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Chapter 1  Introduction

This book provides an annotated bibliography of resources that I have found useful for learning French. These resources include audio courses, books, music, movies and websites. You may notice the lack of overlap between these recommendations and the British school curriculum. This is deliberate because I find that schoolbooks and most curriculum-orientated websites suffer from some serious problems: they tend to not be varied enough; they are cluttered with unnecessary vocabulary and exercises; and they are confusing to use. If you have to follow the school curriculum, then use my suggestions alongside your schoolbooks to build on variety and quality.

I have arranged the resources into chapters and sections for ease of reference. Because I have kept the list short in each section—I advocate quality over quantity—the resources are listed arbitrarily rather than in any particular order. I do not think the order of resources is important here. I also provide practical suggestions on how to do your own search to find more French learning resources.

French is the official language of 32 countries on five continents. These French-speaking countries are part of the Francophone world (la francophonie). If you are interested to learn about the Francophone world, visit www.francophonie.org or read the Francophone entry on www.wikipedia.org, the free online encyclopedia. You should be aware that just as English spoken in England is slightly different from English spoken in the USA or Australia, likewise each French-speaking country has its own slightly different version of French. If you learn French specific to one country, then you should find it easy to adjust to French spoken in another country. This book focusses on French spoken in France because that is my area of expertise. You can use a search engine, such as www.google.co.uk, to find region-specific dictionaries, for example, Canadian French, to help you with variations of French in other countries.

Feedback: I may release updated versions of this book in the future, and would appreciate your feedback to help me do so. If you have any ideas for improving this book, then please email me at BiancaMcHale@yahoo.co.uk or call me on my mobile telephone:  +44-(0)7974-314-251.

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