When it comes to understanding and learning the nuances of a foreign language such as French, the students have to be gently eased into the process with the help of associations which the learners can relate easily to. Thus, in Grade 5, recently, when the students were introduced to the first group of verbs known as ‘ “er”-ending verbs’, it was quite necessary to make a relatable and authentic connection with the present world the students are living in. The ‘er’ ending verbs constitute about 80% of the verbs in the French language and hence is an important lesson.
When the students were explained in a simpler and effective way with the help of simple comparisons such as analogies, metaphors and similes, they found the concepts easier for grasping. For explaining conjugation of a verb, they were asked to compare fixing a sandwich with conjugating a verb. This process was explained stepwise- such as trimming off the crust or the endings, putting in some filling like veggies, mayonnaise and cheese, they were asked to imagine each ending as an ingredient that goes into a sandwich. This way they were able to understand the first group of verbs much better.
Colourful comparisons such as these, especially if accompanied by a graphic representation positively affects the students’ ability to understand the subject. French being a phonetically challenging language, using an interesting and interactive approach to teaching, definitely helps students to learn and master the language easily.