Tourist Guides for Teens - An Intercultural Journey by Don Doehla, NBCT

created on Jun 30, 2016 modified on Jul 01, 2016 02:13


Students in Napa, California, will collaborate with students in Ottawa, Canada, and in Marseille, France, to create digital tourist guides of their respective communities for one another, and for other teens who might visit their communities. The guides will be aimed at teens and their interests, and will serve to assist others to know what opportunities are available in their community, so they may plan a visit. The tourist guides will be in the style of a digital magazine, or a website, and will be made available through contacts at the local tourist offices of our respective communities, and through social media. Students will create videos to accompany the magazines, or posted on their websites, to raise interest and awareness about the points of interest for their respective communities. In addition, students will engage in an intercultural journey, and reflect on their growth in openness to change their own perspectives and values as they reflect on the perspectives of others.

Key Content

 Students will learn the language of tourism, how to describe activities and points of interest in complex sentence patterns appropriate to intermediate fluency. They will also develop intercultural skills as they interact interpersonally with their friends in Ottawa and in Marseille. Students will learn to express opinions as they offer their own points of view about activities and points of interest to teens in their own communities, and as they express their ideas about the same in the other communities. Students will learn the language of persuasion as well, as they seek to elicit interest on the part of teen tourists to their communities.



Authentic Resources


Students will consult many and varied multimedia resources related to tourism, to building websites, to points of interest and activities in their communities and those of our friends in Ottawa and in Marseille. Students will provide surveys, photos and videos for their colleagues to consult and ask them to provide feedback and input in response to these media. We will invite members of the Francophone community to visit our classes to interview them about their ideas regarding tourism in Napa Valley, and the ways our website can help support their work in the community as travel agents, as tour guides, as hotel and restaurant owners, etc. We will consult readings in French such as the Michelin guides (red and green), websites devoted to tourism in France and Canada as examples to emulate. We will read articles of pertinent interest in Phosphore magazine, a French language magazine devoted to teens. We will look for other magazines and printed materials from both France and Canada, and perhaps other Francophone regions of the world, to ensure that our website is of interest to the wider Francophone teen population of the global community. In addition, we will ask our partners to suggest and/or supply resources that they enjoy from their own cultural contexts to inform us of our target audience. We will also offer to do the same for our friends abroad.


Interdisciplinary Connections


In this project, we will connect with technology as a discipline as we learn to build a website, embed videos, and as we gather the data we seek to post on the site. We will connect to business as a discipline as we learn about tourism and all the connections within that community. We will learn about history and geography as we include points of interest in our community to include on the website. We may also address meteorology as we add in an element about weather and seasons on the website. We will have a section on the website devoted to transportation in our community to help tourists know how to get around when they visit. We may also choose to include information about health care, and other emergency services, available to tourists who may need assistance during a potential visit.


Language Content

Students will learn the vocabulary of tourism and related businesses, of leisure activities available in their community and those of their peers, of website design, of meteorology, of transportation, of emergency services, etc.


Students will learn to develop created, complex sentences, for persuading their peers. They will need to learn the conditional and imperfect tenses to use in if/then constructions. They will learn expressions to express persuasion, such as: ça vous dit de + infinitive; vous voulez bien faire…; vous devriez faire…; vous pourriez faire…; si vous aimiez faire…, vous devriez….; si j'étais vous, je….; etc.


Students will learn to express opinion, doubt, volition, emotion, and necessity in complex sentences which require the use of the subjunctive, to offer their own insights into the pros and cons of choosing various points of interest, and activities available to teen tourists to Napa Valley.


Success Skills and the World Readiness Standards


Students will:


  1. Collaborate to create a website for teen tourists in Napa Valley. They will collaborate in groups of three to four on sections of a website. They will collaborate as a whole class to develop the whole website.

  2. Students will engage in the creative process as they develop specific elements of the website, such as articles, videos, images, and the layout of each page and their integration into a whole website. Students will need to make decisions about fonts, styles, structure of the website, and many other design elements, so each part connects to the whole.

