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French Verb Pivots focuses on the present indicative, but also covers the immediate future, and aller/aimer + infinitive and modal verbs. It is aimed at learners in the A1-B1 proficiency range. It was conceived both for classroom and independent use, whatever the method, setting or course, as it offers ample opportunities for practice through a wide range of activities designed to appeal to learners with a variety of cognitive styles and learning preferences.

It can be used to introduce the target verbs and associated grammar and lexicogrammar patterns to absolute beginners. It can also be useful if you teach lower-to-intermediate learners (years 9 to 11 in the U.K.) in order to consolidate, expand and deepen their mastery of those verbs and patterns. The latter learners, in our experience, are often able to master verb formation, but lack depth of knowledge, i.e. knowledge of verb collocations (which lexis the verbs partner with) and colligations (the rules which bind the verbs with what comes before and after them in a sentence).

Each macro-unit starts ‘small’ with the target verb being learnt within very basic sentence patterns and in the first person only. As each unit progresses the target verbs are modelled in sentence patterns which gradually increase in length and complexity. In order to enhance transferrability of learning and lexical depth, each verb is also practised with a variety of lexical sets. For instance, the verb Tener is practised with animals, classroom objects, clothes, physical description, emotional and physical states, age, etc.

Traditional grammar and lexicogrammar intersect throughout the whole book, as, in order for the learners to be able to become creative with each sentence pattern, they must also master the manipulation of the changeable items in each sentence such as verbs, adjectives, pronouns determiners, etc. The teaching of grammar arises organically from the need to enhance the generative power of each target sentence pattern – this is a major innovation of this book.

The book is very mindful of cognitive load. Hence, each instructional sequence gradually increases the cognitive challenge, with receptive activities in the initial section of each sub-unit paving the way for the productive ones located at the end and with each task priming the next. It goes without saying that the repeated processing and the constant recycling also makes it easier for the content to become effortlessly entrenched.

Please note that this book is best used in synergy with and Both websites feature self-marking games and activities based on its content.