Dictionary fails and Google distortions


I have been playing around with simple animations (as some of you know from my Tour de France video) and have created a series of whiteboard animations. I love them and think they are so engaging as a short interlude or as a hook into a new topic. I’m just putting the finishing touches to them all but in the meantime I am releasing this one all about dictionary fails and google mistranslations. In response to my blog post last year ‘30 things you will only understand if you teach French‘, loads of you left comments and some of them were genius. As in comically genius- definitely not linguistically genius! I have made a little compilation of them for you. Please feel free to add to the list! Enjoy!

Dictionary fails and Google distortions animation


Have a lovely break,

Betsy Belle

PS. I have started meeting people in real life who presume I am called Betsy. I’m cool with that. When I started making resources and blogging I was way too shy to go by my actual name so hid behind this pseudonym. But if you ever bump into me outside of the internet… I also answer to Michelle!



Le Tour de France for the classroom

Tour de France Poster Inforgraphic

So this is kind of embarrassing…I have never watched the Tour de France. Never. I have seen snippets of course and I knew the basics about the yellow vest and the hills and the general hard graft. But that was it. So what did I do every summer when my colleagues mentioned a cultural lesson on it? I chickened out. Probably made the kids do a dictation or something equally mean!

This year I was determined to be prepared- but when did the tour even start? June? July? I actually had no idea so I started making some materials in May! It seems I am still a whole month ahead of schedule so there is plenty of time for me to share some bits with you.

Firstly there is the animated video I made. This is crammed full of every fact I researched about the Tour de France. I have shared this on you tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORBmN9YIxkU&t=38s but if your school filters You Tube you can download it for free via my TES shop. https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources/shop/betsybelleteach

Then I made some follow up activities including a board game, an infographic, a jersey design activity and some colouring sheets. I’m sharing the infographic with you (the image from the top of the post),  it contains all the facts from the video and would make a great poster or help sheet. Click on the link to download the Tour de France Poster Infographic

The board game has already had some great feedback. One teacher is going to add extra challenge by getting pupils to complete a translation when they land on a new number. It would be very easy to do this by printing out a list of 34 questions or translations relating to your current topic. Here is the link- www.tes.com/teaching-resource/french-board-game-tour-de-france-plus-free-video-11631095 it is £2 but if you are new to TES you can get £3 free credit by entering JUNEOFFER at the checkout.

tour de france board game

The other products are available individually or as a bundle which costs £4 and includes the two activities form above (the video and the infographic) plus the ‘design a Tour de France jersey activity, the colouring sheets and the board game. Link to bundle here https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/tour-de-france-bundle-11633223

Tour de france jersey design

This is the official website http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2017/ in French but there is an English version as well.

There is lovely video in French about the Tour de France on 1jour1actu as part of their animated series http://www.1jour1actu.com/info-animee/cest-quoi-le-tour-de-france/

One last thing and NOT FOR CLASSROOM USE but hilarious if you haven’t seen it before is this video by Remi Gaillard. If you aren’t familiar with his work then I urge you to find half an hour and sit back for some chuckles- or full on belly laughs in my case! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4uXfv6Yv6g

Betsy Belle


Friday Freebie: Follow Me The Basics

It has been a while. A long while. I have had a slight change in direction and have switched form secondary to primary so much of my effort has gone into that. And boy did I make a good move there! I am absolutely loving every second. I whizz in and out of classrooms and up and down corridors calling out ‘bonjour’ and ‘hola’ as I go. I deliver nifty little 30 minute sessions and cram as much as I can into every second. These kids lap it up and I am constantly in awe of how much they can produce in that short space of time. I must do a blog post about ‘speed teaching’. And another on storytelling. But I am simply posting to say:

  1. I am back to blogging
  2. It’s Friday so it’s time for a freebie.

This freebie is a follow me game. I’m sure you know what to do but just in case you haven’t played before…

Cut up the 16 cards. Distribute at the door for a snappy start to the lesson. The pupil with the word START stands up and asks, “who has ‘bonjour?'”, triggering the next pupil to stand up and say “I have ‘hello’, who has ‘merci?'” and then the person with thank you stands up and says “I have thank you, who has…” and so on.

