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Revitalizing Language Learning with DÉFI FRANCOPHONE


Max Leconte, an educator committed to practical language skills, faced a challenge while searching for updated French resources. Seeking an engaging approach to teach grammar and vocabulary, Leconte discovered a solution in our textbook DÉFI FRANCOPHONE. 

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Instructor Profile

Max Leconte is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at Trinity University. With a passion for research and teaching, Leconte firmly believes in “sharing the importance of understanding languages and multiculturalism from an interdisciplinary perspective to acquire a better sense of what connects us as individuals.”
Leconte has been using DÉFI FRANCOPHONE 1 and 2 for a year and a half now.

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Institution Profile

Trinity University, located in San Antonio, Texas, is a prestigious private liberal arts institution renowned for its rigorous academic programs and close-knit community. With a focus on personalized education, Trinity offers a wide range of undergraduate majors and interdisciplinary programs that foster critical thinking, creativity, and global awareness. The university has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,526 students

The Challenge

During his own graduate school experience, Max came to understand the importance of teaching students skills for the real world, especially interpersonal skills. When he began researching for new teaching resources, he focused on two main challenges: 

  • Making grammar and vocabulary learning more palatable
  • Bridging the gap between the reality of the language and its culture
“There’s always a little bit of skepticism while adopting a new textbook. You want to make sure that students are going to respond to it well, but it’s also going to meet all the criteria that you’re looking for in a textbook. [Défi Francophone] is the best of both worlds,” Leconte says.

The Solution

While looking for updated French materials and methodologies, Max connected with a colleague to learn more about different teaching resources available. He was recommended to try KWL’s DÉFI FRANCOPHONE and found it to be a good fit for his curriculum objectives.

One of the ways in which Max’s students have benefited from DÉFI FRANCOPHONE is via the authentic and diverse listening activities, as they allow his students to discover and familiarize themselves with different speakers:

“One of the most challenging things for beginners studying in French is to really get used to different ways of speaking the language. Having audio materials with speakers from all over the Francophone world has been very valuable for them… They learn what Quebec French speakers sound like, or people in Belgium sound like, and this is an incredibly valuable experience for them.”

After implementing the program, Max has also noted differences in student engagement in both his beginner students and intermediate students.

“[My beginner students] are very pleased with the structure of the book, the way the homework is easily accessible online, giving them a chance to rework at their own pace, and having the chance to learn from their own mistakes… [My intermediate students] are ecstatic to have something that is a lot more culturally oriented, with culture embedded in every page of the book, which is not something that they had a chance to do previously.”

For Max, teaching French is about far more than grammar and vocabulary; it is a language that requires nuance and flexibility. Witnessing his student’s transformation using DÉFI FRANCOPHONE, he feels confident that his students will be able to understand French and communicate with confidence within three semesters.




"[DÉFI FRANCOPHONE] was simply an adequate reflection of the way I wanted to teach languages. It places a lot of emphasis on communication in a natural way to teach the language and to learn the language."


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