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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


La Guinguette

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.33 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Aug 10, 2002 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: La Guinguette is an online newletter produced by Lyon-based Discours et Methode
publishers of instructional materials for learning French. The newsletter
publishes articles that are divided into three themes: News, Culture, and
Society. Each article has an audio recording of the text. Users with fast
connections can listen to the article read in real time and those who do not can
download these audio files to his/her own computer. A printer-friendly version
of each article is also available.

Additionally, users can subscribe to a free e-mail bulletin that details the
contents of each new issue of La Guinguette. The newletter is published
fortnightly. Archived issues are available beginning in the year 2000.

The publishers also produce commercial products, such as CD-Roms of the best of
La Guinguette and other French language instructional materials.
Learning Goals: Learners can improve listening and reading comprehension with La Guinguette.
Cultural awareness and vocabulary expansion can also be enhanced.
Target Student Population: Intermediate and Advanced students of French language and civilization.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Intermediate to Advanced French language proficiency.
Type of Material: Online newsletter
Recommended Uses: Can be used on an independent study basis to improve listening, reading and
vocabulary. Articles can also be used in classrooms as a springboard for
discussion or writing assignments.
Technical Requirements: Real Audio

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The articles in La Guinguette are timely, yet have enough general relevance for
a long shelf life. For example, articles featured in 2002 issues highlight the
comedic genius of Jacques Tati, the popular French film Amelie, and hard news
coverage of the controversial French elections. Politics, international
commerce, and crime have also been covered. The newletter's content is
well-written and difficult expressions are glossed for French learners.

The archive feature allows educators to choose from a wide variety of subjects.
Instructors will find the cultural authenticity of the articles a definite plus
when presenting French culture to students.
Concerns: More glosssing of vocabulary and expressions used would benefit
intermediate-level learners.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Articles in this multimedia newsletter could be assigned for independent study
and could be used profitably by those who want to keep up or enhance their
French proficiency level outside the classroom. The facility to download and
review the text and audio makes these materials flexible to use.

Learning assignments featuring cloze exercises, comprehension questions, and
critical thinking exercises can easily be constructed around the articles, many
of which will fit right into the second and third year curricula, while others
can supplement the regular program and provide a chance to read authentic
French.
Concerns: None

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The facility to download the articles is a powerful feature. La Guinguette is
easy to navigate and the design is clear. The sound quality is good,
although users who insist on superioior sound quality might opt for the cd-rom
version. The e-mail bulletin is an extremely useful tool to remind educators to
check La Guinguette for its most recent articles.
Concerns: none

Other Issues and Comments: