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Fast Food in France: Would You Like Cherry Tomatoes with That? Using Advertisements, Menus, and Web Sites in Middle-School French Classes, by Crecia C. Swaim


Guide Entry to 10.01.12:

Why can't I get pineapple slices at McDonald's?

Why doesn't KFC sell a Double Down sandwich in France?

Is a Chicken Shake as unappetizing as it sounds?

These are a few of the questions that came to my mind as I browsed Web sites of French fast-food restaurants. Everyone loves food, and if they don't love a particular food item, they certainly enjoy telling the world how much they dislike it. Language students seem to derive even more pleasure from this act of declaring personal preference since they get to do it in another language; for some reason, they can't get enough of that! It is not only human nature but also very much in the nature of teens and preteens to be drawn to the familiar, so I knew that creating a unit around well-known American fast-food chains that have become popular in France would be a winning combination, a virtual value-meal, if you will, for my middle-school French students.

This unit will introduce students to American and French fast-food restaurants in order to engage students in the process of discovering the variety of similarities and differences among French and American fast-food offerings and advertising, in addition to learning vocabulary and seeing real-world examples of things like the different punctuation with which numbers are written in France and the euro system of currency. We will explore McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken, two American fast-food restaurant chains, as well as the European chain Quick, to gather different perspectives on the fast-food scene in France.

(Recommended for French, grades 6-9)

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