Archive for February, 2011
To continue in somewhat the same vein as last week, we present a series of sites that complement the method ofTapis Volant (flying carpet), a fully integrated course in three stages written specifically for secondary school students learning French in Australia and New Zealand. Even without the books, the Tapis Volant website, with its abundance of interactive exercises remains very useful for all learners of French.
Tapis Volant 1 is intended for beginners. The site consists of 16 different units each of which includes several exercises. Each unit presents first the outcomes. The exercises are divided into multiple sections : Situation where you listen to the story and fill in the missing speech bubble or highlight a missing word; Manières de dire (ways of saying) where you match a picture with the appropriate label; Grammaire where you will find fun activities to practice your grammar; Vocabulaire where you classify the words to test your vocabulary; and finally Lecture where you identify the missing word from the story. Finally, the Infos section allows you discover more through links to surf the web.
Tapis Volant 2 is the companion site to the second textbook of the series and has 12 units meant for intermediate learners. After a short presentation of each lesson’s outcomes, we find the same sections as the previous site : Situation to listen to a story, Manières de dire (ways of saying), Grammaire (grammar) and Vocabulaire to improve your vocabulary by choosing the correct word. The Infos section is replaced with Document culture with links and suggestions of keywords to discover more through research on the Internet.
Tapis Volant senior is the companion site of the last textbook of the series and was created for advanced learners. Under the Podcasts tab, you will discover a link leading to a site that allows you to watch or download ten different videos. Extra Material provides access to PDF documents containing some exercises that can be done without the manual. Finally, the Grammar Quiz tab offers two to four questionnaires for each of the ten units.
See you next week,
Your Bon Français team
This week, all of the posts of both this blog and GoFrenchGo will have the Allons-y! French teaching method for a central theme. This method is used in many English speaking countries and is meant for high-school and college students. The companion sites that the publisher Pearson has put online make it particularly interesting. Even in the absence of textbooks, most of the exercises found on these sites can be very useful for learners of French.
Allons-y ! 1 is the first book in the series and has eight chapters. By clicking on each you will also have access to a 5 question Quick Quiz, to the Review Questions section that includes 38 to 40 statements, to the Technology Applications section where there are exercises on grammar and vocabulary and to the Web Destinations section that offers links to many sites on culture, Francophonie and French language.
Allons-y ! 2 follows the previous manual and also has 8 chapters. Although the formula is reminiscent of Allons-y 1, there are some differences. The introduction provides a sample of questions and presents the main characters of the book. Each Quick Quiz has 10 questions and 15 to 30 Review Questions. Each lesson is supplemented with 5 audio exercises. The grammar and vocabulary exercises in are in the Drag & Drop Activities. As for Web destinations, they always have interesting links leading to cultural and other resources.
Allons-y ! 3 & 4 concludes the series. Like the two previous books, it is divided into eight chapters and offers a similar format: 5 question Quick Quiz, 15 Review Questions, and an Audio Questions section which offers four to five listening exercises. The Web Destinations section offers links on the multi-faceted culture of the French-speaking world.
See you next week
Vocabulary with audio files, some listening and reading activities to test your understanding and a quiz on French idiomatic expressions, all focused on love: that’s our program this week of Valentine’s Day.
This festival has its origins in ancient Rome, specifically under the reign of Claudius II the Cruel in the third century. The latter, having experienced problems in recruiting soldiers, resolved to prohibit marriage, apparently believing that single men would be more willing to join his legions.
Valentinus of Terni, a monk or a priest, took no notice of the ban and continued to perform marriages in secret. Claudius had him imprisoned and then beheaded; but in the meantime, Valentinus had restored sight to Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer. He wrote to her a heart-shaped letter which he signed “Your Valentinus.” He was canonized a few centuries later, making him the patron saint of engaged couples. Then, Valentine’s Day was set on February 14 to replace Lupercalia, a fertility festival of pagan origin which was celebrated on the 15th of same month.
About’s Laura K. Lawless teaches learners to express their feelings with the help of audio files. The links at the bottom of the page will take you to a quiz on the French language of Love, to a list of terms of endearment with sound files and to a list of expressions with « love ». You will also have the opportunity to answer yes to the question : Is French the most romantic language? http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/love.htm
Canal Rêve offers three short stories of romantic encounters that have all resulted in marriages. Meet Marie and Patrick, then complete a questionnaire to test your listening comprehension. Read the stories of Paul and Monique and that of Isabelle and Romain before engaging in some conjugation activities.
Finally, the CLE (Centre linguistique pour étrangers – Linguistic Centre for Foreigners) from Tours in France has put online a nine question quiz entitled « Pour la Saint-Valentin : les mots du cœur » (Valentine’s Day: Words From the Heart).You’ll discover some French idioms also related to love.
Happy Valentine’s Day !
Your Bon Français Team
The Quebec Winter Carnival is a major popular festival that emerged from the earliest days of the French colony. The largest winter carnival in the world, it is the third largest carnival after the Rio Carnival and the celebrations of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The word carnival comes from the Italian phrase “carne levare”, that is to say « to remove the meat », because it ends on Mardi Gras which preceeds Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Thus, February is the month of carnivals. Like all other carnival celebrations, the Quebec Winter Carnival is associated with symbols such as orchestral or brass band music, parades and processions with floats and costumes, in the case above, the wearing of a traditional sash : the pointed belt. Today we present three links to learn more about the festivities that surround this great winter celebration.
Carnaval.qc.ca is the official website of the Quebec Carnival. It consists of several sections, among others “About” which details all activities surrounding the carnival and the Teacher’s Corner where you’ll find a school kit consisting of book games, online games and crafts; Fun Zone includes photo albums, wallpapers, a great video called Carnaval in Action as well as excerpts of Carnival songs with French lyrics. http://www.carnaval.qc.ca/en
The French version of the site is available at: http://www.carnaval.qc.ca/
The Virtual Museum of Canada made the Quebec Winter Carnival one of its online exhibits. This site includes sections like The Carnival devoted to the origins of this celebration; the Quebec section briefly traces the history of the city, Merry Carnival! and The Palace explore some of Quebec Carnival’s most famous symbols, and finally, the section Festivities examines some of it sactivities.
For the French version of the site, click on the link: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Festiva1/fr/mcq/
Finally, the OQLF (Office québécois de la langue française) devotes a page to the Carnival entitled Les mots du Carnaval (The Words of the Carnival) that contains about twenty terms associated with the carnival. Click on each one to obtain a definition. In French only.
Merry Carnival !