French Language Zone

French Language Zone

French Language Zone

French Language Zone

Photographs taken and generously donated for use by ALL by Laura Anne Simons.

Supporting French in cooperation with ….

Francophonie is the Language Zone for teachers of French at all levels and in all sectors, available to ALL members. It includes articles on teaching French, on the French language and on contemporary France. Articles are in English or French. There are also reviews of publications about France and of resources for teaching French, plus details of forthcoming events. Contributions submitted to Francophonie are peer reviewed and published online, subject to approval by independent referees.

It includes a 'good news area' where we celebrate both language and practice, resources, events, support for teachers and challenges and opportunities for learners.

Fantastic news for French

The following items have been shared by lovers of French around the country.

Some are short and some are more detailed, but they are there for French teachers to enjoy and pass on. 

If you have a Good News story or information for your fellow Francophonies, please do contribute it by email

Everything positive is welcome!

See details in Forthcoming Events (below).


What Primary learners have to say

More information to follow shortly.

What Secondary pupils have to say
Who speaks French in Canada?

Words: Jane Harvey, ALL President Elect and ALL Border Marches Network

I have just returned from Québec, which I first visited as a student in 1971  a few years after General de Gaulle had made his “Vive le Québec libre” speech. At that time, English was the official language of Québec and French speakers – the majority – had to use English in everyday life. There was a strong movement for independence, linked to this language discrimination .

I returned this year to a very different situation. Canada now recognises both French and English as official languages and French is well established as the official language of Québec. Montréal sounded notably more French than 40 years ago – indeed French is often the only language on official signs, such as in the metro.

Canada is proud of being a multi-cultural and welcoming country taking a large number of refugees from many nations over recent years and there are official programmes to help them learn French if they settle in Québec. Whilst some of my Québécois friends felt that more English was being spoken in Montréal in the last couple of years,  it was mainly tourists and students – McGill university is anglophone – whom I heard talking English on the streets.  It is also notable that young people from France are seeing Montréal as an attractive alternative to London whilst youth unemployment in France remains high. What was most striking was the change in attitude of the younger generations in Montréal to being part of Canada. They no longer feel the need for independence and indeed the Parti Québécois, currently in opposition, state in their manifesto that they will not hold another referendum in their next government.

I love the differences in vocabulary between the language spoken in Canada and France. In Québec, for example,  un dépanneur is a convenience store, une rôtie a piece of toast and if something is expensive it is dispendieux. The accent and a tendency to contract words can initially baffle  those of us who learnt their French in France but I find it very attractive.

There are also a considerable number of French speaking Canadians in the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Most people will know that the Cajuns and their music come from Louisiana, but I wonder how many realise that Cajun is a corruption of Acadian and they are in fact the descendants of the Acadians, some of the original settlers of Nova Scotia. The Acadians came from the Vendée in the early C17th. During the Seven Years’ War, (1755-1764), known as the French and Indian war in North America when France was fighting Great Britain in Europe, the Acadians refused to swear allegiance to the British Crown and were expelled from Nova Scotia. Many went to Louisiana, but also to France and the UK and even as far as the Falkland Islands. Some returned to Nova Scotia after the war, but as their lands had been confiscated in their absence, many resettled in New Brunswick, just across the Bay of Fundy and others stayed in Louisiana. New Brunswick is Canada’s only bilingual province where French or English medium education is available to all.

The Acadian population of Maritime Canada is very proud of its heritage and at the UNESCO world heritage site of Grand Pré, in Nova Scotia, there is a memorial to the deportees and a statue of Evangeline, the heroine of Longfellow’s poem about the deportation of the Acadians. You can also see the land the Acadians reclaimed from the sea, using the skills that they brought from the Vendée, in the beautiful gardens in Annapolis Royal.

If you are thinking of visiting Canada, do consider Eastern Canada. It is a great destination in its own right and particularly fascinating for us linguists.


ALL’s support for teachers and learners of French began on Twitter in Spring 2020 with a  message asking:

#MFLtwitterati @ALL4Language teachers of French! While our horizons are so local, we can still dream n’est-ce pas of a time when we can travel again? So, which spot in a Francophone country calls to you? And why? Let’s create a #LovemyFrench strand of our favourite places.

The responses rolled in, and an article about them is planned for Languages Today.

If you are not on Twitter but would like  to dream of a flânerie to come, drop a line to   

and we will add it to the list . Here are some tasters:

Camping Le Sous Bois in Longeville sur Mer, en Vendée

Wild swimming in the Tarn, a river in the Parc National de Cévennes, on a sunny summer’s day. I worked in a holiday camp there each summer from 2006-2011 and it’s how I spent most of my days off. It’s such a beautiful part of France. #LovemyFrench

Visiting the American Cemetery near Arromanches with Year 10 pupils - gut-wrenching emotion.

Taking a dip in a clear water pool at the foot of the Gorge d'Héric, Languedoc. Cooling off after having walked up and back down.

AND the vast plateau of the Aubrac near Nasbinals... can't compare with a city! #LovemyFrench

I’d like to go back to a lovely little restaurant in somebody’s house up an Alp.

Not enough characters to say all my favourite places... Honfleur, Rouen, Dinan, Paris, anywhere in Brittany, Limousin... we had started making plans to go back to Vesoul in Franche-Comté, where I did my assistantship but that will hopefully be rearranged for next year!

If you are not on Twitter but would like to dream of a flânerie to come, drop a line to   

and we will add it to the list.

Impressionist Pictures

George Moore was not averse from discussing the value of pictures in relation to national life. Speaking of the practical utility of the Impressionist pictures he said :

‘…. I believe that a gallery of Impressionist pictures would be more likely than any other pictures to send a man to France. France is the source of all the arts. Let the truth be told. We go there, every one of us, like rag-pickers, with baskets on our backs, to pick up the things that come in our way, and out of unconsidered trifles fortunes have often been made.  We learn in France to appreciate not only art -we learn to appreciate life, to look upon life as an incomparable gift. … Art is but praise of life, and it is only through art that we can praise life,’

Grants and Courses for Learners and Teachers

Francophonia travaille fort sur une formation entièrement en numérique pour le mois de juillet ainsi que des formations en présentiel pour le mois d’août dans le plus strict respect des conditions d’hygiène et santé.


En attendant de se retrouver en présentiel, il y a ces deux projets en numérique à découvrir en cliquant sur les liens :

I/ 100 000 bourses numériques gratuites pour Etudiants

II/ 10 000 bourses numériques gratuites pour les Professeurs FLE

Pour les profs de FLE: pour pouvoir participer à nos bourses numériques il faudrait choisir une ou plusieurs formations que vous voulez suivre et vous inscrire au plus tard 1h avant le début de cours.

Inscription et programmation  ici. Si vous ratez la formation, vous avez toujours la possibilité de revoir la diffusion sur la  page Francophonia de Facebook.

Pour ce qui concerne les bourses pour étudiants : il faudrait constituer un ou plusieurs groupes d’à peu près le même niveau et le même âge, puis remplir le formulaire à propos de ce groupe constitué et Francophonia proposera des dates et créneaux horaires convenables à tous. Nous avons beaucoup de très bons retours à propos de ces cours, surtout parce que nous essayons de faire parler les élèves et les encourager à s’exprimer.

Ce sera un plaisir d’accueillir vos lecteurs « virtuellement » dans l’une de nos formations ainsi que pour les activités autour des concerts numériques, conférences, etc.

Why We Should Learn French

Kerry Phipps is a member of ALL Council

Annecy, France- photo by Thomas Fleenor from FreeImages

1. Join 300 million speakers

French is an influential language spoken by over 300 million people on five continents and is an official language in 29 countries. It is the second most widely taught foreign language after English and the fifth most widely spoken language. French is taught in every country and there are more than 700 French language universities in the world.

2. Pursue an international career

A knowledge of French opens doors to careers in business, finance, tourism, aviation, research, diplomacy, teaching, translation, interpreting and many more. French is an official language of many international agencies and organisations such as the UN, the EU, UNESCO, NATO, the World Health Organisation, the European Court of Justice, the International Olympic Committee and the International Red Cross.  As one of the world’s largest economies, France is a key economic partner.

3. Enjoy cultural opportunities

French is the lingua franca of cuisine, fashion, art, dance and architecture. Understanding French gives a variety of perspectives on the world’s cultural diversity. It allows access to great films, songs and works of literature and philosophy in the original version, as well as the leading French-language international media.

4. Travel the world

As the world’s most popular tourist destination, France attracts more than 89 million visitors a year.   France is a captivating country with an abundance of cultural attractions, glamorous cities, spectacular coastlines, picturesque villages, fascinating architecture, rich history, fine wine, food and great weather. Speaking French gives invaluable insight into the culture and way of life of France and other French-speaking countries.

5. Boost your brain power

As a Romance language, French is a good base for becoming proficient in other languages such as Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Due to the influence of the Norman Conquest, French is a relatively easy language to learn for the British as almost half of all English words are derived from French.  In England for over 400 years, French was the language of the nobility and of most official documents. Knowing French enriches English language use in many technical areas. It is also an analytical language, stimulating brain function and memory, and promoting problem solving and critical thinking.

