The World Cup – ideas for teaching French

the World Cup in French class

The World Cup is starting up this week and I know that many students and teachers are excited about the games. The tournament is a great opportunity for us to give students lots of comprehensible input through class discussions of the games, and there is a variety of great activities we can do during the tournament.

I purchased this World Cup poster on Amazon so that we can keep track of the games easily. It’s a nice poster that my students will enjoy using to follow the games. There is one downside – they spelled France wrong! The poster says Franch instead of France, but I suppose I will just write the correction in. You could also have your students make posters for your class if you don’t want to purchase something.

Frenchified activities for the World Cup

If you or your students aren’t huge soccer fans, you might not know much about the sport. Even if you do enjoy the game, your students may not know the vocabulary to talk about it, or the history of the sport. I have a reading and activity unit about le football that includes readings about the history, how the game is played, and information about the French national team. It also includes printable vocabulary posters. There are activities for students where they can plan their dream team, design a uniform, and more.

If your students are fans of Mbappé, I have two activities that can be used with different levels. The Mbappé is Missing escape game will allow your students to use listening, reading and vocabulary skills to find the codes that unlock the locks – and will challenge your students in a fun way! For level 2 and higher, the biography of Mbappé will be an interesting reading with comprehension questions.

If you are interested in the history of the World Cup as well as the controversies surrounding the 2022 tournament, there is a reading activity. The activity includes two different versions of the reading – one that is simplified for level 1 and 2 and one that is a bit more advanced for levels 2 and up. The activity includes comprehension questions and links to additional resources.

If you want to go old school, you can also read about Zinedine Zidane. One of the greatest soccer players in French history, he was a hero after winning the 1998 cup. Now he is also remembered for his headbutt in 2002 and his suspension.

Using the World Cup for lots of comprehensible input

Of course, one of the best benefits of a huge event like this is the possibility of comprehensible input. There are just so many ways to discuss the games, teams and players – and they can be easily adapted to different levels.

  • Use the games to discuss adjectives for the different nationalities.
  • Talk about the schedule to practice times and dates.
  • Practice reading comprehension by reading updates on the scores and games from French sources.
  • Use the future tense to make predictions about which teams are going to win and lose, which players are going to score, and which teams are going to make it to the next round.
  • Use the past tense to do a recap of the games each day.
  • Practice descriptions by looking at photos of the players and describing their appearance and clothing.
  • Practice color vocabulary by discussing the colors of the flags and uniforms.
  • Practice writing skills by having students make player trading cards or biographies for their favorite players.
  • Practice the conditional tense by discussing which players you would pick if you were putting together a team, which coach you would choose, which players you would start.
  • Discuss directions and locations by using a map of the world and talking about which countries are participating and where they are located.
  • Practice research and writing skills by having students make a poster for the different countries.
  • Use your creativity to make a “one word image” with ideas for mascots for the games.

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