French & France News

Twitter is now available in French! And yes, I recently joined – though I prefer to say to that my website joined since my username is ielanguages. I’ll most likely be posting more website info and language teaching & learning news and links on there, unlike this blog which usually includes personal stuff like missing Michigan snow and endless pictures of my cat.

Did you know that 90% of French films on DVD are NOT subtitled for the deaf or hard-of-hearing (or French learners)? The main television channels in France are supposed to work towards 100% subtitling through 2010, but there are no similar statutes for the film industry. How sad.  Especially for DVDs that are exported and encoded in other regions, it would be such a great resource for French learners to listen and read at the same time.

Fighting words from the Parti Québécois, upset about the recent overturn of loi 104, which now allows children to attend English public school if they’ve attended one year of English private school instead of having them remain in French schools: “Au nom d’une Constitution que le Québec n’a jamais signée, des juges nommés par une autre nation veulent nous empêcher de défendre ce qu’il y a de plus précieux pour la nation québécoise. La Cour suprême nous dit que notre manière de défendre le français ne lui convient pas. Eh! bien, au Québec, c’est la Constitution canadienne qui ne nous convient pas.”

Only 38% of French people say they base their identity at the national level compared to 45% who prefer the local or regional level. The largest percentage identify most with their city, followed by neighborhood, région and département.  This isn’t too surprising considering how many regional divisions there are within France, and it does seem to be a slight blow to Besson’s debate on national identity and how he wants everyone and your uncle to be proud to be French.

Speaking of Besson, his xenophobic views are at it again. In a circulaire distributed to prefets across France, he poses the following question: “Comment éviter l’arrivée sur notre territoire d’étrangers en situation irrégulière, aux conditions de vie précaires génératrices de désordres divers (travail clandestin, délinquance) et entretenant, dans une partie de la population, des suspicions vis-à-vis de l’ensemble des étrangers  ?” Why, France? Why do you let this man have power? He’s turning out to to be the Lou Dobbs of France, except he’s the freaking Ministre de l’Immigration!

The Simpsons parodied Sarko & Carla a few weeks ago, but there’s another video clip making the rounds in France. After Hortefeux’s racist comments were caught on camera, apparently it was Chirac’s turn.  I expect ignorant comments like that from ultra-conservative nutjobs like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, but Chirac was president of this country for 12 years. I don’t remember Bush ever making any openly racist comments and that man was a moron. Isn’t Chirac supposed to be educated (even if he has a very shady political past)?

And one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard in a long time: a group of students at a high school in Paris sent an insulting and threatening letter to their English teacher because she had ::gasp:: banned cell phones in class! She got fed up with them constantly texting in class when they should have been paying attention, and the students think that they can do whatever they want, so they demanded that the teacher change her behavior or be replaced. At the risk of sounding old, what is wrong with kids today???

Premières Papillotes

We’ve already started eating Papillotes even though it’s not really Christmastime yet. I’m a bad American and should wait until after Thanksgiving to do anything Christmas-related, but too late, I’ve already started listening to carols and bought all my gifts. Papillotes are chocolaty goodness though, so I don’t feel bad for eating them. Plus they […]

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Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching by Jeff Stanford

Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching by Jeff Stanford is the latest instructional book on Moodle, the popular Course Management System (CMS) for creating educational websites and communities, to be published by Packt Publishing. It is not written for true beginners who have no experience with Moodle, as it does not explain how to install […]

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Audio Links Roundup for Language Learning

Books can’t exactly teach you how to speak or understand a language. Listening is the most important skill to master when learning a language. And that is where the internet comes in. So here’s a short list of audio-heavy websites, most of which I’m sure I’ve already posted about, and many of which are multilingual: […]

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Someone Else’s Tour du Monde

David’s friends Max and Pauline are currently on their “tour du monde” – trip around the world. I still don’t think I would like to to do one long trip around the world, but I sure do miss traveling.  I haven’t left the country since August. Three whole months! They’ve been posting beautiful photographs, most […]

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Featuring Canaille

Not much going on here these days. After tomorrow, only 4 weeks of classes left for the semester and I only have one more lesson to prepare. December is going to be so easy. Except for all the correcting of recordings and tests. The weather was actually very sunny and warm these past few days, […]

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November in the Alps

November is a bit depressing because this is what it looks like every single day. Never-ending gray clouds.

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Friday the 13th / le vendredi 13

The number 13 and Fridays are usually considered bad or even evil according to Christianity, and the tradition of Friday the 13th being a very unlucky day still persists in many cultures. Yet in France, vendredi le 13 is considered a lucky day when people buy lots of lottery tickets. Have you bought your ticket […]

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Armistice Day / Veterans Day / Remembrance Day

Hug a veteran today.

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Kentucky Fried Chicken in France

It’s Sunday and we have no food in the apartment because it’s Sunday and no stores are open. Ok, some stores are open in the morning on Sundays, but they are so crowded that I hyperventilate just thinking about it. A KFC opened in Chambéry a few months ago and I was actually curious to […]

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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.


The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 or paperback book for $29.95.