6. Have fun!

French is perceived as a romantic, sophisticated, melodious language and is often called the language of love. When it’s not possible to visit France, there are many other opportunities to enjoy learning the language. Explore a vast, accessible range of French multimedia: films, series, novels, poetry, audio books, radio, podcasts, social media, video gaming, language apps etc.


Summer 21 Special invitation from Francophonia


Special invitation to ALL for teachers of French from our friends in Nice.

Francophonia is making a generous offer to a limited number of ALL members in 2021.  This will be of interest to teachers in all sectors, those who wish to improve their French alongside the development of methodology, and potentially new trainees as well as established teachers.  

Francophonia organises the well-established annual Universités d’été for teachers of French from all over the world, in all sectors, and at all levels of confidence in French. These are (usually) residential courses over two weeks, based in Nice, and include a cultural programme alongside the formations which are many and various. The 2021 Universités d’été will be launched on 9 July with a live Facebook broadcast of a concert » Ensemble à Nice ».

In 2021 because of the differing arrangements around travel Francophonia is offering l’université comodale  - a choice between:

  • teachers attending the classic Université d’été in person
  • teachers joining the events online from home.

So the events are en présentiel et en distantiel at the same time.

As a gesture of solidarité ALL Members wishing to attend a formation in either of these formats are generously offered a bursary to cover the whole cost of the 2-week training session, worth 1210 Euros!

The general invitation from Francophonia is in French below.  

The training events are planned to be intercultural experiences, with groups being formed of teachers from different countries. For ALL Members the dates of the séance de l’Université d’été will be: 9 – 21 August 2021.

The training catalogue is online in French here : and interested members can choose the theme that interests them.

(NB Members wishing to travel to Nice in person would need to fund their travel and subsistence – accommodation can be provided at a subsided rate. Details will be supplied to members expressing interest.)


If you ae interested in accepting one of the bursaries, please contact with the title Francophonia.

This offer is only open to members of ALL, and on a first come, first served basis. (You can join ALL here : )


In your message please include :

Your name and contact email

Your establishment and indication of sector

What you consider your level of French to be

Any thoughts you have on your choice of formation (from the catalogue)

Any other points you wish to make

You can read more, in French, about the mission and philosophy of Francophonia here:

(NB Their website is being rebuilt after a fire destroyed the server which hosted it. Some of the text has not yet been replaced.)


9 Juillet 2021 à l’opéra de Nice : L’orchestre du monde  » Ensemble à Nice »

This concert will be broadcast on Francophonia’s Facebook. More details to come on :

under Actualités

Francophonia vient de célébrer ses 4 ans le 30 avril, c’est avec enthousiasme que nous vous annonçons aujourd’hui le lancement de nos Universités d’été 2021. Il est venu le temps des retrouvailles, ce moment tant attendu vous, nous l’espérions depuis longtemps. Nous allons l’organiser pour que personne ne manque à l’appel, pour que tous les pays qui le souhaitent, puissent se joindre à cette danse des savoirs et des cultures. Les Universités auront lieu pendant deux mois jusqu’au 21 août 2021.

Les Universités d’été comodale ?

Le principe des Universités comodales est de pouvoir organiser nos Universités d’été en présentiel et en numérique en même temps dans la même salle de classe.  

Chez Francophonia, les outils numériques montrent leurs efficacités et ont déjà réussi à rassembler depuis l’automne 2019 plus de 12 000 professeurs. Nous sommes heureux d’avoir réussi à adapter nos outils de formation en cette situation mondiale inédite.

Pourquoi le comodale ?

Parce que nous savons déjà que selon les restrictions sanitaires des pays, certaines délégations pourront se déplacer ici à Nice et d’autres ne le pourront pas. Après avoir fait face au défi du basculement au « tout à distance », il nous tient à cœur de conserver le meilleur de ce format de cours, tout en maintenant le caractère indispensable de la dimension humaine du présentiel. C’est entre ces deux pôles, celui de l’indispensable présence et celui du tout à distance que nous allons mettre en place ce dispositif hybride.

Pour consulter notre catalogue de formation, cliquer ici :

Pour encourager les autres ? The French Pop Video regional choices 2021
The French Pop Video Competition 2021 has announced its top regional choices and posted them on YouTube here :

These clips are a must-watch to cheer French teachers up at the end of term. What amazing young people we work with ! 
They are also potentially inspirational for your classes too ? Maybe there are secret musicians  and future winners hiding there? 


Poetry Corner

Kerry Phipps is a member of ALL Council

Poetry is a creative and motivating way to consolidate, memorise and expand a wide range of vocabulary and topics, reinforce grammar and lexical items, and give language new meaning and perspective while practising all four skills. Poetry is also a great opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day festivals.  I have used poetry projects very successfully in primary French lessons.

Children can work individually or in pairs to create original poems, using a scaffold as a stimulus and providing dictionaries. I often write a whole class poem to get the students enthused and clear about how they begin the task.

Final pieces can be copied out and illustrated manually or word processed for display, and possibly then recorded and converted into QR codes for books or display. Poems can transition into songs (raps are popular), dance or video formats such as Tik-Tok or iMovie. Add GarageBand effects for instant music and rhythm. Children will improve their pronunciation and intonation, as well as enjoy the rhythm (and possibly rhyme) of the language. Here are four types of poem I have used in class.

  1. Shape poems and calligrammes are simple yet highly effective. See an example here from Clare Seccombe:   
  2. Acrostic poems are easy to create using a longer word/ topic down the centre, for examples ‘Mois de l’année’ and children write as many months as they can horizontally and connecting to the vertical text.
  3. Comparison poems with repetitive starter sentences work well, and build confidence immediately. A few ideas here are excerpts from colour poems, ‘without you’ poems, adjectives of personality poems etc. Perhaps the students could use suitable real French similes too, such as ‘joli comme un coeur’

‘Jaune comme le soleil,

Rouge comme le coquelicot’

‘Sans toi, je suis…sans…

Sans toi, je ne suis rien.’

‘Tu es gentille comme…

Tu es belle comme…’

  1. Topic based poems are easily created.

I have used witches spells to successfully consolidate animal and body vocabulary. For example:

‘Tete de rat, oeil de chat,

Voici ma formule magique’

This poetry project was based on house vocabulary uses a popular list poem  format to progressively expand language beyond the home (NB the pupil’s text has not been corrected)

This project focused on opposites:

  1. Grammar poems can be enjoyably created by using specific structures such as this conditional tense:

‘Si j’étais un animal, je serais un lion’

Clare Seccombe has also included some excellent examples of poetry created in the primary classroom through her online magazines Write Away. Here is the June 2019 edition: 


More information to follow shortly.

Lose yourself on a journey into the French language

Reviewed by: Victoria Mitchell, Education Officer, ALL

‘Bon Voyage! A colouring book for lovers of all things French’ is a wonderful addition to the myriad of mindfulness colouring books which are popular with adults and children alike.

Not only is colouring a picture a relaxing activity to do after work or to while away a few hours of a journey, but each image in this delightful books contains a French proverb. A brilliant idea! I really enjoyed discovering French proverbs which I didn’t previously know, and thinking about what their English equivalent would be. The book manages to cleverly weave together the places and proverbs of France so you can take yourself off on a cultural journey. (For ease, translations of the proverbs are given at the back of the book.) One of my favourites I discovered was ‘il faut casser le noyau pour avoir l’amande’ (you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs). The book can be used as a fun classroom resource when teaching proverbs, as a homework activity, an extra-curricular activity or even as a class treat. Students will particularly enjoy the hidden objects in each picture which are revealed as you colour. The book would also make a fantastic gift for someone during any stage of their language learning journey.

The Spanish version ‘Buena Vista! A colouring book for lovers of all things Spanish’ is also available.

By: Lizzie Mary Cullen

A bit about the author…Lizzie Mary Cullen is an award winning illustrator, artist and speaker based in London. Working in pen and ink, her psychogeographic maps of urban environments have been exhibited around the world.

Publisher: John Murray Learning

Price: £9.99

Format: Paperback

De quelle couleur est ta culotte

De quelle couleur est ta culotte? By Sam Lloyd

Reviewed by Lisa Stevens and shared with permission

One of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning.

 When I first started teaching Primary languages, I went on a course run by LFEE in Salignac for French teachers (I thoroughly recommend it – I worked hard but had the time of my life and rediscovered a love of French that I’d lost when I was made to start from scratch at secondary school.)  During my time there we went on a trip to Souillac and several of us spent a while in a bookshop looking for suitable books to use in our classrooms. And this was the one we all loved.

De quelle couleur est ta culotte? is a lift-the-flap book that poses the question in the title to a series of animals.

Each animal has a name that rhymes with its species e.g Lucie le Brebis, Mumu la Tortue and Émile le Crocodile …

At the end there’s a big surprise as Armand l’éléphant is a little forgetful…

I’ve used this story with EYFS – and younger in fact. They love the animals, recalling their names, and the colour of their pants. And everyone giggles hysterically in mock horror as the surprise is revealed – because we are, of course, surprised every time we read it ;o) I ask questions e.g. Valentine a la culotte rouge ou bleue?   Qui a la culotte rose? De quelle couleur est la culotte d’Aimee? offering choices if needed, and then we read it again with choral responses as we lift the flaps; sometimes a particularly confident child will want to ask the question too although it’s more usual to just say the name of the animal. When I shared it in Reception, we drew a washing line of pants and coloured them in for the animals. I’d probably make it into a game now, either on the IWB with a race to match the animals and pants, or as a team game with images of the animals and coloured underwear. And I’d also look to make the story our own, perhaps not about pants this time but about another item of clothing: De quelle couleur sont tes chaussettes? perhaps or a teddy bear: De quelle couleur est ton nounours? or even change it a little and ask Comment est ton chapeau? which could be answered with adjectives other than colour.

I used to teach Kindergarten with children from 18 months to 3 years, and was sharing this book with them when an inspector arrived. My momentary fear that the inspector wouldn’t share my love of the book, and that of the Kindergarten head who had a great sense of humour, was unfounded as she was giggling along with all the children and said she thoroughly enjoyed the French lesson!

Lisa Stevens is a member of the ALL Primary Steering Group; more on her blog :

Primary French Resources
Quatre Contes Populaires Ecossais: Four Scottish Folktales

Words: Kerry Phipps, Primary French teacher.

Title Quatre Contes Populaires Ecossais: Four Scottish Folk Tales

Author Fiona Scott. Translated by Nathalie Chalmers

Illustrated by Elfreda Crehan

Publisher Lexus Limited, 2017 (original English text published 2014)

ISBN 190473748X, 9781904737483

Length 96 pages

Price £7.99

‘Quatre Contes Populaires Ecossais: Four Scottish Folktales’ has just been published in a dual language edition by Lexus Limited. The four stories are traditional Gaelic folktales told in the Highlands and the Islands of Scotland and each one is just 20-25 pages long. The author’s note states that: “Each language acts as a bridge crossing over to the other.”

Two of my students in Year 5 reviewed the books with me, one at a time, after reading each story in both languages. They thought that ‘La Selkie’ (a mythical creature that resembles a seal in the water but assumes human form on land) was a strange story, different from anything they had read before, and weren’t sure whether they liked it. However, they thought the sea like colours of the illustrations were well done.

The pupils liked ‘Chanteresse,’ about an underwater princess who made everyone dance with her chanting, and it had a happier ending than the previous story. ’Les Violonistes au Royaume Enchanté’ was set on land, but involved time travel and was the only tale which did not involve a marriage. ‘Ah bon?’ was similar to the first story as it also featured a man in search of a wife, but this time, the man traded his cow for the woman.

I think that these tales would be of most interest to Scottish children learning French as they would already be familiar with the stories, which would make a good starting point. Equally, the text may appeal to native French speakers.

Talking the Talk in French, German, Italian and Spanish

Words: Joanna Alexander, The University of Nottingham

talking the Talk French, German, Italian and Spanish is a series of books aimed at helping the learner to feel confident in chatting in social situations. Topics covered include: getting to know people, lifestyle choices, making plans, sharing opinions and keeping in touch.

Each chapter is clearly laid out with content covering word banks, cognates and ‘false friends’, grammar points and example conversations. I particularly liked the checkpoint at the end of each chapter to check how much you have remembered.

These books are a really useful size to fit in a bag and take out to revise or swot up on conversation skills whilst on the move.  There is also an audio support pack which can be downloaded from the BBC website.

If you enjoy indulging in a new language book and want to increase your conversational skills these guides are the ones for you.

Publisher: BBC Active

Price: £9.99

Format: Paperback

Planète Terre

Planète Terre (pub. Nathan)  ISBN 978-2-09-255390-9

Reviewed by Lisa Stevens

This book is amazing! It has flaps, dials, double page factfiles, stories, quizzes, jokes and puzzles, all teaching facts about our planet – Planète Terre. In fact, it’s so amazing that I had to make a video!

(You’ll find it in Lisa’s blog :

It’s the kind of book that would go well on the class bookshelf for children to access in their free reading time. The facts are short and therefore less threatening than in your average non-fiction book, allowing learners to concentrate on decoding a few unfamiliar words using their knowledge of cognates and other languages as well as context and of course their existing geographical/scientific knowledge. And although Spanish is the language we learn at my schools, I would still put this on the bookshelf as children like variety, some go to French club and others just enjoy looking at texts in other languages.

If a French teacher wanted to guide children’s reading of the book, you could compile a list of words in English that could be located in French by looking in the book (there are many words written in bold that would suit this activity) or perhaps create some sentences with gaps to be completed by reading a certain page. It is ideal for a French CLIL classroom of course, where you might even pose the six key questions that structure the book (below) and ask more advanced learners to answer in a sentence or two.:

Qu’y a-t-il au centre de la Terre?

C’est quoi, un arc-en-ciel ?

D’où vient l’eau des océans ?

C’est quoi, un continent ?

D’où vient la lave des volcans ?

Où y a-t-il des déserts ?

I’m off to find more of these – in Spanish this time!

Lisa Stevens is a member of the ALL Primary Steering Group

Radio Labo

Words: Leanne Hilton, MFL Coordinator and Year 6 teacher at Ashgate Primary School, Derby.

Radio Labo is a 10 part series of programmes to support the learning of French in upper KS2. It includes topics covered in the curriculum such as clothing, greetings, sport and weather. Its aim is to revise and build upon basic language learning in lower KS2; each radio programme includes games and activities to help with pronunciation and grammar, a song that children are encouraged to join in with, and a simple story. There are also useful Teachers’ Notes which include advice on how to use the programmes as well as helpful teaching points and suggestions for follow up activities.

Having used Radio Labo with my Year 6 class, I would recommend it at as an additional learning resource alongside whichever scheme of work is being used. At my school, we use Catherine Cheater and the areas covered by the radio programmes complement our lessons very well. It is great for developing listening skills, an area I feel is sometimes neglected at the expense of visuals to aid learning. Listening to a real French speaker gets the children to focus on pronunciation and understanding whole sentences rather than disconnected words and phrases, which is excellent for moving on their holistic feel of the language.

One Third Stories: Ruby Red Riding Hood

Words: Kerry Phipps, primary languages teacher.

Title Ruby Red Riding Hood

Author Jonny Pyn and Alex Somervell

Illustrated by Hannah Hutchings

Publisher One Third Stories Ltd, 2017

ISBN 978-0-9956357-6-0

Length 15 pages

Price From £12.49 per month

One Third Stories is a new company that produces monthly story boxes based on parents’ paid subscriptions. The box contains a storybook (with glossary), activity book, recipe from around the world, flashcards, postcards and a link to the accompanying audiobook. The boxes are designed to help 4-9-year-old English-speaking children develop second language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) at home in either French or Spanish. The stories start in English and gradually introduce French or Spanish words (from various parts of speech) which appear in bold print. The books are beautifully illustrated fairy tales (with a twist) of original stories. The stories, based on Clockwork Methodology® are endorsed by The Universities of Nottingham and Exeter, The Spanish Embassy and Goethe Institute.

I read ‘Ruby Red Riding Hood’ with my Year 2-4 students. They found the story interesting, amusing, generally easy to understand and loved the illustrations. Some students liked the methodology and thought it was a good strategy for beginners and enjoyed the challenge of having two languages in the same sentence. The pupils enjoyed completing the word search but would like some more challenging activities as an extension too. The fruit and body activity pages offered worthwhile writing opportunities, alongside the guided blank postcards. The flashcards weren’t used this time, but if additional cards were added, they could be used to play pairs.

I would be interested to see further research on the effectiveness of this method over time.

Les mois de l'annee

Gina Hall (from ALL Manchester) kindly shares this resource which she uses with Primary learners of French.

There is a lot of content (over 100 screens);  the dates relate to 2019 , and need editing each year.

The screens are :  1-17 Introduction to the calendar, New Year and the months with their festivals.

18-38 The months with inserted language activities for some events

39-40 focus on numbers for months and dates

41-85 Focus on spelling

86-100 Sentences, linguistic and cultural references

101-103 Creative writing for Carême: je dis au revoir …

104-107 Opinions

To view the full PDF please click the link: Les mois de l'année 2019

Recent events

Recent Webinars

ALL London continues to host its popular webinars and has expanded its offer in response to the policies of lockdown and social distancing  - under the heading TILT (Technology in Language Teaching)

These sessions tend to be multilingual n their content, but teachers of French may be interested especially in the recordings hosted here:

of webinars such as :

58. TiLT webinar with Natalie Campbell (12th May 2020) ‘Showbie for remote language learning’

57. TiLT webinar with Institut français du Royaume Uni (7th May 2020)

56. Webinar with Jennifer Wozniak (4th May 2020) ‘Grammar is fun’

55. TiLT webinar with Samantha Broom ‘Google Education’

54. TiLT webinar with Vincent Everett (28th April 2020) ‘Creative Language Learning’

53. TiLT webinar: Show and Tell (25th April 2020)

52. TiLT WEbinar with Daren White (23rd April 2020) ‘Using Google meet to enhance remote learning

51. TiLT webinar with Dr Judith Rifeser (22nd April 2020) ‘ Connecting school and home: Creative Language Projects’

50. TiLT  webinar with Esmeralda Salgado (16th April 2020) ‘A few of my favourite ICT things’

46. TiLT Webinar with Heike Philp (9th April).  Remote learning with video.

ALL Corporate member Linguascope also hosts recordings of their webinars here :   

These sessions tend to be multilingual n their content, but teachers of French may be interested especially in these:

Efficiency in a Time of Covid-19

Language: Primarily imitated? Or Self-Selected?

