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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Histoire de l'immigration en France

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Dec 02, 2005 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: L'Histoire de l'immigration en France is an impeccably designed online video
presentation produced by the Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'immigration en
France. It is part of a permanent online exhibit that precedes the completion of
a brick and mortar Museum on Immigration History that is scheduled to open in
2007. The web site that contains the video also has related thematic and
chronological dossiers on the topic of immigration. There are lists of resources
on the topics and a current events section featuring very recent articles on
immigration issues. The site, like the museum, is currently under construction.
However, this does not prevent it from being a rich teaching resource now.

The video that is the focus of the review is made up of a prologue and seven
chronological segments that trace the role and integration of immigrants in
French society and culture. The video is made up of historic and modern still
photos coupled with a very clearly enunciated narration. It can be viewed and
discussed in segments or all at once in its entirety. Viewers can easily start,
stop and rewind it.
Learning Goals: Learners will develop their knowledge base and critical sense of the role of the
immigrant in French society.
Target Student Population: Advanced students of French language, history and/or politics.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Advanced level listening comprehension in French is a necessity.
Type of Material: Video and html/text materials
Recommended Uses: For in-class or online discussion and as a companion to lessons on immigration.
Technical Requirements: Flash player and a high-speed connection

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The immigrant story unfolds with an initial older photograph of an African man
in uniform with a young European boy, side by side looking straight into the
camera. This picture fades into a far more modern portrait of three young women,
one of African descent, another of Asian origins, and a third European. These
images are the focus as the narration begins with the textbook phrase "Nos
ancêtres les Gaulois" (Our ancestors, the Gauls) The phrase is a point of
departure for a chronological study of the inhabitants of France today, those
who are descendants of the earliest known peoples of the region and those who
came to seek refuge, asylum and a better life.

Instructors will recognize a rich resource for cultural discussions. The
narrative
itself offers rich statements that can be explored, further discussed, and
debated. Given the recent spotlight on immigration in France and in other areas
throughout the world, the video can be a very useful springboard for discussion.
While viewing the video, users can stop at any time to explore chronologic and
thematic dossiers. The individual chronological dossiers each
treat the struggles of an ethnic group and their experience of adaptation to the

new French environment. The "Dossier Thématiques" documents are few at the
moment: one on L'Affiche rouge, which talks about immigrants who joined the
Resistance after fleeing their own countries' repression, and another on "La
France qui gagne", which deals with the immigrant role in French sports.
On the same Cité website, under Projet de la Cité, A la Une, users can find up
to date articles about immigration stories in the news. At the time of this
review, the articles were very current.
Concerns: As the Cité project develops, it will be interesting to hear more of the
actual recorded immigrant voices. Interviews and oral histories from the
immigrants themselves would be a welcome feature.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The video can be used for in-class or online discussion and debate. Students can
use this video as background before reading literary works by Francophone
writers who have lived or are currently residing in France. The video can be
used in a cross-cultural comparison on experiences of immigrants in other
countries. There is abundant stimulation for written assignments and even
term papers based on the theme as a whole or any one of its segments.
Faculty will appreciate the material for listening comprehension supported
by the rich collection of photographs presented. The video segments lend
themselves to the development of units for which questions for a comprehension
learning assignment may be designed.
Concerns:

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The video is very easy to use. The audio is clear and the images support the
audio very well. Users can control volume, rewind, fast forward, and pause,
all features that enhance listening comprehension practice. Users can also skip
around in the video and access the precise historical period they wish.
Concerns: High speed access is a must. The web site is clearly under construction, but
updated regularly which gives the user confidence that it will constantly
improve.

Other Issues and Comments: