Tout un Monde: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Intermediate French
Alicia Soueid, University of Texas
Copyright Year: 2019
Publisher: Mavs Open Press
Conditions of Use
The textbook includes a very small index, a "lexique" French-English and English-French. It has no table of contents. It is presented as intermediate but only covers half of a normal intermediate college program, and the second half since it has... read more
The textbook includes a very small index, a "lexique" French-English and English-French. It has no table of contents.
It is presented as intermediate but only covers half of a normal intermediate college program, and the second half since it has advanced structures such as future, conditional and subjunctive.
There is a nice attempt to include vocabulary in the feminine for words that are usually in the masculine (ie: une chercheuse en médecine p.2).
There is absolutely nothing about race, about the colonial past of France, about the International Organization of the Francophonie, about issues of race and multiculturalism or immigration in France. There is nothing about social class.
The textbook is very much based on historical events, visual documents of past centuries (medieval times, 16th, 17th, 18th): ie. past scientists (Ambroise Paré), past professions (laitière, abbé, abbesse, tavernier), the most recent car mentioned is a 2 CV. The very few literary texts are poems from either the 16th century in an obsolete language to our students, or poems from the 18th century. The pictures are of historical objects, people or buildings. The documents reproduced are very old historical documents.
The explanation on the feminine of certain profession (auteur/ autrice) is already obsolete but can be easily changed since it is not built in the core of the chapter.
Clear except for the choice of vocabulary that is too specialized and unnecessarily difficult for this level (la région céphalique? les hespérides?)
There are grammar points that are presented followed by exercises.
Given that the vocabulary builds on itself throughout each chapter, smaller sections of the book can be assigned in the order they are presented.
It is unclear why the same chapter focuses on a major verb tense (ie. Conditional) and some specific verbs in the present.
Chapter 2 has an exercise that demands the use of the imperative without any review of it (p.45).
Easy to navigate if you just follow continuously.
Explanations are accessible and free of jargon.
There is nothing on the ethnic diversity or the global impact of France/ French language. It is very France-centered with some things about Québec (la cabane à sucre). This ends up stereotyping Québec and ignoring the diversity of the Francophone world. The only culture in the book is grounded on research that students have to do on the internet: it is too open and lacks the structure needed at that level. The historical events are very much about the French history of the metropole. A lot of the topics are about objects, not people. If people are presented, they are white historical figures.
The book doesn't align well with ACTFL standards, is very grammar-based and very white French-centered. It doesn't provide with progressive writing exercises (from sentence to paragraphs) or with many communicative activities.
This textbook is intended as an intermediate level resource, and for that purpose it seems well suited in terms of the grammar and vocabulary that it covers, and in what it assumes students already know. The vocabulary lists seem particularly... read more
This textbook is intended as an intermediate level resource, and for that purpose it seems well suited in terms of the grammar and vocabulary that it covers, and in what it assumes students already know. The vocabulary lists seem particularly extensive and complete. I appreciated, as one example, the section on "Le féminin des métiers," which other books I've taught from have largely passed over. The historical and cultural references are generally interesting, though somewhat limited in scope, focusing primarily on France and Quebec. I will be supplementing this text with material from other, especially non-European, Francophone cultures.
I found the content to be very accurate and unbiased.
This is one of the more recent OER textbooks for this subject (published in 2019), and as such, it is far less dated than many others. Sections on topics such as climate, modern professions (thought taught alongside historical professions, a neat touch), la parfumerie, etc., keep the book targeted to today's college students well enough to hold their interest as well as any.
The book is written pretty clearly, and laid out in a 3-chapter scheme that is easily navigable. It is entirely in French, which is appropriate for the intended level. The grammar presentations, seemingly more inductive to lead the students to discern the rules and structures, could use more overt explanation. That's easily remedied by an individual professor, however, and could make a nice classroom complement to what students will get out of the book as they study outside of class.
The text defines its three main chapters and presents the material within them logically and consistently.
I interpret modularity as the ability to assign and work on smaller sections within the whole, and to jump from one activity or topic to another, and the links within the text facilitate that.
This book is well-organized, and the topics within each of the larger sections flow together just fine. The images are beautiful and made the pages much easier to absorb, especially for anyone who struggles to read longer passages of text on a screen.
