Digital media in French class
In an interview, language teacher Jana Trichauer explains how to integrate digital tools into the French lesson and the benefits they bring.
Jana Tichauer: There are several reasons for this. For one thing, digital content allows me to connect with the “real” French-speaking world in a way I can’t with textbooks. On the other hand, it clearly makes my lessons cooler – for students, digital media is part of their everyday life, so why should I completely block it out in school? Last but not least, I think we need to train people to use media in a reflective way, especially in school. For me, this is a natural part of every subject – and sometimes it means teaching analog.
Jana Tichauer: First of all, teaching has become more open, more unpredictable (in a good way!). That’s because digital media allows us to tackle much bigger issues and bring them into the classroom. I work much more in projects or larger learning settings, which my students usually find almost more exciting than I do, because they have the opportunity to make something happen. Learning French happens along the way.
Jana Tichauer: My current favorite example is participating in a multilingual competition where my students made videos telling stories about being at home in different languages. The focus was on the content and not so much on the digital, which was always there.
But creating a digital audio walk through Bergen auf Rügen was really cool! In the end, even the tourist office marketed it for my students!
Jana Tichauer: Of course! It requires the right infrastructure, such as terminals, proper classroom equipment and, of course, Wi-Fi. And as a teacher, you have to become familiar with all the tools and possibilities. But I believe that with a little courage and flexibility we can solve a lot of things – and those are our two superpowers as teachers anyway!
Jana Tichauer: By asking ourselves the questions we’ve always asked ourselves about our material: Is this purposeful, or do I just think this site is cool? What am I trying to accomplish with this particular digital exercise? Can my students make good use of this tool? Sometimes, though, motivation is enough for me to not work with another cloze text in the workbook.
In this training you will learn how to design your French lessons with different digital tools.