Years 9 and 10 Band Description
The nature of the learners
At this level, students bring existing knowledge of French language and culture and a range of learning strategies to their learning. They are increasingly aware of the world beyond their own and are engaging with youth-related and social and environmental issues. They require continued guidance and mentoring, but are increasingly independent in terms of analysis, reflection and monitoring of their language learning and intercultural experiences. They are considering future pathways and options, including the possible role of French in these.
French language learning and use
This is a period of language exploration, vocabulary expansion and experimentation with different modes of communication (for example, digital and hypermedia, collaborative performance and group discussions). Learners become more confident in communicating in a wider range of contexts through greater control of language structures and increased understanding of the variability of language use. They use French to communicate and interact; to access and exchange information; to express feelings and opinions; to participate in imaginative and creative experiences; and to create, interpret and analyse a wider range of texts and experiences. They use French more fluently, with a greater degree of self-correction and repair. They reference the accuracy of their language use against a stronger frame of grammatical knowledge. They demonstrate understanding of language variation and change and of how intercultural experience, technology, media and globalisation influence communication.
Contexts of interaction
Learners interact with peers, teachers and other French speakers in immediate and local contexts, and with wider communities and cultural resources via virtual and online environments. They may access additional French experience through community events such as film festivals, interschool events or cultural performances.
Texts and resources
Learners use texts designed for language learning such as textbooks, teacher-generated materials and online resources. Learning is enriched by exposure to a range of authentic materials designed for or generated by young French speakers in France and other francophone regions, such as video clips, magazine features, television programs or advertisements. Students take some responsibility for sourcing additional materials to support their own learning.
Features of French language use
Learners expand their knowledge and control of grammatical elements such as verb tenses (l’imparfait, le futur simple, le conditionnel) and emphatic, direct and indirect object pronouns. They extend their knowledge of text types and language functions by maintaining a balance between form-focused activities and communicative tasks and performance. Task characteristics and conditions involve collaborative as well as independent language planning and performance, and strategic use of language and cultural resources. Tasks involve interpreting, creating, evaluating and performing. Learners engage in critical analysis of texts such as posters, advertisements or news reports, identifying how language choices reflect perspectives and shape meaning.
Learners examine the processes involved in learning and using a different language, recognising them as cognitive, cultural and personal as well as linguistic. They explore the reciprocal nature of intercultural communication: how moving between different languages and cultural systems impacts on ways of thinking and behaving; and how successful communication requires flexibility, awareness and openness to alternative ways. They develop the capacity to ‘decentre’ from normative ways of thinking and communicating, to consider themselves through the eyes of others, and to communicate in interculturally appropriate ways.
Level of support
Support at this level of learning includes provision of rich and varied stimulus materials, continued scaffolding and modelling of language functions and communicative tasks, and explicit instruction and explanation of the grammatical system, with opportunities for learners to discuss, clarify, practise and apply their knowledge. Critical and constructive teacher feedback combines with peer support and self-review to monitor and evaluate learning outcomes (for example, portfolios, peer review, e–journalling).
The role of English
English continues to be used for substantive discussion, explanation and analysis. This allows learners to talk in depth and detail about their experience of learning French, and about their thoughts on culture, identity and intercultural experience. English is the language of analysis and critique, supporting discussion of concepts such as ‘stereotypes’, ‘difference’, ‘diversity’ and ‘values’. It allows for a degree of expression and debate that is beyond learners’ communicative capabilities in French.