Finding and Using #Authres

Updated 10/30/15 for the NYSAFLT Annual Conference.

In February 2015, I presented at the NYSAFLT Capital-East Regional Conference on Finding and Using Authentic Resources with Checkpoint A Students.  For those of you not from New York, Checkpoint A is basically our state's way of saying novice.  I have since modified this presentation to suit all levels, and presented it at the NYSAFLT Annual Conference on October 31, 2015.

For those of you new to my blog, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Above is my presentation, and below are companion links.  A star next to a link indicates it was referenced in the presentation.  The other links are related recommended reading.

My Blog Posts from The French Corner About Finding and Using #Authres
*Creating a Google Maps Scavenger Hunt
*Creating a Virtual Trip to Paris
*Using Google Maps to Reinforce Geography
*Using Evernote to Organize Resources
*Using Headlines as #Authres
*Using Infographics to Reinforce Numbers and Culture
iPad Diaries Volume 6 (Using Adobe Voice to Create a Cultural Video)
Authentic French Restaurant Menus
Finding #Authres for French students
10 Easy Ways to Incorporate Culture Into Your Lessons
Resources for Young French Learners (Part 1)
Resources for Young French Learners (Part 2)

Other Blog Posts About Finding, Using, and Organizing #Authres
*Box of Tricks: Resources: Keeping Them Real and Keeping Them Together
*Creative Language Class: Cognate Practice Part 1
*Cécile Lainé: Authentic input versus grammar drills
Isabelle Jones: World Languages, Facebook, Pinterest, Culture & Literacy
Martina Bex’s Materials on #Authres
Crystal Barragan: Authentic Resources + Embedded Reading

Language Teacher Bloggers That Frequently Blog About #Authres
Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell
Martina Bex
TICs en FLE (French)
El Conde (French)
El Mundo de Birch (Spanish)
Maris Hawkins (Spanish)
Creative Language Class
Spanish Plans
Zachary Jones (Spanish)

Language Teacher Facebook Pages That Frequently Share #Authres
*French Teachers in the US (closed group; must request invite)
Isabelle Pochat (French)
Mme Henderson (French)
French at Finneytown High School
Foux Furieux du Français
American Association of Teachers of French
Language Teachers Ireland
Maris Hawkins (Spanish)
Mis Clases Locas (Spanish)

Language Teacher Twitter Handles That Frequently Tweet About #Authres
@mjosfle (French)
@nettiemeramera (French)
@jjeiden (French)
@catherineku72 (French)
@myriamdavies74 (French)
@mariefrance (French)
@lepointdufle (French)
@lnajap (French)
@sandrinepk (French)
@nicolenaditz (French)
@aatfrench (French)
@frenchteacherca (French)
@secottrell (Spanish)
@senorab1972 (Spanish)
@profehanson (Spanish)
@alenord (Spanish)
@icpjones (French/Spanish)
@valleseco (French/Spanish)

Pinterest Accounts That Frequently Share #Authres
My blog post on 15 French teachers to follow on Pinterest
frenchteacherca (French)
aatfrench (French)
parlefr (French)
mmedevine (French)
jennca (French)
lnajap (French)
wyomingfrench (French)
musicuentos (Spanish)
alenord (Spanish)
spanish4teacher (Spanish)
srtacarmencita (Spanish)
icpjones (French &Spanish)
miscositaspix (Spanish)

Authentic French Websites/Blogs (Subscribe to these & follow on Facebook/Twitter too)
*AudioLingua – Audio clips from native speakers
*Humans of Paris - Photos of people in Paris with captions in French (like Humans of NY)
Humans of Marseille - Another "Humans of..." page
Humans of Dunkerque - Yet another "Humans of..." page
France Bienvenue – French conversations with transcripts
Géo Ado – French children’s news site
1jour1actu – French children’s news site
Mon Quotidien – French children’s news site
La Griffe de l’Info – French children’s news site
Le journal de Suzon – Fictional diary of a French girl during WWII
BrainPop France – Children’s learning site
(Many more French #authres linked on my blog post)

