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The field test version of Metro~olitan French, Familiarization
and Short-Term Training was prepare in 1981 by Marie-Charlotte
Iszkowski and Lydie Stefanopoulos. Editorial and technical guidance
were provided by Hedy A. St. Denis and Earl W. Stevick. The final ver-
sion was written by Marie-Charlotte Iszkowski in 1983. Revisions were
based on observation of student performance and comments of both stu-
dents and instructors at FSI, and other members of the foreign service
community at post.
While we realize that some questions regarding vocabulary, style,
usage, and cultural matters will always be subject to variable inter-
pretation, depending on country of origin or personal preference, we
have attempted to incorporate as many useful suggestions as possible
in this edition. We have drawn on the expertise of our native-speaking
French staff, and also on that of others who have lived and worked in
France, Belgium, and Switzerland. The revisions were produced through
a collaborative effort of the following persons: Myriam Bourdin,
Elisabeth de Maynadier, Josette Howarth, and Marie-Charlotte
Iszkowski, under the direction of Hedy A. St. Denis. Recording of
accompanying tapes was done by Elisabeth de Maynadier, Henri
Fourcault, Marie-Charlotte Iszkowski, Alain Mornu, Hedy A. St. Denis,
and Jack Ulsh, under the supervision of Jos~ M. Ramirez in the FSI
recording studio, with the assistance of Mark Macklow. The text pho-
tographs were taken by Marie-Charlotte Iszkowski. The cover photograph
was provided by the FSI Overseas Briefing Center. Technical assistance
for art work was provided by Anne Meagher and John McClelland in the
FSl audio-visual section, under the guidance of Joseph A. Sadote. The
manuscript revis ions were effected by Myriam Bourdin. Arrangements for
final publication were made by Allen 1. Weinstein.
Jack Mendelsohn, Dean
School of Language Studies
Foreign Service Institute
Department of State
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• iii
Table of Contents •••••••••••••••••••••••••••.••••••••••••••••• v
Introduction to the Course
To The Teacher: FAST Courses--Needs and Objectives •••••• ix
Pour l'Instructeur: Cours "FAST"--Objectifs â Atteindre
Sarnple Teaching Techniques: Metropolitan French,
Farniliarization and Short Term Training ••••••••••••••••••
Familiarisation et Formation: Le Français en Europe
Exemples de Techniques d'Enseignement ••••••••••••••••••••
To the Student: Ten Weeks of French •••••••••••••••••••••
Lesson 1 - Arrival--Meeting M. Bertrand •••••••••••••••••••••• 1-1
Lesson 2 - Greeting M. Bertrand--Finding a Taxi •••••••••••••• 2-1
Lesson 3 - In an Embassy Car--Ma~ing Conversation with the
Driver •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 3-1
Lesson 4 - Finding the Embassy--Getting your Bearings •••••••• 4-1
Lesson 5 - A Taxi Trip to the Hotel--Getting your Baggage •••• 5-1
Lesson 6 - At the Hotel--Check~ng in ••••••••••••••••••••••••• 6-1
Lesson 10 - At the Airport--Meeting a Relative ••••••••••••••••
- At the Hotel--Making a Long Distance CalI
- At the Hotel--Comp1aining about your Room
- At the Train Station--Going to Versailles
Lesson Il - No Taxis--Looking for the Metro •••••••••••••••••••
Lesson 12 - Taking the Metro--Getting your Tickets ••••••••••••
Lesson 13 - Meeting a Friend in a Cafê ........................
Lesson 14 - Taking C10thes to the Dry C1eaner .................
Lesson 15 - Shopping for Food--At the Bakery ..................
Lesson 16 - Shopping for Food--At the De1icatessen ............
Lesson 17 - Shopping for Food--At the Greengrocer ·............
Lesson 18 - Shopping for food--At the Butcher Shop ............
Lesson 19 - Shopping in a Department Store ....................
Lesson 20 - Getting Stuck in a Traffic Jam .................... 20-1
Lesson 21 - At the Restaurant--Ordering your Meal
Lesson 22 - At the Restaurant--Choosing the Wines
Lesson 23 - Buying Medicine at the Pharmacy •••••••••••••••••••
Lesson 24 - Ca11ing a Doctor ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lesson 25 - At the Tobacconist--Buying Postcards ••••••••••••••
Lesson 26 - Ta1king with a Friend--P1anning an Outing to the
Mov ies ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lesson 27 - Ta1king with a Friend--P1anning an Evening at the
Lesson 28 - Going to Dinner in a French Home ••••••••••••••••••
Lesson 29 - Conversing with your Friends during Dinner ••••••••
Lesson 30 - Getting your Hair Cut •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lesson 31 - At a Department Store--Buying an E1ectrica1
Lesson 32 - Answering the Phone at the Embassy ••••••••••••••••
Lesson 33 - Making an Appointment
Lesson 34 - Greeting a Visitor at
the Embassy •••••••••••••••••
Lesson 35 - Getting a Traffic Ticket ••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Lesson 36 - Dea1ing with a Minor Traffic Accident •••••••••••••
Finding an Apartment ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Accepting a Delivery ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Calling a Locksmith •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Responding to Emergencies •••••••••••••••••••••••••
- Writing Letters (La Correspondance) ............... A-l
Exploring and Vocabulary Notes •••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Functional Notes, Cultural Notes and Practical Helps ••••••
More Words, Index of Lists •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
TO THE TEACHER:
FAST COURSES--NEEDS AND OBJECTIVES
Is a Familiarization Short Term (FAST) course just another
language course? We don't think so. FAST courses have been welcomed
by teachers and students alike for characteristics which are designed
to meet specifie kinds of language use needs.
