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The French Alien One

So…here I am, a self-proclaimed secondary expert. 10 years I have been doing this secondary thing; honing my craft, fine tuning my skillset. September after September of ‘here’s to getting it right this time’. August after August of calandar watching as the days draw closer and closer to A Level and GCSE results days. INSET after INSET. Course after course. Standardisation after moderation after- well, you get it.

But then my daughter’s school invited me in. ‘We hear you teach French?’ they said. ‘Would you like to come in?’ they said. ‘Nothing fancy’ they said, ‘just something simple, for our European week’ they said. My brain was screaming ‘primary? Little ones? Sitting on a carpet? Nooooooooo!’ But my head started nodding and my mouth started moving and before I knew it I had signed up on the spot. Disaster. I know NOTHING about primary languages.

But they had just unleashed a beast. A competitive beast. So the other mummies in the playground might push fancier buggies. They might rock that skinny jeans and Chelsea boots look a hundred times better than I ever will. But here is my chance to shine. I’m going to be the cool Mum. The one who speaks French. It was time to ram my linguistic abilities down the throats of these 7 year olds and have them running up to me on the playground forever after to practise their bonjours.

So, with the option of hiring a private jet and whizzing them off to Disneyland for the day a little out of my reach, I knew I had to think tactically.

A trip to Lidl for all of the pain au chocolats and brioches I could stuff into my bag for life and a weekend’s worth of self re-training later I was ready. I made up a little story about a boy who goes to sleep at night and dreams of becoming an astronaut. I learnt how to create an e book (thanks here to Joe Dale @joedale) and added some audio so the teachers could use it in the future without me there. I tested it out in my husband who grunted in all the right places. My littlest giggled in all of the places (huge ego boost because the story isn’t even funny) and I chickened out of showing my daughter as her critique can be alarmingly cutting!

The verdict? The pupils loved my story. The teachers loved the opportunity to get some marking done in the corner of the room. And yes, I am delighted to confirm that I am now referred to as ‘the French alien one’ by the little munchkins at pick-up time. Mission accomplished.

Here are the fruits of my labour. Well, this is the cherry on top- available for free via you tube.

The other fruits are available at a very reasonable cost in my TES shop have to find some way of funding all the brioches don’t I?!)

Betsy ‘theFrenchalienOne’ Belle





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