This web-based companion to the Accord textbook (published by Didier) can be best described as a self-correcting exercise book for beginners and low-intermediate learners. Oriented toward grammatical accuracy, they also require that the learner know basic vocabulary and idioms, discriminate between common homonyms, understand simple sentence structures and react appropriately to various, simple situations. Cultural references, such as place names, are also sometimes needed for correct completion of the exercises. A Japanese version is available.
Like the Accord method, these interactive exercises have been designed to prepare the students to take the first units of the DELF exam. Beginners and low-intermediate learners using other methods could benefit from the Accord site as well.
Target Student Population:
Beginners and low-intermediate learners of French language
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Proficiency at the aforementioned levels.
Type of Material:
Drill and practice
Evaluation and Observation
The exercises and their contents match the needs of elementary and low-intermediate users. They are neither too easy nor too difficult, and they invite the user to pay attention to the details of each specific situation. There is a good variety of topics and grammatical points covered, as well as phonetic exercises. There is feedback on every answer and the possibility to view the correct answers. No spelling or grammatical mistakes were found during our testing.
Perhaps in addition to providing feedback on grammatical correctness the website could also refer to the corresponding grammatical sections of the textbook or give a short explanation so that the users would learn from their mistakes.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Teachers and learners will appreciate the versatility of this website. It can be used in complement of or without the textbook. If not used with the text, it will be an excellent resource for homework, review, pre-test or test, as in-class activities or in self-paced instruction.
The phonetics exercises on liaison, homonyms and the general phonetics test are well-designed and useful for the second language learner.
A general, alphabetically-arranged index of grammatical terms and vocabulary categories would be helpful to those users who do not use the Accord print materials. An index would make the site a richer learning tool.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Users will find instructions on the home page as well as recommendations concerning diacritics and QuickTime (used in some audio samples). Navigation is made easy by the use of frames, the left one offering all the choices at any time. The website is divided in 2 levels of difficulty. Each level is in turn divided in 4 thematic folders which contain 3 sub-folders of 5 to 10 different exercises. There are only three or four majors selections to make: first,
choose between level 1 and level 2; then select one of the 4 themes (units) presented; finally select one exercise among the three sub-units presented.