Supporting Reading Strategies in Distance Learning

Beyond the physical classroom: Nurturing language learning and creativity through film

Translation for all – Motivating translation tasks in and out of the classroom

Embedding phonics in language learning

A Game of Two Halves – Strategies, tactics and set pieces to develop speaking and writing

Building cultural capital and encouraging independent language learning during lockdown

Advice and resources to support language teachers in response to the Coronavirus outbreak

The Linguascope blog also hosts

Free French worksheets by Martine Pillette during school closures

Guest Blogs

ALL is grateful for these contributions which express the views of the individual writers and are offered to stimulate the thinking of readers. 

GCSE French

More information to follow shortly.

A Level French

More information to follow shortly.

Primary French

More information to follow shortly.

My Best 10 for Phonics

My best 10 ideas for getting started with teaching phonics

Sue Cave

1. Pause and say

This is an activity to help your pupils internalise new sounds. Say a sequence of 3 sounds and tell the class then they can’t repeat these sounds until you give them a sign to do so. Hopefully, in the pause, they are repeating the sounds silently in their head to help them remember. Challenge them by lengthening the time before they must repeat. This can then be practised in pairs.

2. Charades

Perform the allocated actions for the phonemes in a word in the order in which they appear (missing out any that sound the same in English as the language being learnt). The pupils try to be first to guess the word. This is another good activity to help with the internalisation of sounds.

3. Listen for the sound

When using a song, story, poem or rhyme in the classroom, ask your pupils to listen out for a particular sound or sounds within it and perform the agreed action each time it is heard. This can be lots of fun.

4. Fire and Hire

Once your pupils are familiar with the letter strings for a group of sounds, create flashcards for the letters. Distribute them to pupils who should stand at the front of the class with the letters on the card facing outwards. Then randomly call out a sound and if a pupil holds a card with the corresponding letter(s) they should raise it in the air immediately. Anyone failing to raise the card on hearing the sound or raises the incorrect card is ‘fired’ and another pupil is ‘hired’. The aim is not to be fired for the duration of the game. A set of small versions of these flashcards can be made for groups of pupils so that they can compete to ‘splat’ the correct card first on hearing a sound.

5. Listen and show

Try to give a phonic focus to most teaching and learning activities. For example, when practising recognition of new vocabulary, say a sound (with an accompanying action, if the support is needed) found within one or more of the words and the pupils must try to be the first to show an image card for that item of vocabulary which has the sound within it.

6. Trapdoor

Display some letter strings on the board. Divide the class into two groups. Whilst group 1 has their eyes closed, one pupil from group 2 indicates a chosen letter string. The pupils in group 1 open their eyes and take it in turns to select and name the sound of a letter string. For every sound which is not the one chosen by group 2 they win a point. Once the chosen sound is selected, that group’s turn is over and ‘they fall through the trapdoor’. The points are totalled at the end of a determined number of turns and the group with the most points is the winner. Depending on the confidence of the learners, mispronunciation of a sound can also be penalized by ‘falling through the trapdoor’.

7. Phonic hangman

If playing this traditional game to practise and recall the spelling of words, try using a short line for a single letter sound and a long line for a sound of two or more letters. If playing in French, use a dotted line to indicate a silent letter.

8. Phonic bingo

Bingo continues to have an appeal to learners of any age. Ask your pupils to select and note down several letter strings, from a list, for the sounds with which they are familiar. When they have heard all the sounds for their selection called out by you, it is time to say Bingo!

9. Phonic Happy Families

Create sets of small cards on which are the letter strings for each phoneme of a word e.g. r – ou – ge. The cards are dealt so each person has the same, or roughly the same, number of cards. The aim of the game is to create a word by acquiring all the phonemes needed. Each player takes it in turns to ask an individual if they have a particular grapheme by asking for it by its sound. If a person has a grapheme which corresponds to the sound, it is handed over, if not, their turn is over. This continues until all the words have been reassembled and the player with the largest number of completed words is the winner.

10. Find your group

If I have taken time to create a resource, I always try to reuse it for a different activity to maximise its use. So, with the same set of cards as described in activity 9, distribute one to each pupil. The pupils move around the room and ask whoever they meet which sound they have on their card. If the sounds on both their cards can be put together to form part, or even all, of one of the items of vocabulary, they join forces. Then, if necessary, move together to find other pupils with the correct sounds to complete their word. As different letter strings can make the same sound, they will need to check which grapheme is on each other’s card.


  • Sounds can be ephemeral and difficult to keep in the long-term memory. So, try allocating an action and an image for each sound. This makes it easier to recall and recognize. Ask your pupils to say what the sound makes them think of and by consensus agree on an action.
  • Don’t forget to explain the physical process and position of the mouth when making a sound.
  • Select vocabulary for a scheme of work so that in the first year all the key sounds are systematically encountered and in subsequent years choose vocabulary to introduce alternative letter strings for the sounds.
  • Present and practise the letter strings for each new sound. Then, rather than you provide the written form of a new word, allow your pupils first to predict the spelling.
  • As your pupils become familiar with the sound and letter correspondences, give them plenty of opportunity to pronounce words without your support. This will give them confidence in the future to pronounce unfamiliar words with a high degree of accuracy.
  • For French, introduce the concept of silent letters and liaison early on to prepare them for the possible sound changes of words in sentences.

Sue Cave

Sue Cave is an independent primary languages consultant for Cave Languages. She has taught French in the primary, secondary and adult education sectors as well as TESOL. She is the co-author of ‘Physical French Phonics’ published by Brilliant Publications.

Marie-Odile Guillou's guide to French punctuation

Marie-Odile Guillou reviews the differences between conventions in French and English use of punctuation.

French Punctuations by MOG

Adult Learners

More information to follow shortly.

French for Employment

More information to follow shortly.

University French

More information to follow shortly.

Sweet inspiration

Sweet inspiration


(Shared by permission of Lisa Stevens)

Being stuck with my foot up was giving me plenty of time to read, think and play with my tech, and one morning a combination of the three inspired this post!

I was pinning away on Pinterest when I came across a ‘Pin’ about ‘Le top 10 des bonbons préférés des Français’.

As I looked at the article, I started thinking “How could I use this?”

So I started making a list

1. Compare the sweets eaten in France and UK. Are they the same?

2. Look at the names of the sweets e.g. les bouteilles de Coca, les bonbons au caramel. Could you understand these names without seeing the pictures? Test it by giving learners the images and the words separately and see if they can match them. Or ask “Qu’est-ce que c’est ‘Bottle’ en français?”

3. Look at ordinal numbers “le bonbon en première position est…?” “Dans quelle position est la fraise Tagada?” “Quelle est le bonbon en huitième place?”

4. Discuss likes and dislikes – “Tu aimes les bonbons ? ” Tu aimes les bouteilles de Coca?” ” Tu préfères les Dragibus ou les Chamallows?” “Quels bonbons aimes-tu?” Encourage use of connectives e.g. “Je n’aime pas la Réglisse mais j’aime beaucoup les Schtroumpfs”,  “J’aime les Chamallows mais je préfère les bouteilles de Coca.”

5. Conduct a survey. You could use the French sweets or find out about the learners’ likes and dislikes by asking for example “Tu préfères quel bonbon?” or “Quel est ton bonbon préféré?”

6. Make a bar graph of the results and discuss “Combien d’enfants aiment les bonbons au caramel?”

7. You could use the same graph to talk about plus / moins (more and less) “Les Schtroumpfs sont plus ou moins populaires que les nounours à la guimauve?” “Quel est le bonbon le plus populaire?”

8. Talk about the colours of the sweets. I also found some really colourful lollipops that would be good.

Or you could use a packet of Smarties and count how many of each colour you get in each tube. (More opportunity to use plus/moins que)

9. Learners invent their own sweets! This could lead to recipes, labelling colours and shapes,  craft as they could make them out of clay/playdough, coloured paper, and even try to market them to each other, using persuasive language “Mes bonbons sont délicieux” “Oui, mais les sucettes sont plus savoureuses” and so on

10. And finally, as healthy lifestyles are important, perhaps linking sweets to things we should and shouldn’t eat, and foods that are “bons pour la santé” Perhaps use a food triangle to add foods in the correct proportions with sweets at the very top! (There are Spanish examples on my Pinterest

There are more suggestions on Lisa’s blog :

Lisa is a member of the ALL Primary Steering Group

Museum review - Mundolingua

Words: Beth Apted, A Level French student at The Ashcombe School.

Mundolingua is an interactive language and linguistics museum situated in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. As a self-confessed Francophile and language nerd I was incredibly excited when I first learnt about the museum through a post highly recommending it on the blogging website, Tumblr. In February last year there was a trip for Year 11 and 12 French students from my school to Paris and the teacher leading the trip, Ms Myers, allowed us to help her to create the itinerary;  needless to say, I didn’t hesitate to suggest we go there. What is really good about Mundolingua however, is that all the other students on the trip who visited it, many without much or any interest in linguistics, really enjoyed it too.

