Old-School French

An Timire

At a second-hand booksale recently I bought a gem for 50 cent: ‘Model French Essays’ by Mary Barry. A booklet of 41 pages, it’s aimed at beginner secondary students and consists of 40 ‘essays’ or short passages on simple, everyday matters using vocabulary and idiomatic phrases that can serve students in many different contexts. Below is the foreword by the author, with further pages from the booklet included at the bottom of this blog post:


There’s no date on the booklet, but it must date from before 1992, when the Intermediate Cert was replaced with the Junior Cert. Since it was published by the state-owned ‘The Educational Company of Ireland’ it must have formerly been a standard textbook for secondary pupils.

The essays aim to instil good habits in pupils as well: ‘Le matin…je dis ma priere’ and ‘Avant de quitter la maison je gonfle les pneus avec la pompe et je vérifie si les freins marchent…

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