Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

L’enseignement et l’apprentissage de la conjugaison en FLE: comment réduire les difficultés engendrées par l’orthographe

Surcouf, Christian

In: Revue Tranel (Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique), 2011, vol. 54, p. 93-112

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    French verb morphology has always been a major challenge for learners as well as teachers of French as a foreign language. Learning difficulties arise not only from the inherent complexity of the conjugation system itself, but mostly from the traditional description found in specialized books, grammars, etc. French spelling alone tends to complexify the actual oral verb morphology by more than 60%, thus hindering efficient learning. Following Dubois (1967), Csécsy (1968), Pouradier Duteil (1997), etc., I suggest an alternative approach, exclusively based on phonetic transcription, and starting with plural forms instead of singular ones (Mayer 1969). For more than 500 verbs of the 2nd and 3rd groups, this strategy allows learners to first memorize the present tense plural form e.g. /illiz/ (ils lisent, "they read") and take the stem’s final consonant away to get the singular /illi/ (il lit, "he reads").