Lesson 3: Vocabulary in Français interactif

Authentic Language Samples

In addition to the textbook exercises, each of the thirteen chapters of Français interactif contains a progression of videos that controls the level and kind of contextualization.

  • Introduction videos: These videos capture a student from UT in France who talks about the chapter's theme, frequently code switching between English and in French. Although several vocabulary items from the upcoming chapter might be mentioned, the goal of this video is to introduce the theme of the chapter.
  • Vocabulary presentation videos (vocabulaire en context): These videos present the vocabulary items of each chapter within an authentic cultural context. The goal of these videos is to simultaneously present students with a vocabulary item and its corresponding visual image. These videos are not accompanied by text, but contain simplified speech in order to make them highly accessible to the learner. The language in these videos are either isolated word lists or isolated sentences accompanied by images or actions.

The goal of the vocabulary presentation videos is to have the learners associate the new word(s) directly with a meaning rather than a translation. Watch the following vocabulary presentation video from Chapter 2, and see whether you can isolate a vocabulary word by using the contextualizing images.


Vocabulary presentation video.

Duration: 03:26

How effective do you find this kind of vocabulary presentation? What kind of exercises would help focus students' attention on the word/image connection?

Effectiveness of vocabulary videos.

Duration: 02:02

  • Interview videos: Next in the progression are unscripted video interviews that include both native and non-native speakers discussing the themes of each chapter. The interviewee responds to questions that require him or her to use the vocabulary and grammar featured throughout the chapter. These videos are accompanied by transcriptions in French, and translations in English. Because these interviews are unscripted, the language is more complex.
  • Culture videos: The culture videos share characteristics of both vocabulary presentation videos and interview videos in that they are unscripted and authentic. The goal of these videos is not vocabulary learning per se, but rather to learn more about the cultural context of the chapter theme. Therefore, these videos go well beyond the vocabulary lists at the beginning of the progression and are meant for receptive vocabulary learning only.