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Communication in Context: How The New Roman-photo Facilitates Engagement

Inspiring students to participate in target-language conversations can feel presque impossible. They may be anxious about making mistakes, disinterested in the subject matter, or reluctant to talk about themselves. Whether you teach online or in the classroom, a dramatic video series like the Roman-photo can facilitate engagement by providing the context necessary for meaningful communication. 

 

Introducing students to characters and situations from the Roman-photo video at the beginning of a unit will not only generate interest, but will also set the stage for theme-based conversation throughout. The Roman-photo is a great way for students to become familiar with new lesson vocabulary, and it can also be used to preview the lesson’s grammar concepts in a low-stakes, inductive setting. For example, you might ask students to read the mini-dialogues from the Roman-photo storyboard in the textbook and identify forms of a particular verb. Once they are able to identify the verb forms, your students will be ready to actively engage with the corresponding Structures explanation. 

 

The characters and situations from the video series are integrated throughout the program, and the episodes are tailored to fit the themes and concepts of each lesson. Therefore, you’ll never be in search of an engaging context for communicative practice. Students relate to the experiences of the characters in the video series as they weigh career options, navigate relationships, and try new things—all against the backdrop of la Ville lumière! And because the episodes hold students’ interest, it’s easy to sustain ongoing conversation while using new vocabulary and structures to make predictions, analyze the episodes, and express opinions. 

 

Comprehension is reinforced through a variety of activity types, including while-you-watch “quick check” activities embedded in the interactive episodes. C’est génial! Active viewing keeps students focused, not just on spoken language, but also on visuals and nonverbal cues, which are essential to comprehension. 

 

Comme si tout ça ne suffisait pas, the dialogue from the Roman-photo episodes also serves as meaningful content for listen-and-repeat pronunciation practice, so students can work on fluency and accuracy in context. Speech recognition software provides immediate feedback that lets students know how they’re doing, without penalizing them for making mistakes. Students have unlimited opportunities to practice in a relaxed setting so can they improve at their own pace. 

 

Have you taken advantage of the new Roman-photo videos in any of your courses? If not, ne tardez pas! Building proficiency in French has never been so sympa. 

 

Click here to watch a clip of the Roman-photo video series!

 

Megan Mahoney

Senior Development Editor

 

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