Seventh edition of this popular self-study guide for students of French. Each chapter covers a grammar point: a part of speech (noun, verb, pronoun), a word's . retouwingere.tk: English Grammar for Students of French: The Study Guide for Those Learning French, Side-By-Side French and English Grammar, 3rd Edition.
The textbook could present a more inclusive view of the culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse French society. It could also integrate more the Francophone world. They provide a plethora of multimedia resources and activities that would meet the needs of the most demanding instructor the companion website gives the possibility to reconfigure the flow of the textbook by downloading individual chapters.
Fillable PDF files for exercises would provide great convenience for online courses. Great textbook and even "greater" companion website. The textbook is very comprehensive, covering all the primary vocabulary topics classroom, calendar, countries, weather, seasons, transportation, parts of body, food, locations, holidays, housing, entertainment, clothing, etc The book appears to be very accurate.
I did not detect any typos or grammatical errors. It might take a semester or two of use in the classroom to verify this, however. The content covered is fairly universal and is unlikely to become obsolete in the foreseeable future. Instructions and explanations are concise and clear. In some cases, the student is directed to go to the website for a longer explanation of grammatical points, so that might be considered a limitation on its clarity in some cases. The book is divided into 13 chapters, but chapters are not divided into topics or sections.
Exercises proceed directly from vocabulary activities to grammatical activities with no change of subheading, topic, or section. Grammatical notes are listed in the margins. Although it is fairly easy to assign readings based on page numbers, it would be helpful to have chapter content broken down into smaller units.
Chapters are presented in a logical, clear fashion, with more complex verb tenses and grammatical points being introduced after simpler or more basic ones. In the printed copy, images are sometimes unclear because of the paper type and because the printed copy is in black and white. Photos are in color on the website and downloadable pdf versions.
In both the printed copy and the downloadable chapter pdf files, grammatical information in the margins or in gray text on a lighter gray background.
This might be somewhat harder to read due to the low contrast between font and background color, but is not terribly problematic on the whole. The printed copy might pose a problem for students with certain reading or vision disabilities. The pdf files should be less of a problem, as students can zoom in for a closer look at hard-to-read print. The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. The book does attempt to include some cultural diversity, by including Jewish and Muslim holidays as well as Christian ones, in the chapter on holidays, and by including a few recipes from non-Western cultures in the food chapter, for example.
However, diversity is somewhat limited in the photos, as the majority of them appear to have been taken during a study abroad trip featuring young, mostly Caucasian students, most of whom are probably American.
Likewise, the book mascot is a cartoon armadillo named Tex who wears a beret. The occasional references to Tex and Texas, along with the limited diversity, might make it a difficult choice for universities outside of Texas. In addition to the textbook, which can be downloaded in pdf format by chapter , each of which can be assembled and printed as a hard copy, the website offers numerous supplementary resources online.
For example, there are verb practice activities which enable students to practice conjugating various verbs in all the basic verb tenses. There are also exercises associated with each lesson on the website. And there are short videos corresponding to each chapter.
The sound is fairly clear in these, but images are sometimes blurred, and there are fewer authentic francophone accents and dialects represented than one might prefer.
Given that this is all free, it is quite the resource. Assigning the online readings and short exercises associated with them, plus a few exercises from the textbook itself, might be sufficient for homework, but it is less interactive than what the major publishers are providing these days, and additional supplementary content may have to be created by the instructor.
As more and more publishers move to offering free digital textbooks with the purchase of access to online homework and other supplementary materials, and with many language programs using textbooks like this one for all four lower-level courses, the question of textbook costs are less of a concern than that of the quality and cost of supplementary materials.
But for instructors and departments who decide to forego the bells and whistles and who are looking for a good, solid lower-level French textbook with some basic supplementary materials available online, this textbook is an excellent choice. The PDF textbook is error free. Some external links on the textbook website are broken. Because the textbook was developed for students at the University of Texas-Austin, it has a lot of cultural references to places and people around Austin and Texas that might be lost on students at other schools.
For example, one of the characters in the grammar activities is a dim-witted squirrel named Joe-Bob from College Station. This detail had been lost on me until a student from Texas explained it to me. When using this textbook to teach, I've simply replace their Texas references with people and places that are more relevant to students in Oregon.
The text is clear and accessible. Instructions in chapters 0 and 1 are in English, but in French in all subsequent chapters. The consistency and continuity within the chapters, however, allows for a smooth, hardly noticeable transition for students. Every chapter is built using the same framework. They each have their own website with a link to the chapter PDF, a brief introduction to the chapter and introductory video, a list of vocabulary with an auditory function so students can listen and repeat vocab words on their own time, a pronunciation lesson, links to TEX's grammar activities that are relevant to each chapter, and a series of videos which use the chapter's content in authentic contexts.
Within each actual textbook chapter are a variety of reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities. The activities build on each other and are well scaffolded, which contributes to a strong sense of continuity between chapter and activities. Due to how both the chapters build on one another in terms of grammar and vocabulary presentation, I think it would be difficult to divise the chapters or to change their order without significant adjustments.
However, the activities in each chapter are divisible and easy to rearrange. Each chapter begins with some activities which incorporate thematic vocabulary and introduces the theme of the chapter. These activities are then followed by some interactive grammar activities which use examples from the preceding exercises to contextualize the grammar. Interactive grammar activities are normally followed by speaking and writing exercises which focus on interaction through group or pair work. The interface is pretty clear cut but the chapter homepages can be overwhelming for students at first as they are learning a new language and how to navigate the online platform at the same time.
I have not detected any grammatical errors. In the textbook, grammar is presented inductively through interactive activities which allow students to infer rules through use. TEX's grammar provides a more deductive grammar presentation that students can consult outside of class and is an excellent resource for new students who are learning a certain grammar point for the first time. It's also a good resource for more advanced students who are looking to brush up.
The textbook focuses mainly on France and French culture and would benefit from incorporating a more Francophone perspective through readings, photos, and cultural comparisons between different French speaking countries. The textbook activities are conducive to communicative in-class activities and promote grammar and vocab acquisition.
In my experience, students have found the cultural notes interesting and the activities engaging. It includes fourteen chapters, organized thematically, plus a glossary. The simplest and most logical way to divide the content would be to cover seven chapters per semester and , but one could also use it over three semesters , , and add a supplement like a reader for the last semester.
The textbook appears accurate and unbiased throughout. I found one typographical error, the word "acess" instead of "access" on page 3. The vocabulary and content are mostly up to date, but the book is centered around French culture of continental France. The organization and structure is flexible enough, however, that aspects of diverse francophone cultures Louisiana, the Antilles, Africa, the Pacific could be easily integrated.
It needs some updating as far as the content. For instance, instructors would have to explain or omit the Simpsons, the Teletubbies, and Lance Armstrong and replace them with something more contemporary. It has a significant amount of graphic organizers photos, lists, graphs, grids that make it flow well. There is a nice combination of consistency, balance, and variety. Several pages of vocabulary begin each lesson and there is the right balance of listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises throughout.