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Textbook names

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by jane80, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Tell me about this please...What is the problem? At least I can say "She was in the orchard, eating apples" - well-remembered from far more years ago than I care to mention!
     
  2. mco45

    mco45 New commenter

    WHITMARSH! WHITMARSH!
     
  3. mco45

    mco45 New commenter

    Actually,even I am too young for Whitmarsh but I do recall that when I started learning French in the September of y7 we went on holiday to France in the February and all I could say was stuff in the third person 'Monsieur et Madame Marsaud vont au marché' - I had very little idea of how to ask for a chocolate icecream. That at least is an improvement these days. You are at least taught early on how to talk about yourself, rather than relating a story of some mythical French family or postman with a wasp (Carnaval btw)
     
  4. ChillePhilly... I'd forgotten all about Sprich mal Deutsch, which we were quite convinced meant "Speak German badly!".
    There's a brilliant chapter which ends with the words "Julia flirtet mit dem Schaffner"...and in 20 years I don't think I've ever heard the verb "flirten" again!

    Glad you all like "Livre"...but I might produce one called "Learning French" or something equally anti-TL!
     
  5. mco45

    mco45 New commenter

    'Learning French!' Yes! And it could have on the front cover a picture of a pupil sitting at a desk with an exercise book and pen!
     
  6. OK, feeling more inspired now.

    I like "Ennui" a lot and also "*****!" (I think the latter would be good as an up-to-date "allez-y" set of books. (Mer-un and Mer-deux?)

    Maybe also "Pas ça!" and "Pas Encore!" could be considered.

    A big thanks to smoothnewt who explained the reason we are suspicious of the TL-brigade, too.
     
  7. This is such a funny thread, I've had to come out of my non-posting hibernation to add to it.

    Ennui and Desavantage made me scream MCO! Love it!

    We did the Bertillon family at school too and the cat was called Miquet, I think. The only reason I remember is because my friends and I were very sweet kids (If I may say so myself) - you know, those rare hard working types with the tie the correct length etc - and we loved the name Miquet so much we made up a song called 'Miquet le chat'.....

    The German one we did was called Biberswald - anyone remember that? The family Fiedler / Siedler / Wiedler??? lived in a place called Bayrisches Tal. God, isnt it weird what the brain remembers? They must have had pets too but I cant think of their names. Walter was the Dad I think.

    What about some new German names?

    How about 'Hau ab!' 'Schluss!' or 'Sprich kein Deutsch!' or 'Sterbpunkt Deutsch' or maybe 'Einfach Schwierig!


    For the dying few of us out there who are still valiently waving the German flag on a rapidly sinking ship as the Spanish Armada sail towards us with all guns ablaze...
     
  8. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Hi, puuaauufina, where've you been? How's the job hunting going?

    I did 4 years of German at school, and would have done A level if the teacher hadn't left to have a baby, so that there was no one to teach it. But I can't for the life of me visualise the text book we had. Was it something as obvious as "Wir lernen Deutsch"? Surely nothing so obvious. Did that exist in the 70's?

    Whitmarsh! I used that at school, and *whispers quietly* I have been know to use parts of it with the sixth form. This is something I would have been ashamed to admit a few years ago: direct prose translation as a method of teaching / learning - was a real no no!
     
  9. Ooh, Whitmarsh - sends shivers down my spine!!

    Welcome back, Puaa!!

    :)
     
  10. I used to love prose translation Smoothnewt (probably because I was so good at it) and lots of my knowledge of English literature comes from reading books from which I had translated passages - I can remember bits from Orwell, Somerset Maugham, Laurie Lee - loads and loads. I think the beauty of it is that you really have to understand the nuances in English before you can find the nuances of the foreign language. I found it really interesting.
    Puuaa - anyone who knows anything about learning especially languages knows that music and song are an ideal way to learn. I am willing to wager that Miquet le chat is going around in your head, Puuaa, and we need to hear it!
    Miquet le chat! Miquet le chat!
    (By the way the bit about being so good was a joke. I wouldn't like anyone to think I am arrogant about my unparalleled abilities).
     
  11. ambi

    ambi New commenter

    Interesting stuff. I started Spanish from scratch in the sixth form in the dim and distant seventies and my first sentence of Spanish has been indelibly printed on my memory ever since "el campesino va por el camino" " the peasant is going down the path"!!! Rivetting - or what?? Can't remember the text book - would be interested if anyone recognises it.
     
  12. mco45

    mco45 New commenter

    Hi puaa! I taught Biberswald in my first years of teaching! I loved Sterbpunkt Deutsch! I also loved Einfach Schwierig - bearing in mind that I still use from time to time, Einfach Toll. (Maybe I should call it Einfach Tod)
     
  13. Gosh I missed this wonderful thread yesterday! Merci bonté I opened it today.

    My vote also goes to 'Ennui and 'Désavantage'. "*****" would never make it past the puritanical textbook censors here. The most popular textbook series here has the supremely creative title "Discovering French". It's been around for donkeys' years. Now, though, there is great excitement in my district, because we are about to adopt the publisher's brand new course. Its title is - wait for it - Discovering French Nouveau. The Nouveau is in italics and has an exclamation mark, presumably to make it sound mroe dashing. (Actually the new cover is one of the few things that seem to have changed.)

