This summer, when I was nerding out to all of my favorite language blogs, I stumbled upon Cecile Laine’s great post about starting class by asking students how they feel and providing possible responses. It’s great for students not only because
it provides necessary emotion vocabulary that is often required for AP at the very beginning of French I but it also helps to build relationships with students.
I have giant classes, so projecting a list of emotions on the board for them is not really an effective solution, and I was stuck trying to find a way to disseminate this information to my class. Then, it hit me! my mom just had recently got a fancy new Smartphone and for the first time ever, had been exposed to emojis. Everything that she texted me came with Emojis. Well, that’s something to which my students can relate.
I spent an embarrassingly long time constructing this fabulous “Comment tu te sens?” page using emojis – Half the battle was coming up with the word for the emotion that the emoji represents (and my students still argue with me that “that’s not how *THAT* emoji is used, but as the kids say, “oh 🐳 💁.”), but I’m very happy with the results. You can download your own, editable copy of it here: CommentTuTeSens.
I’m a sucker. I used my home printer to print out color copies for all of my students and handed it out to class with pride and a threat (“Si vous la perdez, vous n’aurez jamais une autre, vous comprenez?!”).
We went through all of the different emotions and their pronunciations, and the page is now the first page of their cahiers, which I check at the end of every unit for a grade. At the end of our class routine, I now ask “Comment tu te sens/Comment vous vous sentez?” and the students raise their hands to answer. I’ve learned that they’re “frustrée parce qu’il y a beaucoup de devoirs dans les classes AP” and “fatigué parce que la natation” (Not perfect, but we’ll get there!).
Now, I learn more about my students and get a general idea of what is going on in their lives IN FRENCH. My students use more vocabulary than “ça va bien/mal!” and they actively try to form compound sentences! Win/win!