L’acquisition, l’avenir et l’argent

Not much has been happening in my life lately. I looked through the archives to remind myself of what was going on last July. Compared to one year ago, things are definitely much better. I have my residency card (good until May 2009), my French driver’s license (good until forever), and I have a job starting this fall. I still don’t have much money, but I have a feeling that will never change as long as I continue to live in France…

I know I haven’t posted about my job yet, but I will be a lectrice d’anglais at a nearby university beginning October 1st. I’m really excited already – I’ve been missing the university environment and being around linguists who see the value of phonetics in language acquisition. It’s finally forcing me out of the rut I’ve been in lately… not reading or studying anything. We’ve got so many books in our apartment that we need to buy another bookcase, yet I rarely read any of them.

This summer is also giving me an opportunity to be geeky about linguistics for another reason: Mélina. She’s only 3 weeks old, but I’ve already bought her a français-anglais imagier so she can start learning English. I’m going to record myself saying all the words so she can listen to the pronunciation when I’m not around. Children are like little sponges when it comes to languages, but it’s really amazing (and sad) that babies lose the ability to discriminate between sounds that do not exist in their parents’ language at only 6 months. Before that, they are able to hear the difference between sounds of all human languages. Must be nice.

And of course thinking about linguistics and my new job makes me think about the future and what exactly I want to do as a career. I can only be a lectrice for two years total in France (their rule, not mine), so I’ll have to find something else to do. I’m thinking about going back to school and getting a French diplôme either in tourism or translating. I suppose I could do my PhD in France as well, but I don’t know how easy it is to find a university teaching job afterwards. Sometimes I think I’d just love to work in a hotel in the south, so I can meet people from all over the world and speak several languages everyday.

So this is my summer. Thinking about linguistics, the future and my lack of money. A lot has changed in one year, but then again, a lot has stayed the same.

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  • http://unautrejp.blogspot.com/ Justin

    Wow, although you have some uncertainties is still sounds like things are going great. Congrats on the University position, that should be a great atmosphere to get back in to. I need a kick in the butt as well when it comes to language but I am sure you will start flying along as soon as you get back in that setting.

    Justins last blog post..Blame it on the summer…

  • http://unautrejp.blogspot.com/ Justin

    hey look it shows my last blog post… how cool!

    Justins last blog post..Blame it on the summer…

  • http://unautrejp.blogspot.com Justin

    Wow, although you have some uncertainties is still sounds like things are going great. Congrats on the University position, that should be a great atmosphere to get back in to. I need a kick in the butt as well when it comes to language but I am sure you will start flying along as soon as you get back in that setting.

    Justins last blog post..Blame it on the summer…

  • http://unautrejp.blogspot.com Justin

    hey look it shows my last blog post… how cool!

    Justins last blog post..Blame it on the summer…

  • emily

    I feel the same way as you….as long as I don’t have an M2 from a French university I’ll never find a job that interests me. You could always start a master in 2009 and work as a lectrice at the same time.

  • emily

    I feel the same way as you….as long as I don’t have an M2 from a French university I’ll never find a job that interests me. You could always start a master in 2009 and work as a lectrice at the same time.

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

    About French PhDs and teaching jobs in France…
    They’re not related at all…

    In France, research and higher education do not go hand in hand…

    Usually The research is taken care of by the CNRS and its researchers, the education is the job of universities and teachers. And they are two separate things.

    Getting a French PhD will open you the doors of the CNRS, not of a university.

    To become a teacher in France, you have to take part of a “National Administrative Contest” (no idea of the exact appellation in English, I doubt there’s one), the ones for teachers are the CAPES (usually for middle and high school), or the Agregation (for college)…

    Well, I’m sure what I just wrote is full of half truth (I’ve been away from the French academic world for 10 years this month (strange anniversary, I know), I’m sure some things have changed, some others I’ve forgotten), but that can give you a vague idea and I’m sure the CNRS and the National Education official websites will help you better…

    Davids last blog post..Show off…

  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com David

    About French PhDs and teaching jobs in France…
    They’re not related at all…

    In France, research and higher education do not go hand in hand…

    Usually The research is taken care of by the CNRS and its researchers, the education is the job of universities and teachers. And they are two separate things.

    Getting a French PhD will open you the doors of the CNRS, not of a university.

    To become a teacher in France, you have to take part of a “National Administrative Contest” (no idea of the exact appellation in English, I doubt there’s one), the ones for teachers are the CAPES (usually for middle and high school), or the Agregation (for college)…

    Well, I’m sure what I just wrote is full of half truth (I’ve been away from the French academic world for 10 years this month (strange anniversary, I know), I’m sure some things have changed, some others I’ve forgotten), but that can give you a vague idea and I’m sure the CNRS and the National Education official websites will help you better…

    Davids last blog post..Show off…

  • Erica

    Just fyi, the french government says that you can be a lectrice and/or maitre de langue for a combined total of 6 years. Universities often have a 2 year limit, but if the uni wants to keep you badly enough, you can get a ‘derogation’.

