Getting started with French 1
Getting started with French 1

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Getting started with French 1

11 Summary of Week 1

Building your language skills happens little by little and it’s very important for you to keep returning to vocabulary and structures you’ve been learning, as well as adding new ones.

Without checking back, can you remember a formal and an informal way to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’? What is the difference between ‘tu’ and ‘vous’?

You may have answered these questions with ease, but how quickly will you remember the answers in two or three weeks’ time? Now is the time to get organised and start formalising the way you develop your language skills.

Building a language notebook

This is something you can develop week by week, which is entirely personal to you. You may find that you want to change the way you go about it as the weeks progress; don’t worry if that happens. The important thing is that you find a way to note down, each week, new vocabulary and expressions, and also tips about pronunciation, grammar, culture and communication in general that will support you as you start to learn French.

How will you do this? Whether you keep your notes on paper or digitally, it’s important to get organised, so here is an idea that may help, based on your Week 1 studies:

Table 1 Language notebook

Key phrases
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Pronunciation
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Culture
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Language
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Words: 0
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What would you write into each box, if anything? Would you add more boxes?

Comment

Here’s a suggestion for how you could fill in your boxes:

Table 2 Example of a completed language notebook for Week 1

Key phrases

Hello/goodbye:

Salut (can be hello or goodbye)

Bonne journée = have a good day

A tout à l’heure = see you soon/later

Pronunciation

‘u’/’ou’

As in ‘salut/bonjour’

Culture

Use ‘monsieur/madame’ in all sorts of situations, including shops

‘mademoiselle’ not used so much these days

Shake hands – normal

Kiss – depends

Tu/vous: informal/formal address

Language

Tu/vous: both mean ‘you.’

You may have filled the boxes in differently, or you may have a different idea about how to build on what you’re learning. Your learning journey is personal, so you need to keep notes in a way that is appropriate to you.

Take some time now to establish your own personal language notebook.

Practising and consolidating

The best way to remember new vocabulary and key phrases is to practise. What did you find difficult? How could you manage better next time?

In Week 1, you were introduced to an important point of pronunciation which should help with your listening and speaking skills. Did you practise the different sounds ‘u’ and ‘ou’?

Why not return to that section and practise again. If you would like further practice, watch this screencast:

Download this video clip.Video player: lgxf001_wk1_quiz_vid001.mp4
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Transcript

Bonjour !
Today we are going to look at the u and the ou sounds in French. This is what were going to do, remember you can pause my recording at any time and you can also go back.
The ou sound in French is close to the oo sound in English, in zoo or oops. To get an idea of the position of the mouth try saying zoo or oops in English or try a scary noise oooh and notice the position of your lips.
They are round, pushed forward and the mouth is almost closed.
Say ou
Le cou
Maintenant, écoutez et répetéz
bijou caillou chou genou hibou joujou pou
Now this is a very interesting list of words. We all learn all these words by heart because in the plural they end in x instead of s. now your turn. You read the words first then listen to my recording. Remember you can pause my recording at any time.
bijou caillou chou genou hibou joujou pou
Now lets talk about the position of the tongue for the ou sounds. Its at the back of your mouth, and up, the middle part of your tongue is slightly raised and this is a reminder about the position of the lips.
Now we get to compare the u and the ou sounds. For both sounds, the lips are rounded, pushed forward and the mouth is almost closed.
For the ou sound the tongue is towards the back and up
For the u sound you need to move your tongue forward and place the tip behind your lower teeth, the front part of the tongue is curved up. In fact for the u sound the tongue is in the same position as for ee/i.
Now you can switch from the ou sound to the u sound just by moving your tongue. Say ou. Keep your lips in the same position, rounded, pushed forward, and the mouth is almost closed, now move your tongue behind your lower teeth, the front part of the tongue is curved up. Say u. Did this work for you? If not, try another method.
You can switch from the ee position of the mouth to the u sound without moving your tongue. Say ee (tea, cheese). In fact the i sound French is slightly shorter.
Île
Notice how you are smiling. Keep your tongue in the same position and change the position of your lips. So they are rounded, pushed forward, and the mouth is almost closed.
Let’s try to pronounce some u sounds. écoutez et répetéz.
Salut tu une nature utile du vu bu tutu
End transcript
 
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Now you’ve reached the end of Week 1, reflect a little on what you’ve been learning. In the box below, note down what you’ve found easy, useful or fun, and what was more difficult.

Week 1 Reflection

What was easy, useful or fun this week?

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What was more difficult?

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Félicitations !

You have come to the end of Week 1. Next week you’ll be learning how to introduce yourself and say your nationality, and you’ll be able to work further on your pronunciation and listening skills.

LXF001_1

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