Co-operative / collaborative strategies for use with Métro 1





The following text comes from a North Lanarkshire document on co-operative learning:

Cooperative learning has been extensively researched and it has been demonstrated that this method of delivering instruction and managing learning is an effective way to promote pupil learning, both in terms of academic achievement and social skill development. Different models of cooperative learning have emerged based on different underpinning theoretical assumptions.

For group work to be cooperative, certain key principles should be incorporated into the unit of learning. The social interdependence model of cooperative learning is built on 5 elements, all of which should be systematically structured into group learning situations: positive interdependence, promotive interaction, individual and group accountability, interpersonal and social skills and group processing.

Research has shown that where cooperative learning is promoted as a conceptual system as opposed to a series of strategies, it is likely to have a greater impact on achievement. This implies that cooperative learning needs to be implemented systematically (though not exclusively), through rethinking learning and teaching and by using a conceptual framework to adapt lessons and activities into cooperative ones.”




In producing the following notes, it has been assumed that groups of four (mixed ability) have already been formed, and that social tasks will be incorporated and checked upon completion of the task. These might include listening to one another, not interrupting, taking turns, using a low voice, being polite and positive.


It is also assumed that not all lessons will be taught “co-operatively”. It has been suggested that just one in three classes might be a co-operative lesson, though clearly this will depend on a variety of circumstances. Co-operative Learning and “traditional” whole class teaching are not viewed as mutually exclusive, but rather should complement and reinforce one other. The rationale is simply that pupils will help one another learn more quickly and thoroughly through the creation of a positive and fun environment in which everyone contributes to the learning of others.


The following are intended as notes and suggestions for strategies of a co-operative nature for use with Métro 1. These are merely broad ideas, and it is hoped you may be able to apply and develop the framework of these suggestions beyond those contained here. If you develop strategies or materials which can be used with Métro 1 or any other course used in Highland, we would be grateful if you would consider sharing them with the rest of us!



Metro 1, Unit 1 will consist largely of revision exercises as most of the material should have been dealt with at Primary level.



Greetings, name + spell name, age + date of birth


Groups are given phrases in English, and are to produce French equivalents. One group’s sheet may then be passed to another for correction/amendment.


These phrases may then be read out and verified in class.


Pairs may be formed within groups for question and answer sessions, then swap partners. Alternatively, number 1 in each group may change places, followed by number 2 etc..



A similar pattern may be followed to discuss things found in schoolbags or in the classroom.


Groups may produce a list of objects found in schoolbags or in the classroom which may be passed to another group for correction/amendment, then verified in class.


Pairs may be formed within groups for question and answer sessions, then swap partners. Alternatively, number 1 in each group may change places, followed by number 2 etc.. Details of objects could be added to greetings, name, age etc..






Unit 2


Countries and nationalities


Groups are provided with “blank” maps of Europe (with the names of the various countries removed). Each group may have labels in English and French to attach to the countries on the map. Groups may use textbooks or dictionaries for help. At the end of a pre-set time, each group will present its findings, comparing results.


Similarly, labels with nationalities may be added to the map.


Groups may create own sentences – “I live in France, but I am Scottish” (8 examples?) to be passed on to the next group and verified by the first group.





Brothers and sisters


Groups of four – question and answer around the group:


Do you have any brothers and sisters?



(Where live?)


Persons 2 and 4 may move round, thus creating a different group with different answers.



Whole class exercise:


Ask “Qui a un/deux frère(s)/soeur(s)?” – ask about name, age, where lives etc..






As brothers and sisters – questions in groups about name, age and colour.


Group game/competition – describe animal (type, age and colour) shown to class as an image (with required information on image). Alternatively, show each group an image in turn – they have 3 seconds to answer.




Eyes and hair


Work in groups


Images held by each member of the group, questioned about their eyes and hair – each to provide a description of “themselves” (image), then provide questions for the next member of the group.


This could be extended to describe another member of the group (thereby using “il” or “elle”).


There is also the possibility of making a deliberate mistake in each description, and the group or class tries to spot it.


Similar strategies could be adopted when dealing with height and character.




