Category: edci335


French 256: Intermediate Oral French

Edci 335 Pod 3–Yiwei Wu, Yi Yan, Xinxin Wu, Junhao Lin


Our group topic is teaching intermediate oral French to K-12 students. As the official language of Canada, French shares linguistic features with English since they both belong to the Germanic family. Students who learned English are feasible to learn French because of the similar vocabulary and the usage of grammar. The project is developed based on communication and social interactions, and we aim to arouse students’ interests in learning French and augment students’ French oral competences.


Concept Analysis:

Sociocultural theory (SCT) stresses on an individual’s entity as human beings who have feelings, and it argues that learning is developed through interactions and social activities requiring cognitive and communicative functions within social environments (Lantolf, Thorne & Poehner, 2015). It is worth mentioning that SCT does not refer to Vygotsky’s theory, but a broad theoretical framework, focusing on social and cultural factors in second language learning (Lantolf, 2006), and this theory is not a theory for second language learning (SLL), but a theory that can be applied to SLL.

Debates and group discussions are representative examples of SCT that require individuals to participate and communicate in a social environment. In contrast, Ferris Bueller’s Economics teacher’s class is a counterexample which represents a common misconception of sociocultural theory, namely, the idea that learning is a passive copying process from the experts. This misconception is mainly due to a misinterpretation that social interaction leads to mental 97 functioning development even in a passive way. Therefore, the recognition that this development is an active process is crucial (Lantolf, Thorne & Poehner, 2015).

Sociocultural theory in language learning contains essential features, including Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), activity theory and three stages of the learning process: imitation, assessment and independence. Language learning in the context of SCT requires collaborative learning operating based on activity theory which uses ZPD for learner’s development (Vygotsky, 1997). ZPD includes three zones: learner’s individual performance, potential development with the help from more knowledgeable others, and unreachable performance with or without the help from others (Vygotsky, 1978). The ultimate objective is that, through learning from more knowledgeable others, learners can eventually acquire the knowledge to work independently. In reaching this objective, instructors need to move the zone in and out to yield better results of both individual’s independence development (e.g. private speech, individual task) and feedback from peers and instructors (e.g. roleplay, debate). Imitation, assessment and independence are three stages of the learning process in activity theory. Although imitation seems to occur in the forms of private speech and inner speech and thus considered as an individual learning process, it is essential to note that the act of imitation cannot take place without the object of imitation; SCT in language learning is from social to the individual, and from inter-mental to intra-mental. At the initial stage, learners tend to imitate their instructors or peers when encountering new linguistic affordances (Lantolf, 2006). After receiving feedback from others, learners can improve their performances and work independently.

SCT shares accidental features with cooperative learning which also focuses on social interactions in a learner-centred setting (Johnson, 2009). Both SCT and cooperative learning suggest offering learners more ownership of the activities in a learner-centred learning environment rather than a teacher-centred one. (Behroozizad, Nambiar & Amir, 2014). Autonomous learning allows learners to learn in a more active, creative and engaging way.


Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Expand necessary vocabulary to construct and respond to a francophone conversation.
  2. Improve and develop a more authentic French pronunciation (French standard).
  3. Be motivated to develop French oral competence with elevated learning interests.
  4. Evaluate feedback received in the learning process, and improve accordingly.



Learning progressions are formed based on four activities:

  1. Basic instruction (15-20 min)
  2. Group discussion (20-25 min)
  3. Dubbing a section of a film (30-35min)
  4. Detective play (40-45 min)



Student Evaluation

Activity (grade) Assessment Outcomes
Basic instruction (10%) Self-assessment and peers’ feedback 1, 2
Group discussion (15 %) Group members give feedback to each other 1, 4
Dubbing a section of a film (25%) Instructors and peers give comments and feedback 1, 2, 3, 4
Detective play (50%) Instructors grade students on the ability to exchange information in a given context 1, 3, 4


Learning Resources:


