Spending More Time with Books

Today was my last day of work at the university but it hasn’t really set in yet that I am done because I still have to finish grades. I should be excited about my 5 months of paid vacation but I don’t know if I will actually be getting paid since the préfecture might decide to make me an illegal immigrant soon. I desperately need my new residency card so that I can receive my monthly salary but it’s already been over an month and I still don’t even have a récépissé. And of course, there’s the problem of returning to France from Croatia with an expired (by one day!) card on May 8. Being stuck in Split doesn’t sound like such a bad idea though…

Since I used computers in all of my classes and then continued sitting in front of my computer at home when I didn’t really need to, I’ve decided to take a little break. There is no reason why I need to spend 10 hours a day at a computer. Unfortunately  a lot of that time has simply been wasted on websites that serve no purpose other than to make me angry about the state of the world and the stupidity of human beings. I want to be ignorant of all of the awful things people do and say to others, even just for a short time. So goodbye internet.

I have been increasingly distracted from learning languages because of the internet even though I normally say the internet is the best source for learning. There are just too many distractions and it’s too easy to waste time. Of course, it’s still the best place to collect materials, but I need to step away from it for a while.  I have plenty of books that need to be read or re-read. I have plenty of audio to listen to – just a couple hundred gigabytes, no biggie. And I certainly have plenty of vocabulary to learn. I go to Croatia in 10 days, Denmark in 3 weeks, Germany in 6 weeks and Italy in 2 months. I have a lot of work to do. So hello again the love of my life (a.k.a. language books):

View of my bookcase from the couch

I don’t know how long it will last, especially since I have to check my e-mail and website everyday anyway, but I really want to get focused again. My insomnia has severely interfered with my concentration and memory these past few months so hopefully it will get better now that I have no actual job to go to and be stressed about.

A plus tard !

Learning French Slang with Les Simpson

Watching French TV with the subtitles on was the fastest way for me to learn common slang words. Back in 2006 when I barely understood spoken French, I spent a lot of time watching TV and writing down the words that I didn’t understand. Unfortunately, French TV shows aren’t all that great, so I resorted […]

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The Frenchified English of McDonald’s in France

I had the misfortune of eating at McDonald’s last Sunday when David and I decided to go on a drive to Chanaz, at the other end of Lac du Bourget. Unfortunately, we arrived at 2pm, when every restaurant in Europe closes because no one can possibly still be hungry at that time, so it was […]

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Thanks for Russian, Spanish and Italian Recordings

I just wanted to say спасибо, gracias and grazie to the awesome people who have recorded mp3s for the Russian, Spanish and Italian tutorials recently.  We really appreciate your generosity, Marina, Renzo and Corrado! (All three are fans on the Facebook page if you would like to thank them personally.) You can listen to the […]

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Learning the Language AND Cultural Vocabulary Online

How do you learn proper nouns, place names, brands, acronyms or other culture-specific vocabulary if you aren’t immersed in the culture? Before I moved to France, I knew that Carrefour was one of the largest stores and so I used their online ads to learn vocabulary for everyday objects that I would need when I […]

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Learn Informal French: Slang Nouns for People (New Video)

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Language Learning Articles, Software, Websites (Link Collection from Twitter)

A collection of language learning articles, software and websites that I’ve tweeted/retweeted/discovered on Twitter over the past few months for those who don’t use that site: Popling. Hack your Brain. Learning, Without Studying. A website + desktop app for people who want to learn, but lack motivation. Lingoversity Learn languages with your vocabulary trainer. Rhinospike: […]

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Review of Some Language Learning Communities: Busuu, Livemocha, LingQ, and Hello-Hello

Lately I’ve been using several language learning communities online to see what they offer and how expensive their pay materials are. Personally, I was most interested in finding sites that offered free audio flashcards for learning vocabulary (preferably with pictures) and less so in finding a teacher or language exchange partner.  I just wanted to […]

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Do I still speak English?

Maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t plan on teaching English much longer because I have been forgetting my own language. In my vocabulary classes, the students basically work for 90 minutes straight on learning new words and how to use them properly. They have to answer questions and write paragraphs and record themselves […]

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Eavesdropping on the French [New MP3]

I’ve finally uploaded another French Listening mp3 and this one is a little different from the others. First of all, it is much harder to understand because I was basically eavesdropping on random conversations. It starts out with Mamie working on a crossword puzzle, then Parrain talking about winning the lottery and retiring, then Patricia […]

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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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