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Peer Review

Clip Class' - Learn French with videos !

by Ulrike Albers


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4.25 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.25 starsstar
Reviewed: Feb 22, 2011 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: Clip Class Learning French with videos is a site addressed to advanced beginner/intermediate learners. While playing short videos one meets some French Lycéens who give information about themselves and their school life. They are exchange students spending a couple of weeks in Austria. After each video the learner is asked different questions about what he just heard. What did the French Lycéens talk about? Which words did they use? Did they answer the question properly ? Which answer goes with which question? What is the general idea? As you make progress, the questions get more difficult and more specific. As the videos get harder to understand, a transcript is provided and sometimes you can access hints. These activities bring up cultural differences between Austrian and French High school. A tutorial is provided to practice some particular points of the French accent. The site also offers a module to work on certain verbs and propose grammar exercises to work on verbs (present, passé composé and imparfait) based on a mix of blanks and listening comprehension. All the exercises are immediately corrected. The explanations are given in Français English Español and Deutsch.Links to dictionaries and translation tools are available.
Type of Material: Online course and activities. Tutorial.
Recommended Uses: Independent use and in class for demonstration purposes.The listening and answering of question can be done in class. The teacher can use these “ documents authentiques” to point out certain characteristics of pronunciation as well as some cultural specificity of “le lycée à la française”.
Technical Requirements: Video player, software to record sound, microphone
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students can do tutorials on some grammar points, pronunciation of typically difficult French vowels (like the {y}) and consonants {r}, and listening comprehension.
Target Student Population: Students at a variety of CEFR levels, beginning with A1-A2
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic familiarity with French

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The site is completely in French but can be seen in 3 different languages. It does have a clear purpose, is current and shows language in context.The speakers are natives; the language used is colloquial language.The interviews raise useful cultural points. The brief grammatical modules are nicely done. Every exercise is built using a contextual text. The videos are useful for practicing structures that are reviewed in every good French class. At the time of review, the phonetics, grammar and video interview sections were all free to use. There is a Moodle course on the site that is available for a fee. That section is not covered in this review.
Concerns: The French used here is a spoken language as some young people speak it. It might be confusing for some learners, because it doesn't always respect grammatical rules. Even the texts used for the verbs are using colloquial language and nowhere is it reminded that the forms are not appropriate for formal writing.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The use of video in conjunction with pronunciation drills is excellent, because one can clearly see the shape of the mouth as the speaker repeats a sound. For difficult sounds like {y} and {r}, the visuals help. An independent learner can spend as long as they need to on this drill. The dictionary choices are not exhaustive, but there are some of the best provided: Word Reference, Media Dico and others. The interviews were few at the time of this review, however they make good material for listening comprehension.
Concerns: Teacher guidance is still necessary for intermediate students to help them detect informal expressions and point out the differences between the spoken and written language.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: It is extremely easy to use and has clear and consistent instructions. The presentation is plain and efficient. The activities are interactive. The multimedia is working well and fast.It is fairly simple to navigate Clip Class.
Concerns: no

Other Issues and Comments: no