At the museum there is a choice of viewing the exhibitions and completing the interactive activities independently, or with a guide; our teacher chose a guided bilingual tour for some extra language immersion.  During our visit we played many games such as giant Scrabble and competitively guessing languages based on audio clips. Our guide, Laura, had us frantically, and badly, rolling our ‘r’s in Spanish tongue twisters.  She also taught us about many interesting linguistic topics such as how sign languages work and why Basque is so remarkable.  Afterwards we asked Laura any questions we had (- from her animated answer to one of my questions it would appear that L’Académie française is NOT popular amongst French linguists!-), and then we were free to wander between the many displays, turning dials, pulling levers and watching videos all about language.

Mundolingua is a museum that everyone can enjoy and I would very much recommend any language enthusiast visit if they ever find themselves in Paris.

Price: Adult ticket € 7 euros, student and over 65s ticket €5 (€3 supplement p.p. for a guided tour)

Languages available:  Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish


Early Language Learning: Complexity and Mixed Methods

Words: Lisa Stevens, Primary language teacher and ALL Council member

Early Language Learning: Complexity and Mixed Methods, edited by Janet Enever and Eva Lindgren

Early Language Learning: Complexity and Mixed Methods is the first in a series of books published by Multilingual Matters on the subject of early language learning (ELL) in school contexts. It brings together the work of authors from 13 countries across 4 continents all with a research interest in early language learning but with wide ranging experiences including TEFL, ESOL, CLIL and MFL teaching.

The stated aims of the volume are to collate ELL research from a class context and to review the choice of research methodology with a particular focus on mixed methods research (MMR). This approach advocates the use of both qualitative and quantitative data within research as a way of triangulating evidence, and this volume proposes it as the best way to gain an understanding of evidence gained from within a multidisciplinary context like ELL.

The contexts for the studies include English being taught as an additional language, English as a second or foreign language, French as a modern foreign language, classrooms using content and language integrated learning and also controversies of the choice of medium of instruction; all areas of particular interest currently in the broad field of ELL research worldwide.

Following the introduction, the studies are split into four parts. each with a slightly different focus.

Part 1 comprises three overviews of recent research from varying contexts; insights into ELL from Africa where the linguistic setting is complex and then two studies from the UK, one on literacy development in EAL learners, and a fascinating chapter about the complexities of teaching Intercultural Understanding in foreign languages.

Part 2 contains five empirical studies that use MMR to collect and analyse data including an innovative approach to exploring motivation for learners of English in China, a report on the use of multilingual virtual storybooks in primary classrooms in Germany, and a critical analysis of research and current claims about CLIL, illustrated by a small scale study with parallel classes in a Slovenian primary school.

Part 3 has four chapters about longitudinal studies exploring motivation and self-concept, language outcomes and the development of listening reading and writing skills. These are drawn from China, Croatia, Sweden and Italy, and Part 4 consists of three chapters evaluating ELL programmes, the first discussing interactive tasks in the primary language classroom, the second reporting on the pilot stage of a large scale impact study for the evaluation of primary English in Mexico, and the third presents a project for the development of a final test framework and evaluative tool to be used at the start of secondary school in Germany to diagnose new pupils’ EFL learning

The volume concludes with a reflection by the editing authors on the potential contribution of MMR in the field of ELL research. It summarises recent published research that adopted a MMR approach as well as considering the contributions within the book, and suggests that research expertise is important in the success of both the design and administration of research study, and that a multidisciplinary team can be very beneficial as it combines such expertise.

Aimed at teachers of young language learners, graduate students in the field of TESOL and ELL, teacher educators, researchers and policy makers, Early Language Learning; Complexity and Mixed Methods is certainly not a volume for light reading; it requires consideration and concentration. However, if you’re interested in ELL research and want to learn more about the conduct and results of a variety of worldwide studies, I recommend you access this book.

Joanna et son prof

Steven Fawkes ancien professeur de français en Angleterre actuel officier de l’Association for Language Learning (ALL) raconte une histoire sympathique :

Début janvier de cette année j’avais une réunion à Nice pour discuter d’un projet ALL- Francophonia. Un jour où je me baladais sur  la Promenade des Anglais je me suis pris en selfie et j’ai mis la photo sur Twitter . Parmi les réponses que j’ai eues il y en avait une qui m’interpelait. Je ne reconnaissais pas tout de suite le nom de la personne mais elle me disait en court ’Quoi ? Vous êtes à Nice sans me le dire! Je veux que vous veniez à mon école connaître mes collègues et mes élèves !’

Finalement j’ai reconnu le nom de Joanna, une ex-élève qui a fait sa vie en France (Elle s’est mariée depuis et a donc changé son nom de jeune fille.) Au fait elle avait décrété déjà quand elle était au collège qu’elle voulait vivre et travailler dans le sud de la France, et elle a très bien réussi son coup!

On a donc repris contact (on ne s’était pas vus depuis une vingtaine d’années) et , lors de mon prochain rdv à Nice elle m’a invité à Mougins (International) School où elle travaille depuis pas mal de temps comme directrice adjointe.

Du coup un mercredi de janvier voilà qu’elle vient me chercher dans mon hôtel à Nice pour m’accompagner à son établissement. Je retrouve une personne très animée et expressive, pleine d’enthousiasme – une professeur qui adore son boulot, quoi !  Je la vois avec ses collègues et ses élèves et ça fait bien chaud au cœur, surtout qu’elle ne s’arrête pas de dire  que c’est à cause de moi qu’elle est là, et qu’elle a la vie qu’elle a. Elle se rappelait de son premier cours de français, ainsi que des chansons et des jeux et des visites qu’on faisait.

Voici ce qu’elle a mis sur Twitter à la suite :

Joanna Povall FCCT (@joanna_povall) tweeted at 3:18 pm on Wed, Jan 29, 2020:

Best teacher in the universe! I wouldn’t be in France if it wasn’t for his inspirational teaching and today I got to invite him to Mougins School and say thank you ️

Un professeur de français ne peut pas demander mieux 

Steven Fawkes, Association for Language Learning 


Lessons from Lockdown

Lessons from Lockdown

Isabelle Jones

Lockdown is continuing to be very hectic and intense for teachers. I asked my online teacher network about what lockdown has meant for them and this is what I am told…

Lockdown has highlighted the importance of students’ intrinsic motivation and home support and the large impact these have on students’ achievements. 

It has also shown that teaching needs to facilitate independence. For instance, some of the quietest students have been seen to produce amazing work that they would never have produced in class for fear of drawing attention to themselves.

Lockdown has also sparked creativity in many teachers, parents and pupils and in some case made parents realise what teaching really is about.

It has also created many opportunities for teachers to upskill, learn about blended learning, online learning and to reflect on practice.

Pedagogy and new tools - a few pointers

  • Focusing on fewer aspects of the language and guiding students’ practice to ensure complete mastery and success has come out as the biggest priority
  • Acknowledging the need for more repetition, practice and pace when learning vocabulary.
  • Understanding what it looks like from a learner’s perspective, keeping things simple and along a linear organisation allowing the teacher to reduce undue technical difficulties for pupils. 

Developing a principled approach like the one adopted by @BarriMoc  : retrieval, short video presentation, practice tasks (dictation, translation, gap-fill based on the content), reading task and a writing or speaking task using Flipgrid Everything is then put in one document with any resources hyperlinked to avoid needing to open and flick between multiple tabs including Textivate or Quizziz

Twitter conversations

Lockdown and teaching remotely have highlighted …

The importance of high impact, low stakes testing to inform planning as well as improve student retrieval and retention.

Learners love to be able to “pause” the teacher on Loom so pace of explanations during direct instruction may need to be adapted.

Learners benefit from creating sentences and actively applying vocab and grammar rules along with their own creativity. This gives all they/we are doing a sense of value, purpose and meaning. It creates a bond and link of learning trust between us even though we are remote.

In online lessons, it is a good idea to include a table of language chunks that pupils can use as a writing scaffold. Pupils can add in their own suggestions too. Extension vocabulary and structures need to be labelled explicitly. A simple example of an activity is to get pupils to read out their Target Language phrase. Teacher highlights (on zoom) Another pupil translates. Creative follow up offered for further practice.

Instructions are never clear enough! Remote teaching  has confirmed more than ever the importance of quality instruction, explanations, and modelling with a lot of comprehensible input and chunks instead of single words. Voice record pro is great for making your own listening activities. 

Finally, the CPD…

There have been so many opportunities for all teachers and especially language teachers to upskill themselves to deliver effective language lessons remotely. I have collated many of them in a Wakelet here , with the most prolific sources of CPD being the Association for Language Learning , through ALL’s webinars, Linguascope, Joe Dale’s MFL Twitterati group (#mfltwitterati on Twitter) and the Global Innovative Language Teacher Facebook group created by Gianfranco Conti and Dylan Viñales

Time to join the conversation!

Forthcoming events

Strictly French in Isolation

Pilot Languages celebration

for Secondary schools in the North-East

Summer Term 2020

Strictly Speaking is a competition created by ALL with Routes into Languages East. It is mutilingual and includes French.

It targets Y8 students in the hope of giving them a positive language experience and encouraging them to opt to continue with French into key stage 4.

