Free English lessons for French students

BBC reports:The main teaching union in France has criticised the education minister’s plans to offer free English classes in the school holidays next year.

Xavier Darcos announced the plans on Monday, insisting that speaking fluent English was the key to success.

He said that while “well-off families pay for study sessions abroad, I’m offering them to everyone right here”.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is likely to back the plan.

He has already infuriated traditionalists by suggesting that the French should no longer insist on speaking their own language at international negotiations.

Interesting… I wonder who will be teaching these courses and where the government will get money to pay the teachers…

What la rentrée really means to me.

Tomorrow, September 2nd, students in France go back to school. Do you know what this means? I can finally go to the places I want without being surrounded by annoying kids!!! La rentrée is the most wonderful time of the year.

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101st Département of France: Mayotte

Mayotte, currently an overseas collectivity of France, should become an official overseas département of France, after a vote in April 2009. Geographically, Mayotte is part of the Comoro Islands (north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean), but it voted to remain a French territory in the 1970’s instead of joining the Union of Comoros which […]

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“We the people” not “We the favored few.”

I don’t usually talk about politics, and I hate how much the US presidential election is covered here in France… but after watching some of the speeches at the Democratic Convention this week, I’m feeling a little more hopeful about my country. It took me six long years to get out of the US after […]

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Looking to Move

Because I have always been spoiled by my parents’ backyard…. …I cannot stand living in an apartment and not having a yard of my own. Currently we live in a one bedroom apartment with no balcony. We’re on the third floor, so we have to keep almost all the windows closed so Canaille won’t jump […]

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Joris Brichet, Champion de France de Skate

Last night David & I had dinner with a friend that we hadn’t seen in a few months. Joris had been traveling to Prague, Morocco and England for skateboarding competitions because he’s been the national champion of vert skating in France for four years. He took 2nd place recently at the European championships. If you […]

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Want to buy property in Annecy? I hope you’re rich!

The table below shows property prices per square meter for major cities/towns in France, and the increase or decrease in price from 2007. Annecy is the 12th most expensive, and it is the first one on the list that is not in the Paris region or in the south.  You can thank Switzerland and the […]

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Frustration & Creation; or Why I Spend Hours Working on my Website

It began with foreign languages. Actually it began with the movie While You Were Sleeping that I saw when I was 14 years old. Sandra Bullock’s character wanted to visit Italy so badly that it made me want to learn Italian. And then I started high school and began learning French. A year later and […]

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Olympics Vocabulary in French

I’ve never been a big fan of the Olympics or of watching sports on TV, but I have caught a few events on French TV this week. If nothing else, it helps with learning sports vocabulary in French. [And why did I never notice before that the French use Pékin whereas we use Beijing? ] […]

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Foreign Service Institute French Basic Course

If you haven’t already checked out (and/or downloaded) the free Foreign Service Institute language courses at fsi-language-courses.com, you need to go there right now. The FSI courses were designed by the Department of State, mostly in the 1960’s, to teach languages to employees being sent overseas. They’re actually quite comprehensive, if a bit boring with […]

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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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