LEARNING STRATEGY: Find/Apply Patterns
STANDARDS: Communication1.1, Comparison 4.1

ADS IN POPULAR FRENCH MAGAZINES

Language:Any language. Example in French.

Proficiency Level: Beginner

Brief description of the activity: Students receive a list of phrases with nouns and adjectives and then look for additional examples of nouns and adjectives in popular French magazines such as Match and Express. Based on their findings, students will develop rules for noun and adjective placement and agreement in French.

Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to read ads in popular French magazines.
  2. Students will be able to follow target language rules for noun and adjective agreement and placement
  3. Students will be able to find and use patterns in the target language to help them learn.

Language focus: Reading, Grammar

Materials:Worksheets on gender agreement; copies of popular magazines

Procedures:

  1. Introduce the content
    Tell students that they are going to learn about nouns and adjectives using a discovery method. This will involve examples from a target culture magazine. Divide learners into pairs and give each pair two lists to read. One list will contain a few phrases with nouns and adjectives in which the adjective follows the noun (e.g. le chat noir). The other list will contain phrases in which the adjective precedes the noun (e.g. la grande maison).
  2. Introduce and model the learning strategy
    Explain that we all learn our native language by observing how the people around us use the language and we gradually unconsciously form rules in our minds. As language learners we can experience this process more consciously. We can use the language learning strategy Find/Apply Patterns. Actively looking for grammatical patterns, for example, is more effective than trying to memorize grammar rules that we find in our textbooks.

    Explain that we all learn our native language by observing how the people around us use the language and we gradually unconsciously form rules in our minds. As language learners we can experience this process more consciously. We can use the language learning strategy Find/Apply Patterns. Actively looking for grammatical patterns, for example, is more effective than trying to memorize grammar rules that we find in our textbooks.
  3. Practice
    Give each pair of students some popular magazines in French and ask students to locate examples of noun-adjective combinations in advertisements. They should jot these examples down on their worksheets. Then have them look at the examples they have and find the patterns. When does an adjective follow a noun? When does an adjective precede a noun? How do the forms of the adjectives change?

    As a class discuss how the rules for French differ from those for English. Write all of the rules that learners come up with on the board and make sure they copy it down in their notes. Have them apply the rules in ten original descriptive sentences to make sure they have grasped each concept.

Expansion

  1. Have learners write a very simple advertisement for Match. Suggest some adjectives that can be used.
  2. Use the same activity with a different grammar focus to help learners practice the learning strategy.
  3. Brainstorm other language areas (such as pronunciation) that finding patterns will help learners complete.

Teacher Resources (to help teacher enhance activity):
Popular magazines or newspapers in the target language