The Comme on dit French Language Program, developed by the University of Chicago’s Claude Grangier and Nadine Di Vito, with Marie Berg, is the only entirely discourse-based introductory- and intermediate-level French method that presents the language as it is actually spoken by native speakers, provides students with all of the lexical and structural tools they need to talk about their world, and fully engages them in all stages of the learning process. It is designed to promote conversational ability similar to that of a university-educated French native speaker, for which grammatical accuracy is paramount. Consequently, grammar is at the core of the method, with its presentation tightly linked both to the demands of the communicative activity and to the establishment of a solid grammatical foundation. Hundreds of non-scripted audio and video segments of more than 50 educated native speakers of standard French form the backbone of Comme on dit and C’est ce qu’on dit. These segments present the grammatical and lexical core structures used by native French speakers for the language functions targeted in each unit. They also present a wide array of accents and individual ways of speaking as well as a diversity of listening contexts (from studio to on-site recordings, complete with accompanying typical background noise), helping students develop both native-like ways of speaking and broad listening skills.
Taking to heart the notion that we learn best what we work through ourselves, the textbooks have a workbook format, and as such the dominant exercise type, exercice, requires students’ active engagement. These exercices have a variety of functions that depend on the larger acquisitional goal at hand. They may help students to discover, review, or practice grammar or pronunciation rules. They may lead students to build vocabulary, practice listening skills, focus on culture, or engage in different types of meaningful communicative interactions. By the end of each unit, students have had many opportunities to practice and synthesize what they have learned, both individually and in groups, and orally and in writing.
The Comme on dit French Language Program provides instructors with an array of resources to help them maximize the program’s effectiveness and fully utilize the method. To this end, annotated teachers’ editions of Comme on dit and C’est ce qu’on dit contain filled-in answers, directions for presenting different types of exercices, and marginal notes giving more information on specific exercices. In addition, instructors have access to:
- The instructor’s manual
- Quizzes for in-class use
- Sample midterm and final exams
- Transcripts of online listening comprehension activities
- Suggested grading guidelines for writing assignments
- And more!