Remote Learning Assignments for World Languages

This is my second post on remote learning.  Click here to read my previous post.  As I publish this in late May of 2020, I know the school year is just about wrapping up for many of us or may already be over for you.  That being said, with the future more uncertain than ever, I figured there might be some value to sharing this post with you now.  All of these assignments could be adapted for in-person learning as well.

For this first assignment, I blogged about an earlier version of this assignment back in 2016, but I teach things a little bit differently now.  I asked my students to create or find an image of someone doing something that they know how to describe in French.  Then, write a caption for it.  The sentence could be as simple as, "Le garçon danse" (The boy dances), or they could make it more sophisticated, like, "Le garçon danse à la maison le weekend" (The boy dances at home on the weekend).  They then uploaded their result to our LMS.  In previous years, I have done this exact same assignment, and it is simple enough that no modifications were needed for remote learning.  Now did all students do it perfectly?  Of course not, but that's always the case, and after providing them feedback, a number of students re-submitted the assignments with corrections made.

Similarly, after students learned about expressions with the verb "faire," (I introduced them as "Je fais" expressions), I asked them to take or find a picture of themselves doing one of the activities on the list and caption the photo in French.

For this next assignment, I asked students to write a sentence describing something or someone with an adjective.  They had learned (remotely) some common adjectives and how to place them properly in a sentence.  Now, when I did this assignment in person in previous years, I had them pick a masculine noun and a feminine noun to focus on both forms, but I had to simplify this because they would not have as much guidance from me like they would in class.  I used my daily video instruction to explain the assignment and provide examples.  It turns out a lot of students chose to describe their dog!

Last year I had my students write poems about themselves.  This year I had them do it again, but I simplified the instructions a little.  Last year, I had them incorporate nouns and negatives (ne...pas) into their poems, but for this poem, I had them stick to simple "I am" (Je suis) statements.  Again, I used my daily video instruction to explain the assignment and provide an example.

Finally, as an optional assignment, I encouraged students to write a poem for a teacher who has inspired them and send it to them through email.  I have done this in the past, but I changed the format this year to make it, once again, simpler and more straightforward.  This gave me an opportunity to introduce the formal "You are" (Vous êtes).

On all these assignments, I used the comments feature in my LMS to provide feedback to each student.  I have also used quizzes and a practice writing task, which are things I would normally do in class.

What kind of assignments have you been giving remotely?

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