I often get questions about how to teach French reading and literacy. In this blog, I want to cover some of the most common questions I receive, so you can feel confident teaching your French students.
Question 1: How often should I use guided and shared reading in my classroom?
French shared reading can happen daily in your classroom! I recommend shared reading being the first item during your literacy block. During shared reading, the classroom engages in a text together, and the teacher guides students through a specific reading skill. This is done as a whole class and takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Want a French shared reading freebie to get you started? You can grab it here!
Guided reading can happen daily as well! A lot of teachers feel the pressure to visit with their French guided reading groups each day, but that isn’t necessary. Students can work independently as you work with a group. Aim to work with one or two groups of students per day. It’s best to plan these guided reading groups during a time you will have minimal disruption.
Question 2: How do I know which books I should be reading with my students?
With emergent French readers, it is best to start with patterned texts. These texts will have students repeatedly practicing important French high frequency words, are predictable, and often contain pictures that help students comprehend the text. You can also have emergent readers work with decodable texts. These texts help students practice pronunciation. Not sure where to find books for emergent French readers? This resource contains a year long set of French books for emergent readers.
With your intermediate or advanced French students, guided reading is a great way to meet their needs. You can divide students into groups based on their literacy skills, and focus on the needed skills (i.e., reading strategies with one, sentence structure with another, compound sounds, etc.) for that group of students. You can read higher level texts and focus on advanced French lessons with those students.
Question 3: What are the best activities to focus on phonological awareness?
The Science of Reading tells us that phonological awareness and phonemic decoding are essential skills for reading. When working on French phonological awareness skills with students, aim to create hands-on and engaging activities. This may look like clapping syllables, board games, bingo, matching, and more. These activities are a great addition to a small group or guided reading, as well.
If you don’t have the time to create these hands-on activities for your French beginners, I have a resource that is packed full of phonological awareness activities for students. You can find the French phonological awareness kit here! This resource is perfect for French kindergarten and grade 1. I love doing these in small groups during guided reading.
Question 4: Should I teach blending sounds and sight words at the same time?
The easy answer: yes, absolutely! French blending sounds and French sight words do not need to be taught in the same lesson, but they should be taught simultaneously. Students may seem to be struggling or slow to grasp the concepts at first, but with repetition and practice, students will master blending sounds and sight words.
Both of these skills are essential to French reading comprehension and progress in other reading skills. Both skills can be taught during whole group lessons or in guided reading groups. By combining both blending sounds and sight words together, you also cut down the amount of time you are teaching basic to students, and can spend more time on progressing their other reading skills.
Want a French Reading bundle with everything you need to teach blended sounds?
This resource includes 39 sound stories that focus on a specific French sound. Perfect for shared reading, guided reading, or independent practice.
Want to learn more about French literacy? Check out my other blog posts on everything reading in French.