Posted on: August 14, 2020
French for Reading and Translation
By Shannon R. Becker
French for Reading and Translation is ideal for anyone wanting to develop the skills necessary to read books, articles, blogs, newspapers, etc in French. While its main audience is graduate students in various disciplines who need to read academic sources in French to conduct their research, it's been designed to be accessible to anyone. It provides easy-to-follow explanations along with plenty of examples and exercises founded in current pedagogical practice, so it provides a welcome update to some of the older books on the market.
Every chapter begins with a joke! I lead you through recognizing the words you already know and making educated guesses at the rest. Understanding humor is a great way to increase your motivation and see your progress. Chapters are then divided into vocabulary, grammar, and reading/translation sections in a way that guides you logically through the language. The explanations are clear and straight-forward, without the tedium typically associated with long discussions of grammar.
I relied on research in Second Language Acquisition to inform the format of the book as well as the information provided in the preliminary chapter. The sample texts are pulled not just from literature, but from philosophy and history as well, in order to provide the reader with a variety of styles. My main focus was making my own language approachable and conversational, to make learning French as easy as possible.
The idea for French for Reading and Translation was developed through my own experiences with teaching French for Reading and Translation as a graduate course in two different universities. I found that most of the existing material for these courses was outdated and/or very tedious. I wanted to create something that would not only effectively convey the necessary information, but that would do so in a format that was easy to follow and made sense to the reader.