|I use the OER website-based program Français Interactif (created by the University of Texas at Austin) almost exclusively for my college-level French 1 and French 2 courses at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. It serves as my primary source, my only textbook, and I designed my syllabus/curriculum for each course around its chapters.|
I have created various supplemental tools and assignments to complement the program including mini lesson videos (Students hear my voice going over the lesson from the website, and I add in information here and there.), “repeat-after-me” videos (I read the text and give students time to repeat sentences after me.), reading practice videos (I read the text, and students can follow along or listen without reading to help with comprehension.), homework exercise sheets (I create original exercises, but also exercises based on those from the website.), and recording assignments (These are usually based on the material we’re covering at the time.). Additionally, I’ve created write-ups to expand on cultural topics, and I share my personal experiences from studying abroad, add in links to interesting articles online, etc.
Français Interactif easily takes the place of a commercial textbook, and makes taking a class a bit more affordable. Plus, it offers its entire program online, with students being able to download most of what is available. As it’s usable on many types of devices, I know that students can access it and do the work from just about anywhere.
There is so much available on the website that my students cannot get to everything in a semester, but it’s there for them if they need it. I encourage them to use as much as they can—especially if they are serious about learning French. If I assign two videos to watch, I tell them to try to watch four or five if they can find some time. Also, I remind my students that the website will be there for them to continue to learn and practice French even after they’ve completed the course.
Before teaching with the Français Interactif website-based program with Cincinnati State, I used it for all of my elementary level French courses at Keene State College (in Keene, NH), and I helped Rivier University (in Nashua, NH) get started with it, as well, before I moved. The application asks how I used the OER—past tense—but I continue to use it still. And, I continue to recommend it to schools wanting to help their students save a bit of money on textbooks and have access to the material online, from anywhere and on many different devices.