Le pont (The Bridge)
Image courtesy of Tom Corser.
While resources abound for students working to achieve an intermediate level of proficiency, many students struggle with the transition to the more broadly focused classes at the advanced level. Indeed, the imperfect articulation between secondary and post-secondary language programs, particularly with regard to credits granted through exams, leaves many students with notable grammatical lacunae that need to be addressed if they are to continue successful study of the language.
Le pont (The Bridge) is intended to bridge this gap while promoting cultural understanding of the varied groups of people who share French as a common language. The online textbook will require students to analyze target structures within context and make their own observations about when and how those structures are used. This inductive method will be enhanced by online computer-graded activities that provide immediate feedback for students to track their own comprehension. Providing students with this preview of the target structures will allow learning through a flipped model, freeing up class time to work on more open-ended communicative activities that explore the Francophone world. The online textbook will also be designed with a system of HTML anchor tags that make it easy for instructors to provide links that take students directly to the relevant explanations. After completing a range of oral activities during class, the learner will move on to workbook exercises that move them from input/discrimination activities (which are missing in many curricula) to comprehension/processing activities and eventually to production exercises. Workbook materials will be available as a free pdf download or as print-on-demand. Modules in this project will be released in a serialized fashion, with two chapters produced each year and work completed during the summer of 2022.
The introduction of this curriculum will be accompanied by a series of workshops for regional K-16 instructors. One workshop will be integrated into the annual French Immersion Day held on the KU campus. A second workshop will be held just prior to the joint conference of the Kansas World Language Association and the Foreign Language Association of Missouri, which is held in the Kansas City area. A third workshop will be hosted by partner institution Fort Hays State University. Instructors in secondary contexts will be invited to work with the team on mapping resources to K-12 learning goals.