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The French language and culture often seem quite removed from the lives of my students. Whereas they see and hear evidence of the "point" of learning Spanish literally daily, it is often more difficult to convince them of the practical benefits of learning French. Although there are indeed plenty, perhaps the key is to finally drop the pretense that the competition is comparable in terms of present day, everyday relevance, and instead set our sights on the future, full as it is of possibility. Paris is the City of Lights! It's a city that begs to be dreamt of, that resonates with mystique and allure. So let's use that! Let's compel the adventurous nature of our future travelers and explorers through image-rich activities that will lead students to learn about the city based on what draws them in, familiarizing themselves with the landmarks that interest them most, and developing a conception of the city that has individualized meaning and significance.
Although this unit is specifically created for use in an 8 th grade French class, it provides a framework that can be applied to other language and city study as well as other grade levels of French.
(Recommended for Middle School French 1B, Grade 8; Fench 1, Grade 9)
Number 16 of the periodical On Common Ground
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