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France Bienvenue revisited

This is in the way of a reminder about an excellent website I haven't blogged about for a long time. I'm always impressed when teachers maintain something of a high standard over a long period and this is a good example.

France Bienvenue, with its strapline De vraies conversations pour apprendre le français comme on le parle et tout pour les comprendre is well worth a visit if you teach advanced level French.

The recipe has always been the same. Teacher Anne from the IUT Marseille has, each year since 2008, got a small team of her students to record weekly conversations for the benefit of French learners around the world. Each conversation is accompanied by some sort of video (sometimes just slides which illustrate the topic), a transcript of the conversation and a glossary of language used with explanations in French. The conversations often have a distinct cultural element and give a nice flavour of student life in the Marseilles area.

Anne writes:

Comprendre une langue telle qu’on la parle au quotidien, ce n’est pas toujours facile, surtout si on ne vit pas dans le pays où on parle cette langue!
Alors, nous avons envie de partager avec vous ces petites conversations authentiques que nous enregistrons avec nos amis, nos proches ou d’autres pour que vous puissiez entendre le français tel qu’on le parle ici en France, à Marseille et ailleurs.
Vos suggestions ou vos questions sont les bienvenues. Vous pouvez nous laisser vos commentaires, en français ou dans une autre langue ! (Si c’est en espagnol, en italien ou en allemand, nous nous débrouillerons pour comprendre !)

She also presents the site here.

The topics covered are wide-ranging and, in recent times, have included: holidays, dance, Christmas, horse-riding, food, living together at 19, work placements and the Stade Vélodrome in Marseilles.

The language used is authentic, of course, usually well-paced for A-level and the presence of the transcripts means you can design effective multi-skill lessons centred on listening. You could copy and paste the scripts, creating gap-fills, reading comprehension tasks or retranslation tasks. It's refreshing to have material which isn't textbook-style, artificial-sounding material, necessary though that is. Sound quality is good and the content often interesting.

You could use the recordings from the front of the class or have students listen and read on tablets, laptops or in a computer room. It is possible to listen with only the beginning of the transcript visible. I have over the years designed occasional worksheets for to go with France Bienvenue material.

Do let me know if you know of anything else similar.


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