Le Futur Proche (Near Future)
As you continue to scroll down the page, you'll find a useful lesson for introducing le futur proche in a French classroom. It includes a self-made video, authentic French websites, a speaking activity, and an assessment. The lesson requires no English to be effective. If you have any suggestions for how to improve the lesson, feel free to leave appropriate comments at the bottom of the page.
The Opening Video
First things first: Before showing this video or a video similar to it, it will be necessary to prime the students for what they are to expect. Suggestion:
On va parler de ce weekend et ce que vous allez faire. Mais d’abord, voici une vidéo fantastique. On va la regarder, d’accord?
Next, in comes the video.
To ensure that the students understood the gist of the video, it will be wise to conduct a brief comprehension check. Sample questions:
- De quoi est-ce les hommes parlent? Qu'est-ce que les hommes discutent?
- Qu'est-ce que Vincent va faire ce weekend?
- Est-ce qu'Adrien va faire la même chose comme Vincent?
If necessary, replay the video.
Viewing the Script
Now, distribute the script to the students. If the students feel confident/competent enough to read the two parts aloud, elicit volunteers. If not, read both parts to the students and have the focus on the repeating structures--i.e., le futur proche. Elicit responses to see whether the students can determine on their own which words are being used to describe the future. Then, transition into the discussion of the near future tense.
Futur Proche PowerPoint
What you should notice about the beginning of the presentation is that it relies on getting the students to notice on their own the necessary structure of the futur proche before it reveals it.
To reinforce their ability to grasp the meaning behind the various sentences, I suggest miming the actions. For instance, for "Elle va manger la pomme," I would repeat the phrase "Je vais manger la pomme" as I move an imaginary apple closer and closer to my mouth. Then, once I take an imaginary bite, I would say "Maintenant, je mange la pomme." With each action, I would do something similar so that the students could construct the meaning without depending on English translations.
Towards the middle of the presentation, specific verbal phrases like "assister à un concert" are introduced. These are the terms they will be using for the later activity. Again, to avoid English, the phrases are accompanied by pictures that demonstrate their meaning.
Lastly, days and times are highlighted briefly as these too will be useful for the activity. A discussion of time also gives you an opportunity to explore a bit of French culture, explaining the 24-hour system that France employs. Again, this knowledge will be useful since the students will need to understand how to interpret this system when they see it in print.
Now comes the time when the students are released to discover French culture a bit and plan their weekend. Distribute a calendar sheet to each student explaining to them that they are now going to plan their weekend using one of the links provided on the last slide (whose websites should already be loaded on the computers) and recently learned vocabulary.
- Group 1: www.lescinemasaixois.com/films/annabelle
- Group 2: www.paris-art.com
- Group 3: https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-15-16/opera/lear
- Group 4: www.infoconcert.com/artiste/stromae-84291/videos.html
Break the class into groups and assign each a link to a different cultural event--opera, movie, art exposition, etc. They are to search that specific page to find a time and day for an event and then schedule it into their calendar. Of course, not all of the times will fit those printed on the calendar; in those cases, instruct the students to simply pick the time and day they would like to attend such an event. In the boxes, the students could either write just the verbal phrases (assister à un concert) or complete sentences (Je vais assister à un concert).
Once the students have filled in a block for the website, they are free to fill in the rest of their schedule. I would advise giving them a specific time limit.
Then, once the time for making plans is over, the students then separately roam around the room sharing their plans for the weekend with classmates--asking for plans and responding to questions. Again, I would advise either giving them a specific time limit for sharing with classmates or giving them a specific number of classmates with whom to share.
The final part of this activity comes in reuniting as a whole group and sharing what students have learned about other students' plans. In other words, instead of using je and tu/vous, they will now briefly be using il/elle and ils/elles to discuss their classmates' plans.
The final assessment follows the same model as the previous activity in that it requires the students to plan activities, this time in pairs. To allow greater individuality, provide the students with a list of additional activities; to avoid English, these new terms are accompanied by pictures that suggest their meaning. With a partner, the students will create a brief conversation discussing plans for the upcoming weekend, using the opening video as a model. Scheduled times are not necessary though students are free to use them. Finally, the students will perform their conversations to the rest of the class as you assess for appropriate use of the futur proche.
Additional Links for Foreign Language Teaching/Learning
- Teaching a Foreign Language:Proficiency, Performance, and Authenticity
- Questions and Observations on Teaching a Foreign Language
- French Lesson Plan for Using "Il y a..." to Describe the City Street (Using Amélie)