Why is this lesson presented differently from the "Avoir besoin de" lesson?

AlanA1Kwiziq community member

Why is this lesson presented differently from the "Avoir besoin de" lesson?

IMHO, the presentation of "avoir envie de" in this lesson seems to be rambling and less precise than the corresponding "avoir besoin de" lesson. (They were written by the same author.)

Because of the differing presentations, it took me a couple of re-reads to realize that the construction of these expressions is actually IDENTICAL:

 - avoir besoin de + (article) + noun
 - avoir envie de + (article) + noun

and

 - avoir besoin de + infinitive
 - avoir envie de + infinitive

Note that I've replaced the unnecessary "de/d'" by the simple "de", because at this stage of a French course, I don't think anyone would ever say (or write) "J'ai besoin de un crayon". [BTW: I'm impressed by the spell checker. It flagged "de un" ! ]

The use of "parallel text" causes most Brits to prefer US courses. Although the subjects might be of equal complexity and difficulty, the Yanks use parallel text for the overhead projectors and the course notes. That seems to make the subjects seem simpler - both to learn and to remember.

BTW:  Parallel text simply means the use of identical text throughout - except for the differing key words. Look at my "besoin" and "envie" examples above. The differing key words seem to jump out of the page - as if they had been emboldened.

Thanks.

Asked 3 months ago
TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I won't comment on tour formatting issues but I would take issue when you say "most Brits to prefer US courses". I have been on sites that butcher both the Fench and non-American English content , making it frustrating to be marked wrong for using perfectly good, non-American English idioms and spellings. Duolingo is a prime example of this cultural imperialism..

At least Kwiziq tries hard to provide alternitive English alternatives.

AlanA1Kwiziq community member

Tom said:

>>  ...I would take issue when you say "most Brits [to] prefer US courses". I have been on sites that butcher both the Fench and non-American English content 

I apologize unreservedly. I'm a retired engineer, so I had to attend techie courses by US companies both here and in the US. This excellent French course is probably my only non-work-related course.  

A possible clue to types of course is my use of "overhead slides" in my OP. I don't think many language students would sign up for a course where the instructors use overhead slides  :-)

Strangely enough, I use the Tex site for grammar, because it's highly concentrated, terse, succinct, brutally minimalist, and looks as if it were designed as a junior school project. In other words - it's an engineer's site.

It's presented as a "course" but I use only the top part of each page as a grammar reference, because the lower part contains examples which follow the armadillos "theme". I have no probs with armadillos, but the use of a theme forces the use of a restricted set which must match the theme. Kwiziq's use of short, brief random examples that stick easily in the mind is my preferred choice.

Thanks.

TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Alan,

I am aware of the University of Texas site and consider a valuable resource, but I've no idea what an "armadillo theme" is. :-)

Tom

AlanA1Kwiziq community member

Hi Tom,

Tom said:

>>  I've no idea what an "armadillo theme" is. :-)

I'm not sure if links are permitted on this forum, but here's my starting point:

http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/

The persistent banner shows "Tex", the armadillo, complete with mandatory beret and striped carapace - as is right and proper for any genuine Frenchman.

Scroll down about 20 lines and click "NOUNS: introduction".

You can see:

un tatou an armadillo

and a few lines down:

un tatou, deux tatous one armadillo, two armadillos

As I mentioned in my OP, the problem with a "theme" story is that  - to preserve continuity - the author is forced to include extraneous and unnatural vocabulary that I don't really think is useful in trying to communicate with French people. 

On the other hand, Kwiziq select their vocabulary to match the requirements of the current lesson - there's no theme or "thread" that they are forced to adhere to.

Thanks.

Why is this lesson presented differently from the "Avoir besoin de" lesson?

IMHO, the presentation of "avoir envie de" in this lesson seems to be rambling and less precise than the corresponding "avoir besoin de" lesson. (They were written by the same author.)

Because of the differing presentations, it took me a couple of re-reads to realize that the construction of these expressions is actually IDENTICAL:

 - avoir besoin de + (article) + noun
 - avoir envie de + (article) + noun

and

 - avoir besoin de + infinitive
 - avoir envie de + infinitive

Note that I've replaced the unnecessary "de/d'" by the simple "de", because at this stage of a French course, I don't think anyone would ever say (or write) "J'ai besoin de un crayon". [BTW: I'm impressed by the spell checker. It flagged "de un" ! ]

The use of "parallel text" causes most Brits to prefer US courses. Although the subjects might be of equal complexity and difficulty, the Yanks use parallel text for the overhead projectors and the course notes. That seems to make the subjects seem simpler - both to learn and to remember.

BTW:  Parallel text simply means the use of identical text throughout - except for the differing key words. Look at my "besoin" and "envie" examples above. The differing key words seem to jump out of the page - as if they had been emboldened.

Thanks.

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