and recycle structures and vocabulary. It is in fact a game for English learners called Pancho Carrancho by Ramiro Garcia and I adapted it in French so that now the guy is called Jean-Jacques Julier.

I wanted to practice the stuctures il achète and il n’achète pas with my French learner. So I started by saying: ” Jean-Jacques Julier achète des livres. ” The learner had to answer: ” Non, Jean-Jacques Julier n’achète pas des livres. Jean-Jacques Julier achète des chaussures. ” and then I would continue: ” Non, Jean-Jacques Julier n’achète pas des chaussures. jean-Jacques Julier achète du pain.

I tried this game thinking that it would end up quickly because of my learner’s short range of vocabulary. But so wrong was I! I should really have put more faith in my learner’s ability to retain vocabulary! Building up stories made him retain much more vocabulary than I thought and I was amazed at all the words he was telling me from older stories. We ended up playing the game for like 10 minutes just the two of us! This is the power of teaching comprehensible input and TPRS!

I then realized that this game could be played in so many other ways, not just to review vocabulary but also to practice pronunciation of a particularly difficult sound (you could change Jean-Jacques Julier by any other name with a particular sound.) or to practice tenses and grammar structures. For example, as learners advance you could use: ” Jean-Jacques Julier a regardé un match de foot hier soir. ” and then the learner could reply: ” Non, Jean-Jacques Julier n’a pas regardé de match de foot hier soir. Jean-Jacques Julier a nagé ! “. In this case, you would practice le passé-composé instead of practicing vocabulary.

This game doesn’t require any planning or supply and it can be done as a starter a warm-up activity, as well as a brain break or to end a lesson.

What about you? Can you share a quick and fun game to repeat and recycle structures?

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