1 Understanding and giving instructions
To start this week, have a go at the different activities on this page. Afterwards you will learn how to give instructions using the present tense and the imperative, and also develop your listening skills.
Listen to the audio and answer the following questions:
Where are the people who are talking?
In the street.
What are they doing?
Asking for and giving directions.
What names of places can you recognise?
- Dialogue 1: la gendarmerie; la poste.
- Dialogue 2: le musée (des Beaux-Arts).
- Dialogue 3: la banque; le cinéma.
Figure 1 shows a simplified street map of a French town with the following buildings marked: poste, mairie, bibliothèque, cathédrale, parc, gendarmerie, hôpital, office de tourisme, stade, gare, musée des Beaux-Arts, théâtre, cinéma, Banque Populaire.
Look at the map and listen to the audio from Activity 1 (repeated below) again. Follow the directions, starting from Vous êtes ici (‘You are here’), to the following places: la gendarmerie, le musée des Beaux Arts, la Banque Populaire.
Now read the transcript and identify the verbs French people use to give directions.
- Dialogue 1: prenez; continuez.
- Dialogue 2: continuez; tournez.
- Dialogue 3: continuez; prenez.
Listen to the audio again and complete the clauses according to what you hear.
Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.
la première rue à gauche
la deuxième rue à droite
a.Puis vous tournez
c. Puis prenez
- 1 = b
- 2 = a
- 3 = c
Box 1 Listening in steps
Listening involves both understanding the words that are spoken and making inferences that are informed by context or by common knowledge. Don’t panic if you have difficulty grasping everything the first time you listen. Listen to the whole recording first and then work in sections, pausing the recording and replaying sections until you have found the information you need. Work in steps.
What is the situation?
Who are the people speaking?
Does their tone of voice (angry, affectionate, sad …) suggest anything about the content?
What are they talking about?
Are there any expressions that you already know or that are similar to expressions in your own language?
Listen carefully to the phrases that provide the information you need and memorise the most useful ones by repeating them out loud.
In Activity 1, for instance, you focused on the context (the noise, your previous knowledge of names of buildings), in the first section of Activity 2 you focused on phrases that are being used to ask and give directions, and in the final two sections of Activity 2 you concentrated on key words – verbs in this particular case.
Listening in steps will help you to digest the whole passage in a more manageable way.