Québec is Calling Me…

In order to feed my Quebec obsession, I’ve been watching the Radio-Canada series “Catherine” on TV5 each evening. Luckily it’s subtitled in European French because I don’t understand all the words, but when they make cultural references to Thanksgiving, Sears or hockey, it makes me a little homesick. Sometimes I catch “Pure Laine” which is also a comedy about life in Montréal in a multi-cultural family (Quebecois mother, Haitian father, and adopted Chinese girl). Barbara has been posting her wonderful photos of a recent trip to Montréal & Québce City and David has been mentioning wanting to go there more and more lately.

Then Quebec announces that between now and 2012, it will need 700,000 immigrants to make up for the retiring population. They’re increasing their quota for French citizens as well, because of course they want people who already speak French. I’m not a French citizen (not yet anyway! I can apply after 5 years of PACS, so early 2012), but I can obviously still apply as an American citizen who speaks French. Career-wise, I don’t know what David or I would do because he works for the French government and I really don’t want to continue teaching English.  (I could be improving my Italian and German so much instead of preparing lessons…)

If the high-speed railway between Montréal and Windsor ever gets approved and built, I will so be there! It currently takes more than 9.5 hours to take the train from Montréal to Windsor (not including connection in Toronto) compared to at least a 9 hour drive from Montréal to Flint by way of Sarnia. Granted, Windsor is still a 2 hour drive to my parents’ house, but cutting down on the travel time in any way would be nice especially if I didn’t have to drive at all. The whole project would connect Québec City to Windsor (via Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto) in 3 hours and 55 minutes!

Emphasizing Oral Skills in Language Education

+-*For once I agree with Sarkozy on something. He recently announced an “emergency” plan for changing the way languages are taught in France. He recognizes that the French system currently emphasizes too much grammar and memorization when basic communication skills such as listening and speaking should be the focus of language education. Even though most […]

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Summer to Fall to Christmas in One Week

+-*Last week I was still wearing tank tops because the temperature was still reaching 75° (24 C). This week it’s been probably about 50° or 60° (10-15 C) and the heat has been turned on in our building. We’re supposed to turn all the radiators on full blast to make sure everything is working properly […]

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Switzerland vs. France (Not a Football Match)

+-*Oddly enough, living in France near the Swiss border has more disadvantages than advantages. At first I thought it would be nice to be close to another country that isn’t even in the EU. Geneva’s international airport has served me well over the years, but I’ve got to say that I’ve never actually spent time […]

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Bon jour d’action de grâce !

+-*Un bon jour d’action de grâce à tous mes amis canadiens et canadiennes !!

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PACS is 10 years old

+-*PACSing was created in France in late 1999, originally as an alternative to gay marriage, but straight couples are also allowed to get PACSed. In 2000, there were 22,108 PACS. In 2008, the number had risen to 144,716. However, less than 6% of the PACS in 2008 were gay couples. The majority of PACS are […]

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Where does the time go?

+-*I’ve finished my first full week of classes (all 16.5 hours) and even though I only work Monday-Wednesday, I am exhausted! I would prefer to work 4 hours a day over 4 days, but the students don’t have classes on Thursday afternoons because of sports. So as of 6:30pm Wednesday evening, I am en week-end. […]

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I.D. se prononce Heidi

+-*I somehow came across the French School of Detroit’s site when I was reading France-Amérique and I thought their page on American vocabulary was so cute. The students’ parents are not always fluent in English, so they explained a few American words that the parents will probably encounter. Lunchbox: Concrètement, il s’agit des repas pour vos […]

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My new favorite applet for teaching and learning languages online: NanoGong

+-*I just discovered this awesome applet called NanoGong from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. It’s a mini-recorder that you can use on webpages (and Moodle) and it will work perfectly in my vocabulary classes! The students listen to my pronunciation (by using flash mp3 players that I already embedded into the flashcards) […]

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Year Four Begins…

+-*I completely missed my 3 year anniversary of living in France! In some ways, it seems longer than 3 years. In other ways, not so much. Year four brings a new apartment and city to discover, the same job but new students to teach, and another year closer to officially becoming French. I feel like […]

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

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