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Actualités françaises : a complete…

Actualités françaises : a complete course for advanced students

by D. O. Nott

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Created in the late 60's, AF 2 is the second of a pair of books for 'A'-Level French. Anyone familiar with language 'A'-Levels over the recent period will be interested to see this, arguably quite early, contribution to the topic-based 'issues' approach to content and writing, in which grand themes such as 'The Environment', 'Urbanisation', 'The Developing World', 'Racism',
become all-important to learners.

For example, learners might encounter vocabulary and information on unemployment, diseases, pollution and so on, and ultimately make use of this material in their exams. It's a world of argument and 'je pense que...' in which the words 'il y a...' seem to allow you to choose what you will see- and what you will choose to ignore... You can almost hear the attitude, fresh at the moment of its first expression, all chewing gum and American cigarettes: 'Coz it's us, it's young people, man, the world's changin', yeah...' Yeah. How stale it has become since.

The truest and starkest expression of the France of that period, is presented, briefly, in an expose of the 'Bidonville'- a shanty town on the outskirts of Paris itself- a makeshift and officially illegal shelter for immigrants from north Africa. There is broken glass in the foie gras.

This book attempts to introduce the reader to some interesting ideas and some 'proper' writing and language is secondary to content. It's a respectful approach to the writers and to the reader- who is now officially 'allowed' to read real grown up stuff-proper books. Interesting ideas are embedded in the essays in this collection, arguably not too deeply for the reader to miss them.

  biffbogan | Nov 11, 2010 |
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