Years 7 and 8 Band Description
The nature of the learners
These years represent a transition to secondary school. Students in this pathway are continuing to study French, bringing with them an established capability to interact in different situations, to engage with a variety of texts and to communicate with some assistance about their immediate world and that of France and other French-speaking communities. They have experience in analysing the major features of the language system and in reflecting on the nature of intercultural exchanges in which they are involved.
French language learning and use
French is used for classroom interactions and transactions, for explaining and practising language forms and for developing cultural understanding. Additional opportunities for interaction in the target language are provided by purposeful and integrated use of ICT. Learners work both collaboratively and independently, exploring different modes and genres of communication, with particular reference to their own current interests. They pool language knowledge and resources to plan, problem-solve, monitor and reflect. They use modelled and rehearsed language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts and increasingly generate original and personal language. They make cross-curricular connections and explore intercultural perspectives and experience.
Contexts of interaction
The primary context for learning remains the French language class; however, there may be increasing opportunities for interaction with peers in France and other French-speaking communities through technology, partner-school arrangements or community connections. Learners have access to additional French resources through websites, social media and radio streaming.
Features of French language use
Learners expand their range of vocabulary beyond their immediate world. They make clearer distinctions between sounds and intonation patterns. They develop more detailed grammatical knowledge, using additional tenses (le passé composé, le futur proche), some reflexive verb forms and additional irregular verbs. They become more familiar with features of different types of text (for example, informative, transactional, expressive), using this understanding to guide their own text production. They create and present more varied texts (such as poems, web pages and brochures), plan events and join in competitions and debates. They use French with increasing accuracy and fluency, drafting and editing texts to improve structure and effect. They make connections more confidently between texts and cultural contexts.
Texts and resources
Learners work with a range of texts specifically designed for learning French in schools, such as textbooks, videos, readers and online resources. They also access materials created for French-speaking communities, such as films (with subtitles), websites, advertisements and magazines. Authentic French-community resources provide access to additional cultural expression and experience.
Level of support
This is a period of review and consolidation and of engaging with new and challenging learning experiences. Continued scaffolding, modelling and material support are required to manage this transitional phase. Learners require modelled language use, particularly at the paragraph and whole text level for written language and for developing fluency and accuracy in spoken French. Focused attention on grammatical and textual features supports learners’ development as text producers. Learners are encouraged to become more autonomous, to self-monitor and to reflect on their learning.
The role of English
French is increasingly used at this level for classroom interactions and routines, for task participation and structured discussions. English continues to be used for more complex elements of instruction, and more substantive discussion, analysis and reflection in relation to abstract concepts. Learners continue to develop a metalanguage for thinking and talking about language, culture, identity and the experience of learning and using French.