Understanding Spoken French: Common Reductions in Everyday Speech

A simple video showing the differences between written and spoken French.

I’m new to making videos and Youtube, but I’ve already uploaded a few travel videos and I plan to make more spoken & informal French videos to show people that learning written French from books is not enough.

Learning Two Languages Together: Where are the Resources?

Remembering new vocabulary involves a lot of connections between what you already know and what you want to know. This is why I don’t agree with “target language only” classes. Sometimes you need your native language to help you  learn a second language, and sometimes a second language can help you learn a third language […]

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Let me sleep! And study languages! And work on my site! (I hate insomnia.)

Thanks to my insomnia and headaches, I haven’t been able to work much on my website or study languages. I basically get up, feel like a zombie, go to work, come home and still feel like a zombie and then try to sleep, unsuccessfully. Monday through Thursday. Luckily I have 3 day weekends, but that […]

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French and its Secret Liaisons

Ok, they’re not so secret in French. I just love the word liaison and I’m fascinated by the obligatoire, facultative and interdite liaisons in French pronunciation. Liaison is the reason why a lot of people think French pronunciation is hard. Many French words end in consonants that are normally silent, unless the next word begins […]

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I don’t speak British English, but I (supposedly) teach it.

Maybe part of the reason why I don’t want to continue teaching English in France is because I’m usually expected to teach British English… but I speak American English.  The students’ vocabulary books are British English…. but I speak American English. The recordings for the pronunciation labs are in British English… but I speak American […]

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To Be Like Audrey Hepburn…

She spoke Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian fluently.

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RSS Times Three: Automatic Updates

I now have three RSS feeds for my site (well, four if you count my Twitter). Most of you are probably reading this through my blog feed, but I also have a feed for ielanguages.com website updates and I just created a new feed for the mp3s that I upload to the French Listening Resources […]

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Using Audacity to Listen, Record and Compare Your Pronunciation

I use the free, open source software Audacity to create and edit sound files for my site, but it can also be used to simply listen to mp3s as well as to record while listening.  This way, you can repeat what is said and compare your pronunciation to the original. Many language students never record […]

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Refocus on French & Languages

I’ve decided it is grand temps that I get organized and focused on learning languages again. I feel as though I’ve been too distracted and/or lazy lately. I haven’t finished nearly as much as I would have liked on my site and I certainly haven’t been studying the way I used to. So to begin, […]

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Polysemy and Homonymy in Beginning Vocabulary Acquisition

Polysemy simply means many meanings, so one word has several definitions and grammatical functions. Homonymy is a related concept broken into two parts: homophones and homographs.  Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation, whether or not they are spelled alike. Homographs are words that have the same spelling, but may or may not be […]

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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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