One of the students’ favorite project they realize with the iPad in my French Culture and Civilization class is the interview.
For this activity, students must find a francophone person (friend, student, parent, teacher) to interview about French culture and daily life. Students must ask questions adapted to their interviewee’s situation (has the person lived in the U.S.? Can he/she compare life styles in France and the U.S.? Is the person from a francophone region of the world such as Quebec, Belgium, French Polynesia, Martinique?). Questions can also be aimed at verifying information given in our textbook or about articles they read for class: was Vercingétorix really a great French hero? Are people in the hexagon or overseas convinced that de Gaulle was a great president? Do Parisians still have a “maison de campagne” or week-end home? Are the French opposed to GMOs? Why is nuclear power so important in France? etc.
Last year, after writing a page and a half of instructions and protocols, I noticed that some basic information was missing, such as advice about choice of location for the interview. So this year, I added a few items and mentioned to the IT department that a few students had found the editing process with iMovie rather time-consuming. Immediately, I was offered an intern to give a mini demo to my students in class! Her supervisor was there too and she gave a concise, well structured presentation to my students, sent a file beforehand that I posted on Blackboard as a reference for my students and shared her email address with my class to provide follow up! In my second survey this week, the students said how much they had appreciated the presentation and how helpful it had been to them. So, I have the feeling that the interviews are going to look a lot more professional than last year and that the students will be more proud of their work in the end. They now know how to make a page intro, mix photos with film, play with the sound track, vary the transitions, etc… I look forward to the results!