Unit 3


School subjects



Groups to list subjects studied at school (in English), then to find equivalents in French – these may be found in a “treasure hunt” (looking for labels hidden in various places in the room) – only one person per group to hunt in the competition.


Ensure each group has a complete set by reading out their list.


Stand and learn – each group to stand, and may sit only when each member of the group can successfully provide the name of each subject in French.



Go round group – “Quelle est ta matière préférée?” or « Quelles sont tes matières préférées ? ». Each member to answer suitably (to answer both questions).



Move on to « Les maths, c’est comment ? » - go round group asking about each subject.


One group may ask a member of another group these questions / ask questions of whole class.





There are two clear ways forward:


Give groups a full set of examples of time phrases and invite them to work out what id going on, then provide solutions (in French) to other times set in figures.




Go over how to tell the time with the class, and set an exercise to be completed as a group.



The various groups can then compare results and invite correction/amendment.



Group competition – times may be given on screen and points awarded to the first to answer, or each group is given a time and has 3 seconds to reply.






P44      Each group works on the texts and produces a list of useful vocabulary, using textbooks and dictionaries. This is gone over in class.


Each group is to produce a timetable for a set day (this may be their own timetable or a “new” one). Put together, the class will produce a timetable for the week.


Each group should then produce a written description of each day (as per models in textbook). They may even be invited to produce a “dream” timetable for a day.


Each member of the group should have a role to play – information, words, overview, correction, as well as the more “traditional” timer, encourager, organiser and checker.




A day at the school


P46      Each group works on a list of things they do in the course of a day at school. List the verbs in English and in French.


Groups compare lists and aim to produce a reasonably detailed and varied account of a day – they choose the “best” 6 to 10 verbs or expressions. (Whole class activity).


Groups learn the verbs – they sit only when the whole group can recite the verbs.


Reminder of er verb endings (especially with “je”).


Each member of the group is to provide a couple of lines for each time phase – arrival, morning, lunch and afternoon. These may be passed on to the next group for correction and verification, then read within the group. Each group is to read out an account of the whole day.






P48      Each group to produce lists of clothing they might wear through the week and at the weekend, in both English and French, making use of textbooks and dictionaries.


P49 Translate texts within groups (including colours), then produce similar texts within groups which can be passed around for correction and amendment.


Each group may read their text which can be used as Listening practice by the other groups.


Unit 4




P56      Groups are provided with images representing sports, and should seek and attach suitable French labels found around the room.


Cards and images may be provided for each group – cards containing varying degrees of like and dislike, combined with images of various sports.


Distribute cards and images to members of the group who must express that feeling for that sport. Cards and images may be shuffled after each round.


P57 texts divided among groups to be translated and vocabulary noted.


Each group to produce their own paragraph expressing like or dislike for sport in general, discussing favourite sports, and others they may like or dislike.


These may be passed around for correction and amendment, then read aloud for listening practice.




Activities in free time


After whole class revision of “faire du …”, jouer au …”, and frequency (time phrases), cards or images with details of a sport and frequency may be shown or distributed to each group for expression in French.


P59      Associated texts may be divided among the groups for translation.


A rough outline of something similar may be prepared and presented to each group for translation and then used as listening practice.




Things I like doing


Whole class revision of “verb + infinitive”


P60      Revision/production of sentences, p61 translate texts as a class.


Groups to make up 10 phrases on likes and dislikes (in English) to be passed on to the next group for translation into French. These may be shared as listening practice.



Weekend activities


P62      Texts may be translated as a class exercise, after which groups change the person to “il” or “elle” and read a sentence to the other groups. A group will gain 5 points if the identify the author after just one phrase, 4 points after 2 phrases etc..






P64      Cards or images produced for each group. Each group to give a weather forecast (4 details for each, and exercise is timed).


Each group to suggest 4 things they would do if they stayed in when it rains, and 4 things they’d do if they went out. Listening practice for all.






Unit 5


Area where I live


P72      Texts. Card/image for each member of the group – each to say where they live, then re-distribute cards.






