Monday, April 16, 2012

French (& Spanish) in Action

The classic French course "French in Action," which used to run on PBS, can be viewed for free online at Annenberg Learner. (There's also the Spanish course, Destinos.) They are both immersion courses so there is no English, except for a short introduction. Yale University used French in Action in its beginning French classes for many years, until a student sued them, saying that being forced to watch it constituted sexual harassment. (Read more about that in Alice Kaplan's French Lessons: a Memoir; she is also the author of the recent book Dreaming in French: the Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis.)

Last year French in Action had a reunion and posted photos of the actors in attendance, which are oddly delightful for anyone who has spent hours watching French in Action. Anyway, I highly recommend the series, and if you need some help in English with your French, try our Mango Languages database (BH library card required).

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