French Immersion Oral Language Production: Effective Teaching
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Since the beginning of French immersion programing, the oral language skills of the students have perceptibly differed from those of French native-language speakers. Students in second language programs demonstrate a slower rate of speech and a lack of French colloquialisms in social contexts. Researchers have identified effective teaching strategies to build more authentic conversational skills. Targeted teaching using the Daily 5, project-based learning, balanced literacy, extended discourse, read-alouds, and assistive technology have all made an impact on French immersion students’ language skills. Each of these teaching strategies requires more oral language production from students and less teacher-centered classrooms. An analysis of a variety of teaching strategies demonstrated that techniques that allow students to speak in French in a range of situations are beneficial. This capstone project shows that most researchers have encouraged more talk among the students in authentic and engaging structured learning situations to maximize mastery of the second language. Future research in this area could include the creation of a diagnostic evaluation of students’ oral language skills in French to help teachers to create meaningful and authentic activities and standardize the levels of achievement of French fluency within the program.