  1. Amon, E., Muyskens, J. A., & Hadley, A. O. (2019). Vis-a-vis: beginning French. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
  2. Chahi, F., & Biras, P. (2018). Défi Méthode de Français 2. Paris: Editions Maison de Langues.
  3. Intouchables (Olivier Nakace, Éric Toledano, 2011)
  4. Les choristes (Christophe Barratier, 2004)
  5. Scripts of the films
  6. Detective play role cards


Work Distribution:

Blueprint Task Owner
Initial group meeting All members
Description Yi Yan
Concept analysis Yiwei Wu
Learning outcomes Yiwei Wu, Yi Yan
Learning activities Junhao Lin, Xinxin Wu
Assessment All members



Interactive Learning Resource Task Owner
Description and overview Yiwei Wu
Activity introduction All members
Outcome and resources Yi Yan, Junhao Lin
Assessment plan and technology usage Yi Yan, Xinxin Wu
Peer review and reference All members



  1. Behroozizad, S., Nambiar, R., & Amir, Z. (2014). The Emergence and Development of Language Learning Strategies through Mediation in an EFL Learning Context. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 118, 68–75. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.02.010
  2. Johnson, D., & Johnson, R. (2009). An Educational Psychology Success Story: Social Interdependence Theory and Cooperative Learning. Educational Researcher, 38(5), 365-379. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from
  3. Lantolf, J. P. (2006). SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY AND L2: State of the Art: Studies in Second Language Acquisition. Retrieved from
  4. Lantolf, J. P., Thorne, S. L. & Poehner, M. E. (2015). Sociocultural theory and second language development. In B. VanPatten & J. Williams (Eds.). Theories in second language acquisition: An introduction (pp. 207-226). New York: Routledge.
  5. Maftoon, P., & Sabah, S. (2012). A Critical Look at the Status of Affect in Second Language Acquisition Research: Lessons from Vygotsky’s Legacy. BRAIN. Broad Research In Artificial Intelligence And Neuroscience, 3(2), pp. 36-42. Retrieved from
  6. Vygotsky, L. S., Rieber, R. W., & Veer René van der. (1997). The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky. New York: Plenum Press.
  7. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society (A. R. Luria, Trans.). Harvard University Press.


Peer Review–pod 5

Photo by Chandra Oh on Unsplash

The interactive learning resource draft of Pod 5 is a good start. I will address the peer review in the following sections: an overview of resources, learning theories, activities, outcomes, and assessment plan.

An overview of resource:

This section focuses on summarizing the interactive learning resource, which may include the description of learning theories, context, activities, and learning outcomes. I would suggest briefly discussing two activities drawing in the plan, related outcomes, and the usage of learning theories.

Learning theories:     

In this section, the project is designed based on behaviorism and constructivism. Behaviourism targets at the initial stage of learning: acquiring knowledge from instructors or learning materials, while constructivism is the process of outputting knowledge, which is constructed and rethought in one’s brain, and interacting with other people to share and gain knowledge. However, I do not notice that your group uses the constructivism learning theory in the plan. I would suggest searching for academic articles to strengthen the learning theories.

Activities, outcome, and assessment plan:

I mentioned that there are three people in your group. From my experience, in the blueprint stage, the professor told me that the number of activities should be equal to the number of group members.

For the first activity, “Group work,” students are divided into groups randomly, and they should choose a specific topic to present. I would recommend including more details about the activity and the process of how a student can learn from peer interaction or the learning material in the first activity, meeting the outcome “Be able to apply English into real-world social situations in different forms.” It is an excellent attempt to cohere the following activity, “Individual Work and Feedback,” to the first activity. Through presenting group drama, students can enhance their listening skills. Based on the activity design, students should comment on other group performance, which benefits their writing skills. I would suggest that instructors review each student’s comments and give feedback to strengthen their writing skills. 

In conclusion, pod 5 did well in designing the interactive learning resource. They use a coherent learning design to connect each activity to the desired learning outcomes. I hope to see the final version in a few days!


Pod 5 interactive learning resource:

[Prompt Ⅳ] Interaction

This YouTube video describes six tips for developing French oral, which is beneficial for French students. Watching videos is an excellent example of learning interaction between learner and content. Without the intervention from instructors and other students, computer technology-based teaching connects well with students learning interaction and performance. Different technologies bring several interactivity types: inherent, designed, and user-generated interaction (Bates, 2019). In the watching video activity, students may learn new knowledge voluntarily, which is a user-generated interaction, through imitating oral exercises or taking notes.

