Universcience-VOD- La plasticité du cerveau

This page authored by Laura Franklin,Northern Virginia Community College, based on a video from the universcience VOD website.
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This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project


In this lab exercise, students of intermediate-level French will watch a short video on brain plasticity from the universcience VOD collection online. Students will watch the video several times and then, in pairs, they will construct a summary of its contents with the aid of a gap fill exercise and a word bank. Students will then recount the video contents in French, in their own words.

Learning Goals

  1. Students will improve listening comprehension by watching an authentic video in a facilitated environment.
  2. Students will develop strategies for listening by observing visual cues and conferring on what they hear and see.
  3. Students will learn techniques for negotiating meaning from an authentic text, originally intended for native speakers.

Context for Use

This activity is well-suited for a lab setting. As listening comprrehension frequently varies considerably in foreign language classes, instructors can steer students who need more challenging videos to other items in the collection. The universciences collection of videos covers a wide variety of scientific disciplines and there are materials suitable for students with different levels of French language fluency.

This exercise can be used for online classes and for homework as well.

Description and Teaching Materials

Students will watch a brain plasticity video and do a worksheet that will help them develop a key vocabulary for the topic. After completing a comprehension worksheet they will recount the contents of the video in French, using their own words. The instructor will make note of how they reuse the vocabulary from the film. Brain plasticity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 13kB Mar14 11)

Teaching Notes and Tips

  1. Instructor should have students work in pairs and have them watch the Brain Plasticity video from universciences VOD.
  2. Students should then complete the worksheet exercises together, with the instructor circulating in the lab to facilitate.
  3. If some pairs can do more, they should be encouraged to search the universciences VOD website for other neurology videos.
  4. After students complete the videos, they should work together to recount in French what they learned about brain plasticity, reusing the thematic vocabulary.


The worksheet provides formative assessment for this activity.

References and Resources