P74      Texts. Card/image of a house – 1 per group, but each member of group to describe house, then compare answers.



House plan


P76      House plan for each group – French labels to be sought out around the classroom.


P77      Texts. Each group to produce text for an image of a house. These may be read out and used as listening practice.








P78      Text. Verbs revised as class + “on”.


Groups are given a plan of a house, and they are to produce a statement of what one does in each room. These statements could be put in chronological order as an account of a morning routine. These may be read out to other groups who may want to alter the order or add times etc..






Each group provided with an image of a bedroom – labels in French to be sought and attached. Stand and learn vocabulary – sit only when whole group can recite vocabulary.


P80      Texts – note useful vocabulary and structures.


One image per group – group to describe content of the bedroom. Listening for practice.



Position words


Images with statements in French accompanying them – in, on, under, behind, in front of, on the floor.


Groups are to work out the meanings of the statements. They then receive other images and have to produce a sentence in French for each one.


Whole class – image + “where is the ….?” OR group competition.





Unit 6




P88      present tense of verb “aller” – stand and learn/go around group – each person saying the next part. Speed test?



To the / at the


Sheet or list on screen with different examples with “aller” – groups to work out the difference between them. Stand and learn.


Provide another list of examples with blanks to be completed by the group. Each group may also produce a set of sentences (using “aller” and “au” etc.) to be passed on to another group which they would then collect and correct/amend.



Going to do something


Each group to look at a set of examples and work out the rule.


P91      Text. Groups to work out 5 examples, then provide another 5 which may be used as listening practice by others.





Places in town – groups to find and attach French labels to plans of town (places marked in English). Stand and learn.


Whole class may be questioned about vocabulary – sit only when answered correctly.


Seeking and giving directions


5 questions provided – what is the rule?


Set of directions in English to be matched with direction labels found around the room.


Instruct members of the group to follow directions.


Town plans provided – 5 sets of directions also provided – where do you end up? Competition for groups. Groups to produce another 5 to be tested on one another before use with other groups.


Position words


Look at plan and listen to position statements – what do they mean? Note vocabulary.


Each group to produce their own position statements:


e.g.       C’est après la gare – qu’est-ce que c’est?


Followed by     Pour y aller ? + directions




Some general suggestions for co-operative style strategies




Invite pupils to answer Listening Comprehensions as a group. This could be developed into a competition. Pupils will provide translations/ideas for the others, perhaps enabling them to learn more quickly and thoroughly.


One group could create a text for another group (though dealing with a common context) – questions could be set and the text read by one group for another.


“Simon says” led by one group for another – a knock out competition. This strategy might also apply to vocabulary tests, exercises, revision work.


Within a group, one person could read aloud a text while the others discuss meaning / research words etc. Roles could then be changed.





A Reading Comprehension could be done as a group. Members of the group will provide knowledge / information for others, enabling the others to learn more quickly and thoroughly.


A text could be read aloud and corrected for pronunciation.


There could be discussion or debate on the content of the text / song / film / stimulus within the group, and then shared with other groups.


Texts / stimuli could consist of others’ essays, folio pieces, test preparation.





Work on a grammar exercise as a group.


Create an exercise for another group.


Produce a written response to a stimulus (song, film, text), following a prepared outline.


Diaries, essays, folios, test preparation could all be done as a group, with members correcting or verifying others’ work, and making suggestions for inclusion or exclusion.







Provide a spoken response to an exercise, taking turns to read out the answer.


Preparation of talks, conversations, dialogues, presentations could all be done as a group with each member being listened to by the others, and advice offered on how to improve.


In-group interaction could take place solely in French.


Create and answer questions on stimuli.







Co-operative learning strategies may even be used to assess progress.


Reading Comprehensions or Listening Comprehensions could be done as a group or individually. Either way, these could be assessed by other groups of pupils, led by their teacher, in conjunction with class discussion of the text and what are to be considered acceptable answers.


Speaking and Writing grades might also be decided by peers after discussion (led by teachers) of Grade Related Criteria with exemplars.







Many thanks for taking the time to read this page – I hope you found it of some value.


Stuart Fernie (