Fashion statements

About this challenge

Language output skill

Writing

Context

Madame X wants an article for her website on the changing face of fashion. She thinks that traditional French ideas of what is fashionable and beautiful are still important. However, she is aware that young people don't feel the same way and have a more diverse view.

Creative task

The creative task for this 'Challenge' is for learners to write an article for Madame X explaining what they think about the way that the fashion industry represents people. (Level 7)

For additional kudos points, learners should use a range of tenses to talk about the history of fashion and its impact on young people. They should also demonstrate that they have researched the French fashion industry and issues relating to it. (Level 8)

Language covered

When completing the 'Challenge' of writing an article, learners will use a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures, in a creative context, to meet the objectives set by Madame X. The activities have been designed to introduce learners to some of the new vocabulary they will need and allow them to practise this together with key structures that will be useful in their writing. Below is a list of the topics and grammar covered within the 'Challenge'. Learners may want to revise some of these items in more depth before starting the activities.

Topics

  • Understanding more about French fashion
  • Discussing whether models should reflect the general population
  • Giving opinions about models' appearances and media influences
  • Expressing and comparing opinions, and equating them with their own

Grammar

  • Developing writing using different time frames
  • Constructing a logical piece of writing
  • Using the conditional tense
  • The use of the impersonal 'on' and modal verbs
  • Extending use of connectives: cependant, d’ailleurs, tandis que, en revanche
  • Adjectival agreement
  • Developing use of more advanced high frequency language such as en revanche, cependant, néanmoins

Culture notes

The linked cultural notes cover model Johanna Dray, fashion trends in school, the changing face of fashion and ecological fashion.

Level of difficulty

NC Levels 7 – 8

This 'Challenge' is within the 7-8 NC band for writing and reading skills. Please find below two exemplars which could be expected at these levels:

Lower level of difficulty

Moi, je ne porte jamais les marques Balmain, Rykiel, Chanel ou d'autres grandes marques (ni pour aller au lycée, ni pour aller en ville voir des amis). D'une part, cela coûte extrêmement cher, d'autre part, les vêtements qu'on voit dans les défilés de mode ne sont pas du tout pratiques au jour le jour.

Higher level of difficulty

Les vêtements qu'on voit sur les podiums ne sont surtout pas ceux que je mettrais quotidiennement. Bien que la mode en France soit très chic, les tenues des grands créateurs sont trop étranges. Il n’y a pas que les femmes qui sont soumises à une forte pression des médias. Même les hommes y sont représentés par des mannequins très maigres, et soi-disant 'beaux' – ce qui n’est pas la réalité! Les médias me mettent la pression pour que je sois maigre, et à la mode.

Extension task

Now that you have written your article, why not start a campaign to change the industry? Write a manifesto laying out how the industry could change to be more relevant to young people. You could launch it as a campaign in the form of a short film report or a written document. Make sure you have a catchy slogan!

Curriculum links

There is no statutory 'Programme of study' for Key Stage 4. MFL is now part of the entitlement curriculum areas so, where a course in MFL is offered, it should enable students to:

  • acquire knowledge and understanding of the target language
  • develop language skills
  • develop learning skills
  • develop cultural awareness

Fashion statements is a KS4 'Challenge', however the following criteria may be of use for those working with native speaker learners at KS3 who might be working separately or independently at National Curriculum levels 7-8.

Programme of study

Key concepts of Modern foreign languages

1.3 Creativity
  • using familiar language for new purposes and in new contexts
  • using imagination to express thoughts, ideas, experiences and feelings
1.4 Intercultural understanding
  • appreciating the richness and diversity of other cultures
  • recognising that there are different ways of seeing the world, and developing an international outlook

Range and content of Modern foreign languages

  • the grammar of the target language and how to apply it
  • a range of vocabulary and structures
  • learning about different countries and cultures
  • comparing pupils’ own experiences and perspectives with those of people in countries and communities where the target language is spoken

Curriculum opportunities of Modern foreign languages

  • use an increasing range of more complex language
  • make links with English at word, sentence and text level
  • use a range of resources, including ICT, for accessing and communicating information in the target language
  • listen to, read or view a range of materials, including authentic materials in the target language, both to support learning and for personal interest and enjoyment
  • use the target language in connection with topics and issues that are engaging and may be related to other areas of the curriculum

GCSE specifications

Below is a list of topic area links within each of the specifications of the main GCSE examination boards.

AQA GCSE French

Lifestyle - Health
  • healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and their consequences
Lifestyle - Relationships and choices
  • relationships with family and friends
  • social issues and equality
Leisure - Free time and the media
  • free time activities
  • shopping, money, fashion and trends

CCEA GCSE French

The Individual - Students’ lives, families, homes and interests, and those of others in French-speaking countries and communities.
  • relationships: families and friends
  • health and lifestyle: diet, exercise and illness
Citizenship - Lifestyles, attitudes and customs in students’ own countries and communities, and in French-speaking countries and communities.
  • social issues: problems in society and equality
  • media and communications

Edexcel GCSE French

Media and culture
  • fashion/celebrities/religion

OCR GCSE French

Travel and the wider world
  • environmental, cultural and social issues
Education and work
  • school life in the UK and in the target language country or community

WJEC GCSE French

Personal and social life
  • shopping
  • healthy living
  • fashion
The world of work
  • work experience
  • future careers
  • technology (sending messages, accessing information)
The wider world
  • media
  • social issues
  • life in the countries and communities where the language is spoken