No issues with the pages, images, navigation, etc. Everything functioned fine and the layout of activities, text, and images looked excellent.
I did not notice any grammatical errors or incorrect examples/exercises.
Perhaps my biggest critique is, as I mentioned above, the centrality of French and Canadian cultural references to the exclusion of other global Francophone cultures. That said, this shortcoming is readily addressed by bringing additional materials into the course from the web and other books and sources.
On the whole, I am impressed with this book and plan to implement it in my intermediate French courses beginning in the spring of 2023. It will be easy to incorporate my own aural/oral activities, films, and readings from world cultures. There are sufficient practice exercises in this text, so I believe a separate workbook would be unnecessary. I'm grateful to have this as an option to replace the older works that had previously been available, and I expect it to work well for my students.
This is a surprisingly comprehensive language textbook, given its relatively short length; there are only three chapters, but they each include an impressive amount of material. All of the important grammar structures are covered, and there is a... read more
This is a surprisingly comprehensive language textbook, given its relatively short length; there are only three chapters, but they each include an impressive amount of material. All of the important grammar structures are covered, and there is a wealth of vocabulary and accompanying exercises woven in. There is an index, which lists the major topics and structures, but I think it would have been more helpful to include a table of contents instead. The glossary is extensive and attractively laid out.
The content is accurate and unbiased. I think I noticed only one minor typo.
One of the strengths of this book (recently published in 2019) is that it offers topics and material that are completely relevant and interesting to university students. It is especially helpful that it offers material related to modern professions and fields; this will be very appealing to a wide range of students. I really like how it includes a number of exercises that require searches online, or further investigation of certain websites (links are embedded in the textbook). These engaging activities add a nice interactive touch.
Everything is clear and well written.
The framework of the textbook is consistent.
There is a clear pattern to each chapter, and each one begins with a list of the vocabulary topics and the grammar structures. Within each chapter, exercises are marked by letters, and a clearly visible blue bar introduces new topic headings. It would be very easy to refer to pages and exercises without any confusion.
At first glance, it may seem that the material in the textbook is presented in a random or haphazard fashion. However, when going through it more carefully, I realized that it actually flows very well; it departs from the traditional rigid framework of language instruction textbooks (it's more about flow than it is about sections), and I find that to be very refreshing. This is more like an engaging book to read through and interact with than it is a book full of vocabulary sets or dry grammar drills.
The interface is wonderful and there are no issues with it whatsoever. The images are beautiful and one of the highlights of the book. The book is handsomely designed overall.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
One of my primary critiques of this book is its lack of a wide range of Francophone cultures. A few are touched upon in passing here and there, but the primary emphasis is on France and Europe. This is quite surprising for a recently published textbook. If I were to adopt this textbook for my intermediate French class, there is no question that I would have to supplement it with material related to non-European Francophone cultures. That said, the content related to French culture is excellent; there are poems interspersed here and there, along with art works, a wide range of historical figures, and references to scientific fields.
One of the great achievements of the book, in my opinion, is that it offers grammar review without making it obvious; in other words, the grammar becomes interesting by virtue of the interesting themes and topics. When teaching at the intermediate level, I often find myself struggling to use textbooks in creative ways, and this book allows breathing room for a multitude of follow-up lessons or activities. Despite its admirable amount of content, I do think the book could have been a bit more comprehensive; I suspect that I would have to supplement with a good deal of my own material in order to make it work in the classroom, but this is not necessarily a big drawback. All in all, I think that this offers an engaging resource for students and opportunities for instructors to be more imaginative and up to date with course content. If this textbook is updated in the future, I hope to see more inclusive material related to non-European Francophone cultures.
There are definitely a multitude of topics covered in the textbook, over three long chapters. However, there is no table of content, which makes it difficult to know what to expect of the book and its organization. I like the variety of themes,... read more
There are definitely a multitude of topics covered in the textbook, over three long chapters. However, there is no table of content, which makes it difficult to know what to expect of the book and its organization. I like the variety of themes, that are unique to this textbook.
The grammtical, lexical and cultural content appear accurate and I didn't notice mistakes or typos.