This course is not designed for self-instruction. A resourceful
and imaginative instructor will be a big help in rapid and successful
mastery of the material presented. FAST courses are for those indivi-
duals for whom approximately 300 hours of active well-targeted French
instruction can mean a more successful living and working experience
in the host country. FAST courses help such individuals increase their
ability to handle new situations.
A FAST course therefore differs from most traditional courses in
its goals, in sorne features of its format, and in several techniques.
Let's begin by being very clear about goals. The students' over-
aIl goal, stated generally, is not "to know about the culture," or
"to speak the language." It is to acquire the ability to apply the
limited amount of language at his or her disposaI to the situations
students are l ikely to encounter overseas--and to do so wi th conf i-
dence. Knowledge and skills will be valuable only insofar as they
make people more effective in getting things done. A lot of time spent
with academic facts or linguistic correctness is incidental to the
students' real needs, and can be undesirable.
Specifically, we have concentrated on certain situations with
which almost everyone needs to cope: getting into a hotel, using the
telephone, dealing with local transportation, and so on. You will
spend more of your time than in tradi tional programs in helping your
students with practice for these situations, and less of your time in
teaching them forms or patterns to be applied in a broader contexte
Everything in the lessons that you teach from the materials ei ther
should be a simulation of a common activity in the host country, or
should contribute directly to such a simulation. This is the principle
of "learning by doing" which, in FAST courses, largely overrides the
academic practice of "learning by studying about."
Since the goal of the FAST course is to help students get things
done in certain selected everyday situations, your expectations about
student performance--the criteria for their success--will have to be
different from what we have heretofore assumed them to be.
Thus, you will be satisfied when understanding and speaking are suf-
ficient to make students effective, even if they aren't producing the
language perfectly. Conversely, you won' t be sat isf ied with error-
free language from them unless you see that they are also communi-
cating effectively in a situation like one that they will meet out-
side of class.
As you bring your students to the point where they know that they
are able to handle everyday contacts with sorne comfort, you will be
contributing toward the primary goal of FAST courses, that of building
confidence. Even the most relevant facts and skills are useless until
someone is willing to put them to use. Normally, students are not
willing to do so unless they are fairly confident that they will suc-
ceed. FAST courses build student confidence in two ways. First, they
brief students rather fuIIy on how certain things shouid be done in the
host country--this is informationai. Second, they give students re-
peated experiences of success in reai or simulated examples of doing
those things--this is participatory. Confidence, in turn, leads to
more frequent and more successfui communication outside the class-
room--and hence to fuller acquisition of language and culture.
Consistent with these goals, we have built into the materiais
four generai features which bear sorne discussion here.
1. Communication: We have aimed toward activities which are, in
a very special sense, "communicative." The principle of "learning by
doing" states that what your students do successfuIIy, they are Iikely
to do more readiIy in the future. In the same way, what they do not do
successfully, they are very unlikely to attempt to use. For example,
it is one thing to memorize and produce fluently in class the
"How far is it from Paris to Geneva?"
"It's about 400 miles."
What a student has succeeded at here is to produce sentences--nothing
more. To be sure, these are sentences which might under other cir-
cumstances serve for communication, but they have not done so here--
at Ieast not yet. It is quite another thing, when you need to have the
same information but don't have it, to ask:
"How far is it from Paris to Geneva?"
and to receive the reply:
"It's about 400 miles."
If the need is genuine, if one speaker absolutely must com-
municate with the other or be unable to get to Geneva, we are dealing
with genuine communication--the resolution of uncertainty. Too often
we pretend to be communicating authentically for the sake of exercise,
but the learner knows s/he is just pretending, and that what s/he is
really practicing is sentence production and comprehension--but not
real communication. The difference between pretending to communicate
and really doing so cannot be overemphasized. In the latter, people
actually find out things that they didn' t know before; in the former,
they just pretend to. In a FAST course you won't be able to spend aIl
of your time in real communication with your students, but you should
spend a large part of each lesson in this way. Once more, if they
don't practice it successfully they won't learn to do it! If they do
practice it successfully, they will have the confidence and the
experience to communicate successfully in the future. In a FAST course
we try to establish a genuine need for the student to communicate in
order to accomplish what s/he needs to do, not just to practice mani-
pulating elements of language.
2. Detailed information about the setting: Using language means
forming mental images from the words that one sees or hears (compre-
hension), and responding in words that will convey the ideas which are
in one' s own head (production). This is another thing that must be
practiced successfully if it is to be learned. A student who practices
associating words wi th minimal images will have a very thin, one-
dimensional grasp of the words and ideas s/he practices using. For
example, i t' s easy to tell a student that supermarch~ means "super-
market." He or she can then borrow whatever image s/he had for the
English word and practice attaching that image to the foreign word.
The image based on what s/he later encounters may be totally false. Or
we can tell and show the student--in English if necessary--where the
market is, how large it is, what it sounds and smells like, and what
people do there. In this way we can enrich the image that the student
practices associating with the word. We can also ensure that this
image will fit more closely with what the student actually finds in
the host country.
For this reason, you will find that FAST courses often go into
considerable detail, in English as weIl as in the target language,
about the settings in which the dialogs and other