Classroom Language Visuals in French

It’s the night before the morning after!  Tomorrow I start in a new school in East Anglia, teaching French & Spanish in an 11-16 mixed comprehensive.  I’m very much looking forward to it, all mixed in with that apprehensive feeling of starting something new!  Part of that, of course, is preparing lessons for classes I don’t know yet, so I’ve got my strategy planned out which will almost certainly need adjusting once I’ve got to know my classes and I’ve identified what their next steps are.  So, to get us started, you’ll find below some of the classroom language I’m intending to use in the first week with my French classes.  The Spanish visuals will pop up here in a few days’ time.  Some of these expressions I probably won’t need in the first week, and some I’m not intending to use, but the chances are a situation will crop up that I need to be ready for.

A couple of points that I will make clear to my classes but which may not be immediately obvious as you look at the visuals:

  • Where ‘vous’ appears (or ‘Usted’ in Spanish), it is accompanied by a picture of a crown to remind them that in the contexts in which ‘vous’ appears here, it is a formal form of address.  (In a later lesson, we will choose which pupils in the class we will address as ‘vous’ for the rest of the lesson, and they will wear Christmas cracker crowns!).
  • I colour-code verb endings that I want to make a big deal of in green, genders in blue or red (masc / fem, respectively),  question words in purple and the negative elements (ne…pas) in brown.  The pair of glasses drawn around ‘ne’ and ‘pas in ‘Je ne sais pas’ are ‘les lunettes de la négation’, an idea I got from a student at St. Martin’s, Lancaster, several years ago.  A brilliant idea to show pupils that a verb must go between the two elements.
  • I never put these up on the wall as A4 rectangular sheets – I like to cut round the edges to make a cloud shape.  Much more pleasant to look at, I feel.
  • All the phrases will eventually be permanently displayed on the wall, but until we’ve used them all (and there are more to come), they go up and come down for each lesson (not as much hassle as it sounds).  I keep them laid out on the floor behind where I stand so I can find them easily and they go up on the wall when the situation arises and after I’ve got the class pronouncing them correctly.  Many of those situations I engineer to arise, as it were, and others happen unexpectedly.
  • I’ve got lots of new classes to meet this week so there is the extra challenge of how to keep track of which classes have met which expressions as the weeks go on….!  I’ll tell you how about that in the next post!  For now, here are those visuals:

What’s the difference

Silent letter

Right – wrong

Points – winning and losing

Won – lost

Repeat please


I’ve forgotten

I don’t know

How do you spell

How do you say in English

How do you say in French

How do you pronounce

Can I

Bless you


5 thoughts on “Classroom Language Visuals in French

    • Indeed! First things first – establish myself, being clear on expectations and insisting on them. Next, coping strategies and setting up pairwork. I’ve got a good idea of what I’ll teach when over the half-term in general terms (so I know if I’m going to run out of time later or if I’m ahead of myself), restricting content language to between 1/2 and 2/3 of my teaching time with each class to create time for setting up classroom language properly. Done in a hurry it never sticks!

      • Aye I think you’re right about doing stuff in a hurry. Think I’m going to have to improve my performance in that respect. I think I’m in a very different school from yours. Hope your first day went well.

        Nice visuals…..I might get them printed off for my new classroom.

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