February 5, 2019

Francomane — Multimedia Resources for French as a Second Language Courses

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

This article was first published in French. Unless mentioned otherwise, all links and media in this article are only available in French.

The Francomane website is filled with useful resources for French as a second language teachers as well as the tutors of the French help centres that help the students of those classes. Francomane was created by Sanaa Rizk Bastien, teacher at Vanier College, and Lyane Henrichon, teacher at Dawson College, and produced by the CCDMD (Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development).

What is Francomane?

Francomane offers over 300 resources about:

  • Reading and listening comprehension
  • Grammar (syntax, parts of speech)
  • Spelling and pronunciation of sounds

Francomane also offers a self-correction sheet for the most common mistakes.

Reading and listening comprehension

The resources linked to reading and listening comprehension are grouped in 4 thematic collections:

  • Comics
  • The circus
  • The virtual
  • Tattoos

Each thematic collection contains 2 texts:

  • The first text gives a general overview of the theme.
  • The second text provides some more details about the theme or provides a wider perspective.

Each text comes with:

  • 4 reading comprehension exercises
    • Global understanding of a text
    • Understanding the main ideas of a text
    • Understanding the secondary ideas of a text
    • Summary and interpretation of the text
  • 4 or 5 vocabulary and grammar exercises

Each thematic collection also contains 1 or 2 documentary videos where different people are interviewed, speaking in a register, a flow, and a diction that are unique to them. Each video comes with 4 oral comprehension exercises:

  • Global understanding of the video
  • Understanding the main ideas of the video
  • Understanding the secondary ideas of the video
  • Summary of the video

The full version of each video includes subtitles that can be turned on. The excerpts from the videos that are used for the interactive exercises are not subtitled, but their transcription can be found in a tab labeled Indice (hint).

The video of the thematic collection about the circus

Each collection also includes oral and written production activities.

Collections about grammar

Francomane offers 12 collections about syntax and parts of speech. Each collection contains:

  • An animation clip that explains the rules related to the grammar of the sentence or a part of speech
  • A series of interactive reinforcement exercises (The interactive exercises offer a sequential learning: from the simple to the complex, from identifying to reusing.)
  • A summary sheet

An animation clip about the positive and negative sentence forms.

See an example of interactive exercises and an example of a summary sheet about the sentence forms.

The collections about oral communication

Francomane also offers 4 collections about oral communication. Each collection about oral communication contains:

  • Animation clips
  • Interactive exercises
  • Pronunciation exercises

An animation clip about the “an”, “on” and “in” sounds.

The interactive exercises allow the student to recognize the targeted sounds and their spelling. Audio excerpts are embedded with some questions. For an example of interactive exercises from the oral communication collection, see the interactive exercises about the ‘i’, ‘u’, and ‘ou’ sounds.

The pronunciation exercises allow the student to hear sentences containing the targeted sound, then lets them record themselves pronouncing the sounds and then relisten to compare with the original clip.

Pronunciation exercises for the ‘in’-[ε̃] et ‘on’-[ɔ̃] sounds in sentences. The student can listen to the sound in a sentence then record themself to compare their pronunciation with that of the original.

How can a teacher use the Francomane resources?

All the resources of Francomane have been developed with self-learning in mind, but they can also be used in a classroom. It is up to each teacher to evaluate the relevance of the activities according to the planned learning for the students of his class.

Source: Francomane Resource Guide

Francomane is made to be used through its collections: you can complete the series of exercises offered by a collection by following the numbering of the resources.

Nevertheless, it is entirely possible to use a resource on its own, without using the rest of the collection it comes from. You can use a video in class and come up with your own comprehension questions, or use a specific series of interactive exercises to meet the individual needs of a student.

Find out more…

To find out more about the way one teacher in particular uses Francomane, read the real life story of Rana El Gharbie, French as a Second Language teacher at Vanier College and Marianapolis College.

A text about Francomane was also published in Correspondance, the web magazine for the valorisation of French at the college level published by the CCDMD. That text has also inspired some of the ideas formulated here.

About the author

Catherine Rhéaume

Catherine Rhéaume is an editor and writer for Eductive (previously Profweb) since 2013. She also teaches physics at Cégep Limoilou. Her work for Eductive fosters her interest for technopedagogy and encourages her to try innovative teaching practices.

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