    I was hoping they'd choose another of the options with the title "Allez, Viens". I think anything with the word "Come" in it arouses the interest of adolescent boys (like 'Komm Mit') but my mind seems to be closer to the gutter than most people here.

    I actually half-heartedly collect French textbooks. I recently paid an over-the-top price for an exceedingly battered copy of the very first French textbook I ever had. I was thrilled when it arrived.

    It was "En Route" by Saxelby. (I think "En Avant" mentioned by an earlier psoter may have been Book Two, but she may have been referring to the more recent Nuffield course) The chapters that most stuck in my mind were Toto falling into the duck pond and another about the family having a meal, which was in the form of a dialogue, and the teacher chose a few students to come out and sit around the staff table and read it aloud like a real play! Exciting stuff in those far-off days.

    Toto had long curly hair, like a girl. I remember that we all thought it hilarious when the boys in the second book went swimming and their swimsuits were like girls' suits.

    And I have the Nelson books mentioned earlier, too. In fact, I used one of their exercises only a few weeks ago, for remedial work with a group of failing students! I suppose Whitmarsh is lond dead now. I wonder whether his descendants realise that his name lives on in language teaching circles......

    Mattie (who, being ancient, remembers just about all of the French and German titles mentioned. Some with affection and one, at least, with utter loathing. More in the next post.)


     
  14. ChilePhilly

    ChilePhilly New commenter

    I remember Biberswald fondly, it rescued me from Sprich mal Deutsch! Wasn't the older brother called Paul and he had a Fotogeschäft? And the dog was Greif, or something. And didn't the family have zwei VW Büsse called Max und Moritz? Oh, those were the days..

    I've had to teach from Einfach Toll as well - "Miss, why is there a ***** on the front of the book?" Mind you, better than the Spanish version with those bloody castanets...
     
  15. Eclair. I rememebr it well. I would much rather not. Ity was origianlly deisigned for low ability students, which probably explains the vocabulary lists mentioned by an earlier poster and the simple, rote memory of stock phrases.

    Using it with ALL students, as I once had to do, was a complete nightmare! I know that if I'd done Eclair as a student I would have been bored out of my mind. Mental images of those d*mned flashcards still haunt me......

    In my opinion, only one good thing came out of "Eclair". And that was the accompanying "Un Kilo de Chansons" tape. That was brilliant, as evidenced by the fact that people are still trying to get hold of it today; unlike (I sincerely hope) the course itself.

    I sometimes worry that the new exams encourage an Eclair-like approach, with the need for stock phrases and little explanation of the whys ......

    Mattie
     
  16. And finally...... :)

    Those picture essays, and textbook stories.....

    There were so many about people falling into the water, out of trees, having accidents and making stupid errors like going to school on a Sunday morning.

    I was once at a conference where a presenter called for more authentic materials and texts. He said that the materials of the time gave students a very negative impresson of the citizens of the countries whose language they were learning, because these people apparently spent all their time falling out of trees, and so on.

    Almost to a man, the teachers attending were furious with him. It was declared that there was no time for questions. I think it was probably a strategic move, or he would have been pilloried. But I remember thinking at the time that he had a very good point! And now, of course, authentic matierals are the thing to use. I hope he is still around to see that his voice crying in the wildreness has finally been heard.

    Mattie
     
  17. Chilephilly

    I have never heard of Einfach Toll. And I am intrigued by the ***** on the cover! LOL. Was this just a traditional biro enhancement? Or was it actually a cover picture designed by yet another textbook illustrator who had apparently never been a teenage student?


    Mattie (Wondering whether there's a google image of an Einfach Toll cover.....)
     
  18. Mattie - the ***** is a giant talking frankfurter sausage. One of those things you regularly see in Germany! His name is Würstchen and he and his sausage friends feature throughout the book. The book is either very old or the author very naive.
    If you really want a pic, put your email address on and I'll scan one in for you!!! I've just spent an amused 5 minutes flicking through an Einfach Toll book chuckling at the *****-men. Nothing like stooping to the kids level!!
     
  19. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    ambi - probably written by the person who wrote the text book I used when starting Italian from scratch in the sixth form, which contained such useful gems as "the pigeons were roosting in the rafters". And then we had to learn endless proverbs: "una rondine non fa una primavera" etc...(note the seasonal difference)

    mattie - "Un Kilo de chansons" - God, my cassette is so warped through age and usage, but the kids still love it!

    The French version of Einfach Toll is Escalier. I'm still fond of books one and two and dip into them as a support for Métro sometimes. I am currently using unit 6 of Esc 2 to teach year 7 the weather. I seem to recall there is an onion character which is the French version of the German sausage / Spanish castanets. Mercifully it seems to have been fried by book 2.
     
  20. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    ambi - probably written by the person who wrote the text book I used when starting Italian from scratch in the sixth form, which contained such useful gems as "the pigeons were roosting in the rafters". And then we had to learn endless proverbs: "una rondine non fa una primavera" etc...(note the seasonal difference)

    mattie - "Un Kilo de chansons" - God, my cassette is so warped through age and usage, but the kids still love it!

    The French version of Einfach Toll is Escalier. I'm still fond of books one and two and dip into them as a support for Métro sometimes. I am currently using unit 6 of Esc 2 to teach year 7 the weather. I seem to recall there is an onion character which is the French version of the German sausage / Spanish castanets. Mercifully it seems to have been fried by book 2.
     

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