  3. Students will engage in critical thinking processes involving both application (of the language elements they have learned to develop language-based elements of the website, for example), to creativity/synthesis (of the whole website to ensure continuity of the whole). Students will research how to build a website, and apply their learning to make  decisions about the design and the content of the website. Students will develop tools for their investigation, such as surveys, etc. to gather the information needed from their peers, to respond to the needs and interests of their peers.

  4. Students will learn to clearly express themselves in all modes of communication, oral and written, as they create the various elements of the website, from articles, to videos, and to all the postings on Edmodo with their peers in France and canada.

  5. Students will engage in interpretive, interpersonal and presentation communication, orally and in writing, throughout the scope of the project.

  6. Students will use French and English to engage with their peers in Canada and in France to investigate, explain and reflect on the practices, products and perspectives of the target cultures, and of their own. As a result of this inquiry, they will acquire greater intercultural skills with the support of their peers in the other communities.

  7. Students will build, reinforce, and expand their knowledge of other disciplines, including tourism and related support services, emergency services, meteorology, transportation, and web design, among other fields.

  8. Students will access and evaluate the information they gather from their peers, and from their research. Students will reflect on the diverse perspectives that they encounter in their investigations.

  9. Students will use the the target language (French), and English, in collaboration with their peers in France and in Canada, to investigate, explain, and reflect on the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own. Students will use the languages of their investigation explain, and reflect on the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.

  10. Students will engage with community members in English and in French to enrich their inquiry toward building the website, and as they grow to know their peers in France and in Canada. We hope that we will also be able to arrange an exchange visit to meet face-to-face!



Students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own learning on a regular basis. Students will keep a digital journal on Google Docs. They will post the link to their journal file on our school management system, Echo. When it is time to do a reflective writing, I will post a question on our daily agenda, and they will write about the question on their file in Google Docs. Some days our questions are in French, some days the prompt is in English. Questions in English are usually related to the process of the project, ie, where they are in the project. These questions may be related to their individual collaboration toward the objectives of the project, or their thoughts about how their group is staying on track. Other questions, in French, are often about what they are learning about the language and about cultural notions I believe they can communicate about in French. Since these reflections are not assessed, I allow students to use their resources, such as handouts for the project, about the language, or notes they have taken. I allow them also to use dictionaries to look up a few words to help them express their thoughts and intentions. I like them not to spend too long looking up things, so I circulate to coach students as well. I do award practice and participation points for journal entries - my school has a grade category called P&P for this purpose. Since I am required to have a P&P grade, awarding points for reflective writing in this category helps provide students with an additional incentive to do the reflection, though most students willingly participate, and are keen to do so.

One part of our reflective journals is devoted to a log of notes connected to language and culture. Students keep a log of vocabulary items they want to remember, with definitions and examples, They also keep a log of cultural notes. We learn to play the role of cultural anthropologists, and record "field notes" usually in Google Docs.


We will begin the year with an activity called 'what I think i know about..." Students will create a page in Google Docs, and set a horizontal line across the middle of a page in the document. Above the line, they will record what they think they know about tourism in Napa Valley. Below the line, they will record what they have come to know as a result of the inquiry they will do during the course of the project. This document will be the subject of a journal entry towards the end of the project.


In addition, to launch this project, I will create a letter for the students in my classes, as well as for the students in Marseille and in Ottawa. The letter will be in French for my students. I will provide a letter in English for the students in Marseille. The teacher in Ottawa will make the choice of which letter to use, or perhaps both of them as she sees fit. The students will do a close reading of the letter inviting them to create a website for teen tourists to their regions of the world. They will think, pair, share what they understand from the letter, and work in their small groups to fill in a know/need to know organizer, which they will keep in their project folder to consult as needed during the course of the project. We will hold a full class discussion about what we know and what we need to know. I will save this document as a file on my computer connected to our white board. Periodically, we will pull up the file to see where we are. As we acquire the knowledge we need to know, we will move items to the know side of the document. We will revise, update, and change the document as we learn all we need to know. This document will also help to establish a beginning, middle and end baseline for reflection during the scope of the project.




