The purpose of this website is to practice past narration in French using the passé composé and the imparfait. The first part is comprised of a series of past tense exercises with immediate feedback. The user views some Quicktime videoclips and is then prompted to describe the action using the passé composé or the imperfect form. There are currently thirteen videoclips that depict a variety of situations with past actions. The second part of the web site requires the viewing of a popular feature-length film, Le fabuleux destin dAmélie Poulain. This film can be rented at most video stores. The title in English is Amélie. Upon viewing the film, the user can complete the Grammaire Visuelle activities that focus on the correct use of past tenses.
Type of Material:
Videoclips and self-correcting activities
Homework and in-class work on passé composé and imparfait
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The learner will discover and improve comprehension of the correct usage of French past tenses.
Target Student Population:
French language learners studying past tense narration
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
French vocabulary and language proficiency sufficient to complete tasks on past narration
This is a very straightforward site on a topic of perennial difficulty for beginning French students - the correct use of past forms. Visual learners will appreciate the simple everyday situations that serve as a basis for the exercises. The exercises have far more appeal than drills that are completely text-based. The learner has the opportunity to internalize the information on the proper past form by using visual cues and eyewitness observation. The popular feature film Amélie is another platform to review these forms. The film exposes learners to authentic and grammatically correct language use in a setting that is rich in culture. In completing this exercise, students get much more than a grammar lesson, even while perfecting their past narration skills.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This web site can be a useful tool in class or for independent study. Faculty can project the scenes on a large screen and have students describe them orally, perhaps in small groups.
The film expansion exercise could make a wonderful extra credit project for students who seek further practice of past tenses.
A possible enhancement would be a glossary of some of the vocabulary in the videoclips. (computer, PDA, pacifier, teddy bear,etc.)
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Grammaire Visuelle is very easy to use. Having the accent marks right on the screen is a nice feature. The videos pop up quickly and are clear and effective for their purpose. The design is simple with an emphasis on functionality.
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