Voix et Images

Voix et Images

It is not like I didn’t know it was in the crawlspace.

It is one of those ridiculous things that one has and probably shouldn’t have, but I just cannot yet part with it.

I did not actually own it when I used it; I got it after the fact in a situation where it was being thrown out.

Some might wonder why I started learning French. I think that I mentioned that before, it all boils down to my not being able to learn the language of my family, Hungarian, and being confronted by the usual language choices in a junior high school: Spanish, French, and German. I think they offered German, in any case, maybe I should look at my yearbook.

With the languages to choose from, I opted for the one that seemed the most exotic. To me it was easy, I liked the sound of French, loved any pictures I had seen of France, had an intense desire to see the Eiffel tower, etc.

Now what does all this have to do with the ‘Voix et Images’ (Voice and Pictures) image? This is a set of records, vinyl records that is, that were used to practice and learn French. I remember oh so well my teacher, a very young teacher at that, Miss Jardine. It seems to me that she married soon after I left Schaaf Junior High. Miss Jardine would put the filmstrips that went along with the reel to reel tapes on and we would memorize the captions that would go with the pictures. The memorization was considered, at that time, to be the ‘way to go’ to learn languages, somehow mimicking the way we learn language in the first place. There were lots of dialogues and things to memorize and then there would be some manipulation.

This method preceded the ALM (Audio Lingual Method) and had some things in common. I must admit that this method did not work for everyone, but since I was motivated, it worked for me.

Monsieur et Madame Thibault were very important to the program and I clearly remember them to this day. It makes you wonder how my life would be different today if I had never encountered them. I might not even have a career!

About Richard Koerner

Seventy something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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14 Responses to Voix et Images

  1. I am looking for the filmstrips (and anything else) to accompany VIF and Bonjour Line in particular so I can do the same with my children

    • Interesting concept. All I have from the program is the set of records. I only speak in French to my granddaughters and we have enrolled the oldest, who is five, in Language Stars.

  2. Paula says:

    You must be from Parma. Did you go to Parma HS? I had Voix et Images French at Pleasant Valley JH and went on to Vally Forge. Was looking for something about the program for a current 2015 French teacher and found your post. Funny how I never have forgotten so many of those phrases beginning with “Voila Monsieur Thibaut.”

  3. Clare says:

    This is how I started learning French in Ireland in late 60s – absolutely cutting edge back then! I now teach in Paris but I too wonder if Voix et Images started me on this road! Still clearly remember the Thibaults and phrases like “scutty voodra”, which I discovered much later was “ce que tu voudras”!

  4. anne ebinum says:

    please can anyone help me get the book and accompanying audio file? M and Mme Thibaut is very didactive. I am a french teacher now and i know it would help me students. pls contact me on anne.ebinum@gmail.com

  5. Barbara Green says:

    I have been haunted by M Thibaut all my life together with an unending love of French. I have studied languages using other methods but French is still easiest for me. I would love to find my French teacher if she is still alive. This was 1961,

  6. Tom says:

    I have such fond memories of this exact program from High School French. I attended Brooklyn Prep a Jesuit Prep school and was introduced to this by Mr. Gangi in fresh a man French. It certainly sparked a love of language for me , especially French . Having traveled to France numerous times over the years I actually went to Place D’Italie in , I cant remember which arrondissement. It was unfortunately a seedy part of the city but my curiosity was satisfied although I did not meet up with Monsieur or Madame Thibaut! Thanks for bringing back such fond memories.

    • It is funny. I wonder how many people might have had the opposite reaction. Maybe a feeling that it was a less than pleasant experience. Yet, for us, it was a good experience with fond memories. Thanks to it and the song, Michelle, by the Beatles, I am a French educator today.

  7. Charles B. Gaskill says:

    I can still hear the records and see the french “man in a gray flannel suit”. Thanks for the post about three fine people I met in 7th Grade: M. Thibaut, Mme. Thibaut, et my teacher, M. Fallon.

  8. Diane says:

    I still have the records and am wondering what happened to my book. At the time, “Laugh In” was a very popular show and I made up a very funny parody of the old man and woman on the park bench with phrases from the lessons. It was a huge success at our foreign language talent show! Voice et Images started me on a lifelong journey with French. I am 68 and just ended a nanny job with a French/American family, using my French, of course.

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