    I have a friend who is coming up on her 5th year as a lectrice. And i’ve been a lectrice for 2 years, and am coming up on year 3 of being a maitre de langue.

    So don’t give up that easily when they say “just two years” !!

    good luck …

  • Erica

    Just fyi, the french government says that you can be a lectrice and/or maitre de langue for a combined total of 6 years. Universities often have a 2 year limit, but if the uni wants to keep you badly enough, you can get a ‘derogation’.

    I have a friend who is coming up on her 5th year as a lectrice. And i’ve been a lectrice for 2 years, and am coming up on year 3 of being a maitre de langue.

    So don’t give up that easily when they say “just two years” !!

    good luck …

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

    @Erica: Thanks for the info! I might look into being a lectrice or maitre de langue longer than 2 years, but it would be in a different university because we’re most likely moving away from Annecy when I’m finished with my job here.

    @David: I definitely need to look into it more. I know I don’t want to be a middle or high school teacher – I hate teenagers… plus I’d have to be an EU citizen in order to the CAPES, which is going to take like 4 years for me to get… I think I’d like to teach at a university, but we’ll see! Who knows what will happen!

    @Emily: Yeah, I think I might start a Master’s when I’m finished with my job. We’ll probably move (hopefully to the south) when I’m done, so I’ll have to wait until we’re settled somewhere else.

    @Justin: Merci ! You like the commentluv, eh? :)

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie

    @Erica: Thanks for the info! I might look into being a lectrice or maitre de langue longer than 2 years, but it would be in a different university because we’re most likely moving away from Annecy when I’m finished with my job here.

    @David: I definitely need to look into it more. I know I don’t want to be a middle or high school teacher – I hate teenagers… plus I’d have to be an EU citizen in order to the CAPES, which is going to take like 4 years for me to get… I think I’d like to teach at a university, but we’ll see! Who knows what will happen!

    @Emily: Yeah, I think I might start a Master’s when I’m finished with my job. We’ll probably move (hopefully to the south) when I’m done, so I’ll have to wait until we’re settled somewhere else.

    @Justin: Merci ! You like the commentluv, eh? :)

  • Erica

    it’s definitely doable if you go to a different university !! i know a german lectrice who did a few years in Aix and is not in Clermont.

    PS – as a non-EU citizen, i’m pretty sure you’re allowed to take the CAFEP (for private schools). That’s what Casey (from the forum) did ! plus if you’ve worked for education nationale for more than 3 years, you can take it on “interne”, which i’ve heard is somewhat easier …

  • Erica

    it’s definitely doable if you go to a different university !! i know a german lectrice who did a few years in Aix and is not in Clermont.

    PS – as a non-EU citizen, i’m pretty sure you’re allowed to take the CAFEP (for private schools). That’s what Casey (from the forum) did ! plus if you’ve worked for education nationale for more than 3 years, you can take it on “interne”, which i’ve heard is somewhat easier …

  • Emmy

    Hello
    I’m very interested in this as I too will be a lectrice next year and would like to stay teaching at uni afterwards. I have never heard of a maitre de langue, what do they do?

    As for the capes interne, ive heard that its even more competitive than the externe. anyone got any thoughts/ experience of this?

  • http://Emmygration Emmy

    Hello
    I’m very interested in this as I too will be a lectrice next year and would like to stay teaching at uni afterwards. I have never heard of a maitre de langue, what do they do?

    As for the capes interne, ive heard that its even more competitive than the externe. anyone got any thoughts/ experience of this?

  • http://www.pammyroo.com/ Pamela

    What exactly is the lectrice position and how did you get it? I’m going to be an assistant in France this fall, and am wondering what my options are for afterwards. I’m such a planner, but lead a very nomadic existance at the moment…

  • http://www.pammyroo.com Pamela

    What exactly is the lectrice position and how did you get it? I’m going to be an assistant in France this fall, and am wondering what my options are for afterwards. I’m such a planner, but lead a very nomadic existance at the moment…

  • http://noemagosa.wordpress.com/ Noelia

    Hello Jennie,

    First, I wanted to congratulate you on your teaching job! I meant to do it earlier, as I read it on the right side column, but it got lost in the “missed comments”.

    I am having the same thoughts as you about my “career” or lack thereof… but it has lasted for the past 3 years and it seems I’m going nowhere! Kind of depressing.

    Might as well just go with the flow and be happy with the present! :-)

  • http://noemagosa.wordpress.com Noelia

    Hello Jennie,

    First, I wanted to congratulate you on your teaching job! I meant to do it earlier, as I read it on the right side column, but it got lost in the “missed comments”.

    I am having the same thoughts as you about my “career” or lack thereof… but it has lasted for the past 3 years and it seems I’m going nowhere! Kind of depressing.

