Wednesday, 10 August 2016

CEFR Practice Centres

I use the CEFR to guide my teaching practice, quite a bit.  And even though many of the elements included in the CEFR are practiced through my own lessons, sometimes students need some extra time to fine tune their confidence and abilities in these skills.  Most of my student fall into the level A1 category, a beginner speaker who needs highly structured interactions with a fair bit of support.

Some of my grade 8s are approaching a level A2, still a beginner, but with a little more skill and confidence to converse in French, still with some support and preparation.

In order to give them a little more independent practice, I created some practice centres using the amazing and free resource found here.  This document was created for FSL teachers in Ontario, when we were just beginning to use the CEFR to guide our practice in earnest.  Not only is the explanation of how and why using the CEFR is a great idea, there are resources for level A1 included in the doc.

I took the resource, and printed it out in color, and then created practice centres by separating the activities and housing them in page protectors in a box, so students can grab an activity and go somewhere to work on them.

Above is an example of a reading practice activity.  Students take the cards out of the bag and have to match them to a headline.  To assess this skill, I cut up a real French newspaper and magazine, and the students had to match the headline to the photo.   To make the centre, I printed out the descriptors from the online package, printed the graphics from the package, and I made a quick cover for the centre to show students the expectations of the activity.  I made the covers to help students choose centres at their level.  

Most of the activities are meant to be done in partners with and interviewer and an interviewee, so students got a chance to be both roles, but there are a few that can be done individually.

For the partner activities I created peer evaluation sheets, so that students could give constructive feedback to their partners.  Students kept that feedback to give to me when assessing them, and I could see if they used the feedback to improve.  It was a great tool.

For the writing activities, I laminated some postcards and greeting cards I bought that were in French.  Students then wrote their notes in wet erase marker, documented their writing in a photo and sent it to me and their partner for feedback.  Then they erased their card, and it was ready for another student.

The students enjoyed the activities, and got some good practice doing them!  I will be using them again this year!  (If you are interested in any of the handouts I created for this activity, contact me and I can post them. )

How are other ways you use the CEFR to guide your teaching practice?


  1. I love this idea. Are these centres used when students are done other work or do you have a day when everyone choses a centre? I am very interested in creating centres and would love to know how you organize this. I would also love to see the handouts you created. Merci! Sheryl

    1. I used these centres for both! Students liked doing the centres so sometimes we would practice them in class, other times students would choose them if they finished work early. I only created one handout, it was an evaluation tool. Students had to evaluate how well their partner completed the task, and they had to provide constructive feedback on how their partner could improve. The file is on my school computer, but it was a 1/4 piece of paper with 3 prompts on it: 1. Une chose il/elle a fait bien 2. Une chose il/elle peut ameliorer 3. Comment est-ce qu'il/elle peut ameliorer? That's all. The real work was in the centres. I have those here, so I might do a video on them if you are interested in how I set them up.

  2. Hi Stephanie. I am teaching in a 5/6 class teaching CORE french (for my practicum.) I am racking my brain trying to think of a culture lesson for the students. I was wondering if you had any ideas and if you could share these documents too! Thanks!!!