Intrigue: Intermediate French

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9780130618580: Intrigue: Intermediate French

Intrigue is an Intermediate French program that presents grammar, vocabulary, culture, and literature within the context of a compelling fictional mystery story. Intrigue's refreshing new approach develops the four basic communicative skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) while exposing students to the different cultures of the French-speaking world. The mystery evolves through the narratives, dialogues, listening comprehension selections, communicative activities, and grammar exercises in the textbook. Each activity gives insight into the characters' motives by providing clues related to the twists and turns of the story line. The Intrigue program offers a full range of components that reinforce learning by providing additional oral and written review activities. The robust Companion Website provides content-based expansion activities to further develop the students knowledge of French and Francophone literature, music, art, film, history, and culture. For the Instructor: Instructor's Resource Manual 0-13-184068-1 Workbook Answer Key 0-13-184067-3 For the Student: Workbook to accompany Intrigue 0-13-061859-4 Text Audio on CD 0-13-048504-7 Complete Audio Program on CD 0-13-1844288 Companion Website (www.prenhall.com/intrigue)

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Overview

intrigue n. 1. The quality or power of arousing curiosity or interest. 2. The events and situations that complicate the plot of a story. 3. A plotting or scheming by secret or underhand means. 4. A secret or illicit love affair. (Funk & Wagnall's Standard College Dictionary)

intrigue n.f. 1. Menees secretes pour faire reussir ou echouer une affaire. 2. Liaison secrete. 3. Combinaison des differents incidents qui forment le sujet dune piece, d'un roman, d'un film. (Dictionnaire Hachette)

Intrigue is essentially a mystery story. It is the story of a Frenchman named Jean-Louis and a Quebecoise graduate student named Claire who meet, seemingly coincidentally, in New Orleans. One in search of a rare original manuscript written by a famous eighteenth-century author, and the other with hidden motives, the two become entangled in a web of adventures that take them from Louisiana to the Caribbean, West Africa, Europe, and Canada. The protagonists discover, in the course of these travels, that their meeting was not entirely coincidental and that they themselves are part of a larger international scheme of intrigue and deception.

This mystery story, however, is not written in a traditional narrative format. Rather, it evolves through the chapter dialogues, listening comprehension selections, communicative activities, and even grammar exercises of the textbook. With each activity in each chapter, the story progresses, and the students learn more about the characters' motives as they pick up clues related to the twists and turns of the story line. As they become interested in the evolving mystery story, they become engaged in learning French language and in discovering French-speaking cultures around the globe. As the title indicates, Intrigue aims to arouse the student's curiosity by offering a complex mystery plot in which characters use underhand means to accomplish their objectives. By offering continuity between readings, student listening recordings, classroom activities, and homework exercises, Intrigue draws students into using the French-language in meaningful situations and understanding the cultures of the French-speaking world. In Intrigue, readings and activities are contextualized and relevant to the story line.

Intrigue is a comprehensive and flexible intermediate-level textbook that develops the four basic communicative skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Its proficiency-oriented methodology focuses on communication, linguistic functions, and interactive exchanges. Rather than split the contents between a grammar-intensive workbook and communication-focused classroom text, thereby isolating grammar review from communicative activities, Intrigue incorporates it all into one comprehensive textbook. The plot of the mystery story ties together the numerous objectives of an intermediate-level French textbook and provides a meaningful context for the presentation of language functions, vocabulary, grammar explanations, authentic literary excerpts, and cultural information. Students are introduced first to episodes of the story and then to the vocabulary, grammatical tools, and cultural information needed to fully comprehend what they are reading and to imagine themselves functioning in similar linguistic situations. Student learning is natural, as the text builds skills and recycles grammar points and functions in order to reinforce learning.

Interspersed throughout the chapters are "Centre d'information" blocks that provide grammatical tips, explain idiomatic expressions, or present vocabulary or cultural / historical information. In each chapter, personal opinion questions help the students to relate to the information presented, allow them to express ideas, encourage them to adapt vocabulary to their own circumstances, and foster critical thinking. Authentic materials are presented in conjunction with various episodes in the mystery story, and challenging literary readings also relate to the mystery story or chapter themes. These help to prepare intermediate-level language students for future upper-level courses in French literature or civilization. Vocabulary pools build upon the basics (work, travel, food, family life, clothes) and introduce some new topics (introductory business French, describing political movements, quebecismes). Process-writing activities, plus pre-reading and post-reading exercises, foster improvement in reading and writing skills.