The textbook is from 2019 with very professionally-oriented themes, so very relevant for our students' population. The professional focus is important as our students need to be more prepared for a career, with strong foundations in French. The topics can easily carry through time and will not age quickly. However, there is a definite lack of personalization of the activities. Some topics seem a little off, for example under "se construire une meilleure vie" there is an activity about mosquitoes, which would be okay but there is no context to the subtopic.
The language is very accessible for 2nd or 3rd year levels.
I am not sure how to answer to this. In some ways, there is a consistency as the themes move quickly and the subsections are short, but at the same time, I don't know what to expect as I move along the textbook. Sometimes, it is about grammar, sometimes vocabulary. Sometimes there are several activities to practice the grammar and vocabulary, sometimes there are very few.
One point I was surprised not to see was a table of content, with a layout of how the scope and sequence was organized, as well as a clear objective-based outline. Without the table of content, it makes it very challenging for the instructor to know what to plan. The book is also not based on either the American or European proficiency frameworks, which I am surprised about since it dates from 2019. The fact that it is targeted to intermediate levels is not justified by the author. The fact that the grammar section appears at the end of the main chapters is not condusive to ease of teaching and lesson plan organization.
The book is divided into three large chapters, which is unusual, but at the same time, it appears to make a lot of sense as well based on the themes. Because the 1st page of each chapter is hyperlinked to the secondary section, it makes it easy to navigate the content. In order to bring students to notice sections, bright orange tables are used.
The communication focused piece of the book is not clear. By adding a introduction to guide the learners in their journey for each chapter might be helpful.
I find it very interesting to bring up some of the grammatical features within the explanation of activities. However, the practice uin the 1st half of the chapters is very limited and it seems that students would not be able to acquire much based on those activities alone. I do like the Analyse inductive sections and I think they should be present a lot more.
The last section of the chapters is all about grammar but is completely decontextualized from the rest of the chapter.
A lot of my comments above would possibly apply here as well.
I didn't notice any issues with the interface.
I didn't notice any issues with the grammar.
There are definitely good references of cultural aspects that could be viewed as "non-traditional" as it talks about historical origins or just general topics that would be very relevant to learners at a college level. The pictures are a great cultural source and bring a lot of support to the content of the book.
I think there are a lot of positives to this textbook. However, there is a definite lack of oral communication opportunities. The activities are very focused on short answers, with no push for language proficiency and personal answers.
Despite the wealth of the topics, I find them somewhat eclectic at times (for example, one activity goes from macrophagis to Giverny gardens), without giving enough time to explore them, either grammar wise or lexis wise.
I would recommend the book as a secondary source but NOT as a textbook for a class.
The textbook covers the grammar at this level quite well, and covers many different facets of French culture and history. While there is also some emphasis on Quebec, the text could be more comprehensive in including more Francophone topics. The... read more
The textbook covers the grammar at this level quite well, and covers many different facets of French culture and history. While there is also some emphasis on Quebec, the text could be more comprehensive in including more Francophone topics. The glossary is extensive, though I am not sure it is really needed.
I saw no errors or bias in the text, unless one counts the emphasis on France to the exclusion of other French-speaking areas in the world as error or bias.
The textbook is from 2019, and the cultural discussions and references are very contemporary.
The textbook is very clearly written, and entirely in French. The text could use some more explanations when discussing grammar.
The text builds on vocabulary and topics presented, and does so in a way that is consistent.
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections, and the internal links facilitate this fact. The text can be studied in its entirety or it can be broken up for use in various other contexts or with other texts or topics.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical and clear fashion. The striking images, clear explanations, and engaging exercises aid this presentation.
I found no interface or navigation problems whatsoever. The visual aspect/presentation of this text is quite stunning, actually.
I found no grammatical errors. Grammar explanations could be clearer at times, however, though I appreciate that these explanations are always in French.
While the cultural material on France and Quebec is extensive and very engaging, there is virtually no emphasis on other Francophone cultures.
What a beautiful and relevant/contemporary book, with striking images and engaging exercises of all kinds (grammar, literature, history, contemporary culture)! I plan to incorporate this book in my teaching this summer, for my Intermediate II course. Would there had been discussions about French cinema (though the discussion about French commercials was great) and more discussion about possible essay topics and writing assignments. Oral exercises to accompany the written exercises may also have been useful. But a stunning achievement, really.