In 2020 ALLNE was planning a pilot of the competition which cannot now go ahead in its planned form.

However we have turned our creative minds to inventing a new event / activity – a Celebration rather than a Competition which we call Strictly in Isolation. 

In a nutshell – Strictly in Isolation

i) Students (Y8 or older) choose a poem in French (or their Target Language) and learn it by heart.

ii) They rehearse and finally perform it; this might be in a film of themselves reciting the poem, or in an audio recording of their recital over a version of the text they have made. 

iii) They send their performance to their teacher who forwards it to an ALLNE volunteer for publication on a YouTube channel.

iv) People view the performances and leave supportive comments.

v) Certificates are awarded.

ALLNE will publish a short anthology of poems online (also available as pdf) in French (and German and Spanish) along with online clips of the poems being read / performed. 

Students may choose their own poem if they wish, but will then also need to find their own support. Teachers are asked to advise students to choose a poem that is not too long – a sonnet is the maximum length (see anthology) – if they choose a longer poem they should extract a suitable section from it.

Students study the poem and find out its meaning by whatever means they wish; teachers may wish to deliver some input on this. Students use the meaning to guide their ideas on how to perform / read the poem aloud. Rehearsal is an essential element of this performance (as it is for examinations.)

We are aware of other learning opportunities through this event: Teachers should guide their students on school policies around images – if agreements are in place for students’ images to be shared on the Internet then they might film themselves performing; if not they can be guided to make an audio recording and overlay that on the text which they present in a personalized, maybe animated way.

Teachers will also wish to advise students about copyright issues relating to music, film and images.

Teachers may wish to explore with students in a plenary what strategies they have used to memorise the poem text.

ALLNE will produce certificates for all contributors and may give prizes.

We are working in collaboration with International Newcastle on this project, and hope we can propose to participants that they also join in the proper competition in due (safe) time.

We will update you on how it goes !


French pop video competition

The Institut français du Royaume-Uni organizes a French Pop video competition – beginning in 2019 and planned to be annual

Pupils are  invited to submit a short video, or animated clip, to accompany a song or rap in French. The competition is open to all national-curriculum primary and secondary schools across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands. Shortlisted videos are streamed on our dedicated YouTube channel

Entries on 2020 cLose on 22 May but look out for future competitions

Le mois de la Francophonie - mars 2021

Mois de la Francophonie 2021 – Royaume-Uni

Check the full programme here: Mois de la Francophonie UK-wide 

Every year on 20 March, countries around the world celebrate Francophonie through cultural events honouring the French language. On this occasion, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, the Institut français d’Ecosse, the UK network of Alliances Françaises and the Francophone partners in the UK, dedicate the whole month of March to events and initiatives celebrating the language of Molière and Senghor!

This year, festivities include the national finals of the Joutes Oratoires Lycéennes, a French debating competition for British students learning French in Sixth Form, the 3rd edition of the French Pop Video Competition open to all primary and secondary schools across the 4 nations, the return of the Grand Quiz de la Francophonie, a panel discussion on the importance of learning languages for the UK post-Brexit, an exclusive webinar on how to integrate the diversity of Francophone cultures in the French language classroom, and much more. Demandez le programme !


French Pop Video Competition 2021

Until 31 March

Can you sing or rap in French, and make a video clip for your song? Pupils in British primary and secondary schools across the 4 nations are invited to submit a video clip of an original song in French and get a chance to win books, tablets, and attend a live music concert with the Institut français. Teachers can submit their students' videos by 31/03. Sign up now: 

Need ideas on how to teach French through music and help your students prepare for the French Pop Video Competition? Don't miss our FREE webinar on Wednesday 3 March, 19:00-20:00, with tips and tricks given by Suzi Bewell, Nathalie Paris and Helen Stokes. Register here:


La francophonie, c'est la classe! 

Wednesday 10 March, 18:00-19:30

What if the diversity of the French speaking world was a little more present in the French MFL class? How can we offer our students the opportunity to really experience the richness of Francophone cultures? What kind of classroom activities can we develop to make sure students get the best understanding of our contemporary Francophone world ? Find out in this FREE exclusive webinar with the great Emilie Lehr. This online CPD workshop will be delivered in French and is suitable for French MFL teachers working in primary and secondary schools, higher education and other educational settings. Limited places, register now here:


Language World 2021

12 and 13 March

A highlight of the year for language education, Language World is the annual conference and training event of the Association for Language Learning. It attracts hundreds of participants each day from across all sectors of education including primary and secondary schools as well as universities. Don’t miss the session Opportunities for Schools and Teachers of French in the UK with the Institut français du Royaume-Uni run by our Attaché for the French Language, B. Le Dévédec on Friday 12 February from 5.50pm to 6.20pm. Register here: Language World 2021


Grand Quiz de la Francophonie – spécial Canada

From 13 to 21 March

Le Grand Quiz de la Francophonie is back! This is year the quiz is being offered by the High Commission of Canada in the UK. It is open to all learners of French in the United Kingdom, in 3 categories: Secondary Schools : KS3 pupils (S1,S2, and S3 in Scotland); participating Alliances Françaises and Instituts Français : all students, teens and adults; UK people interested in French and French speaking countries. Register now to get access to the online quiz from 13 to 21 March:


The Choix Goncourt UK

Until 18 March

The Choix Goncourt UK is a great occasion for British students who love reading to discover or develop a taste for contemporary French literature.This year, British students from 12 UK based universities (King’s College London, Royal Holloway University of London, Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, Leeds, Southampton, Bath, Aberdeen, St Andrews, Queen’s Belfast and Open University) were invited to discuss books from the prestigious French Académie Goncourt shortlist and award the Choix Goncourt UK. More info: The Choix Goncourt UK


National Finals of the Joutes Oratoires Lycéennes 

Saturday 20 March, 14:00

The Joutes Oratoires Lycéennes is a French debating competition open to all Sixth form students in England and Wales. After months of intense regional qualifications gathering over 200 students in 7 regions of the country, the best teams meet for a final round of debates to win the prestigious National Cup of La Francophonie. More info: Finales des Joutes Oratoires Lycéennes 2021


More events are planned across the network of Instituts français and Alliances françaises in the UK, with cafés littéraires, online workshops for schools, Ciné-Club and special movie online screenings.

Support for teachers

Get involved with Francophonia

Classes engagées : Francophonia

ALL has a friend in an organisation called Francophonia, whose mission is to support teachers of French as a foreign language (FLE) around the world in a spirit of solidarité.


Our friends in Nice have new projects for this school year :

1 000 « Classes engagées » pour des élèves à travers le monde

Programme conçu dans l’esprit des travaux de la Conférence de Paris de 2015 sur le changement climatique (COP 21)

Le programme :

Nouveau concept éducatif et multiculturel qui fait appel à la solidarité, utilise le numérique et suscite un engagement citoyen avec la langue française comme trait d’union.


Modalités :

➨ 4/5 mini-classes de différentes nationalités constituées chacune de 4-5 élèves que rassemblent l’apprentissage du français et un projet solidaire ou citoyen.

➨ Cours de français et de pédagogie de projet durant 2 ou 3 trimestres.

➨ Ce programme commencera en ligne et pourra se poursuivre à Nice, où les classes viendront présenter leurs projets.


Inscriptions :

✍ Les inscriptions sont ouvertes du 26 octobre au 26 novembre 2020.

✍ Les classés engagées débuteront le 26 novembre et se termineront le 26 juin 2021.


For teachers of French Francophonia is offering ongoing Formations pédagogiques numériques

Residential Visits to Picardy

Language trips to France are of immeasurable cultural and linguistic value, from which the students create life-long memories.  Organising a wide range of activities allows students to experience the real France; practising their French language in an immersive, authentic setting whilst developing their knowledge and understanding of the vibrant French culture.

Kerry Phipps, an MFL teacher working in Surrey,  has been running day and residential trips to Northern France for almost ten years with primary and secondary students. She takes students to the Picardy area, due to its proximity to Britain, allowing for conveniently short travelling times and ease of access. The area has natural beauty alongside centres of cultural and historic interest. Itineraries have included meeting pen pals at their school, visiting Rouen, Amiens, the Battlefields, enjoying workshops on candle-, croissant-, cheese-, bread- and sweet-making, shopping in the local market, and lastly sand-sailing and kite-flying on the beautiful beaches. The residential centres have provided French food and sometimes mussels, snails and frogs’ legs for the children to sample on the last night!

The students thoroughly enjoy the trips, returning to school inspired by the country, culture and language, and noticeably more confident about speaking French in class.

10 of the best novels about France

Are you longing to travel to la belle France again?  Many of us are!  Thanks to an article in The Guardian you can be transported from the comfort of your home to the backstreets of Paris in Perfume to sun-baked Provence in Jean de Florette. To visit France through great fiction read more here.


LFEE Courses

Free courses in France, Germany and Spain for ALL Members

Following the success of our Erasmus+ ELAPSE project in creating training materials and resources for teachers to introduce ambitious content into their language lessons,  ALL has applied to  ERASMUS+  to run 5 immersion courses, each a week long, to explore and develop the curriculum integrated model of language learning for which ELAPSE has developed training materials and free resources.

