FIA 25th Anniversary Reunion videos now online !

FIA fans, it’s a great day for us: Tim Shea of Yale Press, organizer of the French in Action 25th Anniversary Reunion at Yale last October has just posted additional videos from that great event. They are available on the offiical FIA Reunion blog, on the Yale YouTube Channel and embedded here below.

Foremost among them is of course the skit written and performed by Charles and Valérie, « On n’a pas tous les jours 25 ans . . . » in which Robert et Mireille meet par hasard on the Yale campus and catch up on their lives over the past quarter century. Think of it as French in Action Leçon 53! Unfortunately le Prof doesn’t make an appearance at the end to break down all the dialogue with rewinds and visual aids, so if you’re like me you’ll want to replay parts of it several times over to catch everything.

Then, you’ll want to watch Pierre Capretz’s describe the « Genesis and Inception of French in Action. »  Wonderful stuff!

But there’s more.  A panel of French instructors discuss the strength of FIA with co-creator Barry Lydgate.

Here Tim Shea talks about the future of the FIA texbook, workbook and other materials and Prof. Capretz reports the discovery of Marie-Laure’s diary!

At long last, these join the video of me making the case that FIA constitutes a cult (if not a dangerous one).

Thank you for posting these, Tim!  I’m predicting the Robert et Mireille video will set a record number of views for the Yale YouTube Channel!


13 Réponses

  1. I’m glad I found this blog.
    Is there anyway of finding out what piece of music was used in the final scene of the series? It’s been a constant bug of mine since I first saw the series back in 1999.
    Thank you 🙂

  2. I cannot express enough my gratitude to Mr. Carpretz, the cast of French in Action, and Annenberg Learning for such a gift of a series that has completely revolutionized and catapulted my French. I am VERY serious when I say this. I am learning so rapidly and increasing fluency like never before. I am using the Rosetta Stone program as well, and my wife and I will be spending month in Bordeaux with her friends (my wife has native like proficiency).

    I hold a masters degree in applied linguistics and I teach ESL here in the United States in New York. I am also a published editorial illustrator with works in the New York TImes, the Chicago Tribune, and the Sacramento Bee. (See

    To Pierre, Valerie, Charles, and Virginie: I love you guys . . . I hope you truly realize how your artistry has opened up a whole new world to me. I now speak far more French and can therefore dialogue witht the French about politics, my favorite topic. We Americans would stand to learn so much from the French mindset.

    What I have learned most from your empowering series is this: to speak French is not only a way of speaking. . . . . it is a way of being.

    Fondly and Linguistically,
    Robert Rendo

  3. Pam: It is indeed hard to believe a year has gone by since the FIA Reunion which was of course also the occasion of the first and perhaps only non-virtual get-together for notre petite société. Meeting you and the other FIA fans who could make it was wonderful. So many great memories I will forever hold dear. I’ve heard no news on our beloved professeur and would be grateful to anyone who can provide some.

    Max: you’ll have to get yourself some of those colorful shirts made in Kisangani like the one I was wearing when I gave my talk.

    Vicki: I considered attempting a transcript of the dialogue, but there is one stretch between 7:14 and 7:35 or so in the skit where Mireille and Robert talk over each other rapidly and I don’t catch every single word (though I think I catch the complete meaning). Would be great to have transcript for « leçon 53. » Anybody care to take a whack at it?

    – JP

  4. I cannot believe a year has past since that glorious weekend in New Haven for the FIA reunion at Yale, which was a highlight of my life. The Quinnipiack Club housed me; in my spare time I bought a lovely Irish scarf at a little shop called Celtica, ate marvelous
    spiced scallops at Bespoke, and viewed John La Farge’s art exhibition ‘Voyages in the South Seas’.
    It was of course wonderful to meet you all. Max, we were at the same table!
    Has anyone heard from le professeur? I hope he is happy and well and still working on the diaries of Marie-Laure which I look forward to reading en français.
    M Capretz, je vous aime toujours!
    Pam (aka lyre_byrd)

  5. The FiA Reunion was one of the greatest weekends I have had in years. Odd when I realize that it has been nearly a year since that wonderful time.

    I just watched JPs lecture. Also odd that I now find myself in Kisangani, DR Congo, where he was last year. Bizarre, bizarre.

    J’ai l’intention de faire le pèlerinage vers la terre sacrée l’année prochaine.


  6. J’adore French in Action – C’est fantastique! We used to watch French In Action in high school! Super resource learning French. Over 20 years ago FIA inspired me to be an exchange student in France and continue learning the beautiful language throughout my life.

  7. Can someone help me…..when Robert begins to make his excuse why he did not contact Mireille he begins to talk very fast. I know he says he met someone in Argentina but I can’t quite catch what he says after that. Does he say something like she would get angry if he contacted another girl? I’ve listened several times but just can’t seem to understand what he is saying.

  8. mon dieu, c’est magnifique!

  9. Many thanks for showing these videos. I’ve watched the french in action videos many times over and they helped me with my french a great deal. These videos are all very interesting to watch.

  10. Thank you so very much for posting these videos here. They are each mini-french lessons in themselves! I haven’t watched them all as some of them are quite long. I loved the speech from Prof. Capretz and the teachers panel was quite interesting. These will keep me busy for some time. Isn’t technology wonderful? I almost feel like I went to the reunion myself!

  11. Le professeur would be content. I got the gist of the entire skit, with word perfect understanding of most. Only been following French in Action for 24 years. J’etait bouleverse (and I would type the correct accent aigu if I could figure out how to do it.)
    Wonder if someone would take the time and effort to publish a transcription?

  12. One more thing: the title of skit « On n’a pas tous les jours 25 ans » is a take-off of a famous French song first recorded in 1935 by Berthe Sylva « On n’a pas tous les jours 20 ans« .

  13. Dialogue note to the first video: One expression new to me (although commonplace, no doubt, in spoken French) was « Je n’en reviens pas » repeated by Mireille several times which means something like « I can’t believe it » or « I can’t get over it. » 25 years later and they’re still teaching me French! Merci, Mireille et Robert!

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