Teaching grammar in context

Long gone are the days of rote learning and memorizing conjugation tables, especially during the early stages of learning a new language. Instead, it has been proven that grammar is much more meaningful when it is taught in context, when children understand WHY a rule exists and don’t just learn it, just because. Oftentimes, it’s experiences like these that make children lose interest in language learning and demotivate them, because it just seems so difficult to memorize verb after verb, with no real understanding of the purpose.

Grade 5 were recently learning about the planets and solar system during their unit of inquiry and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to integrate some Physics into our French lessons. Coupled with that, we explored adjectives that describe the planets and how those adjectives would change, considering ‘une planète’ is a feminine word. Exploratory learning is a particularly valuable because it has ‘stickability’ – students construct their own learning and derive the grammar rules themselves from what is presented to them, therefore they are more likely to remember it!

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