In 1996, within a few short years of the birth of the Web, MMLC Director Janine Spencer led a pioneering effort to create an almost entirely web-based university course. At its core, was a brand new type of textbook, an on-line web based Intermediate French grammar text and workbook conceptualized and originally authored by Spencer. Today, Le Francais Internautique maintains an important role in the French language curriculum and is used by about 200 undergraduates enrolled in second-year courses. The program is composed of twelve modules, each containing a grammar lesson, video, a listening comprehension component, interactive exercises, and a final assessment test. The grammar of each lesson is illustrated with sound files for pronunciation purposes. Drills and exercises with a feedback mechanism offer ample opportunity for practice. Short streaming video clips elicit students’ open-ended responses for a more creative use of the language while also introducing important aspects of French and Francophone cultures.

A forerunner of today’s paper-free and ecologically-minded course management systems, the back end builds student user portfolios, recording each students work on the exercises, the practice tests, the actual tests, and their scores, providing instructors and language program administrators fast access to valuable data. Administered in a controlled, secured network environment tests require passwords from both students and proctors for access.

Le Français Internautique continues to evolve and is soon to be released in its third “edition.”

Enter Internautique (password required)