Holiday Weekend in Gold Coast, Queensland

I flew up to Gold Coast last Wednesday to meet up with one of my oldest friends from Michigan. Jessica just finished her postdoc in Melbourne and is moving back to the US tomorrow, so this was our last trip together in Australia.

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View from hotel in Broadbeach

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Queensland needs more beaches

Most people head to the GC either for the beaches or the theme parks. We did spend some time on the beach, but we actually spent most of the time playing with cute Australian animals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Jessica and me on the train at Currumbin

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Momma kangaroo and joey

Of the various districts in the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise is probably the most well-known and popular. I definitely heard a lot of foreign languages (mostly French!) spoken there. The tallest building in Australia, Q1, is also in Surfers Paradise. You can go up to the Skypoint observation deck (though it’s rather expensive) or even climb around outside.

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The Q1 in Surfers Paradise

We also rented a car for the day and drove down to Byron Bay in New South Wales, where the most easterly point of the Australian mainland is.

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As close to the US as I can get on foot

Gold Coast is a great tourist destination since the airport is quite small (and resembles a food court more than an airport) and public transportation to and from the airport is incredibly easy to figure out. Bus 702 serves the airport every half hour and heads up the Gold Coast Highway. If you buy a go card from the shuttle desk in the airport (for $5) and add money to it, you will save a lot.

The rest of my travel photos are in the Gold Coast album at the Gallery.

Free Children’s Books Apps in Foreign Languages (Text + Audio)

There are a lot of free language apps available nowadays but many of them are not very good or extensive. They tend to include some basic words or tourist phrases in flashcard format, but very few offer connected text (such as stories) in addition to pronunciation. Lately I’ve been looking for apps that include both […]

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Conferences for Applied Linguistics, CALL, Language Teaching & Learning and French

If you’re interested in attending or presenting at conferences on applied linguistics, computer-assisted language learning, modern/foreign languages or French studies, here are some upcoming conferences. You still have time to submit abstracts for some of them. I plan on being in Wellington this November for the ALAA/ALANZ conference and Brisbane next August for the AILA […]

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Dora will help you learn half a dozen languages

I often buy DVDs from the European Amazon stores to ensure that I will have a choice of at least one or two other subtitled/dubbed languages besides the original language. I’m not sure how, but I came across Dora the Explorer DVDs at the German Amazon and noticed that they offered FIVE languages, or at […]

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Do some academics look down on other academics as well as non-academics?

A recent post on The Thesis Whisperer, a blog designed to help research students in Australia, has been quite popular this past month. The title? Academic assholes and the circle of niceness Luckily, I have not personally experienced any aggressive or arrogant behavior at the universities I have attended in the US or Australia. My […]

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English Teaching Opportunities in France, Spain and Germany for 2013

Update: If you’re looking for jobs in France for the 2014-15 school year, go here.   If you’re interested in teaching English in Europe later this year, here are a few jobs:   FRANCE Added June 12: English lecteur/lectrice positions at Université Paris Dauphine to begin September 1, 2013. Requirements: English must be your mother […]

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Death of a language website: fsi-language-courses.org [UPDATED: It's back online and there are at least 3 mirror sites]

UPDATE: The site is back online!!! All of the files are also available at fsi.antibozo.net, fsi-languages.yojik.eu, or www.livelingua.com/fsi-language-courses.php, or you can use this torrent if you’d like to download everything. If anyone knows what happened to fsi-language-courses.org, please let me know! It was the site that included all of the Foreign Service Institute courses in the […]

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Non-Linguists, Please Stop Trying to Do or Talk About Linguistics Without the Help of Actual Linguists

Ben Zimmer has a wonderful article on “When physicists do linguistics” over at the Boston Globe, which can perhaps be best summarized by this comic from xkcd:   Joking aside, I am happy that other disciplines have an interest in language – however, I hate when other disciplines try to do linguistic research and fail […]

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Adding Subtitles to Online Videos with Amara for Language Learning

Listening while reading a transcript of what is said is the best way to improve overall comprehension as well as pronunciation. Extensive listening and reading also contribute to vocabulary acquisition. I have previously talked about TV series and movies that may include subtitles, but what about online videos? Youtube does have an automatic closed captioning […]

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A Weekend on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest island and definitely worth a visit for the beautiful beaches and adorable wildlife. Although I’ve been to many beaches in Australia already, every new one I see is just as gorgeous as the last one. KI did not disappoint. The first view upon getting off the ferry in Penneshaw: Sadly, […]

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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 January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. 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 the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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My Say it in French phrasebook and Great French Short Stories dual-language book (both published by Dover Publications) are available at Amazon.com.

The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is now 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.

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