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Old MFL courses

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by spsmith45, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. I thought tricolor was the everlasting favourite! At 45 I used it in school, and when I started teaching... and I've still got copies... just in case! Also au secours is invaluable... has any one got any old copies??
  2. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    A book which deserves a rewrite/reprint is Tu Parles by Roselman and Harris. Not a course, but a comprehensive set of very good information gap tasks. Totally practical. Still works well, but francs need to become euros! There is room in the market for another info gap book.
    There is also gap in the market for a set of readers along the lines of Bibliobus. Trouble is they are expensive to make and buy.
    I blogged about Actualités Françaises by Nott and Trickey this morning. Do have a peep and leave comments!

  3. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    I now remember using Actualités Françaises for A'level. Don't remember much about it though. My only memory of it is having it on the desk in front of me while trying to understand our crackers Tunisian FLA.
    BTW spsmith45 - I see you started at Tiffin. Our Latin teacher in U6, Mr Kilburn, came to us from there in '86.[​IMG]
  4. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Hi Geekie (like the name) - I was at Tiffin from 1980 to 1984. Don't recall a Mr Kilburn, I'm afraid.
    Actualités Françaises was ahead of its time. Very good for its day and still influential in its approach. David Nott, one of the writers, Head of French at Manchester Grammar later became a lecturer at Manchester Uni, I think. He gave a talk to my sixth-fomers when we went for a study day a good few years ago.
    After that book I taught with Signes du temps: Vécu by Ralph Gaskell. That was also a decent A-level course. Good methodology, but some dry topics e.g. forest fires.
  5. maa09

    maa09 New commenter

    In the 1980s as a pupil at middle school I remember Tricolore and a set of reading books about a cat called Napoléon for French. Once I moved on to upper school (unusual 3 tier school system!) I started German too, we used Deutsch Heute & Tricolore again for French. At A Level we had Le Francais d'Aujour'hui & Horizons. For German we had Neue Perspektiven (I think it was called that). I also remember Einsicht.

    As a PGCE student & NQT in the late 90s and early 2000s Avantage seemed to be in every school. I remember best the page with the bears in book one to illustrate height & size. The second book had a chapter called "Ouf! On respire". For Spanish we used Arriba. I think they were sister books to Avantage. When I moved school we used Camarades. For A Level on my PGCE I remember Tremplin. As an NQT I used Tout Droit / Droit au but and then Zénith for the new A Level in 2000. I now use Expo for KS3, Métro for KS4 & Elan for A Level. We use Logo for KS3 German.

    I think MFL textbooks are very representative of their times as they have lots of pictures of everyday things that might not otherwise be published. The cars & the clothes seem to date the most quickly.
  6. I have so enjoyed reading this thread which has brought back so many memories. I started teaching in 1985 so have seen a good number of these books in various languages. Has anyone mentioned Einfach Toll from the 80s which had a cartoon character in the shape of a sausage called Willi Wurst! Unbelievable how they got away with such a name!
    The original Tricolore music will be going round in my head for ever and ever I think I still go back to Tricolore 4 for structured listening from time to time in KS4 and I use some of the topics in Encore Tricolore with my sixth form in the early days of year 12! I loved teaching from it.
    Today a local resident came to school with some books he had turned out - were we interested? Not really as most of them were ancient and covered in dust and no use at all but I was thrilled to come across a hard back red Whitmarsh, Cours Illustré 1 which I used in 1973 when I started secondary school and a Longmans AV which Mr Redpens used -- "Bruno chasse des vaches" , Le club des Quatre Saisons ("C'est une question de sécurité nationale") and Monsieur Jazy are very useful things he has remembered from this!!) Thankfully his French has become much more practical since he married me!
    Talking about memory lane I used real chalk on a real board recently for the first time in years (in our French partner school.) How we are spoilt with our interactive whiteboards!

  7. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Einfach Toll with the Wurst family was the best graffitti artist's text book ever. Did it never occur to the authors..?
    No-one has come up with anything pre Whitmarsh yet . I got hold of an old mansion French grammar reference book which is pre-war. There are no exercises in it.
    My guess is that books just had grammar explanations with translation into English and maybe Eng-French/German. I wonder what the teachers of that era would think if they saw us now. They would think we were gods with our magic pens and sound boxes.

  8. In 1981 the girls' grammar school that I had been working in for a year was closed. The girls were given an extra 2 weeks holiday and we had to throw out/pack up the school ready to move. I opened a cupboard that had obviously not seen the light of day for many decades. It was full of old Spanish textbooks. I remember opening one and it had a few black and white plates in it with views of Spanish cities. There was no motorised transport in any of them. Just horses and carriages, carts and donkeys. I wish that I had kept one, but as is always the case I did n't.
    At uni one of my fellow students had been given a present by her grandmother. It was a very large dictionary that her grandmother had used at school. In a section at the back, entitled new words, we found avion =aeroplane!
  9. Sorry not to have spotted this. I started French in 1952 and am eternally grateful that my teacher (at St Edward's Grammar School in Liverpool) used the alternative version, using the International Phonetic Alphabet for the first 10 (I think) chapters, of the 1st year in a series of text-books whose name I am afraid I can no longer remember. Could have been one of Whitmarsh's, but it did have some illustrations, and I've read that he didn't go in for that. I'd be delighted if someone else had more info. It might be of interest that when I spent a year at Grenoble Uni, for a "proper" understanding of French grammar, we used a text for French lyceens called something like "Pour le latin, le grec et les langues ..., etudions le grammaire" ie du francais. I used this later to stun my own FL students at what French, and other Continental, schoolchildren were expected to know about the grammar of their own language. What it revealed to me was that what I had thought from studying, in England, Latin, 3 Romance langs, German and Russian, was a universal (at least for European languages) grammatical meta-language (Didn't know that term then) - subj, verb, obj, complement etc - didn't even stretch across the channel.
  10. funambule

