French & France News

Twitter is now available in French! And yes, I recently joined – though I prefer to say to that my website joined since my username is ielanguages. I’ll most likely be posting more website info and language teaching & learning news and links on there, unlike this blog which usually includes personal stuff like missing Michigan snow and endless pictures of my cat.

Did you know that 90% of French films on DVD are NOT subtitled for the deaf or hard-of-hearing (or French learners)? The main television channels in France are supposed to work towards 100% subtitling through 2010, but there are no similar statutes for the film industry. How sad.  Especially for DVDs that are exported and encoded in other regions, it would be such a great resource for French learners to listen and read at the same time.

Fighting words from the Parti Québécois, upset about the recent overturn of loi 104, which now allows children to attend English public school if they’ve attended one year of English private school instead of having them remain in French schools: “Au nom d’une Constitution que le Québec n’a jamais signée, des juges nommés par une autre nation veulent nous empêcher de défendre ce qu’il y a de plus précieux pour la nation québécoise. La Cour suprême nous dit que notre manière de défendre le français ne lui convient pas. Eh! bien, au Québec, c’est la Constitution canadienne qui ne nous convient pas.”

Only 38% of French people say they base their identity at the national level compared to 45% who prefer the local or regional level. The largest percentage identify most with their city, followed by neighborhood, région and département.  This isn’t too surprising considering how many regional divisions there are within France, and it does seem to be a slight blow to Besson’s debate on national identity and how he wants everyone and your uncle to be proud to be French.

Speaking of Besson, his xenophobic views are at it again. In a circulaire distributed to prefets across France, he poses the following question: “Comment éviter l’arrivée sur notre territoire d’étrangers en situation irrégulière, aux conditions de vie précaires génératrices de désordres divers (travail clandestin, délinquance) et entretenant, dans une partie de la population, des suspicions vis-à-vis de l’ensemble des étrangers  ?” Why, France? Why do you let this man have power? He’s turning out to to be the Lou Dobbs of France, except he’s the freaking Ministre de l’Immigration!

The Simpsons parodied Sarko & Carla a few weeks ago, but there’s another video clip making the rounds in France. After Hortefeux’s racist comments were caught on camera, apparently it was Chirac’s turn.  I expect ignorant comments like that from ultra-conservative nutjobs like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, but Chirac was president of this country for 12 years. I don’t remember Bush ever making any openly racist comments and that man was a moron. Isn’t Chirac supposed to be educated (even if he has a very shady political past)?

And one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard in a long time: a group of students at a high school in Paris sent an insulting and threatening letter to their English teacher because she had ::gasp:: banned cell phones in class! She got fed up with them constantly texting in class when they should have been paying attention, and the students think that they can do whatever they want, so they demanded that the teacher change her behavior or be replaced. At the risk of sounding old, what is wrong with kids today???

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  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com/ David

    Eric Besson is just a lackey who’s being overzealous in hope to set himself above the other traditional lackeys (him coming from the opposite camp, and being a traitor and all).

    Concerning Chirac, that’s not his first (“le bruit et l’odeur” anyone?). And not that I want to excuse him, but this is a generational thing. People above a certain age grew up in a France where being French meant being white… Adapting to this situation is hard and takes time and older people will never “get it”.

    It’s interesting to compare with Italy that is slowly becoming multicultural too, and you’ll hear those types of comments from (non-racist) younger people too, as they’re the generation that’s experiencing the shift.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Short dialogue from a few minutes ago… =-.

  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com David

    Eric Besson is just a lackey who’s being overzealous in hope to set himself above the other traditional lackeys (him coming from the opposite camp, and being a traitor and all).

    Concerning Chirac, that’s not his first (“le bruit et l’odeur” anyone?). And not that I want to excuse him, but this is a generational thing. People above a certain age grew up in a France where being French meant being white… Adapting to this situation is hard and takes time and older people will never “get it”.

    It’s interesting to compare with Italy that is slowly becoming multicultural too, and you’ll hear those types of comments from (non-racist) younger people too, as they’re the generation that’s experiencing the shift.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Short dialogue from a few minutes ago… =-.