To make it more fun and competitive you could do it twice and time it to see which group completes it fastest. For a small group see if they can beat their previous time. Tell them how quickly the other class did it. Or one of my favourite things to do is ask them to form a circle by standing next to the appropriate card. This causes chaos but chaos of the best kind. And it really does get them to communicate.

follow me basics french and spanish


Happy Friday.

Betsy Belle

More follow me cards and other resources at my tes shop


Friday Freebie #6 Halloween

I’m always up for going off piste and abandoning the Scheme of Learning in favour of something else (who isn’t?!). There is so much to explore for us Languages Teachers- we want to immerse the pupils in all the target language country’s festivities, bring the culture to life in the classroom, expose them to the rich language associated with festivals and events. My Spanish colleagues have been going crazy for El Dia de los muertos activities this year and our pupils are in for a treat, which means I’m going to have to rev up what us Frenchies do, nothing like a bit of inter-departmental competition! But in the meantime I’d like to share a few tried and tested things I have done in previous years. Scroll on down for Friday Freebies.

One of the activities I love to do each Halloween is quite simple but the outcome always astounds me: ‘une potion magique’ (or for the older ones ‘un smoothie d’Halloween’- they seem to respond better to this so I ask them to design a Halloween special smoothie for the local shake bar- adding challenge by getting them to describe the health benefits/risks.)

For the magic potion, I teach them some Halloween vocabulary using my Halloween PowerPoint and then let them loose with the bilingual dictionaries and they get stuck into their ingredients search- creating the most vile and disgusting concoctions you could imagine. They always surprise me with their enthusiasm and then the requests for quantity words come flooding in, followed by requests for imperatives. It’s lovely when the pupils want to spontaneously include new structures. Corrections I make as I circulate usually involve adjectival agreement. The finished pieces are often quite accomplished, brilliantly creative and downright stomach churning!

I have included a magic potion worksheet at the bottom of the post- either use it as a lovely visual to display on the IWB as they work in their books, or if you have a generous printing budget then pupils can use to write up their potions and you could create a nice display with them.

The second Halloween freebie I’d like to share with you is a Follow Me game- keep scrolling it’s at the bottom of the post. If you haven’t played before it is quite simple but takes a bit of getting used to with the pupils. Once they are well trained it is a FABULOUS speaking and listening activity. Distribute the cards (I do it at the door as they come in); all pupils sit down; the pupil with ‘START’ stands up and says ‘qui a un chat noir?’; the next pupil (the one with the corresponding card) stands up and says ‘I have a black cat, qui a un vampire?’; then the pupil with the vampire card stands and so on and so on. The last card has ‘FINISH’. It sounds complicated but when you and the class are used to it you’ll love it. Sometimes I just do 15 cards and get the boys to race against the girls etc. to see which team can get through the pack in the shortest time. Or I time the group and get them to try to beat their personal best.

To develop the idea, and if I really want the class to interact with each other I distribute the follow me cards and shout ‘human circle’. Chaos ensues. And when chaos is for all the right reasons, because pupils are strategising, communicating, solving etc. etc. then I get all warm and fuzzy inside #smugteacheralert. So what is the human circle? Using the same cards as in the above paragraph, the pupil with START comes to the front so that pupils know where the starting point of the human circle is. Then I shout ‘c’est parti’ and they have to find their corresponding cards and from a circle which begins with ‘START’ and ends with ‘FINSIH’ and each pupil is in the correct order according to their card. This involves a lot of communicating. I encourage phrases such as ‘je cherche’ or ‘je voudrais’ and ‘c’est moi’ or ‘ce n’est pas moi’. Obviously lots of them whisper in English but I reward use of French with raffle tickets. What is so great is that they usually get themselves into a circle with a few pairs or trios stuck and confused. This is where the natural born leaders will take over in an attempt to complete the circle, directing pupils to move to a different spot etc. I often have to put a time limit on it and say something like ‘you have completed about 5/8 of a complete circle. When they do get it right, the feeling of success and achievement is palpable!

