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Peer Review


by Anne-Loise Deberdt, Julie Eageaschwiller, Lilia Hamouchi, Bruno Jal, Luc Ratsimbazafy


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Dec 01, 2010 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: is a blog to help non-native speakers of French improve their listening and reading comprehension of the language by providing them with a wide variety of culturally authentic short video clips with complete transcriptions and cultural notes. Video clips are available in the following categories: Events, Student life, Everyday life, Sports, Holidays, Transportation, Faces, and Travel.
Type of Material: social networking tool
Recommended Uses: This website can serve multiple purposes: it can be use in-class for instructional and assessment purposes. It can be assigned as homework with specific questions and directions created by the instructor. Finally, people planning to travel to France can use this website as an information tool. The blog is ideal for use in French conversation classes: The transcriptions lend themselves easily to cloze paragraph work (in which the instructor erases select sections of the transcriptions, and then ask the students to fill in the blanks while watching the video). The transcriptions can also used to provide scaffolding for students whose listening comprehension skills are not yet strong enough to allow them to view a video without having first read and discussed the accompanying transcript. In addition, many of the videos would lend themselves well to use as supplementary material in college-level literature and cultural classes in which the topics coincided.
Technical Requirements: HTML/web browser, Flashplayer (to view YouTube videos)
Identify Major Learning Goals: Student will be able to listen to authentic French conversations and gain insight into French culture and civilization.
Target Student Population: French intermediate students in high school and college, as well as travelers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Intermediate level reading and listening comprehension skills in French. At least two years of French studies are desirable for full appreciation this resource

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The content of the site is both grammatically and culturally accurate. There is a large collection of video clips dealing with a wide variety of topics. The video are short enough to keep one's attention and to remain accessible for the intermediate language student, yet long enough to allow the listener to be exposed to typical French intonation, conversation fillers, and conversation expressions. The videos involve young adults in diverse situations (changing apartments, moving to start studying at a university far away from home, attending a rock concert, etc.) to which the college-age student can easily relate. The site provides authentic up-to-date listening material. It also contains links to other relevant and appropriate resources. Most of the themes covered by this site are consistent with the typical foreign language curriculum.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: • This site can be used to model and practice French language and assess student’s listening comprehension. • It serves to improve comprehension by listening with the aid of reading the transcripts. • It uses audiovisuals and pictures to increase comprehension • It provides an introduction, the context of conversations and a glossary of difficult words. Because the videos involve young adults in situations to which college-age students can relate, they will engage student learning.
Concerns: Providing online cloze exercises, or the possibility to complete a short dictation, (rather than simply posting complete transcriptions) would allow students to play a more active role in their learning.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The site is very easy to navigate, and very aesthetically pleasing. The most recent videos are posted on the site's homepage, and all other videos are neatly organized under one of the site's eight topical subdivisions.
Concerns: • There were a couple of video/sound links that were not working at the time of review. • A guide for the learner would help to insure full exploration of this material.

Other Issues and Comments: None.
Comments from Author: N/A