Phones are a part of daily life, whether French or
American. Understanding phone usage offers cultural insights and comparisons.
It is also important to know how to use a phone in France. To these ends,
students will learn phone vocabulary, the format of a French phone number, key
phrases that they will typically hear in a French phone conversation, and how to
use a French calling card. They will also compare and contrast their phone
habits with their French counterparts. Putting new information into practice,
students will converse with each other and with native French speakers. They
will also evaluate French phone companies, investigate phone etiquette issues,
and determine the affect of phones on their own lives.
- How do you evaluate options? What are features you
would look for in a phone if you moved to France? What features could you
- What is good phone etiquette? How do phones affect
our lives, both positively and negatively?
Students will be able to...
- conduct a French telephone conversation (with American
and French peers)
- list steps to use a French calling card
- compare and contrast French teens’ phone usage with
their own habits
Students will know...
- the imperative mood
- telephone vocabulary
- format of French phone number
- the names of French phone companies
- French texting abbreviations
- French phone habits, compared to US
Students will already need to know...
- verbs: -er, avoir, être
- numbers: up to 99
- how to form questions
- Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations,
provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and
- Standard 1.2: Students
understand and interpret written and spoken language on
a variety of topics.
Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas
to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship
the products and perspectives of the culture studied.
Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other
disciplines through the foreign language.
Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of
culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.
Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the
- Basics of using French phones
- Label parts of a telephone in French
- Tell someone how to use a French calling card
- Recognize and use common phone phrases by
simulating a phone conversation
- Apply phone phrases in authentic application with
native French speakers
- Phone companies
- Identify major French phone companies
- Interpret a chart comparing cell phone service
- Choose a French cell phone service provider based
on knowledge of their services
- Uses of phones
- Interpret a graph showing multimedia usage of cell
phones by age group in France
- Conduct a survey to determine how Americans use
their cell phones
- Recognize and use French texting abbreviations in
a mock text conversation
- Phone etiquette
- Brainstorm polite and impolite usage of cell
- Role play scenes depicting good and bad cell phone
- Evaluation of phones
- Rank features of cell phones that are important to
- Analyze cell phones and how they affect their
lives, positively and negatively
- Orange advertisement: students will examine the text
and pictures of an Orange advertisement, describing it, comparing and
contrasting it to American cell phone ads, and discussing hands-free
headsets and whether it should be legal to drive while talking on a cell
- Phone part bingo: students will receive a bingo card
that displays various parts of a telephone; they will identify each part
when it is called out by placing a marker on the appropriate picture
- Calling card directions: students will use the
imperative mood to direct a friend how to use a French calling card
- Mixxer: the class will go to a computer lab; students
will create accounts on Mixxer (http://www.language-exchanges.org/),
where they will find a language partner in a French-speaking country.
Before speaking with their partner, students will create goals for
themselves. Using Skype, students will then call their language partner,
conversing half the time in French, half in English. Afterwards, students
will do a self-assessment, determining how well they met their goals.
- Survey project: After looking at a graph that shows
multimedia usage of cell phones by age group in France, students will
conduct their own survey to create a similar graph for Americans. In class,
they will survey three of their peers, asking questions and receiving
answers in French. Out of class, they will ask the same questions to three
people between the ages of 25 and 39, and three people 40 years old or
older, in English. Once they have their raw data, as a class students will
pool their figures and create a graph that compares American multimedia
usage to the French.
- Texting abbreviations: Have students as a class
brainstorm abbreviations they use in texting. Have them make guesses at
what the French might say for each phrase. Present them with what is
actually used, then have students “text” each other in French by writing
down a text that uses some of the abbreviations, exchanging it with a
partner, and then having them write back.
- Phone etiquette: Make a list of polite and impolite
phone usage on the board. When is it appropriate to text or talk on your
cell phone, and when is it inappropriate? In groups of three or four, have
students create two scenarios, one in which phone usage is appropriate, and
one in which it is not. Have students take notes on each other’s skits and
then write about whether they agree with their classmates’ assessments of
appropriate and inappropriate phone usage. For example, do they agree with
group #1 that “X” is appropriate and “Y” is not? Finally, have them analyze
cell phones—what benefits do they bring, and what disadvantages do they
- Daily observation of students’ progress during above
- Student self-assessment after Skype conversation
- Phone part quiz: students will match images of phone
parts to the French vocabulary word
- Imperative form quiz: students will explain the
formula for determining the imperative form, explain when it is used, and
write out steps using the imperative to instruct a stranger how to use a
- Phone conversation: students will receive various
scenarios to portray via phone conversations (ex: call to talk to a friend,
but s/he is not there, so must leave a message with his or her parent);
perform for the class. Give the students in the audience sheets that
contain new vocabulary; they must circle words that they hear in each
conversation. Assessment will be based on a rubric.
- Cell phone service provider comparison: By examining
a chart that compares services of various French cell phone service
providers, have students choose a company and state their reasons for their
choice in a written paragraph. Assessment will be based on a rubric.
- Conversation at a phone store: students will
role-play conversations between a customer and a salesperson in which the
customer asks for a phone that has certain features. Have students in the
audience write down which features each group prefers. Assessment will be
based on a rubric.