Debuts: An Introduction to French

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9780073219103: Debuts: An Introduction to French

From the Preface of this 538 page book: "The textbook, 'Debuts, and the film 'Le Chemin du retour', are a completely integrated film-based introductory course in learning the French language and culture. A two-hour feature-length film, Le Chemin du retoru' is a story of a young television journalist, Camille Leclair, and her pursuit of the truth about her grandfather's mysterious past. Through Camille's quest, students learn language and culture in the functional context provided by her story. Unlike other textbook/video programs in which the video component is thematically, functionally, or grammatically driven, and thus self-consciously pedagogical , this program has been developed so that the textbook is a complement to the film. The film narrative is what drives the scope and sequence of vocabulary and grammar, the presentation of culture, and the development of reading and writing. This does not mean, however, that these items are presented in a random fashion. Rather, the screenwriter worked within the authors' pedagogical framework but did not let it limit his creative expression. He did a wonderful job of writing a good story while still honoring the major steps in learning the French language. The textbook/film package grew out of the authors' conviction that language learning is more than just learning skills: it is also a process in which understanding of culture must surely occupy a central position. Therefore, 'Debuts' and 'Le Chemin du retour' emphasize the importance of cultural awareness and understanding, not only of the French culture, but also the student's own culture. 'Debuts' gives students a solid foundation in the structure of the language, stressing acquisition of high-frequency grammar, vocabulary, and functional language. In addition, students come to view listening, reading, and writing as active tasks, requiring meaningful interaction as well as high-order cognitive processing."

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