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The present Exercises are intended to provide material for the study of the French language in a manner and in a form which, the author believes, will prove especially well adapted to meet the needs of the present aspirations of the teaching body.
He, accordingly, feels justified in adding these books to the valuable texts already in existence and hopes that his fellow teachers will find the volumes helpful.
The work is composed of complete and independent courses based on the principle of concentric circles. They are to be used in French courses following the first year.
1. Grammar practice. Sixty lessons in each volume contain a large number of sentences each of which is chosen to bring out a definite grammatical point and most of which contain in addition thoughts which in themselves possess an educational value.
2. Vocabulary building. With a view to increasing the working vocabulary of the student, words are taught through definitions, through association of ideas, by means of synonyms and antonyms and through a great variety of derivations and transformations.
3. Formation of sentences. Practice in sentence construction is given through the medium of contrasted ideas, paraphrasing, and questions based upon short texts selected from the best French authors. These texts provide at the same time helpful material for study and reading aloud.
4. Letters and free compositions. In every fourth lesson, outlines are presented for development by the student. The
letters deal with topics of both present and future interest to the students.
5. Miscellaneous composition. On the one hand, short English texts on various aspects of French life are presented; on the other hand, use is made of separate sentences illustrating certain points of grammar.
6. Each volume is supplied with a reference grammar in French. This grammar contains, in very concise form, all the grammatical principles that may be useful to a student beyond the first
Each volume also contains two abridged vocabularies, French-English and English-French.
The exercises may be done either orally or in writing, according to the opinion of the teacher, who will alternate them as he sees fit. It is the author's suggestion, however, that the grammar sections be written, the vocabulary division be oral, and the phrase part be used first orally and then in writing.
Experience has shown that these exercises imbue classes with interest and inspire in them a spirit of hearty emulation. It is the earnest hope of the author that his fellow teachers meet with the same experience.
I desire to express my thanks to my colleagues, Professor A. G. Canfield and Professor H. P. Thieme, who helped me in my task by their generous encouragement and precious advice, and to the latter also for having seen these books through the press. To Professor René Talamon, who not only took much trouble in the reading of the proof but also kindly suggested many valuable changes, I owe an especial debt of gratitude.
I am indebted for suggestions and examples to the most popular French grammars, among which are: J. Dussouchet; Morlet et Richardot; Crouslé et Cordelet; Claude Augé; Larive et Fleury, and some others.
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
November 1, 1919.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
Each lesson is composed of three parts : Grammar, Vocabulary, and Building of Sentences.
Preparation. The Grammar would best be assigned for home work after preliminary explanation in class. However, such explanation may be omitted if the teacher prefers. The students should write down each sentence complete, filling in the blanks as directed.
The Vocabulaire should first be gone through in class (the students being called upon to collaborate in the problems presented) and then given out for oral home work.
The Phrases should be treated in the same way as the Vocabulary and then assigned for written home work, as directed.
Recitation. At the next recitation period, the two written exercises are divided among some of the students, who write them on the board directly from the book, performing the work from
memory without reference to the note-book. The remaining students are meanwhile engaged in oral exercises: oral recitation of the Vocabulaire, study of the next text, and so on. The exercises written on the blackboard are then read aloud and corrected by the teacher, the students making the necessary corrections in their note-books for further review. As the exercises have been given previously in class, they are usually fairly uniform and can be corrected collectively.
The Free Compositions and Letters, although accompanied by detailed outlines, should nevertheless be still more developed in class before being treated by the students. The teacher cannot insist too much on naturalness, simplicity, the use of the correct term and of very short sentences.
In the Thèmes the students should be directed to render the idea rather than to translate words.