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New! Downloadable version for Windows now available exclusively at Tralco.

NEW! Scroll down to see three articles about integrating La chaise berçante into French programs.

La chaise berçante CD-ROM has been evaluated, approved and recommended by: Alberta Learning, British Columbia Ministry of Education, Calgary Board of Education and Quebec Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

The La chaise berçante CD-ROM is the first computer software that refers specifically to the culture of Canada and Quebec to teach French as a second language. 

The CD is based on Frédéric Back's animated film CRAC!  The film is the starting point for many language activities at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.  They feature standard French pronunciation and, occasionally, familiar usage. 

The language activities involve exercises in oral and written comprehension, matching tests, and complex sentence reconstruction. The cultural activities present paintings, folk dances, songs and many slides of Quebec city and Montreal.  The student can create a personal notebook for cultural references.  A "scavenger hunt" and a "photo album" are also available.  The student can compare two versions of the Chasse-Galerie legend, one in standard French and the other in dialect.  The Chasse-Galerie is also accompanied by various exercises. 

A multimedia glossary of more than a thousand words is available for help with unfamiliar terms in the texts. 

Help is available at all times on the various pages of the CD. Additional information is provided about the origin of CRAC!  in an interview with Frédéric Back. 

In short, La chaise berçante offers hours of linguistic and cultural activities to students of French.  The sound tracks, the spoken and written texts, the songs, animations and film clips approach a complete immersion in the language and in French-Canadian culture. 

Learning theories and methodology

La chaise berçante is based on two principles. First, culture is an integral part of language, and vice-versa. Second, narration provides a legitimate basis for language learning (a theory developed by James Nord). The methodology of La chaise berçante flows from these two principles and includes a wealth of interaction involving language and culture.

The authors reject the limitations of a single ideology in favour of an eclectic approach that is communicative, contextualized and multidimensional. Their objectives include: culture, vocabulary, aural and written comprehension and, to a lesser extent, language production -- the latter being in the form of classroom suggestions to be delivered through the website (Teachers' page currently under construction). 

To view the OMLTA 2002 presentation by Bonnie Lilien and Roberta Sinyor, click here.

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Documents for downloading:

  • Quand langue, littérature, peinture et chanson vont de pair : scénarios pédagogiques pour apprivoiser la culture canadienne-française

    Article by Linda de Serres. ALSIC, Vol. 6, Number 2, December 2003, pp. 169 - 182. Click here.

  • Educational Software as the Teacher’s Partner
    Article by Donna Mydlarski. Click here.


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  • This year I used La Chaise Berçante with my 7th grade classes. The CD “lived” on my laptop. I conducted most lessons using an LCD projector for whole-class participation. ... Click here.

Lesson Plans Available:


Last updated: 01/18/2007
© 2004 the authors. All rights reserved
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