So…what about the ‘something special’ I mentioned last week? Well, I have been working on this for a while now but it is taking a little longer than expected. I have been setting up a ‘shop’ section on my site. I know a lot of you use the links on my posts to purchase my resources through tes.com and tpt.com but if I bring them to you myself I can avoid commission and therefore pass the savings on to you, my subscribers. So, you will be able to find all my resources, right here, at a discounted price. BUT.. on top of that, you will also be getting additonal discounts because you read my blog. And my blog is where I will be publishing special offers and discount codes for you all. I will be uploading all of my 100+ resources over the holidays and ‘cutting the ribbon’ with a MASSIVE discount code for you.

But the Friday Freebies will also remain- I love a giveaway!

Happy Halloween,

Betsy ‘soon to be self-publishing’ Belle






Friday Freebie #5

When the heck is half term? Seriously- this is breaking point for me, I can’t take much more. European Day of Languages, Open Evening, data collection, a pile of books that haven’t yet seen a green tick never mind a purple pupil response. HELP!!!!

But apparently it is world smile day so I’m going to plaster a grin on my face, grit my teeth and hang on till the weekend. And in an attempt to bring a smile to the faces of my fellow Languages teachers, I bring you another Friday freebie.

What is it? An interactive quiz. It’s a PowerPoint which has a grid with twelve boxes to choose from. The pupil picks a box and has to answer a multiple choice question. If answered correctly, a celebration sound is triggered; incorrectly triggers an ‘oh no’ sound that the pupils absolutely adore. (So much so that sometimes they get it wrong on purpose!)

I use it as a starter. I mean, brand new, never been seen before vocab so that they have to make links between the languages. It’s a fun start to the new topic. Others have told me they use it like noughts and crosses- four in a row etc. And when they beg me to play again I often do it with a classroom timer so the two teams can compete. I time how long it takes for them to answer every question correctly, winning team leaves the class first. It’s a bit chaotic but I love a noisy classroom if every single kid is engaged in the activity. It’s also a subtle yet effective way to develop translating skills; they reallyhave to pay attention to the small but important words such as souvent, mais, trop.

Little tip- draw a quick replica of the question grid on the whiteboard so that pupils can keep track of which question they have answered.

I have the selected snacks/cafe food interactive quiz. Please let me know what other topics you would be happy to see. Even if you are not up to food at this point in the school year, it’s a great end of week/end of term treat.

Last week, new subscribers were sent an extra little resource. Follow me this week for the same. But next week ALL my followers, new and old, are in for a special something- watch this space and spread the word. (There should be an option somewhere to subscribe- a little black box with FOLLOW either in the sidebar or at the bottom of the post). I’ll double check it is working and amend if necessary.

Betsy Belle





Friday Freebie #4 Describing others

Friday Freebie time.

I want to give you something that I literally cannot teach without. Keep scrolling, it’s at the bottom of the page.

It’s a little gem of a resource, one that I whip out almost every week. Mostly for younger pupils but I am sometimes forced to shove it under the nose of a sixth former. Grrrrr.

It’s a learning mat. The topic is descriptions.  This resource was screaming out to be created- let’s face it, who of us has a full class who can spell yeux, cheveux and use avoir and être appropriately when describing themselves and other people? Personne?

So I crammed everything on there. Eye and hair colour- naturally. Body type- of course. But here is where it is special- it also gives the pupils the vocabulary to describe the way they look both in more detail and in a more relevant way than our textbooks and outdated PowerPoints allow. For example: ‘I wear braces’; ‘I have pierced ears’; ‘I have blonde highlights’; ‘I have an athletic body’ and even ‘I have a tattoo’ (for which they usually write- with my support- something like je n’ai pas de tatouage mais j’ai les oreilles percées).

Lots of girls where I teach sport a rather defined and thick brow. In fact, some of them shave off their natural eyebrow hair and draw them on instead. I’m not kidding. So these little lovelies can use the learning mat to write ‘j’ai les sourcils épais, je me maquille et j’ai des extensions de cheveux’.

