We have purposely avoided calling this section vocabulary, though it deals with words.
In every traditional textbook, the vocabulary section includes a list of words to be memorized, “learned” that students are responsible for memorizing. In Amis pour la vie, words are not to be memorized but used, applied and played with.
As students work with Des Mots, they are in familiar territory. According to language experts, French and English share 60% of their vocabulary, with minor spelling variations in many cases. When the vocabulary is related to the sciences, the commonality rises to 90%!
Each Des Mots section includes from 10 to 13 tables or lists of words, totaling around 400 per module. Their relevance and reason for selection is related to their use in our C´est la vie! section.
Students are asked to simultaneously read and listen to the words as they are pronounced by modeling voices, paying attention to their pronunciation and their meaning in English. Students are later asked to record after the modeling. The drill of recording their voices as they pronounce hundreds of relevant French words, will also foment students’ oral production in a non-threatening context.
Formative assessment related to words will go from basic identifications in beginning Module, to more complex applications in future courses.
Individual, paired, group and full class activities and discussions enable further practice. Students are asked to participate in engaging exercises of identification, matching, definitions and more. Activities are visually engaging and communicative.
In conclusion, the Des Mots section of this class is the student’s sandbox for playing with French words and preparing for extended grammar practice in Des Structures, and an amazing linguistic and cultural immersion in C´est la vie!