Tell Tale is a flexible game that can be played in any language. The only thing required to play it is a deck of a cards that features pictures on both sides of it. The goal of the game is to come up with a story from the cards. You can either take turns and make a story with the group or everyone draws the same amount of cards and comes up with their story. You can with others as teams or not. As you can see from the pictures, they are simple scenes depicting a person, place or thing. This game is specifically helpful to language learners because one can practice forming sentences using familiar words such as the ones shown. “Flower”, “dog”, or “rain” are easily accessible to most beginner language learners.
On the other hand, this game can also force one to go out of their comfort zone and think of new sentences as well as discover new words or phrases. For instance, I can say I know now the French word for fortune teller: <<diseur de bonne aventure>>
¿cómo se dice “falling to your death”
Although practice with speaking is important to learning a language, reading is also an indispensable tool. By just relying on listening or speaking, one loses out on understanding the fundamental rules to a language. Reading also helps many people visualize a language easier and therefore retain it. Reading in foreign languages is very daunting but that’s why graded readers exist! These books are written for the learners of a language and include a lot of information.
Here in the LRC, there is one copy of an intermediate Graded French Reader. However, archived here is a list of many public domain readers. They are available on a range of levels. For instance, A Graduated French Reader by Paul Barbier begins with a lesson on pronunciation of French letters. It includes many short stories and includes vocabulary at the end of each. Towards the back of the book poems are also included along with tables of irregular verbs and a full vocab list. For more advanced students, there are more challenging publications. One that seems particularly interesting to me is A Scientific French Reader written by Alexander Herdler that includes excerpts and diagrams of aviation, basic physics, chemistry, and so much more. When learning languages, one doesn’t get to encounter vocabulary such as this or to see the syntax of a language in a discipline like this. Although this might bore some people, we learn in different ways and exploring what may benefit or intrigue you the most is worth pursuing.
Located on the shelf called “French Games” is one such board game titled “Race to Paris”. This game is best for beginners as it utilizes many basic nouns and verbs. You use cards to create French sentences and the longer the sentence, the more points you can receive. More points means making it to the center of the board, AKA Paris.
There are also arrows located on the cards that show what cards can be placed before and after others which means you can create sentences easily (even if you have no idea what the words mean) and advance in the game. Although not being able to translate your sentence means fewer points.
It is also a useful way to practice your pronunciation since some spots require you to test your opponents on their knowledge of French vocab words. For beginners it is a great way to expand one’s vocabulary and even advanced students can review. Regardless, everyone can have a few laughs at the basic, but somehow still funny, sentences such as “I admire the sad professor.” Don’t we all.
Salut! My name is Hannah and I am from Winston-Salem, NC. I’ve been studying French since middle school and it has helped fuel my love of new cultures and travel. I am currently a music major who has a weird thing for romantic and 20th century French composers.
I hope to utilize music as a lens to study other cultures as well. I was born in Indonesia and have been obsessed with it since. I’m always ready to revisit, though now I hope to return to study the different musical instruments and styles of Sumatera, Java, and Bali.