L’acquisition, l’avenir et l’argent

Not much has been happening in my life lately. I looked through the archives to remind myself of what was going on last July. Compared to one year ago, things are definitely much better. I have my residency card (good until May 2009), my French driver’s license (good until forever), and I have a job starting this fall. I still don’t have much money, but I have a feeling that will never change as long as I continue to live in France…

I know I haven’t posted about my job yet, but I will be a lectrice d’anglais at a nearby university beginning October 1st. I’m really excited already – I’ve been missing the university environment and being around linguists who see the value of phonetics in language acquisition. It’s finally forcing me out of the rut I’ve been in lately… not reading or studying anything. We’ve got so many books in our apartment that we need to buy another bookcase, yet I rarely read any of them.

This summer is also giving me an opportunity to be geeky about linguistics for another reason: Mélina. She’s only 3 weeks old, but I’ve already bought her a français-anglais imagier so she can start learning English. I’m going to record myself saying all the words so she can listen to the pronunciation when I’m not around. Children are like little sponges when it comes to languages, but it’s really amazing (and sad) that babies lose the ability to discriminate between sounds that do not exist in their parents’ language at only 6 months. Before that, they are able to hear the difference between sounds of all human languages. Must be nice.

And of course thinking about linguistics and my new job makes me think about the future and what exactly I want to do as a career. I can only be a lectrice for two years total in France (their rule, not mine), so I’ll have to find something else to do. I’m thinking about going back to school and getting a French diplôme either in tourism or translating. I suppose I could do my PhD in France as well, but I don’t know how easy it is to find a university teaching job afterwards. Sometimes I think I’d just love to work in a hotel in the south, so I can meet people from all over the world and speak several languages everyday.

So this is my summer. Thinking about linguistics, the future and my lack of money. A lot has changed in one year, but then again, a lot has stayed the same.

Bread Machine in Italian & Books in German

I recently ordered a bread machine from 3suisses.fr because unlike most people, I do not like baguettes and prefer big loaves of bread with soft crusts. Plus the sandwich-style bread you can buy in France does not taste very good. Even though I had ordered it from a French company and the picture in the […]

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Summertime means…

Boats on the lake Big salads Bright lights Pretty flowers Clear water Fireworks on the 14th Cigales in the south

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The Best Photo Ever

This photo of David & his sister, Carole, was taken about 25 years ago at the OK Corral Western Theme Park in Cuges-les-Pins, just east of Marseille. I absolutely adore it because they are polar opposites.  Notice the arm holding Carole in place!  She smiles a lot more for photos nowadays, but man, did she […]

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Provençal Villages, Arles & Van Gogh’s Room

We’ve returned from our week in Provence!  Last year we mostly visited the larger cities (Avignon, Orange, etc.), so this year we visited many of the smaller villages in Vaucluse (74), and then drove down to Salon-de-Provence and Arles in Bouches-du-Rhône (13). The beauty of Provençal villages never gets old to me. The colors, the […]

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French Postcards from the Early 20th Century

David & I are down in Provence for the week at his mom’s cousin’s (Bobby & Martine) house in Sarrians, in the département of Vaucluse. The weather is perfect (hot and sunny), the sound of the cigales (cicadas) is so relaxing, and we have trips to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Salon-de-Provence, Aix-en-Provence and L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue planned. I have no […]

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Introducing Mélina

Bienvenue au monde, ma petite nièce ! Je vous présente Mélina, la fille de la sœur de David. Elle n’a que deux jours dans cette photo. Elle est née le premier juillet et pas le quatorze comme prévu. (Canada gagne !) Elle ne le sait pas encore, mais elle va commencer à apprendre l’anglais très […]

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Bonne Fête Nationale, USA !

This is the fourth year that I haven’t been in the USA on the Fourth of July, and it’s always a little weird. I’ve never been an overly patriotic person, but I do miss my country today. At least I’ll still get to watch fireworks in July (just on the 14th instead) and the flags […]

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Happy 400th Anniversary, Quebec City!

Quebec City is 400 years old! Quebec City was founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain on July 3, 1608, making it one of the earliest established settlements in North America. Some of you may know that I adore all things Quebec. The language, the food, the landscape. It’s just a great place. When or […]

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More Changes in France as of July 1

France takes over the European Union Presidency until December 31. Public transportation gets slightly more expensive. SNCF tickets increase by 10 cents, while subway tickets in Paris now cost 1.60 € for a single ride or 11.40 € for a booklet of ten tickets. The monthly Carte Orange-Navigo also increases: Zones 1-2: 55.10 €; Zones […]

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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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