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After the highly successful launch of the first edition of this popular, college-level intermediate French program, the 2nd edition of Réseau: Communication, Intégration, Intersections expands upon the features that have made it so popular in two- and four-year colleges and universities around the world. Réseau conceives of the teaching of French as a holistic endeavor, not only in terms of language skills - speaking, listening, reading, and writing - but also of cultural knowledge in the broadest sense. Based on the belief that knowledge of a second language and culture necessarily brings about a greater understanding of not only the world in an increasingly global context but also of the individual self, the content and activities in Réseau offer students the opportunity to reflect on the differences between their own culture, French culture, and Francophone cultures and to experiment with the new identities that so many researchers suggest language learning can encourage.
Access resources to accompany Réseau: Communication, Intégration, Intersections, 2nd Edition.
Incorporation of the five principles of the Foreign Language Standards
Réseau incorporates into the program the richest possible combination of the five principles of the Foreign Language Standards: communication, connections, cultures, comparisons, and communities. Réseau is thus rich in oral and written communicative activities, cultural information, comparative reflections on both linguistic and cultural elements, communities both within the classroom and extending into the global arena, and connections to knowledge beyond that of the anglophone world.
Emphasis on critical thinking and language learning
From the Invitation à la conversation communicative advanced organizer sections, to the grammar presentations and the Comparaisons linguistiques, to the pre- and post-reading sections (Stratégie de prélecture, Stratégie de lecture, Vérifions notre compréhension du texte, Approfondissons notre compréhension du texte, Discutons ensemble), to the writing sections (Stratégie décriture, Avant décrire, Collaborons), Réseau keeps the need to foster critical thinking clearly in mind. All of these sections are designed to encourage students to probe the why and how of relational, sociological, cultural, political, psychological, and literary issues. Questions are sequenced from easy to more complex, and the variety of activity formats is designed to provide a wide range of linguistic resources so that instructors can tailor their curricula according to their students interests and talents.
A smooth transition from beginning to intermediate French
For almost a quarter of a century, students smooth transition from beginning language courses to advanced literature and culture courses has plagued French departments. Réseau targets speaking, reading, and writing skills in ways that systematically foster their development through the encouragement of higher-level critical thinking. The program is unique in its focus on the teaching of foreign-language writing skills for improved articulation to more advanced courses targeting specifically the argumentative essay, which is generally required in advanced-level literature and culture courses. The specific writing lessons and models (Modèle décriture) in Réseau incorporate genre-based approaches to writing, which have been used with great success in the teaching of English and ESL composition.
Cultural diversity, globalization, and identity are at the forefront
Under the influence of increased globalization, immigration, and multiculturalism, French culture is undergoing numerous sociological, cultural, and political changes. In contrast to the image of a homogeneous France that could be presented a quarter of a century ago, such a presentation today would be largely mythical. Réseau thus strives to incorporate themes that will provide a multidimensional view of French and Francophone cultures. Chapters can be grouped into 3 large categories: sociology, politics, and humanities.
High-interest, relevant grammar presentation and practice
Grammar presentations in Réseau alternate between grammar presentation and cultural and literary texts in order to break up the monotony that might occur in any grammar-driven program and to avoid the potential grammar overload that can arise when students are asked to deal with one point after the other. From a pedagogical perspective, this alternating format creates a more content-rich environment for the presentation of grammar. Examples illustrating specific grammar points and grammar support exercises can draw on the readings for greater contextualization. Finally, the alternating format allows students some time to reflect on and absorb the grammar presented, rather than having to deal with too many points at once.
The interactive grammar presentations, the focused practice in the oral exercises of the Pratiquons sections, the follow-up activities in the culture and literature discussions, and the writing component are all designed to work together in the effort to target grammatical competency and integrate students grammatical knowledge within a variety of communicative modes, including their cultural competency.
Easy-to-understand grammar explanations are presented entirely in French
The language of grammar instruction is a controversial issue. Programs that rely on explanations in English encourage students to study the grammar for themselves at home and to practice speaking in the classroom. Programs that present the grammar in the target language strive to encourage students to think in that language. One of the goals of Réseau is to maximize students use of French and to reflect on all dimensions in the language, and the presentation of grammar contributes to this goal. Users of the program have found that French grammar, with its many English cognates, can be taught very effectively in the target language. Each grammar section contains a Comparaisons linguistiques section that is intended to help students focus on the differences between English and French and solidify their linguistic knowledge.
1. Les relations familiales
2. Masculin/féminin : rôles
3. La vie urbaine
4. Politique, indépendance : identité française, identité acadienne et québécoise
5. La France : un kaléidoscope social
6. La France : icônes culturelles
7. La France bigarrée —un pays métissé et multiculturel
8. La Francophonie
9. Intersections esthétiques : architecture, peinture, sculpture
10. Regard sur la France : le septième art ou le cinéma
11. La France vue d’ailleurs
12. La France et l’Europe
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