Nyah’s lesson #50 Oct. 4, 2018

This is the first post of transcripts of my lessons in French with my granddaughter using purely tprs. The sessions last strictly 30 minutes, so #50 represents 25 hours of instruction. You might compare her comprehension level with that of a first year high school student about 22 hours into the course. I look forward to responding to questions about what I do and to responding to objections.

She’s invented a character named Drake which she identifies as a boy. From there I ask questions to ascertain the features of his life. Only pertinent utterances are transcribed and only enough to give some context. Words unknown to her are in italics……..

Est-ce que c’est la maison de Drake ou de ses parents?

Well, it’s an apartment.

Quel age a Drake? Seize ans comme vous ou soixante dix-sept comme moi? [she knows seize but I wrote my age on the flip chart with nothing but the numerals 77]

Oh, uhhhh,21

Est-ce qu’il est un garcon grand ou petit?

He’s tall.   [note she learned grand as big, as in un requin grand, not tall, so she transferred to the context of a person]

Est-ce qu’il va a l’ecole ou est-ce qu’il travaille [note travaille is an unknown word so she was probably responding to va a l’ecole]


BIG NOTE HERE: just here when I replaced college with universite she said oui! Earlier, I thought she’d said oui to another bit of input, but here it was quite clear. This may indicate the beginnings of emitting French.

Here I write and translate ‘travaille’

Qu’est-ce qu’il fait?

ummm ummmm he works as a host at a restaurant.

Il est maitre d’hotel (Later I found that works but hote also works for host in a restaurant, giving us another circumflex word revealing an s missing in French but present in the English borrowing. We also discussed how ‘chef’, learned earlier while talking about her mother’s boss, narrowed in meaning in English to cuisine and how it shows the French influence on English food culture)

Qu’est-ce qu’il etudie

That’s study, not student?

Qu’est-ce qui est Drake comme un garcon? Il est gentil, mechant? (neither of the adjectives does she know)

He’s….. you mean like personality? Extroverted!  [showing complete comprehension of the question]

Est-ce qu’il a une copaine.

No! [forcefully]

Il habite seul.

Yes… No, he has a roommate. [again, showing full comprehension]

(then she offered to change it to he lives alone ‘if you don’t know roommate’ 🙂

Me: I’m guessing it’s voisin de chambere. Do you remember voisin?

Yeah, neighbor. [spectacular since it’s been quite some time since we used that word in a story]

(I turned out to be wrong but retrieved my dignity in that my first guess I wrote down was the correct collocation: camarade de chamber.)

What’s the point of getting married, besides tax benefits? (at 16 years old? Was there something in the story that stimulated that question?)

(What follows is my explanation to her of why get married. I won’t include all of her confirmations of comprehension but she did indicate her understanding all the way through. Note that some words she had never heard before and they are italicized. Mema is my wife, her grandmother)

Pourquoi on se marie? Oui? Je suis un mari. Mema est ma femme. Et nous nous aimons – beaucoup. C’est pourquoi. Parce que, par example, si je suis dans un accident avec la voiture, je vais a l’hopital. Je suis malade, j’ai mal de tete, mais c’est tres serieux je suis tres, tres malade.Mema, si elle n’est pas ma femmel’hopital ne permis* pas qu’elle me voit*. Elle n’est pas parent

I used forms she knew – not the best thing to do, I know, and permet and voisse aren’t that far from permis and voit in pronunciation, but I choked – what can I say? (also, I see I did not know the subjunctive of voir)

Chez vous, chez nous, chez lui

Yeah, his house. (indicating she figured out lui by analogy with vous and nous)

What’s home?

(there follows a brief discussion of lack of a pair like house/home in Eng and casa/hogar in Sp., though foyer may work, I just don’t know if it’s as common as home/hogar)

Sa specialite est l’art ancienne, l’art romaine

Oh, (indicating specialite did not compute until I gave her the context of defining what kind of art)

La sculpture, la peinture……….

Oh, you had to hesitate on that one?

(I agreed I had and explained that I often go to Spanish for the gender: la sculptura > la scultpture. I then explained why I chose voisin de chamber b/c it relates to her AP studies. It relates to the fact that the Russian for roommate is neighbor of room (sosed po komnate) and that Russian borrowed many phrases from French and modeled some of their language on French, so I thought it might work. As we go on, I’ll cover the spread of French culture and language over the world, influencing so much of our own culture and language [ACTFL goals Comparison, Culture and Connections].




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