I love technology, but I love it more when it actually works.

This week was the start of our language labs at the university (i.e. 9 out of 12 of my classes). They only run for 10 weeks, so we don’t start them when regular classes start. Unfortunately, our brand new computerized language lab is not working properly, so we can barely use it. Instead, we’re running almost all of the labs in our old cassette-based lab. But of course, the sudden change to cassettes means that some classes aren’t exactly prepared because we don’t have the correct tapes.

I was so excited for the new lab when I first heard about it since I love technology in language learning. Then the stupid wires had to get all fussy and not let the system work. I tried it yesterday with a Phonetics lab, but the program crashed 3 times in 5 minutes, so I just gave up and tried to run the hour as a regular “lecture” class, which is actually kind of difficult when the students are in their little cubicles.

I’ve been forced into the cassette lab for several of my classes, and surprisingly I like it. The teacher’s desk looks so old-school with all the buttons and lights, but it’s fun to play with and I know it will work. It may be a bit out-dated (there are still signs on the wall from 1992 that say the room was recently redone with the latest technology), but it sure is reliable. Until your master cassette breaks when you’re trying to do the copy for the students’ cabines

We aren’t sure yet if the new lab will be fixed for next week, but I honestly wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t.

It’s been an interesting week.

The Past, Poverty & Perspective

Thanks to David’s dad and his generous gift of Chèque Lire, I got yet another French as a Foreign Language book at Decitre today, in an attempt to improve my faltering French since I can’t afford actual classes. The first chapter was about traveling, and more specifically, Quebec. The second chapter was about rencontres and […]

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The Not-So-United States of America

So the presidential elections (only one more month to go!!!) and having to explain the Electoral College and how voting works in the US to the French have stirred up some emotions about why I don’t like living there. The United States of America is just that – a collection of states, but states that […]

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Two Years in France: Un Bilan

My two year anniversary in France was this past Friday, September 26. I realize I have done a lot  / accomplished a lot / suffered through a lot over the past 24 months in France: obtained 5 Carte de Séjours from my best friends at the Préfecture exchanged American driver’s license for French one and […]

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I want to be a lectrice forever.

I love my job! I work with three classes in the labs: Vocabulary, Pronunciation and Business English. In all of them, I can spy on the students with my headset and make sure they are actually doing the lessons and using English. (I have ALL the power!!!) For vocab class, I’m redoing the weekly HTML […]

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More Language Learning Tips

Websites I found these past few weeks: Dialang is a neat program that you can use to determine your European Level in a foreign language. There are 5 tests – reading, writing, listening, grammar and vocabulary – available for 14 languages – Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish […]

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Major Website Updates this Summer

Summer is over and I go back to work tomorrow, so I wanted to post the major updates to my website that I’ve done over the past few months. I’m not sure how much time I will have to devote to my site once the semester gets into full swing. First, I have created an […]

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All Things American

Mom just sent a package of things that David & I have been missing lately. Now that it’s almost fall, I’m really getting nostalgic for America… and Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Apparently as soon as the temperature drops, I lump all of those holidays together. Luckily I should only have to work until noon […]

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Quick Update.

ANPE is still harassing me about finding a job. Just one day after sending me a letter saying it was ok that I didn’t go to the mandatory meeting because I had found a job, they send me an offre d’emploi and apparently want me to tell them for a THIRD time that I have […]

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How’s my accent?

I finally got David to record more mp3s for the French tutorials (we’re now halfway done with French VII, vocabulary for those living in France), and I decided to record myself speaking French as well. I just read the sentences from the first topic on French VII. David (native speaker of French) [podcast]http://www.ielanguages.com/mp3stwo/confusions.mp3[/podcast] Me (native […]

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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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