French Language Lab
French Tapas, Aurovilian since 1991, has supplied the main drive towards the creation of the French Language Lab, which she currently runs with her Aurovilian friend and colleague Mita from India. They give us the following information about the learning centre:
If you are an Aurovilian, Newcomer, Guest, Long-Term Guest, Friend of Auroville, or someone who is working in Auroville, and you'd like to learn French, one of the places you can come to is the French Lab in Centre Field. Here people come to learn French in a relaxed atmosphere. The focus of the lab is adults. Classes may be in groups or for individuals, and many different options are available. It all depends on what the student needs. Various methods based on video, audio, CD-ROM and texts are available.
There are 3 levels of classes: beginners, intermediate and advanced. All students watch the video series, 'French in Action', read associated texts, receive an audio-cassette for each lesson and a booklet of exercises. Some students study in a group and look at the video-based method one or two times a week, and have regular classes. Others come individually several times a week to look gradually at the lessons and learn by themselves. Yet others come and pick up a CD and learn through their computers, and follow-up with audio-cassettes and associated texts.
Group classes are generally twice a week for one and a half-hours over a period of 3 months, which is a period of concentration, involvement and assimilation. Then there is time for reflection and practice (to get out there and speak!). After six months or a year, the students may return to the Lab or continue their studies with the aid of CD-ROMs.
'Lecture des Sons'
Classes take off from the video into reading (beginner students start reading French immediately), study of grammar, small conversations, translating the texts, and discussion. Especially with Tamil students, emphasis is laid on the difference in sound between the mother tongue and French, and a special method 'Lecture des Sons' has also been developed. With Intermediate and Advanced students, other audio-based methods involving audio-cassettes and CD-ROMs¨ are also used, along with texts of Mother and other authors and articles from French newspapers and magazines, or French TV programmes and French films and cartoons borrowed from the Auroville Video Library TO supplement.
In addition to the above, one of the teachers - Aurovilian Tapas from France - also offers individual courses:
Though the focus is clearly on adult education, young people of Auroville also know that they are welcome to come to watch French films, and the Lab also occasionally offers classes to young students as a supplement to their regular study at school.
Every year, the laboratory welcomes approximately:
In addition, about a dozen students receive French teaching outside the Lab premises (in 1999, from Shuttle Technology; in 2000, all the employees of Bharat Nivas - Messenger Service, Post Office, various secretaries of SAIIER, Working Committee, Visa Service, etc).
We also research internet-based French teaching methods as well as other information related to teaching French, such as films, CD-ROMs, events and meetings, and distant education resources.
The agenda for the future
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