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For the L192 Course, the following books are recommended (as of 2005).
Firstly, a good dictionary:
Personally, I have a large collins hardback dictionary and two of the Collins 'Pocket' dictionaries. I keep one at work and the other at home. The 'pocket' dictionaries are good enough most of the time.
They also recommend a Harrap's study aid for French Grammar. Personally I don't really get on with this book, I could have gone without! I find the Collins Gem book more approachable, but that is just me. These books are cheap enough that you can see for yourself.
The final OU recommended book is Hurd's 'Success with languages', but this was not available for the first presentation of the course, and so I have no experience with this.
Finally, a book I would not be without is the following:
This book is not on the OU booklist, but I find it very well laid out, and it is easy to see how a verb is conjugated.
Another, beefier, book that does the same job is 501 French Verbs. Some people really like La Grammaire en Clair
These may look like a lot of books, but you don't need them all. However, they will last you throughout your French studies.
In addition, you will also need a cassette recorder. These should record to a standard cassette. This is essential for recording your assessments. I would recommend one with the option to use an external microphone (get one with a headset, you can also use it with your computer when using Lyceum). In addition a tape counter is very handy. If you can half 'half speed' (in effect you get double the tape length) be sure that this is not selected when you record your TMA!
Do double check that the headphones have a jack socket suitable for your tape player, and not a USB connection (which will render them as computer only devices). Your soundcard should have a jack socket to allow you to use non-USB microphones.
Be aware that for use with the OU you need standard cassettes, micro cassettes are not suitable - some of the following links are for micro cassettes.
In addition, there is the OUSA L192 conference which you will find in 'First Class'. First class is a piece of software which the OU provide for free. In the first class client, click on 'Open University' and look for the green 'OU Students association' folder, from there look for the OUSA signpost. You can right click on the name of the group and 'add it to desktop' so that it is right there when you log in.
Finally, for a bit of fun, Gnomz is a French blogging site. Though many instructions were in English, the only way I could find to actually get a blog was to switch to French. The comic creation side is geared up for English speakers. All the blogging instructions are in French (at the moment), un blog franÃ§ais, c'est bon, non?