French Teaching Professors Publish New French Language Textbook

Submitted by Michael Rich on

Teaching Professor Hedwige Meyer and Associate Teaching Professor Lorenzo Giachetti have adapted and published an introductory French language textbook from Éditions Maison des Langues.

Défi Francophone 1 published earlier this year, is currently being taught in UW's first year French language courses. Using this book, students will be immersed in French and classes will be taught using the task-based language teaching approach. The text, Meyer says "uses a motivating approach where francophone culture is at the core of every activity." This book allows students to make decisions and complete task-based activities that are personally relevant and that encourage them to take an active role in their own learning. This method helps them understand texts, work independently and develop their proficiency.

Grammar is treated in a progressive and inductive manner: the learner reflects on the grammar points covered in the learning documents and then co-constructs their grammatical competence. The text also offers an inclusive perspective on learning, with diverse representations of cultural realities that embrace all the identities and communities in the Francophone world —and in the students’ world as well. 

Défi francophone really offers the best of both worlds" says Giachetti. On one hand, the more open-ended, creative European approach, and on the other, the structure and scaffolding our non-European learners are accustomed to. The topics found in the book "are relevant and engaging - from social media to recycling and food sustainability - and covering them from multiple Francophone perspectives adds a level of depth, insight and critical thinking that is rare in most beginner manuals" says Giachetti.

Défi Francophone 1 is intended for use at universities, colleges and potentially high schools in North America (US and Canada) which offer an introductory level French program.  Meyer and Giachetti worked together on the adaptation of Défi  during the early stages of the Coronavirus Pandemic and it was completed in less than a year. They are now working on Défi Francophone 2 for intermediate French students, which should be completed later this year.