Journey if you will with us for fifteen weeks across the globe and indeed time itself to learn the basics of French language and culture. Mark Twain once said of the French language, in his biography, “It has always been a marvel to me -- that French language; it has always been a puzzle to me. How beautiful that language is! How expressive it seems to be! How full of grace it is! (…) And, oh, I am always deceived--I always think I am going to understand it.” We will meander through French history and get to know some of its 64 kings as we savor French cuisine and sample some of its 246 kinds of fromage/cheese. (We may even pair it with some pain/bread as we watch Anthony Bourdain show us how a baguette is made!)
We will discover why such famed authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and others have flocked to Paris as the cultural capitol of Europe. According to the France Travel Guide.com, “When it comes to style, art, culture, food and drink, the French are the undisputed kings and Paris is their crown jewel”. You’ll learn to sing the French national anthem, la Marseillaise, and learn why the fleur-de-lys has always been such a good luck charm for French kings.
But French-speaking culture does not leave off at the hexagon’s borders… Pas du tout! There is a vast Francophonie beyond the land of Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon. Indeed, two out of every three Francophones (French-speakers) live outside of France. The Francophonie, an official organization, consists of 56 member states with others as Associates and Observers. From Cameroon to Côte d’Ivoire, the DOM-TOM, Seychelles to Djibouti, all sharing a common French-speaking cultural heritage.
Most of the resources we will use to learn all of this are online-but don’t look toward Facebook or Twitter! Did you know that even saying the names is banned in France in the media unless absolutely necessary for a news story? We will learn why this is and so much more in the next 15 weeks. Buckle up, and allons-y (we’re off)!
Prerequisites: An open mind and excitement to learn about a different culture, country, and way of life. The course is taught primarily in English with French phrases sprinkled liberally throughout. It is designed for students whose English language skills are very strong. This is an introductory course; no prior knowledge of French is required. A readiness to fall in love with all things French and perhaps become a Francophile ! or at the very least to better understand Francophone language and culture.
1. To introduce students to French and Francophone culture, traditions, and people.
2. To introduce basic survival French.
3. To involve and interest students, as well as provide a frame of reference for French I course.
French and Francophone culture and people: most emphasis.
Speaking and reading survival French: most emphasis.
Listening to and writing survival French: some emphasis.
French language grammar: little emphasis.
French language and culture
Kinds of Assignments:
- Reading materials with illustrations
- Online videos
- Weekly discussions
- Virtual trips to Francophone cities and towns
- Travel Blogs
- Exercises and assignments, individual and group
- Bi-weekly quizzes and two exams
- Extra-credit assignments
- French/Francophone History group project
- “Mom, Dad, I am going to a French-speaking country!” group/individual project: personalized traveling guide to France/la Francophonie
- “French in My Future” essay
- My Favorites list
Technology requirements: Students will, of course, need Internet access. They will also need access to presentation software such as Power Point but if they prefer an online equivalent such as Prezi or similar, that is fine too. They will need whichever plugins the Web sites we use may require and a media player of some type, such as RealPlayer, Quicktime, or their equivalent. They may need Adobe Flash as well or a workaround thereof if no Flash for some sites.
Their school’s firewalls will need to permit sites such as YouTube and others which will be assigned or, if it does not, they should make arrangements to access such sites elsewhere (may be necessary with Facebook and Twitter). This course requires students to have access to a computer with headphones, a microphone, and software to record voice and save in .WAV or a similar format. Many different, innovative Internet resources will be utilized in the course so students will have to be ready to learn how to use them at the site and read the directions or watch a tutorial.
Accredited by: Middle State Commission on Secondary Schools
9, 10, 11, 12, 13
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AdvancED, Certified by NCAA for initial-eligibility (VHS School Code: 221356), Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools