in MythTV, Reviews

French in Action

I actually had some free time last night so I decided to catch up on the TV shows I’ve been recording but haven’t watched. One of them was the PBS show French in Action, which teaches French at the college level. It’s an immersion-type series first show in 1987 which teaches the language through various scenarios. The three years of French I took in high school are as old as the TV show itself and yet I found that following the conversations was much easier than I expected!

I found the show’s way of dumping you into the dialogue and only afterward tying up the loose ends – after you’re forced to try to figure it out yourself – to be very effective in making the lessons stick. In fact, it seemed easier to pick things up using video than it did using textbooks and a French-speaking teacher in the classroom. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I could rewind the show if there was dialogue I didn’t understand.

Looks like I’ll now be brushing up on my French in the evenings. If that goes well, I may also start watching all the episodes of Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish that I’ve also been recording!

(P.S. All the episodes of French in Action can be streamed online for free as can episodes of Destinos).

  1. I have noticed that it is very effective to watch foreign-language movies with English subtitles… even American movies with a second language track. Your eyes see the English meaning, while your ears hear the foreign language in its natural spoken form.

  2. Yes, it’s all about context. If I know what’s happening (via subtitles or having seen the movie before) I can more easily follow the conversation.

    Good tip, Alan!

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