The Cahier presents additional oral and written review activities that target grammatical tools, vocabulary, verb conjugations, as well as supplementary culture and literature review activities. The online Cahier Electronique offers a multitude of optional "Pour aller plus loin" content-based expansion activities. These may be Internet activities or the study of additional literary texts, works of art, radio programs, news, music, films, or other cultural texts. The online "Pour aller plus loin" activities offer endless opportunities for student interaction with authentic texts in French.

The "Pour agir" section, also included in the Cahier Electronique, suggests related experiential, community-based, or service-learning projects. The idea of encouraging students to get out of the classroom and act on what they have learned is a truly unique feature of Intrigue. The aim of these projects is as much to enrich the overall educational experience of the students as to reinforce the learning of French language and Francophone cultures. While Intrigue prepares students for upper-level French courses, for many, the intermediate language course is merely a college requirement. Ten years after taking Intermediate French in college, most students will not remember how to conjugate the subjunctive. However, they may remember a volunteer project or a group outing of which they were a part. Experiential learning, which requires students to act on the knowledge and skills they have developed, not only makes learning French something "real" but also helps to instill more fundamental concepts such as awareness of cultural differences, openness to new ideas ... and perhaps even the desire to continue studying French at the upper levels.

The activities in the textbook are designed to reach a broad range of learners, addressing those with diverse learning styles, those with varying levels of preparation in French, and nontraditional adult students. Activities to practice each function or grammar point are scaled to different levels—each one including inductive activities, discrete activities, open-ended and interactive exercises—and are varied to reach students who may be visual or tactile learners, linear thinkers, or inductive reasoners. Instructors may choose the activities that best address the needs of their students.

The design and subject of the textbook are geared toward college-level and adult students, partly in response to the growing number of nontraditional older students in today's universities and partly to offer traditional-age college students material that they will find challenging and interesting. Not cluttered with cartoons or irrelevant "eye-catching" visual material that can be distracting, the story is what will draw the students to the page. The text assumes an intellectually mature and perceptive reader hindered only by his or her limited knowledge of French. The material presented to students in Intrigue aims to incite lively interaction and critical reflection, encouraging students to draw on their own life experiences, thereby rendering the subject of the course relevant to them personally.

Intrigue may be used for a full-year intermediate course or compressed into an intensive one-semester grammar review. The text and workbook alone offer opportunities for a basic intermediate course. Or the text and workbook can be used with a selection of the texts and activities suggested in "Pour aller plus loin" or "Pour agir," as a standard intermediate French course or a more challenging content-based intermediate course. The "Interlude" section—which offers short synopses of the plot events, a time line, and brief descriptions of the main characters—may be used as a mid-year review for a two-semester course. This way, a student who is beginning language study at the second-semester intermediate level can quickly get up to speed on the plot and skills reviewed in the first five chapters, or a student returning from a long break can refresh his or her memory.

As concerned educators in an age dominated by pop culture, true crime stories, action-adventure mysteries, and courtroom dramas, we want to reach out to our students and help them engage with the course material. Intrigue allows us to offer our students the best of both worlds: all of the fun of a mystery story combined with all of the educational value of a communicative French textbook.

Important Features of Intrigue

  • This innovative mystery-story textbook arouses student curiosity and encourages students to participate actively in understanding the story and related authentic documents, to discuss the content of chapter readings, to write about their opinions and reactions, and even to complete grammar review activities—all of which advance the plot and offer clues to solving the mystery. Students engage with the material as they work through the contextualized activities, which foster active communication and collaborative learning while lowering the affective filter.
  • The textbook is designed to meet the "five C's" of the standards for foreign language learning: Communication (accurate language use, achieved through contextualized language activities), Cultures (understanding different cultural perspectives, achieved through contextualized cultural information and authentic texts), Connections (interdisciplinary explorations, pr...

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