    funambule New commenter

    What, no mention of Histoires Illustrees (sans accent)? Not exactly a text book; but that is how you wrote essays back in the day!
    At some point, not sure when, we used a text book called Shocket (I presume this was the surname of the author; the only content I can remember is a potted version of Les Miserables (toujours sans accent).
    Used Tavor (audiovisual method) in my first school; not my choice, it was idiosyncratic even then.
    There was a time when every stock cupboard had a box of En Avant materials- wish I'd kept mine- anybody got one?
  11. Just remembered (and have dug it out - Marvellous!) that in France I also used Gaston Cayrou: Grammaire francaise, Classes de 4e,3e,2e,1re: Armand Colin.
    I wonder what depth of grammatical knowledge is required for a ML degree now. For O level we covered all tenses except les surcomposes, but I have met a graduate teacher of French who didn't know that term and ditto Spanish who queried my mention of a Future Subjunctive. I've also taught foreign Bac and undergrad students on summer courses, and had many "qualified" EFL teachers come into the staffroom at breaks asking if anyone could explain some question s/he had been asked on a fine point of grammar. They had usually suggested that such points were not highly relevant to improving the student's competence in English, and were astonished and somewhat contemptuous when I would reply "Yes, but it'll probably be in their exam syllabus".
  12. ambi

    ambi New commenter

    Love this thread but only just discovered it.
    I started in Primary school doing a course called Bonjour Line - we had a little film show /projector thingy which was very avant garde in the early/mid-sixties. Did French and Latin . I remember Whitmarsh of course but our French teacher ( a male in an all Girls grammar school - so a great novelty ) had written his own textbook called Ca y est so we were subjected to that as well as the Cours Illustres. Started Spanish in 6th form - can't remember the name of textbook but the first phrase in Spanish I ever learnt was "el campesino va por el camino" so you can tell how old-fashioned that book was!! I too am an old Bradfordian and remember Rafael Sala, Jose Amodia and George(?) Inglis with affection. I did my placement in Aviles and spent a bit of time in Oviedo - happy days! Couldn't believe how they could shut down such a pioneering Mod Lang department and I remember I think it was last year when it folded and when the Alumni magazine came out with a great emphasis on the Global Dimension (or some such initiative) not a mention was made of the closure of the Languages dept - how ironic!
  13. Hi Ambi
    'el campesino va por el camino' I am pretty certain comes from 'Living Spanish' which is the book I used when I attempted to teach myself Spanish, before I could learn it at school. I also went to Bradford, as you will see from earlier posts. I have just returned from Stansted airport where I dropped my son off on route to Oviedo to study Spanish at the uni. I hope he has happy days too, I am sure that he will.
  14. I used photocopies of Histoire Illustrées with a GCSE class in the late 90s. They were a humorous bunch able to rise above the appalling illustrations. However they produced excellent essays when adapted for GCSE topics and an excellent set of GCSE grades.

  15. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter

    Yes, a wonderful read, this thread.

    I count myself as fortunate to have learnt French as a beginner in a Grammar School (early Sixties) from Nelson's Modern Method French Course.

    I recall that it had 5 volumes, and it was very, very thorough. It covered a huge range of vocabulary and explained grammar points clearly as you progressed with ample exercises to practise them with. By the end of Books 1 and 2 you could comfortably hold your own in France.
    This was supplemented with Cours Illustrees, of course ("If you don't know it don't use it!") . Old, old green and black-covered books held together with Sellotape, whose yellowing pages bore pictures in which the characters were invariably endowed with generous genitalia inked in by previous generations. (My Latin text-books were far newer).
    This mix of thoroughness and eccentricity was enough to spark up a lifelong love of foreign language learning.
  16. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter

    Ooops.... not COURS Illustrées, of course. Histoires Ilustrées.
    Cours Illustré was something I found in a cupboard in later years when teaching French in a Comp. Written by Gilbert. I think a monkey was an essential charecter for some reason.
  17. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter

    ...... and I do know how to spell 'character' really. I'll proof-read next time.

  18. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Keep the memories coming! My wife used Bonjour Line at school.
    Few seemed to have used the Voix et Images de France audio-visual course in the 1960s or 70s.
  19. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Sorry only just stumbled on this thread. Certainly make interesting reading and a trip down memory lane.
    I used the inevitable Whitmarsh & Russon at my own school with Tavor audio-visual course for our newly-installed language lab. Deutsches Leben also seems to ring a bell. GCE courses weremostly looking at past papers- anyone remember those picture stories we had to write? I've often thought I could do with some copies for students today!
    When I started teaching audio-visual techniques were 'the way to go' and I used Nuffield 'En Avant & Vorwaerts, followed by Zickzack, Logo & Echo with occasional use of Eclair & Tricolore for French followed by Metro.
    One nobody has mentioned is my own old German teacher's own book ' Programmed German Grammar' by Alan K Tyrer. It was designed to be put in a machine where you wrote in the answer and when you'd completed it you wound on and the correct answer appeared and you moved on to the next question. No idea now what the machine was, but I suppose some kind of early computer? Was useful for revision to just work through on one's own.

  20. Histoires Illustrées again, I'm sure. Brilliant. Loads of vocab amd sequencing, just what was needed for O Level and still usable today.

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