December 8, 2010
WOOSTER, Ohio — John Lytle, a 1999 College of Wooster graduate, and now a visiting assistant professor of French at Wooster, was chosen to speak at the 25th reunion of the highly acclaimed “French in Action” program, hosted by Yale University last month. He was selected because he learned the language through the program as an undergraduate at Wooster and later used it while serving as an instructor at Yale from 2003 to 2007.
Lytle favors the method because of its hands-on approach, which features controlled language immersion rather than verb tables and grammar. He endorses the program as an effective and enjoyable way to learn the language. “Instead of learning through grammar, students watch and listen to the program as French is used in various contexts, such as meeting people, describing others, talking about family, etc.,” he said. “Students are then asked to recreate what they had just seen using the French language.” The program was developed by Yale Professor Pierre Capretz in the 1980s, and Lytle believes it was revolutionary in the way it helped students to learn the language
At the reunion, Lytle was able to meet those who helped to create the program. He also had an opportunity to speak with Valérie Allain and Charles Mayer, well known to "French in Action" fans for having played the roles of its two main characters, Mireille and Robert.
“It was an honor and a privilege to speak at the reunion,” said Lytle, who pursued graduate studies in French literature after Wooster. “You might say that 'French in Action' is where my career began!”
Written by Kali Fencl
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