  • katy

    It would be nice if the French would subtitle their movies. It would serve not only eager learners but Deaf and HoH people as well. Although the US does close caption their television shows, some shows especially talk shows have horrible captions and only show bits and pieces.
    I guess there are Lou Dobbs in every country who are total xenophobes. If you hadn’t heard, Dobbs is finally leaving CNN. He said he left voluntarily but news outlets are saying CNN president paid him 8 million to leave as soon as possible. He’ll probably end up at Fox news like the other whack job Glenn Beck did.

  • katy

    It would be nice if the French would subtitle their movies. It would serve not only eager learners but Deaf and HoH people as well. Although the US does close caption their television shows, some shows especially talk shows have horrible captions and only show bits and pieces.
    I guess there are Lou Dobbs in every country who are total xenophobes. If you hadn’t heard, Dobbs is finally leaving CNN. He said he left voluntarily but news outlets are saying CNN president paid him 8 million to leave as soon as possible. He’ll probably end up at Fox news like the other whack job Glenn Beck did.

  • http://www.soyezlabienvenuechezmoi.blogspot.com/ Dedene

    Have you seen the website about the debate on national identity? It’s funny and scary at the same time.
    I’ve referred people to your learning site, because you have some of the best English/French ESL material out there!
    .-= Dedene´s last blog ..Le Salon de la Gastronomie =-.

  • http://www.soyezlabienvenuechezmoi.blogspot.com Dedene

    Have you seen the website about the debate on national identity? It’s funny and scary at the same time.
    I’ve referred people to your learning site, because you have some of the best English/French ESL material out there!
    .-= Dedene´s last blog ..Le Salon de la Gastronomie =-.

  • http://travellingamber.blogspot.com/ Amber

    On the subject of “what is wrong with kids today”: I teach at a private university and one of my fourth year students (so, about to go into the work force..) complained about me because I don’t always necessarily give a break during the two hour class. The kids are always about ten minutes late and I let them go usually around ten minutes early, and they expect a break. I told them that someday soon their future boss won’t be giving them a break every 50 minutes and that they should get used to it.

    So because of that, the girl already didn’t like me – but rather than complaining about my class, she complained about me as a person. Then, the following week, she was absent so I gave her an absence, and that sent her through the roof. then, she came to class late and i’d already shut the door, so she went to fetch the director and the director yelled at me in front of my entire class about it. Most embarassing day of my life, especially since i didn’t do anything wrong.

    She’s been in and out of the director’s office (who appears to be a close, personal friend) and has told other students that she’s trying to get me fired.

    Over breaks. And absences. That she deserved.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Turkey for you, Turkey (not) for me. =-.

  • http://travellingamber.blogspot.com Amber

    On the subject of “what is wrong with kids today”: I teach at a private university and one of my fourth year students (so, about to go into the work force..) complained about me because I don’t always necessarily give a break during the two hour class. The kids are always about ten minutes late and I let them go usually around ten minutes early, and they expect a break. I told them that someday soon their future boss won’t be giving them a break every 50 minutes and that they should get used to it.

    So because of that, the girl already didn’t like me – but rather than complaining about my class, she complained about me as a person. Then, the following week, she was absent so I gave her an absence, and that sent her through the roof. then, she came to class late and i’d already shut the door, so she went to fetch the director and the director yelled at me in front of my entire class about it. Most embarassing day of my life, especially since i didn’t do anything wrong.

    She’s been in and out of the director’s office (who appears to be a close, personal friend) and has told other students that she’s trying to get me fired.

    Over breaks. And absences. That she deserved.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Turkey for you, Turkey (not) for me. =-.

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    Yikes!! I’m glad I work at a public university! The students still try crap like that, but the administration doesn’t let them get away with it. I constantly tell them too that we’re trying to prepare them for the workforce and they cannot act like children there, but they still don’t get it.

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie

    Yikes!! I’m glad I work at a public university! The students still try crap like that, but the administration doesn’t let them get away with it. I constantly tell them too that we’re trying to prepare them for the workforce and they cannot act like children there, but they still don’t get it.

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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