How to do better in your French oral work:
In class tips:
Please never be afraid to participate orally in class. I will never make fun of you, and will not permit others to do the same.
It is always better for your grade and your development as a speaker to answer in French any question asked of you, than to remain silent.
Listen to questions asked of your classmates and their responses. You could get the same questions later.
Try to answer questions directly, reusing part of the question in your answer.
If all you can do is get the basic information out, do so. Then, if you have the presence of mind, go back and elaborate.
Speak as clearly as possible, but at your own pace.
Novice-High on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Scale
"Able to satisfy partially the requirements of basic communicative
exchanges by relying heavily on learned utterances but occasionally
expanding these through simple recombinations of their elements. Can
ask questions or make statementsinvolving learned material. Shows signs
of spontaneity although this falls short of real autonomy of
expression. Speech continues to consist of learned utterances rather
than of personalized, situationally adapted
ones. Vocabulary centers on areas such as basic objects, places, and
common kinship terms. Pronunciation may still be strongly influenced
language. Errors are frequent and, in spite of repetition, some
speakers will have difficulty being understood even by sympathetic
for 122-222, the minumum is
Intermediate-Low on the
ACTFL Oral Proficiency Scale
"Able to handle successfully a limited number of interactive,
task-oriented, and social situations. Can ask and answer questions,
initiate and respond to simple statements, and maintain face-to-face
conversation, although in a highly restricted manner and with much
linguistic inaccuracy. Within these limitations, can perform such tasks
as introducing self, ordering a meal, asking directions, and making
purchases. Vocabulary is adequate to express only the most elementary
needs. Strong interference from native language may occur.
Misunderstandings frequently arise, but with repetition, the
Intermediate-Low speaker can generally be understood by sympathetic
While we in English accentuate consonants, the French focus on vowels.
English speaker anticipation of consonants causes us to close our mouths on vowels, splitting or diphthonging vowel sounds. French syllables generally begin with a consonant or consonant or consonant cluster and end with a vowel. This produces a more "pure" vowel sound.
Silent initial "H" and mute unaccented final "E". Many final
consonants are silent in French. Common exceptions are "b, c, f, k, l,
r ". However, there are exceptions to these.
In a some cases a normally silent French consonant links a word following it beginning with a vowel sound (ils ont = they have).In English, we emphasize words by altering rhythm, lengthening syllables and saying them louder. Our discourse tends to highlight individual words. In French this emphasis is accomplished by word placement, the use of tonic forms or adding words (Moi, je suis d'accord). French discourse shifts the focus from individual words to whole utterances made of syllables, and the rhythm is fairly even.
Pronunciation aids connected with Deux Mondes
In the "Interactive CD-ROM", beginning with chapter 1, the section called "Vidéothèque" contains a pronunciation comparison exercise called "bavardons". It also contains an opportunity to see how words sound in context. In the subsection, "à vos écrins", there is a rectangular button labeled "texte", which will allow you to read a transcription of the dialogue, while the actors are performing it.
In the "audio CD", along with audio related to your Cahier d'exercices, you will also find a complete introduction to basic phonetics and pronunciation, plus exercises. Note that any reading in your textbook marked with an earphones icon is read aloud on this CD.
Chapter vocbulary is pronounced online.
Ch. 2 French pronunciation (with realaudio files)
French Pronunciation (LanguageGuides)
French Pronunciation Guide
How to Pronounce French
How to Pronounce French (Dr. Guillory)
Oral Evaluation Guidelines
Even though many of the following concerns may not apply to the French oral work you do at this level, here is a whole-cloth list of quality points I use in evaluating student oral work
Are the answers direct?
Does the paragraph stick to the assigned theme?
Is the information reasonably accurate?
Is there a logical and intuitive organisation to the paragraph?
Are the paragraphs in a logical order?
Do the paragraphs bring the subject or argument to a logical colosure?
Discourse level (text type): is it largely
phrases (learned or authentic)?
recombinations of learned phrases?
prefaced and complex questions?
appropriately linked paragraphs?
utterances opaque because of faulty grammar
faulty grammar increase the chance of being misunderstood
the few errors do not impede understanding
grammatical skill and flexibility enhances sense
Vocabulary and usage
inappropriate vocabulary or usage obscures
inappropriate vocabulary or usage increase the chance of being misunderstood.
a few inappropriate or misused words do not impede understanding.
appropriate vocabulary and usage for sense.
highly appropriate vocabulary and usage enhance sense.
Pronunciation an rhythm
poor pronunciation and rhythm obscure the
poor pronunciation and rhythm may compromise the sense.
the few pronunciation and rhythm errors will not compromise the sense.
pronunciation and rhythm are adequate to convey the sense.
excellent pronunciation and rhythm enhance the sense.