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Sample parallel reading for beginners

This is an example of a parallel reading activity on It is aimed at near beginners with just a few months French behind them. The aim, of course, is to allow inexperienced readers to access interesting content despite their lack of language skill. It's a great way of providing comprehensible input to novice learners. Frenchteacher users have found that putting the 20 examples of parallel reading together in a booklet is a super planned or reserve activity for the classroom.

This one is about planets. Here we go:

Les planètes intérieures sont Mercure, Vénus, la Terre et Mars. Mercure, la planète la plus proche du Soleil, est une roche pas beaucoup plus grande que notre Lune. Il est incroyablement chaud et incapable de supporter la vie. L'atmosphère contient du sodium et du potassium.

Vénus est la deuxième planète du Soleil et est de la même taille que la Terre. L'atmosphère est composée principalement de dioxyde de carbone. La température de la surface peut être aussi élevée que 480 degrés Celsius. Il n'y a pas de vie sur la planète Vénus.

La Terre est la seule planète qui possède les conditions pour soutenir la vie. La surface n'est ni très froide ni très chaude. L'eau peut exister sous toutes ses formes - gaz, liquide et solide. Ces conditions permettent aux plantes et aux animaux de vivre et de se reproduire.

Mars, la première planète au-delà de la Terre, est plus petit que la Terre. L'atmosphère est composée principalement de dioxyde de carbone. L'eau existe sur cette planète, mais seulement sous forme de glace. La planète entière est un désert sans vie.

 Les planètes extérieures, Jupiter, Saturne, Uranus et Neptune s’appellent les géantes gazeuses. Elles sont beaucoup plus grosses que la Terre. 

Version anglaise

The inner planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, is a rock not much bigger than our Moon. It is incredibly hot and incapable of supporting life. The atmosphere contains sodium and potassium.

Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is the same size as the earth.
The atmosphere is mainly composed of carbon dioxide. The surface temperature can be as high as 480 degrees Celsius. There is no life on Venus.

The Earth is the only planet which has the right conditions for supporting life. The surface is neither too cold nor too hot. Water can exist in all its forms – gas, liquid and solid. These conditions allow plants and animals to live and to reproduce.

Mars, the first planet beyond the Earth, is smaller than Earth. The atmosphere is mainly composed of carbon dioxide. Water exists on this planet, but only in the form of ice. The whole planet is a lifeless desert.

The outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, are called gas giants. They are much larger than the Earth.

And the exercises to recycle the language and use the reading strategy of looking for cognates:

Which of these French sentences are true?

1.          Vénus est une planète intérieure.
2.         Mars est une planète extérieure.
3.         Mercure est un peu plus grand que la Lune.
4.         Mercure supporte la vie.
5.         Vénus est de la même taille que la Terre.
6.         L’atmosphère de Vénus consiste d’oxygène.
7.         Il fait extrêmement chaud sur Vénus.
8.         Vénus supporte la vie.
9.         La Terre est unique car elle supporte la vie.
10.        Il y a beaucoup d’eau sur la Terre.
11.        Il y a beaucoup d’animaux sur la Terre.
12.        Mars est plus grand que la Terre.
13.        Mars est désertique et sans vie.
14.        Les planètes extérieures sont solides.
15.        Les planètes extérieures sont de la même taille que la Terre.

Highlight all the words in the French text the meaning of which
You could have guessed because they resemble English words.
These are called COGNATES. They are one reason why French is
a relatively easy language for English people to learn.

Complete this word list

French                        English
Terre                                      ___________
proche                                     ___________
rock                                        ___________
life                                          ___________
mainly                                     ___________
seule                                       ___________
soutenir                                   ___________
seulement                                ___________
entière                                    ___________


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