Opinion Pieces – and generic phrases
THE EFFECTIVE USE OF GENERIC PHRASES USING DRILL EXERCISES
I have heard a lot of teachers telling students that it is a complete waste of brain-power to learn different opinion pieces by heart, and then hopefully one of the ones you have learnt may or may not appear. I would agree and have a couple of things to say on this point:
Firstly reading well-written sample opinion pieces is a good idea, if you use them as a guide to your own writing. There are always useful phrases and excellent vocabulary to take from them. However sitting down and actually learning them word for word is a futile exercise.
Secondly, a lot of teachers (rightly) speak about using generic phrases and incorporating them into students own writing tasks. Again, this is an excellent method, but students often don’t know how to do this. The good news is that it is a relatively easy thing to do.
Simply take the generic phrase and then consider what themes will fit with it. If you read my blog from the other day, you will see that I generally prepare students for about 12 broad themes with
An example of this would be the following:
Social Problems is my principal theme, and the off-shoots would be for example: Drug abuse,
Over-consumption of alcohol, Racism, Homelessness, Poverty, Criminality, Anti-social behaviour etc..
If a student were to write on the theme of Social Problems, they would obviously need to have the necessary vocabulary. They would also need to have a stock of phrases that they could use, in order to give structure to their writing.
I think that learning about 20-30 generic phrases is more than enough for the leaving cert.
Here is an example of one that we will use in a variety of opinion pieces.
Entraîner de sérieuses conséquences- To lead to serious consequences
La crise du lodgement peut entraîner de sérieuses conséquences – The housing crisis can lead to serious consequences
La prise de la drogue peut entraîner de sérieuses conséquences – Taking drugs can lead to serious consequences
La consommation excessive de l’alcool peut entraîner de sérieuses conséquences – Drinking too much alcohol can lead to serious consequences
L’acceptation tacite du racisme peut entraîner de sérieuses conséquences – the implied acceptance of racism can lead to serious consequences
Le taux élevé de pauvreté peut entraîner de sérieuses conséquences – The high rate of poverty can lead to serious consequences.
Here is a link to a sample drill exercise on our website.
There are many more generic phrase drill exercises available to subscribers of the leaving cert or teacher plans.
The jigsaw method is a very useful way of putting sentences together for students. They simply have to use the grammatical construction + theme that they wish to write about.
C’est incontestablement vrai que – It is undeniably true that
It is undeniably true that Drinking too much alcohol can lead to serious consequences
Devenir de plus en plus évidente – To become more and more evident.
The housing crisis is becoming more and more evident in Ireland today, and can lead to serious consequences
Ce n’est pas surprenant que – It is not surprising that
It is not surprising that the implied acceptance of racism can lead to serious consequences
C’est important de comprendre que – It is important to realise or understand that
It is important to realise or understand that Taking drugs can lead to serious consequences
Why not take a look at some of our sample material for Leaving cert and Junior cert students available for you to download, and use.
FRENCH LEAVING CERT REVISION COURSES
If you would be interested in attending one of our French Leaving Cert Revision courses, please follow the link below for more information. All of our monthly courses take place from September to May and are held in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Our Courses begin at 1pm and ends at 5pm. The cost is €60 and includes a 30 page booklet with exclusive French Notes content. During our revision courses, students learn how to write opinion pieces, Diary entries and/or the narrative (récit), learn active listening methodology, practice speaking and reading French comprehensions. They also do Translation exercises and study a specific area of grammar.