Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

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Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby n_j_f » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:57 am

Is anyone familiar with Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises? I inherited three volumes from my mother when she was learning French but never really used them until I found out by accident that some of the audio was on a French Language torrent that was floating around . . . legally downloaded, of course!

Some of the text of Book 1 — approximately 50% of the last half of the book — was either not recorded or is missing from the torrent. I haven't listened to all the audio from Book 2, but there is no audio for Book 3. Can anyone confirm if all of the text was recorded for the three books? If that is the case, for the sake of completing my collection, then I will try and hunt down the the cassettes or LPs.

Furthermore, an image search for "Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises" shows that there was a Book 4 but I can't find a record of this anywhere.

Any thoughts on the programme as a whole? From what I could see, it looks quite impressive coming as it does from the heyday of language courses (to quote Prof. Arguelles).
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby Daristani » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:04 pm

I have the first three volumes as well, and they list a fourth volume, evidently entitled "Civilisation, Litterature", as well as a fifth volume, "Grammaire du francais d'aujourd'hui". It appears as if only the first two volumes had audio, while the first volume also had an "adaption audio-visuelle".

I haven't used the materials myself, but the on-line comments about them (such as at Amazon.com) are very positive, while noting that the series dates from quite a while ago. (Personally, I think that's part of the charm of some of these older materials.)
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby tomgosse » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:40 pm

My French teacher from last year used the Mauger book as well as Grammaire Progressive du Français. The one thing about the Mauger book is that you really need to use it from the beginning since it has an on going story about a family from Montréal visiting Paris.
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby n_j_f » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:29 am

tomgosse wrote:My French teacher from last year used the Mauger book as well as Grammaire Progressive du Français. The one thing about the Mauger book is that you really need to use if from the beginning since is has an on going story about a family from Montéal visiting Paris.


I've had a read through the texts, just not in any great depth to try and assimilate the material. The narrative through the series makes it somewhat more interesting than random dialogues like the later Assimil series (the only weak point of Assimil IMO).

Doesn't look like there is audio to accompany all the texts, so I will be treating Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises as a combination of listening material for comprehension and the remaining parts without audio as a graded reader.
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby reineke » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:14 pm

n_j_f wrote:Is anyone familiar with Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises? I inherited three volumes from my mother when she was learning French but never really used them until I found out by accident that some of the audio was on a French Language torrent that was floating around . . . legally downloaded, of course!

Some of the text of Book 1 — approximately 50% of the last half of the book — was either not recorded or is missing from the torrent. I haven't listened to all the audio from Book 2, but there is no audio for Book 3. Can anyone confirm if all of the text was recorded for the three books? If that is the case, for the sake of completing my collection, then I will try and hunt down the the cassettes or LPs.

Furthermore, an image search for "Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises" shows that there was a Book 4 but I can't find a record of this anywhere.

Any thoughts on the programme as a whole? From what I could see, it looks quite impressive coming as it does from the heyday of language courses (to quote Prof. Arguelles).


The course has been nicknamed "le livre bleu" or "le Mauger bleu". There's also "le livre rouge" by Mauger or "Le français et la vie" which was based on the audio visual structural method. I left the book 4 of the first course... and several boxes of magnetic reels for the other course in another country. The only audio I have been able to hunt down for the second course was an online recording read by an Indian person (i.e. not the original audio). I'd love to hunt it down because that's how I learned my pronunciation as a kid.The audio for the Cours the langue... can be purchased, but not from a US IP address.

The fourth book of Le Cours... is almost as thick as the other three combined and includes mostly excerpts from literature and texts about French culture and civilization. The book also features occasional short grammar pointer and questions about the text. The course is excellent.

Grammaire Pratique du Français dAujourdhui, also by Mauger is an accessible French-only grammar. It's not a part of the course but they may have been selling it back in the day along with the course.

A review

"Cours de Langue et de Civilization Françaises I is one of the most classic classroom texts used for French language learning. Designed to bring French to the whole world during the heights of its popularity, it aims to instruct the students entirely in French.

The pictures are hand drawn with black and white photos and are reminiscent of World War II. I find this delightful since it really feels like you’re stepping back in time to old world France.

If you are a high school teacher contemplating this text, keep in mind your student population. There are no colors, no graphics, and nothing that might capture a student’s attention.

If you can get past the layout of the book, it actually does a good job of delivering the material. Even if you don’t understand a speck of French, the grammar explanations are well illustrated with examples so you can grasp the concept without understanding the whole French explanation. However, everything is completely in French so this can be overwhelming or a welcome challenge. You decide.

If you were learning by yourself, you would need some kind of tutor to guide you through as there is no audio to check your pronunciation and the book asks for a lot of language production, which you’ll want someone to verify. The book does provide some pronunciation keys, however, they are written in the linguist phonetics of dictionary entries.

Fifty years ago this book was revolutionary and praised as one of the best language learning resources of its time. Given the changes in student attention span and interest since then, I would say that while this book is good at what it does, what it lacks in “attention-getting” will ultimately negatively affect student interest in the classroom.

If you’re an independent learner and looking for a book you can sit down with for 15 minutes a day and pick up something new, this is not the book for you. This is more intense, for a more serious language learner, one that doesn’t mind sloughing through a book entirely in French. That said, if you have a guts to stick it out, this book would definitely help you on your way to French acquisition."

https://www.languagetrainers.com/reviews/course-book-reviews/french/cours-de-langue-et-de-civilisation-franaises-i
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby Carmody » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:48 pm

Could someone out there tell me about CLE and Grammaire Progressive du Français.? Are the instructions in English. I need a good grammar book but I am not clear if all editions have instructions in French.

Also what is it that makes CLE so popular?

Thanks.
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby tomgosse » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:02 pm

Carmody wrote:Could someone out there tell me about CLE and Grammaire Progressive du Français.? Are the instructions in English. I need a good grammar book but I am not clear if all editions have instructions in French.

Also what is it that makes CLE so popular?

Thanks.

Books from CLE and Grammaire Progressive du Français are all in French. As far as I know, all the editions have French instructions. It was the text used by my French teacher at the Marlborough Public Library. Here is a link to a preview of the book: Grammaire Progressive du Français.
EDIT: My one complaint about the books from CLE is that you have to buy the book with the answers separately. And, they ain't cheap! :(
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby tomgosse » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:15 pm

If you are looking for a French grammar book that has its explanations and instructions in English, I would recommend The Ultimate French Review and Practice. This a good book for someone who has some background in French and not a beginner. Another good book is Practice Makes Perfect.
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby Carmody » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:23 pm

Tom, thank you for the suggestion; most appreciated.

Would you tell me what you think of the French Grammar- A Complete Reference Guide that you bought and that I own also?

Also, why do people like the CLE bks. so much? I never saw one.
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Re: Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises

Postby tomgosse » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:47 pm

Carmody wrote:Tom, thank you for the suggestion; most appreciated.

Would you tell me what you think of the French Grammar- A Complete Reference Guide that you bought and that I own also?

Also, why do people like the CLE bks. so much? I never saw one.

I think that French Grammar - A Complete Reference Guide is what it claims to be: a complete reference guide. It appears to be a good book for someone who knows French and needs a reference. With the aid of a teacher it could be used for instruction, but I don't think it would be a good book as the first book for a self learner.

As far as the CLE books go all I can say, and this is only my opinion, is that they are popular in France, and French teachers from France are familiar with them. At least that was how I was introduced to them. My biggest complaint is that the answer book costs almost as much as the text book.

I hope this helps.
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