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Contes et légendes 1re Partie   By: (1859-1929)

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Roger et Marguerite


This little collection of Legends and Fairy Tales is intended merely as an introduction to general French reading. The stories have been told as simply as possible, with infinite repetition of the same words and idioms to enable the pupil to obtain a good vocabulary almost unconsciously. They have also been narrated as graphically as practicable to arouse an interest in the plot, to stimulate curiosity, and thereby induce the pupil to read to the end.

With the exception of the first tale of the series, for which I have purposely selected the common nursery story, "The Three Bears," I have carefully avoided the tales which are most familiar, or have given them in some unusual version, so that only by knowing the meaning of the words the sense of the story can be obtained.

This method has been used with most gratifying results with pupils of all ages either with or without the accompaniment of a grammar, and it is very gradual, to facilitate rapid progress in the language.

Of course, the results to be achieved depend greatly upon the instructor, but I have found that where daily lessons were the rule, the pupils, at the end of a very short time, were able to read simple histories and novels at sight with much pleasure and profit.

My own method, which, however, varies greatly according to the age and the intelligence of the pupils, is, roughly outlined, as follows, taking the first paragraph of this work as an example:

The first sentence is read plainly by the teacher or written on the blackboard, and as these stories are intended to be used from the very first lesson, each word is translated into English. Then the pupils read the sentence in turn, supplying the translation of the words as they are rapidly pointed out. A few moments' work of this kind suffices with average pupils to enable them to memorize the words so that they can reproduce them verbally or in writing, when the book is shut or after they have been rubbed off the board.

The next sentence is treated in the same way, the pupils translating the words previously given and the instructor giving the meaning of the new words only . Then making use of the first idiomatic expression "il y avait," an explanation is given, showing how it can be changed into the interrogative form "y avait il?" and the pupils are questioned rapidly as follows, using only the words already mastered:

"Y avait il un ours?"

"Y avait il deux ours?"

"Y avait il trois ours?"

"Y avait il un grand ours?"

"Y avait il un petit ours?"

"Y avait il un ours de grandeur moyenne?"

The answers are all given in French, as quickly as possible, ere the second sentence is written from memory.

Proceeding thus from sentence to sentence, more or less rapidly according to the class, a stock of words is soon acquired, reading, writing, and conversation become easy, and in a very short time the pupils, encouraged to guess at the meaning of new words , become entirely independent of vocabulary or dictionary. In concluding the lesson, the story is told again by the teacher, quite rapidly, in the usual conversational tone, or the pupils read or tell it aloud.

A vocabulary and a few notes have been added more as a matter of convenience for any pupils who should miss a recitation than for constant use, for the main object of this method is that the pupils should have all the French they have learned at the tip of their tongues. If this collection of stories helps to make the study of French more of a pleasure and less of a bugbear than it has heretofore proved, I shall feel that one part of my aim has been attained.




Les Trois Ours Les Quatre Saisons La Rose Mousseuse Les Trois Souhaits Le Chat et le Renard Blanche Neige Les Trois Citrons La Ville Submergée Le Poisson d'Or La Cabane au Toit de Fromage Le Vrai Héritier Yvon et Finette Le Renard et le Loup La Mauvaise Femme Baba Iaga Les Nez L'Hospitalité du Pacha Les Deux Frères Le Berger et le Dragon Les Deux Aumônes L'Amour d'une Mère Le Cheveu Merveilleux Un Conte de ma Mère l'Oie Godefroi le Petit Ermite Le Grain de Moutarde

CONTES ET LÉGENDES... Continue reading book >>

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