Transcon - Intensive and Relevant Instruction in French , English, Arabic : The right words for the right place

Transcon - Intensive, Relevant, French & Arabic Instruction

INTRODUCTION 

The objective of this book and the Transcon website is to bring a little reality and common sense into language training. Learning a second or even third language can be very rewarding, in more ways than one. Initial enthusiasm however, can often turn to frustration at the methods that are so often used to ‘teach’ language. In truth, it is often more an exercise in clever marketing than providing material that genuinely explains how a language works. If you believe all the gimmicks such as ‘No effort required!’, ‘No pens or pencils!’, ‘Just sit back and you’ll be fluent in no time!’ that’s pretty much your own fault really.   French lessons in whatever form, books, CDs or classroom instruction are a perfect example. From the very beginning it is often a confusing mix of adjectives, verbs, nouns, singular, plural, masculine and feminine. Not easy to start with and even tougher if you can’t remember what verbs, nouns and adjectives are. And the real turn off for many English speakers trying to learn French is the so-called importance of having to learn about masculine and feminine. Most Anglophones see attaching ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ attributes to inanimate objects such as chairs, tables and doors as simply stupid or pointless. Whatever the case, it is unnecessary to waste time learning about it in your first lesson as the French certainly don’t care whether you get these grammatical details right or not....... French lessons in whatever form, books, CDs or classroom instruction are a perfect example. From the very beginning it is often a confusing mix of adjectives, verbs, nouns, singular, plural, masculine and feminine. Not easy to start with and even tougher if you can’t remember what verbs, nouns and adjectives are. And the real turn off for many English speakers trying to learn French is the so-called importance of having to learn about masculine and feminine. Most Anglophones see attaching ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ attributes to inanimate objects such as chairs, tables and doors as simply stupid or pointless. Whatever the case, it is unnecessary to waste time learning about it in your first lesson as the French certainly don’t care whether you get these grammatical details right or not.......

CHAPTER 1 - 'ER' VERBS As just mentioned, our main priority will be the verbs. We are not going to waste our time trolling through lists of nouns, i.e. naming words such as chair, table, wall house etc. or adjectives, the describing words such fast, slow, happy, angry etc. All these words are learnt by default as we work with our verbs. The first lesson is always the same, conjugation. Once you understand how to conjugate a verb everything develops from that point on. All conjugating a verb means is putting it into its different forms according to which person it applies to. A simple example is one of our many verbs that are virtually identical in both French and English. ‘Change’ in English or ‘Changer’ in French........

CHAPTER 2 - CONTINUATION OF 'ER' VERBS All verbs in French end in either ER, IR or RE. For now we will stick to the verbs ending in ER because they are the majority of verbs. They are definitely the easiest to understand and working with them first allows you to rapidly expand your vocabulary as many of them are the ones that, as mentioned, are virtually identical to English. Not all ER verbs are listed in the first group of the mini- dictionary, just ones that are virtually identical to English. One more example, CONTINUER. No prizes for guessing which verb that is in English. Je continue        Tu continues      Il continue Same system, we just dropped the R off the end of our French verb and we have the French equivalent of I continue, You continue and He continues.