The overall goal of "Dans un quartier de Paris" is to provide the
learners with an insider's view of a foreign cultural world, in this instance
that of a quartier. The program provides multiple paths and multiple points of
views, so that users can better understand the many elements that shape
people's thinking and attitudes toward their living and working environment.
"Dans un quartier de Paris" (long named "Dans le quartier St. Gervais") is
a multimedia interactive documentary, filmed in Paris, which offers users a
chance to explore a uniquely French cultural space, the micro-world of a
quartier, located in Le Marais area.
It is a visual database, which includes
people, streets, buildings, objects and artifacts that can be explored in
multiple ways by learners at many different levels, and for many different
The program allows the user to: meet a variety of people living in the
neighborhood (some who have lived there for forty years, some for only two
years, for example); to visit a variety of places (places that all have meaning
in the daily lives of the people living in the neighborhood);
to have access
to the issues that have shaped the neighborhood, such as gentrification and the
role of City Hall; and to hear of the changes that have taken place in the
neighborhood over the last decade.
M. Desmarty explains why the neighborhood was better before...
"Dans un quartier de Paris" provides multiple paths and tools
into the exploration of the neighborhood and in particular a series of maps and
submaps designed to help the user physically locate places as well as a
guidebook containing a variety of information.
The map of Le Quartier
with La Tartine
The Map allows the user to randomly explore the neighborhood.
The Guide provides the user with more structured information. It contains four
1) Gens, which lists all the people one can meet
2) Lieux, which lists all the places one can visit.
3) Paroles, which focuses on the words that people use when they talk about
certain aspects of their neighborhood: what a "real commercant" is, what
"lively" means, what "habiter" means, etc... The juxtaposition of several
points of view around a same word allows the user to uncover the different
meanings these words hold for different people.
4) Perspectives, which focuses on the references people make when they talk
about their neighborhood (notions of time, of space, of self, of others,
etc...), provides learners with clues to how people frame issues, and allows
themto acess the underlying cultural framework within which people express and
define themselves vis a vis their environment.
Dans un quartier de Paris
Within a Paris neighborhood
- Gilberte Furstenberg,
- Project Director
- Michael Roper,
- Interactive Video Producer
- Janet H. Murray,
- Executive Producer
- Olga Brown,
- Software Designer
- Sue Felshin,
- Software Designer
- Stuart A. Malone,
- Software Designer
A major part of the funding has come from the Annenberg/CPB Foundation, the Florence
Gould Foundation and the National Endowment from the Humanities. Supplementary
grants were given by the Consortium for Language Learning and Teaching and the French Ministry of Culture
Direct all inquiries to
The program is available at Yale University Press.
High school and College students of French. Users of many different
levels. However,Dans un quartier de Paris is not just a language program but can be of
interest to people of different fields and domains of interest. It is an
intrinsically multidisciplinary project, where the traditional boundaries
between disciplines such as language, history, literature, art disappear and
where language becomes, more and more, not an end in itself, but a tool, an
entry point, an access into a foreign multidimensional world.
Dans un quartier de Paris is not a self-instructional program. But it lends
itself to the design of a multiplicity of culturally-based tasks to be done by
language learners of all levels, both in the language lab and the classroom.
A Teacher's manual and a Student Activities workbook accompany the program. The
Student Activities Workbook is also available on line. in pdf format:
CD-ROM for Macintosh.
Winner of the 1998 Prix Special du Jury at the Innovalangues Competition in