Traditional dictation is no longer popular in the French class. To teach students to master grammar well, it is better to rely on new forms of dictation, called “intelligent”, which have proven themselves by getting students to think about what they write.
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Do think students through dictations 2.0
Dictation zero errors, dictation of the day, dictation commented… The formulas vary, the principle remains the same: to encourage students to ask themselves the right questions in order to solve a problem related to spelling. Dictation then becomes a way of learning, rather than an assessment tool.
“You cannot write in French without thinking. To master a language, you have to understand it,” says Carole Fisher, professor at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi, who has conducted several studies demonstrating the effectiveness of these practices.
Marie-Claude Tardif Courtesy < p>In her fifth-grade class, Marie-Claude Tardif opted for two formulas inspired by this principle. Every morning, for a good twenty minutes, she analyzes a carefully chosen sentence with her students.
When the Journal appeared in December, the students had to identify the verbs, pronouns or prepositions in the following sentence: “In the cottages in Quebec, during the holiday season, up to twenty inhabitants can gather if they are vaccinated”. The goal: to understand how the sentence is constructed, which will help students write it correctly.
“The key is to do it every day. After a few months, my students, even the weakest, are able to analyze any sentence,” says the teacher.
Every two weeks, Ms. Tardif's students are also entitled to a commented dictation. The teacher does not just dictate the words to her students, she shows them what questions they need to ask themselves in order to correct themselves, without however giving them the answer.
“Is this word is a verb? If so, what am I pairing it with? This pronoun replaces who in the sentence? I will explain to them everything that is going on in my brain, how I would have corrected this dictation,” explains Ms. Tardif.
“It’s the most profitable thing I do in terms of correction. I show students how to make them think, so that they ask themselves the same questions when revising their own texts,” she adds.
For her part, Ms. Fisher insists on the importance of relying on these practices from the third year of elementary school through to secondary school, while emphasizing the “critical period” which occurs at the end of elementary school. “You shouldn't miss this meeting,” she says.
Continue reading Solutions to improve French More than 40% of students fail spelling at the end of secondary 1. S train to write more often in class 2. Tackling French mistakes in all subjects 3. Make students think through dictations 2.0 4. Introduce students to writing from kindergarten 5. Better train teachers 6 Build on books to learn to love words 7. Do not reduce French teaching time 8. Track students from the start of their journey 9. Revise French programs 10. Work as a team to overcoming writing difficulties