France has a new département d’outre-mer: Mayotte

As of March 2011, France now has five overseas départements instead of four. Mayotte was previously a collectivité d’outre-mer, but now it is officially a département d’outre-mer joining Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane and La Réunion – all of which also have the status of région. So where is Mayotte? Geographically it is the 4th island in […]


Knowledge of French popular culture: m’a tuer

An example of French popular culture: the phrase m’a tuer I figured even Voici wouldn’t have made such a glaring grammatical mistake on their cover (it “should” be Twitter m’a tuée, using the past participle and agreeing with the preceding direct object, me, which is a woman in this case) so I asked David what it […]


International Mother Language Day & Recent Foreign Language News

February 21 is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day, which “has been celebrated since 2000 to promote all the languages of the world. This Day represents an effective mobilization opportunity for linguistic diversity and multilingualism.” Spread the language love! If you don’t already know why being multilingual makes your life better: Being bilingual may delay Alzheimer’s and […]


Review of Mango Passport & On the Go and Free Product Giveaway for Twitter Users

Last fall, I included Mango Languages for Libraries in my review of language learning websites. If you do not have access to Mango through your library or would like your own personal copy of the program that is not dependent on an internet connection, Mango Languages now offers Passport software and On the Go mp3 […]


More French Cultural Vocabulary: Proprietary or Brand Names

Proprietary or brand names are also a cultural aspect of learning languages. Many times people aren’t even aware that a word they use for a certain object is in fact a brand name and not the generic name. In English, we have several brand names that have become more common than the original terms, such […]


Culturally Relevant Photos of French Objects: Learning the Cultural Significance of Words

Following up on my recent post about cultural differences in photos, I have begun taking pictures of culturally relevant objects in France as an extension to my realia project that originally included written objects in French, such as signs, brochures, menus, receipts, etc. Now I want to add realia pertaining to visual differences among cultures and […]


Brainscape Flashcards: Website and Mobile Apps

Brainscape is a website that offers flashcards on a variety of topics – more than just foreign language vocabulary – using graduated intervals for maximum repetition and reinforcement of least-known items.  This learning technique goes by many names (spaced repetition seems to be the most common among language learning sites) and it is indeed based […]


Spanish Resources for Teachers and Learners

Hi guys, my name’s Andrew, and I’ve been teaching myself Spanish on and off for over 3 years now, and in the process of doing so I’ve learned an enormous amount about how to learn a foreign language on your own and Spanish in particular, and of course I’ve accumulated a very large collection of […]


Cultural Differences between the USA and France in Photos

Cultural Differences between the USA and France

That’s not a cake. That’s a cake! In my English classes I taught at the university in France, we used flashcards with a photo of an object and the English word written out to teach and/or reinforce vocabulary. For most objects, there were no problems with the images provided but every once in a while, […]