This book does not comprehensively address the language content and skills typically addressed in an intermediate-level French textbook. It is as though this is "part 1" of a 2-part project, or this book could be used in conjunction with other... read more
This book does not comprehensively address the language content and skills typically addressed in an intermediate-level French textbook. It is as though this is "part 1" of a 2-part project, or this book could be used in conjunction with other resources (to address aural and reading skills) in a first semester Intermediate French course. Instructors may be more apt to use this resource if it included an additional three similarly-conceived chapters for the second semester of Intermediate French. It could then be considered truly comprehensive.
The content that is presented in the book appears to accurate, error-free, and unbiased.
The content is up-to-date and grounded in a historical and literary context (especially through the choice of vocabulary and images/illustrations) that will cause it to have longevity for all students as well as particular relevance for students who plan to continue their student of French to include French and francophone literature and culture.
The text is written in simple, clear French. This is advantageous because it allows the intermediate French student to "capture" grammatical and historical terms in context.
The textbook has a consistent format that allows it to be predictable in its presentation of vocabulary, grammatical concepts, and the practice of the same.
This textbook could easily be reformatted to be used in conjunction with other materials (aural practice, reading passages, additional grammar instruction/review, etc.). If such reformatting was done, this text could possibly be used for two semesters of Intermediate French.
This textbook presents information in a logical, clear fashion.
The downloaded pdf displayed the textbook clearly and easily.
The text is free of grammatical errors.
The text appears to be culturally inclusive and not euro-centric. For example, cultural references and images include those from francophone Europe as well those from the French-speaking world.
The textbook does not include current images of individuals. If it did, it would make it have less longevity, of course. But on the other hand, it would make it more culturally relevant and attractive to students. Students would be able to connect visually with images of people similar to them (or different from them). Of course, instructors can supplement the text with video resources and others to help with this. In addition, it is unclear as to whether or not there are ancillary resources such as testing resources, audio-visual resources (such as audio files online or corresponding videos), or practice exercises (such as a practice workbook) available to go along with this textbook.
The textbook contains a very appropriate and exhaustive glossary. The three chapters cover their area appropriately, with many interactive and communicative activities for the students. The grammar is a review is limited to the different verbs... read more
The textbook contains a very appropriate and exhaustive glossary.
The three chapters cover their area appropriately, with many interactive and communicative activities for the students.
The grammar is a review is limited to the different verbs tenses and the different pronouns in French.
All the information is accurate and all pictures are recent.
The textbook focuses on vocabulary and grammar points through 3 main themes : building a successful future, cultivating your garden and your taste, describing your vision to reach your destination. Each of these broad themes are divided in 3 sub sections. All the themes and sections are contemporary and apply to nowadays society in a broad way.
The textbook uses both inductive and deductive methods of learning. There are lists of vocabulary given with both French and English, and grammar charts but no explicit grammar explanations. Students learn through a set of activities, from reading to matching exercises but also doing specific searches online. The book gives students the tools they need, students learn by using the tools. This requires the instructor of the course to be a mediator and a guide.
The book is very consistent in its structure and way of approaching new material. New vocabulary is in blue charts. Grammar points are in orange charts. Two to four pages are dedicated to each grammar point or new vocabulary words.
The book is very modulable, 3 chapters with 3 parts each revolving around different grammatical points and thematic vocabulary.
Since the book isn't for beginners, the flow of information isn't as important. Each chapter works around a specific theme. They could potentially be done in a different order. "Second year" means students have already seen the grammar points, but maybe not as much in depth. The textbook offers a good grammatical review of verb tenses and pronouns, while introducing new vocabulary, all of which are used in context and together.
No interface issue. The images used as illustrations are sharp and colorful. The use of colors is helpful for students who are visual learners.
No grammatical errors.
The book isn't culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. However it also doesn't particularly broach on that subject. It does try not to focus exclusively on France by integrating different francophone cultures.
It's a great book that can be used on its own, or as a base for a class where an instructor also provides their own material to complement the textbook.
The textbook is entirely in the target language (French), aside from the English translation of some of the vocabulary.
Table of Contents
- Chapitre 1
- Chapitre 2
- Chapitre 3
About the Book
This book is intended for use with intermediate level college French classes. Its multidisciplinary approach introduces students to topics and vocabulary associated with fields such as medicine, advertising, travel, business, agriculture, and relationships.
About the Contributors