Practice Makes Perfect: French conversation, Premium Third Edition
By Ellane Kurbegov
1 Meeting people
2 Making conversation and making plans
3 Discussing leisure activities
4 Discussing current events
5 Watching sports events
6 Celebrating and having fun
8 Making comparisons
9 Asking for help
11 Communicating in a remote environment
Have you already spent considerable time learning French vocabulary and grammar? Are you ready to learn the language that real Francophones speak in a spontaneous and authentic manner? In that case, this is the right book for you. You have some knowledge of French, and you probably want to embark on activities that will allow you to engage in conversations with native speakers of French. That is precisely the aim of this book!
My personal experience as a student of languages as well as a teacher of French is that the most appealing aspect of language study lies in your ability to interact with other people in the target language, gaining ever greater insights into new cultures.
Although learning vocabulary and grammatical concepts is important, it is but one avenue toward real communication. Therein lies the fun! Once you have established the fundamentals of language, it is time to aim at practical applications, setting the stage for personal interactions, and, above all, an understanding of the target culture.
Language does not merely consist of words and structures; it is also a representation of the perspectives and points of view of real people. Growing up in France, I became accustomed to acting humbly, for instance questioning whether I truly deserved a compliment instead of simply accepting it and thanking the giver for it—as Americans do. So, when I first came to the States, it took me a while to understand that an appropriate reply to a compliment such as What a pretty dress! is Thank you rather than Really, you think so?
Therefore, to help you gain an understanding of cultural differences between U.S. culture and French culture, I have tried to create as many culturally appropriate scenarios as possible in this conversation book so that you can appreciate situations you might encounter in France: transportation strikes, Bastille Day celebrations, shopping at the Fnac (a chain of stores specializing in electronics and books). I also created Chris, an American student in France, so that you could meet French people and face authentic French situations through his eyes. Although the cultural focus is on France, the communicative aspects of language emphasized throughout the book are applicable to all Francophone cultures.
Furthermore, because my goal is to give you the skills required for conversation, dialogues are often written in the informal register (with tu) except for interactions that require the formal register (with vous), for example, with salespeople, waitpersons, or business associates.
The book is divided into eleven units. Each unit is guided by a theme, such as current events, leisure time, or asking for help. You can focus on specific units or themes of interest, or you may opt to travel through the chapters in the order they are presented. The latter approach will allow you to become familiar with the characters who reappear throughout the chapters and meet new ones as you go through the book.
The conversational style of the lessons aims at developing a confident speaking style. Beginning with an opening conversation, followed by grammatical notes, syntactical structures, and study of word usage, all elements are focused on the typical problems of native English speakers.
Each unit features several engaging dialogues that illustrate practical, interesting, and culturally relevant conversational situations. For example, in one chapter, you will learn that travel and leisure activities in France are at times impacted by labor strikes. Useful, high-frequency conversational phrases are highlighted in the dialogues, then clarified and illustrated for your use. A variety of exercises help you put new knowledge into practice. The Answer key provides quick and easy feedback. You will get practice in using new concepts and will be encouraged to construct personalized conversations. And this Premium Third Edition is supported by streaming audio via app and online, including recordings of all 47 dialogues in the book and the answers to more than 40 exercises.
This book will enhance your conversational skills by exposing you to high frequency phrases and sentences used in spontaneous conversations and provide opportunities to practice them in a variety of formats.
À vous de jouer!