Working in conjunction with our ELAPSE partner, LFEE Europe, we will run five week long courses (during holiday periods) in Montpellier (Oct 2020), Malaga and Berlin (April 2021) and Montpellier and Malaga (July 2021) where ALL members will have a chance to learn more about this approach. Successful participants costs, including travel and accommodation are all covered by Erasmus + once the bid is approved.

We are working with twenty-nine secondary and primary  schools from across England, Northern Ireland and Wales and  ALL members in these schools will be taking part in these courses. We are keen to encourage as many teachers as possible in each partner school to attend and thus maximise the impact. For the same reason, we are delighted that in many cases, the secondary teachers and colleagues from their feeder primary schools will be on these courses together in line with the ELAPSE project’s focus on transition.

Institut français du Royaume-Uni

French Education Updates UK – January 2021

French Pop Video Competition 2021


Until 31 March (ONLINE)


Can your students sing or rap in French? Do they have the skills to make a video clip? The French Pop Video Competition returns in 2021! Open to all students from primary to secondary schools in the UK. Limited FREE online workshops are also availabe for state-schools wishing to enter the competition. Register now and submit your students' videos by 31 March 2021:



Half-term French Camp for Kids and Teens 


15-19 February, 9:30-15:30 (ONLINE)


The Institut français is taking its successful teaching practices to a fast-track, week-long immersion French camp. Fusing together French courses with exciting cultural activities, our half-term French camp will be an unforgettable online French immersion journey! The French camp is open to all students aged 8 to 15 years, from beginners to intermediate level. Register here: 



Inspired writers, Small Dungeons and Little Dragons, Escape Game: The Library Ghost


From 12 January (ONLINE)


Our library team has worked hard to offer a series of exciting online cultural workshops in English and easy French for kids aged 6 and over. Don't miss these great opportunities, sign up here:



School activities with the Institut français


Year round (ONLINE)


Our School Activities are still available online. Offer your pupils the opportunity to get a cultural workshop in French from your classroom or from their homes if they are learning remotely. Available for ages 5-18; contact Agathe at and check our offer here.



Survey for Schools and teachers of French in the UK


We need to hear from you!


In order to assess the needs of UK schools in relation to their provision of MFL French, and how we can best support them post-Brexit, the French Embassy in the UK / Institut français du Royaume-Uni is conducting a nation-wide survey aimed at all primary and secondary schools offering MFL French in the UK. Please take a few minutes to fill in this form and many thanks in advance for sharing the link with your colleagues and school contacts:



Night of Ideas


from 22 to 29 January


The #nightofideas becomes a week-long online festival packed with films & free debates from 22 to 29 Jan organised by the Institut français and Alliances françaises in the UK.

Join the debate & discuss new ways of being together

French Education Updates UK – January 2021

French Pop Video Competition 2021


Until 31 March (ONLINE)


Can your students sing or rap in French? Do they have the skills to make a video clip? The French Pop Video Competition returns in 2021! Open to all students from primary to secondary schools in the UK. Limited FREE online workshops are also availabe for state-schools wishing to enter the competition. Register now and submit your students' videos by 31 March 2021:



Half-term French Camp for Kids and Teens 


15-19 February, 9:30-15:30 (ONLINE)


The Institut français is taking its successful teaching practices to a fast-track, week-long immersion French camp. Fusing together French courses with exciting cultural activities, our half-term French camp will be an unforgettable online French immersion journey! The French camp is open to all students aged 8 to 15 years, from beginners to intermediate level. Register here: 



Inspired writers, Small Dungeons and Little Dragons, Escape Game: The Library Ghost


From 12 January (ONLINE)


Our library team has worked hard to offer a series of exciting online cultural workshops in English and easy French for kids aged 6 and over. Don't miss these great opportunities, sign up here:



School activities with the Institut français


Year round (ONLINE)


Our School Activities are still available online. Offer your pupils the opportunity to get a cultural workshop in French from your classroom or from their homes if they are learning remotely. Available for ages 5-18; contact Agathe at and check our offer here.



Survey for Schools and teachers of French in the UK


We need to hear from you!


In order to assess the needs of UK schools in relation to their provision of MFL French, and how we can best support them post-Brexit, the French Embassy in the UK / Institut français du Royaume-Uni is conducting a nation-wide survey aimed at all primary and secondary schools offering MFL French in the UK. Please take a few minutes to fill in this form and many thanks in advance for sharing the link with your colleagues and school contacts:



Night of Ideas


from 22 to 29 January


The #nightofideas becomes a week-long online festival packed with films & free debates from 22 to 29 Jan organised by the Institut français and Alliances françaises in the UK.

Join the debate & discuss new ways of being together

Je suis, parce que nous sommes

Francophonia vous présente son jeu concours Je suis, parce que nous sommes...

Aujourd’hui, dans le cadre de nos programmes d’éducation solidaire 2020 où sont mis à disposition 10 000 bourses pour professeurs et 100 000 bourses citoyennes et linguistiques pour les jeunesses du monde

on vous propose de participer au jeu concours « Je suis, parce que nous sommes... »

Pourquoi ce titre ?

Parce que nous aimons conjuguer le mot « partager » au présent ! Parce que nous pensons que chaque rencontre est une chance et que le savoir ne vaut que s’il est partagé par le plus grand nombre. Et ce n’est pas à des professeurs que nous allons l’expliquer !! 

Pour qui ce jeu concours ?

Pour nos hussards de la Francophonie (les professeurs de Français dans le monde), ceux qui chaque jour font vivre la langue française, lui donnent des couleurs. Aussi parce que nous avons la folle ambition de participer à rendre le monde meilleur et que pour nous il y a trois choses indispensables pour initier aujourd’hui les changements nécessaires de demain :

1°) l’éducation
2°) l’éducation
3°) l’éducation

D’accord, mais on gagne quoi ????

250 bourses de formation pédagogique numérique pour les deux dernières semaines de juillet

Je suis fatigué.e des formations derrière mon écran !!!

Oui, nous aussi. C’est pour cela que l’on vous promet une formation différente, surprenante, et utile ! Une formation où nous allons mobiliser vos cinq sens pour l’apprentissage. Une formation où même loin vous serez très près de nous ! Tout commencera par une visite du Facteur 

On vous en dit plus ??? Non non non !!!
Comme le dit si bien Brel, nous préférons protéger nos mystères pour mieux vous surprendre 

Alors je gagne comment ????

Vous cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous, vous répondez à quelques questions et vous vous préparez à venir « apprendre de tous » pour « savoir ensemble »…


Jeu concours « Je suis, parce que nous sommes... »

Challenges and opportunities for learners

Calling all Year 13 teachers and their students

Professor Claire Gorrara, one of our inspirational speakers at Language World 2020, spoke to the conference direct from Cardiff University about the language mentoring project which started in Wales and is now available to schools in England through the Languages Horizons programme.

Year 13 language students who will not be taking A levels still need support and Lucy Jenkins and her colleagues from Language Horizons in Wales have produced a set of great online resources,  weekly lectures, seminars and language classes for Year 13 pupils – what a great way to offer support and a bridge  between now and when our learners either go to university or start on their next step.

The lectures and seminars start on Monday, May 11th and are open to everyone so please let your Yr 13 pupils know.

Home Learning Help from our Corporate Members - PowerLanguage Schools

Free 3 month access to PowerLanguage online French Course details below:

Learn a Language: French for Families The PowerLanguage team would like to offer their support to children and their families whilst they wait out the reopening of schools. Why not take this opportunity to learn French together as a family? We have opened up our successful French for Families course with no subscription fee until the end of June 2020!

Learn a Language: IDL Language Resources for your class. The PowerLanguage team would like to support high quality online learning and teaching during the extended school closures. Starting from a topic-based approach, we are making 5 Dossiers available to all French teachers working with learners aged between 3 and 14. Go to: to access your free resources.

La fête nationale du 14 juillet

Known in France as ‘Le 14 juillet’ or ‘La fête nationale du 14 juillet’, the day that we refer to as Bastille Day, is a fantastic opportunity to engage pupils in the French language and the country’s culture.  A French day, or a lesson, can be planned with the help of these resources:

Sites in English for resources and activities:

Euroclub schools



DLTK kids



French Today

MFL Sunderland

Clare Seccombe’s blog post 

Sites in French for background information:




Le Figaro


Don’t forget to look at ALL’s Pinterest board for a range of creative ideas.

Home Learning Help: CAVILAM Alliance Français

Our friends at the Alliance Française in Vichy, have made this fantastic kit d’animation free to download and available here

Ten Top Tips for Bastille Day

Le 14 juillet is nearly upon us, so if you are celebrating la fête nationale in school, here are some fun filled ideas to get you started:

  • Organise a little fête at lunchtime with stalls including some food tasting
  • Pin the beret on the..? Find a famous French celebrity on which to pin the beret!
  • Make an Eiffel tower model or decorate biscuits in an Eiffel tower or French flag design
  • Set up a Pétanque tournament
  • Research a famous French celebrity or scientist (think Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra or Louis Braille, Marie Curie or Louis Pasteur.)
  • Dress in the colours of the tricolore
  • Sing a French song in assembly – make it into the French X factor – yes they do have the show in France too!
  • Decorate the hall or classroom with colours, posters, flags
  • Create a travel brochure for France (visit your local travel agents for free brochures.)
  • Get lost in French book (see our literature wiki for ideas.)