Whether we need to incorporate intercultural reflection on our webpage or not will be a decision students will make for themselves. It is conceivable that on a page devoted to "about us" could be added to the website, and it could become a space where students will be able to express personal reflections about their own personal growth in interculturality. If this is what they choose to do, we will make some joint decisions about what to post on a public space of this kind. If we forego this option, we will nevertheless engage in one or more opportunities to reflect upon our growth in interculturality. We will also write letters to our friends in Canada and France, and post them on Edmodo for feedback and further discussion. In addition, groups will have the opportunity to create a final video reflection to post on Edmodo to share their insights with our peers across the globe.




We will use the following technology tools, among others, as needed :


  • Padlet - for brainstorming, for keeping a digital Know/Need to Know

  • Edmodo - for communication and sharing of media between our three locations

  • Echo - our school district's management system

  • An online blog space or Google Doc for the reflective journal

  • Google Drive - to store files and folders necessary for the project

  • The Website host will need to be determined. We may create a Google Site, for example.


National Foreign Language Resource Center
Don Doehla
<a rel="license" href=""><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="" /></a><br />This work by <a xmlns:cc="" href="" property="cc:attributionName" rel="cc:attributionURL">Don Doehla</a> is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAli

Language: French

Subject Area(s): communities, values, travel, education, creativity

Instructional Context

Product Target Culture:
France, Canada, USA

Target Audience Description:
Tourism is a key industry in all three areas associated with this project. Teens often feel as though their needs and interests are overlooked, or not taken into account. In this project, the students involved will seek to address these needs with the help of their peers in France and in Canada.

Audience Role:
collaborators and consumers

Product Description:
A website for teen tourists visiting one another's communities, with accompanying videos, and use of social media.

Audience Location:
Marseille, France, Ottawa, Canada, and Napa, California, USA

Heritage Learners:

Language Proficiency

ACTFL Scale:
7 6 5 8

World Readiness Standards


Relating Cultural Products to Perspectives

School and Global
Lifelong Learning

Language comparisons
Cultural comparisons

Making Connections
Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives


Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives

21st Century Skills

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Media Literacy

Life and Career Skills
Social and Cross Cultural Skills

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Information Literacy

Life and Career Skills
Initiative and Self-Direction
Flexibility and adaptability

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Creativity and Innovation

Life and Career Skills
Leadership and responsibility
Productivity and Accountability

Interdisciplinary Themes
Global Awareness
Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Technology Literacy

Project Sequence Overview

Preparing for the Project

1. Key Knowledge and Understanding Grid, and Product Reflection Square - Key Knowledge and Understanding Grid, and Product Reflection Square more detail

2. Driving Question and learning targets - The Driving question for inquiry and the learning outcomes for the project and unit. more detail

Launching the Project

1. Launching the Project - Students will receive a letter inviting them to participate in the project to prepare for eventual visits to each other's communities. more detail

2. Generating ideas - Using authentic texts/media, students will generate ideas for inquiry as they interpret the media, and take notes about the content in the media. more detail

3. Testing hypothesis - Napa students will test their hypothesis about the interests of students in Marseille and in Ottawa by posting photos of activities to do in Napa on Edmodo. more detail

4. Deepening Inquiry - an Interpersonal Communication Task - Students will post questions and replies on Edmodo to engage in interpersonal communication in both English and in French to further inquiry into the things of interest to the respective target communities. more detail

Managing the Project

1. Examples of Scaffolding - Examples of Scaffolding more detail

2. Creating Promotional Videos - Students will create promotional videos for the identified activities of interest in their respective communities for eventual inclusion on the project websites. more detail

3. Writing Articles - Students will write articles to post on the website. more detail


1. Assessment - Formative and Summative Assessment Strategies more detail

2. Reflective Journals - Students will keep a reflective journal of their intercultural journey to describe and to synthesize their learning about openness to the perspectives of others across cultural and regional boundaries. more detail