    Might as well just go with the flow and be happy with the present! :-)

  • Smelly Man’s hapless passenger

    Forcing American pronunciation and intonation on a perfectly innocent French child is like taking that metaphorical tabula rasa and covering it in graffiti. Since babies can distinguish so readily between different sounds, I think it’s only fair that you expose little Mélina to some proper English English too. That way, in the future, she will have the choice of sounding English or American, which she could use to her advantage. Just think, she’d have the pick of all of the “super-intelligent baddie” parts in Hollywood and be able to converse comfortably with the Queen over afternoon tea whilst still preserving the ability to talk loudly about her private life on the trams in Geneva and shout “great job!” at people in running races without a hint of irony. Add to this the innate sense of style (natural aversion to sandals with socks) and ability to wear a scarf effortlessly which both come with being French, and she’ll be set up for life.

    Needless to say, I selflessly volunteer to do the English recording for Mélina, but it will have to be done before 1st August because that is when I’m moving home :(

    P.S. Would you like some proper gravy powder and three mini-Christmas puddings?

  • Smelly Man’s hapless passenger

    Forcing American pronunciation and intonation on a perfectly innocent French child is like taking that metaphorical tabula rasa and covering it in graffiti. Since babies can distinguish so readily between different sounds, I think it’s only fair that you expose little Mélina to some proper English English too. That way, in the future, she will have the choice of sounding English or American, which she could use to her advantage. Just think, she’d have the pick of all of the “super-intelligent baddie” parts in Hollywood and be able to converse comfortably with the Queen over afternoon tea whilst still preserving the ability to talk loudly about her private life on the trams in Geneva and shout “great job!” at people in running races without a hint of irony. Add to this the innate sense of style (natural aversion to sandals with socks) and ability to wear a scarf effortlessly which both come with being French, and she’ll be set up for life.

    Needless to say, I selflessly volunteer to do the English recording for Mélina, but it will have to be done before 1st August because that is when I’m moving home :(

    P.S. Would you like some proper gravy powder and three mini-Christmas puddings?

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

    @Smelly Man’s hapless passenger: LOL Lucy! Your comment cracked me up. Why do you have to move home??? Why can’t you stay in Annecy with me?? :(

    P.S. Yes and Yes. I would like anything you want to give me.

    @Noelia: Thanks! I’m trying to be happy with the present as well, but my future is always in the back of my mind… I always need to be prepared and know that I’m going to be able to earn enough money to support myself. Oh well, at least I know I’ll be fine for two years!

    @Pamela: I just posted about becoming a lectrice! Hope it answers all of your questions. I tried to comment on your blog, but it said I wasn’t registered??

    @Emmy: Maitres de langue work more and are paid more, basically. :)

    @Erica: Yeah, I’ve heard that I can do the CAFEP without being an EU Citizen. I’ll look more into it one of these days… Just don’t feel like wading through all the educational French jargon at the moment!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie

    @Smelly Man’s hapless passenger: LOL Lucy! Your comment cracked me up. Why do you have to move home??? Why can’t you stay in Annecy with me?? :(

    P.S. Yes and Yes. I would like anything you want to give me.

    @Noelia: Thanks! I’m trying to be happy with the present as well, but my future is always in the back of my mind… I always need to be prepared and know that I’m going to be able to earn enough money to support myself. Oh well, at least I know I’ll be fine for two years!

    @Pamela: I just posted about becoming a lectrice! Hope it answers all of your questions. I tried to comment on your blog, but it said I wasn’t registered??

    @Emmy: Maitres de langue work more and are paid more, basically. :)

    @Erica: Yeah, I’ve heard that I can do the CAFEP without being an EU Citizen. I’ll look more into it one of these days… Just don’t feel like wading through all the educational French jargon at the moment!

  • http://www.australiatoitaly.blogspot.com/ Leanne in Italy

    If you ever wanted to move fields you could get work in a tourist or travel agency too. They need great language skills and you still get to speak to people from all over the world.
    It is amazing how many languages some of them speak. I know one girl here who speaks 5 languages all fluently! And she is only 22 years old.

    Leanne in Italys last blog post..Signs everywhere

  • http://www.australiatoitaly.blogspot.com Leanne in Italy

    If you ever wanted to move fields you could get work in a tourist or travel agency too. They need great language skills and you still get to speak to people from all over the world.
    It is amazing how many languages some of them speak. I know one girl here who speaks 5 languages all fluently! And she is only 22 years old.

    Leanne in Italys last blog post..Signs everywhere

  • http://leahenfranceparttrois.blogspot.com/ Leah

    Jennie, you can definitely do the CAFEP as a non-EU citizen, that’s what I was doing at the beginning of 2007. I also have heard that the concours interne is easier. But, this is all changing and the CAPES is likely to become just a masters at the fac that you get and not all the nonsense with the didactique at the IUFM and the cours at the fac. Eventually, when it isn’t a concours and everyone that passes gets accepted, it could be something to seriously look into. Bon courage!

  • http://leahenfranceparttrois.blogspot.com Leah

    Jennie, you can definitely do the CAFEP as a non-EU citizen, that’s what I was doing at the beginning of 2007. I also have heard that the concours interne is easier. But, this is all changing and the CAPES is likely to become just a masters at the fac that you get and not all the nonsense with the didactique at the IUFM and the cours at the fac. Eventually, when it isn’t a concours and everyone that passes gets accepted, it could be something to seriously look into. Bon courage!

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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