(Thank you to Miss Rodriquez @MsIRod for your contributions!)

Articles in French


Cinq films qui pourraient intéresser aux étudiants de français

Florence Brown, ALL Student Ambassador

La grande illusion

La grande illusion de Renoir, un film qui se déroule pendant la Première Guerre Mondiale et qui parle d’un groupe de soldats français qui essaient de fuir de la forteresse où ils sont captifs, a été nominé aux Oscars en 1939. Il est considéré comme un chef-d’œuvre du cinéma mondial.

ll y a des scènes impressionnantes et les relations dans le film sont fascinantes. Un des thèmes principaux est l’amitié entre von Rauffenstein, un Allemand, et Boëldieu, un Français. Leur amitié survit jusqu’à la fin et montre que les différences nationales peuvent être surmontées. Les étudiants de langues étrangères trouveront intéressantes les références à l’importance de parler des langues étrangères.  À cause de la barrière de langue un personnage français, Maréchal, n’est pas capable d’informer un soldat anglais du tunnel qu’ils ont creusé. Cependant, quand il emploie des phrases en allemand avec la femme allemande qu’il aime, Renoir suggère que, même si la guerre a été fondée sur des différences nationales, on peut surmonter ces différences.

Le film parle des conflits des hommes mais la dernière scène de La Grande Illusion est toute blanche, ce qui fait un contraste avec le noir de la première scène, et met l’accent sur le fait que les personnages ont surmonté les barrières qui les séparaient.

C’est un film plein de l’espoir; une célébration de l’humanité universelle qui transcende les barrières de nation, de race et du nationalisme radical.

L’armée des ombres

Comme La Grande Illusion, L’armée des ombres parle de l’humanité et de l’espoir dans une situation terrible. C’est l’histoire d’un groupe de soldats de la Résistance dans la France de Vichy pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale. On observe des transmissions de renseignements, des captures et des assassinats. C’est un film passionnant avec des scènes fortes mais on sent l’ambiance lourde.

Melville a dit qu’il n’a pas essayé d’effectuer une reconstitution réaliste de l’Occupation mais ses personnages rappellent beaucoup des personnages ayant réellement existé, incluant Jean Moulin. Le film laisse le spectateur bouleversé par le sacrifice des hommes et femmes qui sont prêts à tout risquer pour leurs idéaux.

À bout de souffle

Étant un des premiers films de la Nouvelle Vague, l’influence de À bout de souffle sur l’évolution du cinéma moderne ne se discute pas. La Nouvelle Vague était l’arrivée d’une jeune génération de cinéastes qui se rebellaient contre un cinéma trop conservateur et trop cher.

À bout de souffle parle d’une histoire d’amour entre Michel, un criminel français qui vole une voiture à Marseille et tue un policier sur la route et Patricia, une jeune américaine. C’est un film formidable avec des policiers, une trahison et des fusillades.

En outre, la cinématographie novatrice est à couper le souffle. Les films de la Nouvelle Vague avaient l’intention de capturer la vie de jeunes français chics. À bout de souffle ne fait pas d’exception. Il y a des scènes sublimes de Patricia dans sa robe Dior à rayures et de Michel dans sa veste tweed et son chapeau. Les jeunes étudiants de français se délecteront du glamour du film. Il les fera rêver peut-être de faire une année sabbatique à Paris et de trouver l’amour sur les Champs-Elysées.

La môme (Titre anglais : La vie en rose)

Edith Piaf était une chanteuse française de music-hall qui a connu une renommée internationale et qui est toujours une des chanteuses francophones plus célèbres. La môme parle de la vie d’Edith Piaf: ses concerts, ses amours et ses tragédies. La photographie est excellente mais c’est la performance éblouissante de Marion Cotillard (elle a gagné un César et un Oscar) qui rend le film vraiment merveilleux. Il y a des scènes qui émeuvent aux larmes et la musique de Piaf ajoute encore plus à l’ambiance émouvante du film.

La baie des anges

La baie des anges est un autre film sublime grâce à la performance inoubliable du premier rôle féminin. Jeanne Moreau est passionnante, flamboyante et vraiment magnifique dans le rôle de Jackie, une femme qui est dépendante au jeu. Le film parle de son addiction et sa relation avec un jeune homme qu’elle rencontre dans un casino sur la Côte d’Azur. L’étendue de la dépendance est grave et la mise en scène du film le souligne : elle veut quitter le casino mais même le mouvement de la camera l’y retient.

La belle photographie en noir et blanc et le cadre sur la Côte d’Azur montrent le charme qui attire les personnages au jeu. On s’émerveille des casinos de luxe, des promenades ensoleillées de Nice et de Monte Carlo, des miroirs majestueux et surtout du glamour de la femme principale quand elle court le long des couloirs dans une robe élégante de Pierre Cardin et un boa. C’est un film qui donne de la joie au spectateur grâce à sa beauté, à la passion et au charisme de Jackie, mais au fond c’est un film triste qui montre d’une manière captivante les dangers du jeu et de l’addiction.

IFProfs maintenant disponible au Royaume-Uni!

Benoît Le Dévédec, Attaché de Coopération Pour le Français – French Language Attaché, Institut Français

Le réseau social de l’éducation en français IFprofs s’adresse aux professionnels exerçant dans les écoles, les lycées, les universités, les Instituts français et les Alliances françaises qu’ils soient enseignants de français, professeurs enseignant d’autres matières en français, directeurs d’établissements, médiathécaires, formateurs, coordinateurs pédagogiques.

IFprofs est GRATUIT et ouvert à l’ensemble des professionnels exerçant dans le domaine de l’éducation francophone. Les membres d’IFprofs peuvent trouver des ressources pédagogiques du primaire à l’enseignement supérieur, échanger avec des collègues et partager leur expérience professionnelle.

Ils peuvent accéder aux informations liées à leur espace-pays (stages, formations, événements…) et suivre ce qui se passe sur l’ensemble de la communauté mondiale.

Plus de renseignement et inscription gratuite à

< Le papa qui avait 10 enfants > Bénédicte Guettier

Ce livre est un grand album qui peut être facilement utilisé avec une classe entière.  Vous aimez « Je m’habille… et je te croque ! » et/ou l’âne Trotro ? Cette histoire est de la même auteure et vous l’adorerai!  C’est l’histoire d’un papa élève tout seul ses dix enfants (original et rafraichissant, non ?). Le soir, il se construit un bateau pour partir tout seul en voyage… Ce n’est pas tout mais vous devrez lire le livre pour savoir la suite!! Sa lecture avec vos enfants pour permettra de présenter ou renforcer un vocabulaire pour parler de ce que l’on fait tous les jours, y compris nos habits et notre nourriture.  Vous pourriez demander à vos enfants de ré-écrire le livre : changer les habits, la nourriture, ce que le papa contruit; ils peuvent même produire eux-mêmes des mini livres!  Les mots sont simples, l’histoire vous fera tous sourire, les illustrations sont claires… bref, c’est un très beau livre et une belle réussite ! Qu’attendez-vous pour l’acheter?!?

« Le papa qui avait dix enfants », Bénédicte Guettier

Nathalie Paris, primary language teacher

FIPF Publications for Teachers

All articles about the teaching and learning of French

This category can only be viewed by members. Please .

Express Yourself in Lockdown

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From Ofqual: RE: GCSE French/German Severe Grading

Dear Prof Koglbauer and Ms Harvey,   Thank you for your email to Sally Collier and Roger Taylor, and my apologies for the delay in responding to you. I am responding on their behalf.   Prior to the summer, we announced that we would make an adjustment to the...

ALL: Severe grading – GCSE French and German 2020

As you are aware,  ALL wrote to OFQUAL on Monday to ask how the 2% adjustment to French and German GCSE results would be applied to Centre Assessment grades. We have had a reply which you can read here. In the meantime, we wanted to share with you two documents...

ALL: Letter to Ofqual

ALL have written to Sally Collier and Roger Taylor at Ofqual with regard to severe grading  measures in GCSE French and German.  Read the letter in full here: ALL_Ofqual_SevereGrading2020 We look forward to their statement in response and shall share this with you...

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Esprit de Fraternité / Sororité

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10 of the best novels about France

Are you longing to travel to la belle France again?  Many of us are!  Thanks to an article in The Guardian you can be transported from the comfort of your home to the backstreets of Paris in Perfume to sun-baked Provence in Jean de Florette. To visit France through...

Home Learning Help from our Corporate Members – PowerLanguage Schools

Free 3 month access to PowerLanguage online French Course details below: Learn a Language: French for Families The PowerLanguage team would like to offer their support to children and their families whilst they wait out the reopening of schools. Why not take this...

Discovering the power of language through yoga

Discovering the power of language through yoga

Words: Sarah Lloyd, Freelance MFL consultant and trainer and ALL Resources Editor Thanks to a forward-thinking policy in Scottish schools, MFL teaching and learning has received a welcome boost in recent years. The Scottish Government’s “1+2” language initiative aims to enable every child to learn two languages in addition to their own mother tongue. Just […]

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