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Français fondamental

Français fondamental (French for 'Fundamental French') is a list of words and grammatical concepts, devised in the beginning of the 1950s for teaching foreigners and residents of the French Union, France's colonial empire. A series of investigations in the 1950s and 1960s showed that a small number of words are used the same way orally and in writing in all circumstances; thus a limited number of grammatical rules were necessary for a functional language.


Français fondamental was developed by the Centre d'Etude du Français Élémentaire, which was renamed to the Centre de Recherche et d'Étude pour la Diffusion du Français (CREDIF) in 1959. It was headed by linguist Georges Gougenheim.[1] The Ministry of Education of France sanctioned and promoted it as a method of learning French. The use of français fondamental was common in French textbooks, and especially prevalent in audiovisual learning methods used in the 1960s.[2]

Gougenheim, Réné Michea, Paul Rivenc, and Aurélien Sauvageot served as researchers for the project. There are 1,475 words in the "first degree" and 1,609 words in the "second degree."[2]

See also


  1. ^ Stern, H. H. Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching: Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Applied Linguistic Research. Oxford University Press. 24 March 1983. p. 55. Retrieved from Google Books on October 17, 2012. ISBN 0194370658, 9780194370653.
  2. ^ a b Decoo, Wilfried. Systemization in Language Learning Models. Taylor & Francis US, January 1, 2009. p. 63. Retrieved from Google Books on 17 October 2012. ISBN 0415361931, 9780415361934

Further reading

  • Gineste, Roger and R. Lagrave. Le français fondamental par l'action: Langage et vocabulaire. Section d'initiation à la langue française (ou Cours préparatoire 1re année) 1er degré. Méthode active et fonctionnelle destinée aux élèves dont la langue maternelle n'est pas le français. Éditions Didier [fr], 1961. (see entry in WorldCat)
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Français fondamental
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