FRENCH - être (multiple tenses) 1st person...

Another resource blog, this time with a bit of tense revision for ÊTRE in various tenses (including with modals) in the first person (i.e. the "je" form).

Interactive exercises

Follow this link to open the above menu screen, with access to about 30 interactive exercises.


Scroll down for a few pdf worksheets (in no particular order). 

Note that you wouldn't expect students to do all of these (that would be daft!), but I've included all the possibilities so that you can see what is available.

Sequence? Challenge? What's the difference?

A challenge is not the same as a sequence. What's the difference?


  • A sequence is a specific set of activities based on a particular resource (or on multiple resources).
  • A sequence requires students to complete only the specified activities AND in the order specified. 
  • You can set a 'pass mark' for activities within a sequence, so that a student needs to score, say, 90%, in order to pass on to the next activity in the sequence. 
  • A record of time taken, individual scores and the overall score is uploaded to textivate when a student successfully completes a sequence. 
  • Teachers can access student scores via the gradebook icon on the textivate home page. 
  • You create sequences for your resources via the "Sequence" tab on the textivate home page. 
  • A sequence is usually part of a textivate resource -- the sequence information is stored and uploaded as part of the resource itself.
  • See this blog post introducing sequences (and see also the links on that page to other posts related to sequences).
  • See this example of a sequence with 18 activities based on a text + match resource (a short text in French + vocab on the subject of "chez moi")


  • A challenge can be based on several resources, or just on one resource.
  • Students can do any of the activities from any of the resources included in the challenge, in any order they like. 
  • Points are added to the scoreboard after each activity. Scoreboard points are based on how well the activity is completed, and more difficult activities score more points than easier ones. 
  • You create challenges via the challenge trophy icon on the textivate home page.
  • A challenge is completely separate from your other textivate resources. You can make changes to the challenge at any point without this affecting the resources themselves.
  • Students and teachers can access the scoreboard at any time.
  • See this blog post introducing challenges.
  • See this example of a challenge based on a text + match resource. It's the same short text in French + vocab on the subject of "chez moi" as used in the sequence example above.

CHALLENGES in textivate

Get your students competing in class or for homework with a Textivate CHALLENGE!!

A Challenge is a time-limited competition based on one or more of your existing textivate resources. (Anyone with a Premium or Group subscription can make challenges.)

The challenge menu

Click the trophy icon on the textivate home page (see image above). This opens up your challenge menu (see below), which lists all of the challenges that you have created. (It will be blank at first, of course, until you have created some challenges).

Adding accented characters to textivate...

OK, so there is no textivate-specific way to add accented characters or special characters to textivate.

Note that most textivate exercises DO NOT require the student to type in accented characters. The only exception to this is the Gap-fill (and user-defined Gap-fill) activity, and only when no word list is provided. 

But as a teacher creating your own resources, you will want to make sure that all the special characters are included in your resource.

If you are using a smartphone or a tablet, there shouldn't be a problem inserting accented characters either, as in most cases it's simply a case of long-pressing the un-accented version of the character and then selecting from one of the accented options.

If you're using a desktop computer, laptop, or notebook, it can be a bit trickier.

Personally, I use a Spanish keyboard, which makes it s-o-o-o much easier, but if you don't have that option, read on for solutions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Google Chrome - "Special Characters - Click and Paste"

This Chrome extension is a really neat solution to the problem of inserting special characters for French, German and Spanish. You can get capitals by using the shift key. And it does things like upside-down question marks and exclamation marks ¿¡

It adds an á icon to your chrome browser, and clicking this gives you a list of accents to choose from. Click the desired character and then paste into the text box on textivate (or use the ctrl+v shortcut).

Mozilla Firefox - "abcTajpu"

Install this add-on to Mozilla Firefox, then add accented characters by right-clicking into any text box, you should then see an "abcTajpu" context-specific option, which gives access to hundreds of accented and special characters.

You can modify the add-on via the add-on options menu, to add the letters for the languages of your choice. For example, if you add French and Spanish, your context-specific right-click will produce a list with "abcTajpu" (ie. the default), plus "French", plus "Spanish".


La coupe du monde de rugby à XV

A few resources to share...

An embedded gap-fill. Fill each gap with a word based on the word provided.

Click below to access the activity. (Opens in a new window on touch devices.)
Click here to open the above activity in a new window.

A printable pdf based on the same activity:

Here is a link to the menu screen for the above textivate resource:

And here is a sequence of 4 activities based on the same resource:


Tabs on textivate

We've added 5 tabs to textivate, as shown above.

The idea behind this is to make it simpler, so that users no longer need to type all of their bizarrely formatted text into a single text box, taking care to put everything in the correct order. You can now add your data via the first 4 tabs -- Text, Match, Extras, Sequence -- and textivate automatically combines it into the "Show all" tab.

The "Show all" tab is the equivalent of the old-style textivate textbox. It is also the default open tab when you land on the index page.

Let's run through the 5 tabs in the order in which they appear, left to right: