Free English as a Second Language (ESL) Lesson Plans and Activities

This weekend was the end of les grandes vacances in France because all public school students start the school year on Thursday. I actually love this time year of because it means that France is alive again. It’s not just back to school, but back to work since a lot of stores and businesses close in July and August when most people leave on vacation. I’m looking forward to getting back to regular life this fall even though that means unemployment for me once again.

Even though I don’t exactly have a rentrée of my own this year, I figured it was time to update the ESL Lesson Plans page for those who will be teaching English this fall. Most of the lessons I used as a lectrice were designed as interactive exercises for students to do while using a computer in class. I’ve reformatted some of them so that they can be printed and copied more easily, and will continue to add more lessons as I finally clean out the English folders on my hard drives. My first two years as an assistant I spent a ridiculous amount of time on planning lessons and therefore thinking in English, when I should have been  improving my French everyday. I hope these resources will help future assistants take advantage of their short time in France.

My lectrice job at the university was a 12 month short-term contract, renewable for only one extra year. So as of October 1, I will be unemployed because even though there are vacataire jobs at the university that have been offered to me, you must already have a job in order to be hired, because vacataires are only paid every 6 months. (Yes, sometimes you must have a job in order to get a job in France.) My only option now is to wait to see if there are any open English assistant positions at high schools in the area, but I have to wait until the original assistant assigned to the school has resigned or just doesn’t show up by October 15.

Luckily I still have one more month of paid vacation so I have some time to figure things out. Teaching English is really the only job I can get in France since I’m not an EU citizen and don’t have a degree earned from a French university. In all honesty, I would much rather teach French than English, but that’s not going to happen in France. I’ll probably start a French as a Second Language page so I can upload lessons and materials for French teachers to use, and I’ll work on creating more audio flashcards and exercises to go along with the tutorials.

For more information on the English assistant program in the French public school system, read the Guide for English Language Assistants in France. If you’re interested in working at a university in France, then check out How to Become a Lecteur/Lectrice d’Anglais or Maître de Langue at a French University.

Free and/or Public Domain Materials for Listening to & Reading Languages Simultaneously

+-*Previously I explained how reading subtitles while watching TV shows or movies helps enormously with foreign language comprehension. I wanted to expand on the Listening & Reading method – because it is what I use foremost when studying languages – and list some freely available resources where you can find text and audio in several languages. […]

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Learning Italian through French, or a Third Language through a Second

+-*I’ve mentioned before that I find learning a third language using my second language much easier than using my native language. Currently, I am improving my Italian by using resources written in French rather than English. Switching from French to Italian takes much less effort than switching from English to Italian, and the same is […]

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Le Grand Robert & Collins French/English CD-ROM Dictionary

+-*Since I’ve been doing more French-English translations lately, I decided to invest in a CD-ROM dictionary instead of a standard paper dictionary. Wordreference.com is of course a great online resource but I wanted something more. Le Grand Robert & Collins French/English CD-ROM Dictionary contains 425,000 entries, all with standard IPA pronunciation and plenty of sample phrases […]

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Update on the Easyjet Drama: Refusal to Pay Compensation

+-*Oh Easyjet, how I loathe you more and more everyday. Remember how they abandoned us overnight in Venice without providing food or hotels like they are legally supposed to? Even though I was reimbursed for the canceled flight, I never received the insultingly low 120€ for alternative travel costs (we paid nearly 1,000€ out of […]

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French Slang Nouns (New Video)

+-*Here are some common informal nouns used in everyday speech in France. Once again, it is more important to simply understand these words and not worry so much about trying to use them. The standard vocabulary is given after the sample sentences.

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Are you a Juillettiste or an Aoûtien? and Another Reason to Visit France

+-*We are in the middle of les grandes vacances in France and it certainly shows, even in smaller towns rather than just Paris. Many shops are closed or not nearly as crowded as usual, most of the people wandering the streets have cameras around their necks, and I can always find a parking spot directly […]

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The Importance of Learning Collocations instead of Individual Words

+-*As Randy from Yearlyglot pointed out recently, word pattern recognition is an important concept in language learning and attaining fluency. Word patterns or collocations are simply the way certain words (whether function or content) habitually occur together. These conventional sequences are instantly recognizable to native speakers of a language, but remain difficult for second language learners to acquire […]

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Improving Comprehension of Foreign Languages with TV Series, Movies and Subtitles

+-*Watching television shows and movies in the target language is a great way to learn the (real) language, but it is even better if you can read along with the subtitles while watching and listening. Most linguistics studies and language students agree, but someone needs to tell the producers of DVDs this.  I am still […]

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French Summer School Online: Free Resources to Download

+-*Académie en ligne is the official website of Education Nationale in France that provides support materials for all courses in public schools so that students can continue learning during the summer. The site was launched last summer, but I had forgotten until This French Life posted about it.  It’s designed for all students from CP […]

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Where Jennie talks about learning and teaching languages, traveling the world, and being an immigrant/expat.

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French Today - Master the Modern French Language

21st century French audiobooks and audio lessons: learn to understand and speak modern French

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