This activity aims to develop student’s ability and interest in self-study. K-12, especially high school students, could find a learning method that benefits their learning habits and learning outcomes. Technology-based education can affect the way students achieved knowledge, which might be useful for future study and career (Delgado, 2015). Through interacting with technology, students can gain academic knowledge from not only videos but also the ability to cope with new technology. Expanding the necessary abilities to search for useful video could spur student’s learning motivation, promoting an active learning habit. High school students need to acquire knowledge in different ways, such as online videos, online forums, and e-books. Correctly using a technology-based device is advantageous to students study and future life.

The video is inserted in the first activity, “Basic Instruction,” in the “Intermediate French Oral” project. Students will NOT get grades on this activity because this is not a mandatory exercise. Instructors can provide extra learning tips to students, and it might be useful in the next part. They will not force students to watch videos and grade on their academic performance, which may not decrease students’ learning interests. For students who have a great interest in learning French oral, instructors will create similar conversations as the given video to help students better understand learning tips and avoid making mistakes.

Students are encouraged to make notes and imitate the guest’s pronunciation while watching videos. Instructors will follow the learner-centric theory to promote students more engaged in the class. Followed by cooperative learning, students can exchange their notes and communicate with each other to share their opinions and learning tips. The interaction between students and students is also essential for learning design. Cooperation can bring a positive effect on learning motivations and outcomes.

Technology-based learning design obtains three kinds of learning interactions: learner and learner, learner and instructor, learner and content. In this project, we try to mix different interactions during the class to help the student achieve the desired learning outcomes. Caroline’s post also introduces a video about teaching Japanese, which uses harmonies and associations with other words to help students memorize Japanese. Small quizzes at the end of the video help students to better recognize vocabulary. This kind of self-feedback quiz develops comprehension and understanding of concepts, as a practical tool for course-designer to apply.

Therefore, technology-based or computerized-based education change the traditional education model. Instructional staff should mention the advantages and disadvantages of using a technical tool in course design, improving learning interest and outcomes.



Bates, A. (2019). Teaching in a Digital Age – Second Edition. Retrieved from

Delgado, A. J., Wardlow, L., McKnight, K., & O’Malley, K. (2015). Educational technology: A review of the integration, resources, and effectiveness of technology in K-12 classrooms. Journal of Information Technology Education14.


(Answering questions 1, 2, 3, and 4 of prompt-interaction)

  1. What kind of interaction would the video require from your students? Does it force them to respond in some way (inherent)?
  2. In what way are they likely to respond to the video on their own, e.g. make notes, do an activity, think about the topic (learner-generated)?
  3. What activity could you suggest that they do, after they have watched the video (designed)? What type of knowledge or skill would that activity help develop? What medium or technology would students use to do the activity?
  4. How would students get feedback on the activity that you set? What medium or technology would they and/or you use for getting and giving feedback on their activity?

Photo retrieved by K8 on Unsplash

[Prompt Ⅲ] Inclusive Learning Design

  Inclusive learning is a way to recognize student enrollments that satisfy the diversity of students in learning methods. The various learning design allow all students to engage in class meaningfully and achieve their ultimate learning goals. Inclusive learning design treats everyone as a learner. Each learner is able to realize success. Students, regardless of any challenges, will receive high-quality instructions and supports at the end.

Our group discussed in-class activities this week and we concluded some barriers for learning. The ultimate goal of the blueprint is to help students gain interest from French. We decide to offer debates, presentations, group discussions to evoke students’ learning interest. While the debate is a high-quality task for students to engage in. Each participant should use communication skills and logical thinking to express his/her own opinion. Students are encouraged to use basic French sentences to state their points of view. We aim to divide students into two groups and provide suggestions before the debate. However, our group mentioned that some students would refuse to give a talk due to their personalities. Students who are shy and unconfident are not restricted to debate during the class; instead, they can prepare a small presentation about the topic and communicate with teachers before or after class.

