Langue au chat is a site in two parts that treats the proper use of the French language. Section One provides clarification on tricky vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation issues and pitfalls. Created by a professional translator and editor, Daniel Roy, Langue au chat provides explanations for native speakers as well as second language learners on such topics as the ever difficult agreement of the past participle, difficult plural forms, the word "tout" in all of its forms and when to use "on" versus "l'on". Out of bilingual Canada, Langue au chat also provides French equivalents to Anglicisms that find their way into newspapers, magazines and other publications. This peer review will concern itself primarily with the resources in Section One.
Section Two, edited by Germain Savard, takes a more lighthearted approach to the use of the French language. Here the user will find crossword puzzles, word games and humorous examples of awkward or improper uses of the French language, affectionately known as "perles".
Type of Material:
Langue au chat is best used independently as a resource for writers, although it could be profitably incorporated into a classroom setting.
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Identify Major Learning Goals:
Section One of Langue au chat serves as a reference tool for the proper use of the French language.
Target Student Population:
Native and near-native speakers of French and advanced FL students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
An intermediate to advanced proficiency in French
Langue au chat provides answers to the tricky questions in phonetics, grammar and vocabulary. Its major value is in its use as a resource for writing. It promotes the importance of precision and accuracy, which can in turn help the writer to develop a more polished and correct French writing style. Its section on the correct prepositon to use with verbs is extensive and impressive. The external links are well-chosen and useful.
The author, who is himself a professional translator, cites reputable references in all of his explanations and provides a useful bibliography steering the user to valuable reference tools.
Langue au chat appears to be a continuing work in progress as the number of topics treated under various rubrics could be expanded. However, what is currently online is thoroughly researched and extremely useful. One can only hope that the number of these helpful units will increase.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Langue au chat is best used by writers who want to improve acuracy and perfect their French writng style. The amount of pertinent information is very easy to absorb and once the user visits langue au chat, he will surely return in search of additional help.There is a user's forum that allows users to post their own language questions which are answered with references cited. Faculty can use the sections "Improprietes", "Regles" and "Divers" to put a finer point on their classroom explanations.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The author makes a point of introducing the user to the straightforward navigation scheme of Langue au chat in an informative introductory text. Everything on the site is well-indicated and explained, including the loading time for the search engine.
Sections One and Two are neatly and graphically separated, giving the impression of two sites in one.
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