Creating and sharing resources to teach French phonics, and using iPads to enhance the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Jane Bland is Assistant Headteacher at Rushey Mead School, and is leading on a DigiLit Leicester innovation project. Her project is developing guidance to support Modern Foreign Language (MFL) staff in the use of technology to support the teaching of French phonics. You can read Jane’s initial post on creating and sharing resources to teach French phonics. Here, Jane shares her work and resources to support key stage 2 teachers in primary schools:

Earlier this year I blogged about the use of iPads to teach French phonics to key stage 3 students. We are continuing to see an impact on students’ spoken French, and increasingly their writing skills, and as a faculty we are unanimous that teaching phonics has increased students’ linguistic skills.

As part of our Digilit Leicester project I wanted to share my resources with key stage 2 teachers and offered a day’s training on teaching French phonics in primary schools.

Download the workshop presentation here:  Teaching French Phonics (2015), by Jane Bland (PowerPoint)

Many of the delegates were not French specialists and I designed the day so that I would teach them the key phonic sounds throughout the day, using activities and resources that could be taken back in to their classrooms.

We started with the common phonemes that cause confusion and looked at the pedagogy behind teaching and reinforcing the sounds, and then played lots of games to consolidate: oh la la!, slam!, lotto, télépathique, noughts and crosses, beat the clock….


Throughout the day we looked at different ways that the phonics could be introduced into schemes of work. I really like the idea of having a theme each half term, and made a series of resources and activities that could be used to teach phonics with a seaside theme. I had a shopping spree in Poundland and bought a magnetic fish game, buckets and spades, nets etc! On the back of each fish I wrote a sound and we had to use the fishing rod to capture a fish and read the sound correctly to keep it. This proved to be very popular!

Primary workshop

You can just see the fishing rod and bucket bottom right!

Later in the day we had a competition to create a game to consolidate the phonic sounds we had learned using random objects. This activity produced some amazing results and some exciting games. It also proved to be a lot of fun!

Spin the spade

Using the seaside theme this group created a child version of ‘spin the spade’.

 L'escargot phonetique
L’escargot phonétique.


I loved this one! Choose a ball from the bag then create the sound using play-dough….

In the afternoon we looked at how iPads could be used to teach phonics, sharing Apps that I wrote about in my previous blog post – Autorap, Quizlet and 30 Hands.

students working

30 Hands


Working hard
I asked our two native French teachers in school to record the story of ‘La Chasse à l’ours’, using the iPads, and we all listened and read along to the story. I intend to create more of these recordings next year as everyone agreed that as a non-specialist having the book read by a French native made it much more accessible and everyone felt more comfortable having the accurate pronunciation to read along with. I had intended on playing the first couple of pages to show the example but everyone was so keen to keep reading that we ended up reading the book together the whole way through!

La chasse a l’ours (MP3 file)

I was extremely pleased that the evaluations and feedback from the day were overwhelmingly positive, but what was even more pleasing was receiving emails from colleagues a week or two later to say they had already started to introduce French phonics into their schemes of work and the children were loving it.

If you would like more information on this CPD session or other MFL support that is available please do not hesitate to get in touch!



One thought on “Creating and sharing resources to teach French phonics, and using iPads to enhance the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

  1. Very keen to attend this type of CPD event if you will be holding another one any time?
    Creating and sharing resources to teach French phonics, and using iPads to enhance the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

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