Case Study:

Défi Francophone

How One French Professor Used KWL's Affordable, Comprehensive French Textbook To Help His Students

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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’s been using Klett’s French products: 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



While researching for updated French materials and methodologies, Leconte connected with a colleague to learn more about different French resources. During his own graduate school experience, Leconte understood the importance of teaching students skills for the real world-especially interpersonal skills. Leconte wanted something that made learning grammar and vocabulary more palatable for students.



Leconte sampled KWL’s resources and connected with a sale’s representative to ensure it would be a good fit for his curriculum. He enjoyed the overall structure of the textbook, along with the online platform, and the affordable price point. The online and hard copy of the textbook enable students to monitor their progress and actually learn from their mistakes because they get twice the amount of reinforcement.


Leconte noted how much his students benefited from KWL’s listening tracks. The variety of French native speakers was especially noteworthy in that it enabled his beginner students to familiarize themselves with different speakers. Instead of getting too comfortable with their instructor’s accent and dialect, they were experiencing the kind of linguistic range they would experience when speaking French around the world. For Leconte, teaching French is about far more than grammar and vocabulary; French is a language that requires nuance and flexibility. In this way, Leconte’s use of KWL will ensure that his students can learn what people sound like in Quebec, Belgium, and beyond. 


Leconte shared another noticeable difference. His intermediate students enjoyed the French culture that’s embedded on every page of the book. Conventional textbooks have historically failed to bridge the gap between language and culture; Défi Francophone’s authenticity fostered a sense of buy-in among students that Leconte sees leading to better outcomes.

Witnessing his student’s transformation using Défi Francophone, Leconte feels confident his students will be able to understand French and communicate with confidence within just three semesters.

Learn more about KWL’s French teaching resources for higher education.