The challenge that is the subjunctive…

Hello everyone!

In my grade 9 Immersion class, we’ve finished all the units, but we still have some grammar points left before my students start their presentations next week.  I mentioned this to them last week and I heard moans and groans.  (I obviously haven’t been successful in imparting my love and passion for French grammar with my students.  Such is life…)

Admittedly, a week of grammar does sound quite boring, so I had to come up with ways to make it interactive and interesting.  I started by correcting the homework, which was practice with forming the subjunctive.  Then I explained when the subjunctive is used.     In grade 9, we only focus on impersonal expressions.   After that, we did a quick oral activity about things that would or would not be important for their independence.  For example, the question would say: “avoir une carte de crédit” and they would have to say something like: “Il sera important que j’aie une carte de crédit.”  I got this activity from Voyages 2, which is an older text that was used in the early 90’s here in Ontario, but which I aboslutely still love. We did this as a class, but I always try to make sure that all students get some talking time in class, so for the next activity, I had them choose a partner.  Then I told them to decide who was going to be “A” and who was going to be “B”.  On an overhead transparency, I gave them a set of situations.  They had to use the list of impersonal expressions I gave them to give the other person suggestions.  I found this activity on-line last night and I was so glad that I did.  It worked so well.  I modified it a bit by coming up with some different situations.

To finish the class off, I had them listen to “À ma place” by Axel Bauer and Zazie.  They were to fill in the missing subjunctive verbs as they listened.  I deliberately didn’t show them a video because I wanted them to focus on the lyrics.  Not all of the expressions were impersonal ones, but I used the song anyways so that they could hear the subjunctive being used.  I used Grooveshark to play the song on my laptop which was hooked up to some speakers.  Any song that I’ve needed to play in my classes, I have found on Grooveshark.  It’s definitely my go-to website for music.

Thanks for reading!


About Mme Martin

I am a high school French teacher in Ontario, Canada. I've been a teacher for the last 14 years and I love what I do. I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching by learning from my colleagues, reading, attending conferences and workshops. I also completed a Masters of Education degree, specializing in Second Language Acquisition. My goal is to increase students' oral fluency in French and I would like to share this journey with you in the hopes that you will find new ideas and be inspired to do the same. I will let you know what I try in my classes and what works and what doesn't. I hope you will find a wealth of ideas to use in your class.
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