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Old MFL courses

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

  1. Most of these comments bring back great memories. My 1st encounter with French was in 1967, a north east grammar school, as a 1st year kid. It centred around La famille Duroc..but can't remember name of the book! For German Sprich mal deutsch and Russon...used to love that. Really challenged you and would sit for ages trying to get a good translation. And of course all the picture stories we regularly had to do.
    At Uni I was taught by 2 Whitmarshes.. Ann Whitmarsh while I was doing my degree and then her husband Guy Whitmarsh at Warwick when I was doing the PGCE. He must have been the grandson I think. We did chat about the Whitmarsh series of grammar books, a lot of which I have still and great reference material
    Working as a MFL teacher I think I've used most courses (well it has been 32 years) and it's always book 3 for year 9 that seems to lose the impetus. All the good stuff done in years 7 and 8 just seems to go limp in year 9.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I wish I had! Last year I was on the hunt for the episodic smuggler's story in 4A or 4B, which I think students might still enjoy today (possibly with some updated picturs and certainly used to help me keep my Y8s on track with the promise of the next episode!
  3. I have a copy of Mansion which I still use. Also a copy of Benedicte verbs. I think Whitmarsh and Russon had a lot going for them and sometimes I get those old copies out of the cupboard and let my year 12's and 13's see them. And Hammer seems to have gone out of fashion as well. Why?

  4. I went there as well, a bit later (80's). I left the secondary school at at 14 and studied at home with a helping hand from a sequence of French people, all passing through FLA gigs or jobs on Lark Lane. I can only imagine what they thought of me..

    The last book I looked at at school was Tricolore 3. So I bought that and the Collins Pocket Verb Tables, Grammar and Vocabulary. I made my own notes of what I read and put them in an A4 file. I moved on to Tricolore 4A. Moving onto 4B felt like a Big Deal.

    By this point, about a year in, the Collins books were looking a bit thumbed and it was time to go in search of bigger game. I went onto A Comprehensive French Grammar by Batchelor and Offord. I worked on Christmas Day, I was compulsive.

    Obviously every French film on tv was recorded and watched, from the exploits of Antoine Doinel to l'Escalier a l'Echafaud, Weekend and Jacques Tati's Cours du Soir. the more obscure the better. There were a lot of tapes and more than one A4 file.

    La Pratique du Francais by Dominique Secretan led to A Guide to Contemporary French Usage by Batchelor and Offord, French Structures by Eric Astington and both volumes of Actualites Francaises by Nott and Trickey. Some kids sniff glue, I did this.

    I had still never been to France; we were poor and we weren't even happy. However, I recall doing the essay in the GCE Special Paper and studiedly avoiding the subjunctive throughout. Then I put in a grey one, just the one, to take the Mick.

    It was a love letter to what I had been studying, and perhaps the first time, and therefore the best time, that I saw a reward for my work. Since then, I got a degree and a PCGE but I don't teach. Those who want it will find a way, just like I did. And they'll find me.
  5. katinalaoutaris

    katinalaoutaris New commenter

    Does anyone know where i could buy one of the early French textbooks called A la page please ?
  6. Schifoan

    Schifoan New commenter

    Zickzack Neu for German when I was at school (late Nineties).
  7. rex

    rex New commenter

    Horrified to see that the price on Amazon for Downes & Griffiths' "French for Today" starts at £87! Anyway for Russian we used Вперёд! affectionately called bnepeg.
  8. gill1950

    gill1950 New commenter

    Joining this thread very late, but wanted to add 'A Paname', which I didn't use but it was used for lower sets in the late 70s. The first course I used as a teacher was the Tavor audio visual course, with film strip. I recall 'Je suis le fantome de la maison. Je suis mort en 1111' (Not totally sure about the date. Not putting any accents either, as they don't seem to work). This was early 70s. Interestingly, in a comprehensive in the 70s with my top set, I used to teach perfect, imperfect and pluperfect, future and conditional in (equivalent of) Year 9. I taught the subjunctive in Year 10.
    I recall a multiple choice book 'L'embarras du choix' used a lot in the late 70s too.
    When googling Tavor, I discovered this link to a text book, 'French without tears' written in 1895! It looks very familiar, but probably I'm confusing it with the 'stories' in Whitmarsh, which I used as a pupil in the 60s.

  9. Schifoan

    Schifoan New commenter

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