Just before you download this treasure, I need to tell you that I have other learning mats in many other topics. The perfect follow up to today’s Friday freebie is the personalities learning mat. Example sentence they could create from it: ‘Normalement, je suis travailleur et organisé, mais quand je suis fatigué je suis un peu paresseux et très oublieux’.

I hope you love it. I have loads more at my TES shop . Please subscribe if you want Friday Freebies straight to your inbox. Ps. This week’s new subscribers will be getting a special thank you email with a resource attached.

Passez un bon weekend,

Betsy Belle





European Day of Languages

So many of us will be dashing to Lidl en route to school tomorrow and grabbing a load of brioche and croissants for European Day of Languages celebrations. Then spending the morning challenging pupils to construct monuments and landmarks out of paper straws and spaghetti. Prancing round in our national dress during lunch hour teaching traditional dances. Whatever you are doing, if you need a break just print off these A4 board games, pour yourself a coffee and give yourself a well earned break for a minute or two.

2 board games (one easy, one hard) challenging pupils to recognise basic words such as please, thank you, hello and goodbye in a range of European languages. The answers are provided so you don’t have to do anything. Extend it by giving them a time frame and getting them to see who can win the most times. Or challenge them to create their own version (they could use phones or ipads to research questions). Have a break…on me!



ps. I am not working tomorrow but out of respect for European Day of Languages I will a start the day with a little pain aux raisins and café au lait, move on to a few light tapas dishes at midday and cook up a hearty beef bourguignon for tea. Oh no, it’s day of European languages not cuisine. Oh well. I could listen to the Gypsy Kings as I cook, that should cover it?!

Mini plug: more board games available at my TES shop. For Friday freebies please subscribe. Have a great week.

Betsy Belle



Friday Freebie #3

Anybody else find that very first lesson a bit tough? You know that the basics are essential but year after year find yourself drawing smiley and sad faces on the board and feel that your first lesson a basically a bit of a flop? And nobody wants that. So it was out with the smiley faces, in with a cool interactive quiz. a PowerPoint; a follow me card game and a learning mat. Better, much better.

It’s Friday and it’s the first week back so here’s a whole bundle of first lesson freebies. Spread the word. And maybe subscribe?!

Interactive Quiz




Learning Mat




Follow Me Cards


For more resources, visit my TES shop https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources/shop/BetsyBelleTeachesFrench

or TPT store https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Betsy-Belle-Teaches-French

Happy first lessons


Friday Freebie #2

How did your listening and readings go on Tuesday? My pupils seemed pretty happy but I can tell you that Enzo the Cat, Brittany/ney and a bunch of pesky adjectives will haunt me for the rest of summer.

And so… the inspiration for today’s Friday Freebie. Don’t worry, it’s not a video about Enzo the extraordinary cat who walked 600km without even stopping at Flunch(Twitter is doing a fine enough job documenting his escapades #catsontour)!

Instead I bring you another snappy video full of adjectives. Not your usual petit/bavard/sportif…oh no, I’m talking affreux, raisonnable, malsain and triste.

Watch GCSE French Revision #2 adjectives:


Remember to add your email address just above the FOLLOW button to receive your weekly freebie straight to your inbox.

Happy Friday,

Betsy Belle





Friday Freebie

Friday. The Daddy of the days of the week. The other days ain’t got nothing on Friday. Not one of them can boast such a delightful combination of anticipation and relief. Relief that the week is over. Relief that you don’t have to obey your alarm clock in the morning. Relief that you can renounce the diet for one evening of reckless abandon; cue wine and a takeaway (or two dine for £10 if you are attempting to retain an air of sophistication!) Anticipation of the endless fun to behold as the weekend stretches out ahead of you.

And so in honour of this glorious day I announce my weekly Friday Freebie. As we are in the midst of exam season, I have created a funky (Uptown Funk-y) video crammed full of those small but deadly words that make all the difference in the listening and reading exams. You know the ones. Misleading little ****ers. Eg. Je mangeais souvent des sucreries mais maintenant je n’en mange plus. Grrr!!!

If you want to receive the Friday Freebie every week, you need to subscribe- just enter your email address above the Follow button.

Betsy ‘Got that Friday feelin” Belle