Authentic Spanish Websites/Blogs (Subscribe to these & follow on Facebook/Twitter too)
*AudioLingua – Audio clips from native speakers
BrainPop Español – Children’s learning site
Humans of Barcelona - Photos of people in Barcelona with captions in Catalán (like Humans of NY)
Humans of Santiago - Another "Humans of.." page
Humans of Spain - Yet another "Humans of..." page
Humans of Buenos Aires - Still another "Humans of..." page
Infografías en castellano - Lots of infographics in Spanish (thank you Amy Lenord for sharing)
Disney ¡Ajá! - Disney site for kids; stories to read and listen to, articles, and TV shows
TICS y Formación - Another blog with lots of infographics

Where to Find Popular Music
Universal Music France (YouTube)
Universal Music Spain (YouTube)
Billboard International Charts

Other Resources for Finding Organizing #Authres
*Twitter hashtag #authres
*Gramfeed – Search Instagram hashtags
*Feedly – Subscribe to RSS feeds
*Evernote – Organize #Authres as you find them
*Wordle – Make a word cloud from the text of an #authres
Musicuentos' Authentic Resource Activities Spreadsheet - Teachers add resources and accompanying activities for various topics

Resources for Making the Most of Videos
*Edpuzzle - Ask questions at various points during a video (Read about Spanish teacher Laura Sexton's experience with Edpuzzle)
*Zaption - Similar to Edpuzzle (Read about French teacher Nicole Naditz' experience with Zaption)
EduCanon - Similar to Zaption and Edpuzzle
*Vibby - Students can leave comments at various points during a video. (Read about Laura Sexton's experience with Vibby)

My Favorite #Authres (and More!) for Mardi Gras & Carnaval

Carnaval and Mardi Gras are important celebrations, not just in the francophone world, but in many cultures around the world.  Many of my 7th grade students come into my classroom with a vague knowledge of Mardi Gras, but very few of them have a real understanding of the origins, the history, and the impact on American culture.  I like to take some class time to teach them about all these things, keeping as much of it in French as possible.  Not all of these resources are true "authentic resources," hence the "and more!" in the title of this post.

I used to like to show a video from National Geographic Kids as an introduction. Unfortunately, the video I used to show has been taken down, but the one above is very similar.  Although it's in English and it is a bit dated, it has lots of good information in it and serves as a nice overview of the holiday. 

NOTE: From 1:15-1:30, there are some costumes that might be considered inappropriate to show in class. I couldn't find a tool that allows you to skip over certain parts, so I will just pause it and then fast forward it myself to avoid them.  Keep this in mind before showing the video so you know where to pause if you don't want to show that part.

After showing the video, I go on to describe the holiday a little bit in French, demonstrating some of the key vocabulary words (such as médiéval, bouffon, masque, etc.)

I think it's also important to show students that Carnaval and Mardi Gras are not unique to the francophone world; that this is a holiday celebrated the world over.  I show them some of the photos from this gallery that depict Carnival celebrations all over the world.  Beware before you show this that some of the costumes shown in the photos may not be suitable for school.  I handpicked beforehand which photos to show.  As we look at each photo and see where it was taken, I ask the students whether or not the place is in a French-speaking country.

Because students are often confused about the difference between Carnaval and Mardi Gras, I drew a little timeline that shows the Carnival season, starting with La Fête des Rois (which we also celebrate) and how the excitement builds up to Mardi Gras.

I also show them the below video of a Carnaval celebration in Martinique.  It's got level appropriate language in it, and it shows another side of Carnaval in the French speaking world.

I then show my students some examples of Mardi Gras and Carnaval masks, and I give students a little bit of time to start one in class.  I encourage them to state the color they are using as they color them in.  Students can bring in masks that they made or ones from home for our Mardi Gras celebration the next day.

It just wouldn't be Mardi Gras without some music. We learn this song, Au bal masqué, by La Compagnie Créole. I love it because it's an authentic francophone song, it's catchy, and the lyrics are relatively simple and repetitive.  There is a part that says "J'embrasse qui je veux;" I tell them that "J'embrasse" means "I hug" - which it can!  It's not uncommon for me to hear a student singing the song at some point later on in the year!

On the day of Mardi Gras (or, if Mardi Gras occurs during February break, the Friday before), students bring in typical Mardi Gras dishes:  Kings cake, beignets, cream puffs, etc.  No gumbo or jambalaya, unfortunately, as it's just too difficult at school to have it refrigerated and then heated up.

What are your favorite Mardi Gras or Carnaval resources?

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