Our group offers different in-class activities for students in order to realize the inclusive learning design. For students who are English language learner, we will suggest them to take a French club to increase both English and French skills. They are welcomed to use sentences that combine English and French to engage in class. Yiwei provides some guidelines about how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. He summarizes the purpose of our blueprint and gives advice about how to adjust the course outline under the pandemic.

By Cynthia Macdonald on Cifar

[Prompt Ⅱ] Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is a process that allows people to work together as a group to achieve the same goal. Commonly, some group members feel undervalued and inequality when their groupmates have strong abilities. They will lose confidence and passion in the end.

Five key elements distinguish cooperative learning from traditional putting students in a group. Firstly, positive interdependence means you success then your groupmate success and vice versa. They achieve the same result as “sink or swim together”. Secondly, individual accountability gives accountability to each member’s contributions, which solves slacking issues. Based on individual competence, more experienced group members help with other members on a group project to realize promotive interaction. The fourth element is the interpersonal skill. Group members should exert their social abilities to solve problems in the teamwork. For instance, group-trusting, conflict management, and decision making. A group project will move constantly and smoothly after developing these skills. The last one is group processing. All group members should be given time to realize how they process this project and what skills they gained, which is useful for the next group project.


Our group topic is helping students to learn French effectively. Initially, language learning is boring. This process decreases students’ interests and passion for learning a new language. Teachers should provide a complete schedule to evoke students’ interests. Cooperative learning is a way that requires students to divide into small groups and work together. Through group chatting, each student exerts their learning abilities to help others. Teachers are welcomed to give tasks as a group presentation to deepen members’ relationships and promote better learning goals. Cooperation in language learning is essential. It benefits students who are shy or fear to talk on the class and provides opportunities to communicate in a small group. For those who are good at academic learning, they can act as teachers to teach others, which also strengthens their knowledge. While cooperative learning may not be useful to students who prefer to study alone, they used to practice by themselves. Teachers should combine with other strategies to enhance students’ learning activities.


“What Is Cooperative Learning?” Cooperative Learning, 7 May 2018,

[Prompt] Learning Theories–Behaviourism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism

Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism

Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism are parts of learning theories. Each level of learning varies among these theories.

Behaviorism is an approach to focus on scientific and objective methods of investigation. It emphasizes environmental factors, which helps individuals to learn. Learning is achieved during the specific environmental stimulus. Responses and stimuli work together to lead to new behavior or change in behavior. Last term, I took a biology course. The professor gave us opportunities to gain bonus marks, which was different from the other professors. We need to read extra-scientific articles and summarize them in a paragraph each week. This method increased our interest in learning biology and also increased our marks. Although it was difficult for us to summarize articles that were scientific and professional, this method was a good practice to advise students to learn positively.

Cognitivism, based on the mental process, needs learners to completely understand the information in their brain. Learning occurs in the mental structure and builds a schema. The known information will be organized and re-sharped to create a cognitive view. I prefer to draw tree diagrams during learning. It helps to create a clear structure of each chapter and the connections between each topic. I used this way to deepen the knowledge learned from the lecture. Each time I draw the diagram, I will re-construct my knowledge structure. It is a process to input, organize, store, and retrieve information. Yiwei also explained and gave examples of this theory.

Constructivism is a process that needs learners to express their own thoughts to others. These thoughts are based on their experience and knowledge. Learners are encouraged to communicate with others and re-form concepts and knowledge. Field trip study is a good example of constructivism. I took a geography field trip last year. My group went to Mount Tolmie to discover the track of ancient glaciers. It is a good chance for us to improve our geographic concepts. During the field trip, we communicated with each member and discuss the related topics. Therefore, constructivism is an approach to correct and enhance our knowledge.

My Introduction

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Yi Yan (Carrie), a student of the University of Victoria.

Here is my brief introduction.  My program is health information science, which combines science and health aspects. I have a great interest in science, technology and education. That’s the reason why I take this class. My hobby includes climbing, hiking and drawing.

Nice to meet you!




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