Observations & Questions

I’m still amazed that students cannot figure out that the American word vacation mean vacances. I know they’ve always been taught the British word holiday, but I thought they’d be able to understand it in context… Apparently I was wrong.

What is another way of saying “What else?” All of my students are getting into the habit of saying Nespresso every time I ask what else. Thanks a lot, George Clooney!

I’m trying to buy clothes from LaRedoute but I’m having trouble figuring out what some of the colors are because there aren’t any pictures. Glycine ? Vert bouteille ? Rose dragée ?

I’ve been playing Le Manoir aux Mille Questions on France5’s site (they’re supposed to be revision questions for elementary/middle school students, but I want to make sure I know this stuff too!) and I came across a geography question asking how many continents there were. The choices were 2, 5 or 6. Umm, I always learned there were 7 continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia & Antarctica. What do French kids learn? There are only 6 continents: America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, & Antarctica.

This weekend, I watched this adorable Frenchie (left) play tennis against this equally adorable Serb (right) in the Australian Open. I still don’t enjoy watching sports, but I liked listening to the Australian accents and thinking about living in Australia again…


While doing some French exercises online, I found some tests d’entrée for those wanting to immigrate to Quebec. There’s a lot of listening questions, but I couldn’t really concentrate on answering the questions correctly because I kept getting distracted (in a good way) by the Quebecois accent. And then I started thinking about living in Quebec again… ::sigh::

Why does LaPoste charge for “shipping” stamps in an envelope when Amazon can ship me books in boxes for free?

What I do

I realized I hadn’t posted about the assistantship in a long time, so here’s a summary of what I’ve been doing at work lately: On Tuesdays, I have all secondes (10th grade), so I try to focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. We’ve done geography of the US, describing people, and American high schools in the […]

Full Story »

Waiting and planning and waiting

We may be staying in Annecy a little while longer than planned. I had my heart set on Lyon if we were to stay in France since finding a job there would be easier, but we don’t really have a choice. I’m a little sad about not being able to move to Quebec sooner, but […]

Full Story »

Day 3 of driving in France

I love my little car because it’s so little. I’m going to build up some muscles because there’s no power steering and it’s hard to turn that wheel to get out of a parking space. There’s no radio either, but I honestly don’t mind that. Driving isn’t too stressful since I learned all the road […]

Full Story »

I bought something today.

AN AUTOMATIC CAR!!! It’s a Renault Super 5 with only 70,000 KM on it. It’s an ’86, but it’s in great condition and oh so clean! We had to go to Chalon-sur-Saône (200 km north of here) to buy it, but it was so worth it!!! I didn’t mention finding this car online before because […]

Full Story »

Work and Holiday Visas

For those who cannot afford to study abroad or who cannot do a teaching assistantship in Europe because they don’t have foreign language skills: Travel and/or work in Anglophone countries: Work and Holiday Visas are a way to travel to a country for more than 3 months, and possibly work (legally!) to help fund your […]

Full Story »

This amuses me to no end.

The other night on TF1, the news mentioned Mike Huckabee’s win at the Iowa caucus. But they didn’t talk about his political positions or anything relevant to the election… no, no, they talked about how his home-state of Arkansas is one of ten states in the US that bans the sale of alcohol. Except alcohol […]

Full Story »

To do list for deux mille huit

I’m not going to use that R word, but here’s what I want to do in 2008: Read the bazillion books on my (full) bookcase – two finished already! Devote more time to studying languages – back to Pimsleur & podcasts… Immerse myself in French culture a lot more than I have been… Gain some […]

Full Story »

Provence et New York ?

J’ai fini de lire A Year in Provence de Peter Mayle et Une Française à New York de Laurence Haïm. Je ne sais pas pourquoi je n’ai jamais lu le premier, vu qu’il est sorti en 1989. Presque tous les anglophones qui se sont installés en France, ou qui veulent y s’installer, lisent ce livre […]

Full Story »

Le retour de la neige au Michigan

A few days after we return to France, Michigan gets lots of snow again: C’EST PAS JUSTE !!! IT’S NOT FAIR!!!! This one has nothing to do with snow; I just thought it was really cute. Brandy & Shadow were taking a nap together before Christmas. I really miss dogs.

Full Story »

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.

Support ielanguages.com

The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is 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.