Learning the Départements of France

After a 6 month break, I finally got David to do some more recordings for the French tutorials. We finished up French VII and sections on education, politics, television, geography of France, etc. There are a lot of games online you can play to test your knowledge of the geography of France, but I hadn’t […]

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Miss Harriet, Maupassant, and le break

“Nous étions sept dans le break, quatre femmes et trois hommes…” The short story, Miss Harriet, was written in 1883 by Guy de Maupassant. In the very first sentence is the word le break – meaning horse-drawn carriage. Nowadays it means a station wagon and when I learned this, I just assumed it was an […]

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Master’s in Teaching French at University of Arizona

Maybe it’s the never-ending cold inside and outside, but I keep looking for Master’s programs in French in warm climates… et voilà, I found the perfect program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. They offer a Master’s in Teaching French as a Foreign Language, which is exactly what I’m looking for before I decide […]

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Téléfrançais – Episode 1

Hey, I have an idea! Let’s put a talking pineapple, a creepy pilot doll, skeletons playing music, and two kids together in a video to teach useful French phrases like Je suis un ananas and Ce n’est pas possible ! Brilliant, right? Thanks to Dedene for this gem.

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Links Roundup for Learning Languages Online (Audio Version)

I’ve been slowly going through my Language Links page to delete dead links and add new ones. Some new language sites that I’ve come across since my last links post include audio prominently: SWAC Audio Collections provide pronunciations for a wide range of words in 11 languages: Bielorussian, Czech, Chinese, German, English, French, Dutch, Russian, […]

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French Phonetics: Listening & Repetition Exercises

Have trouble hearing the difference between les and lait ? How about jeune and jeûne ? Um, yeah, me too. Still can’t say bûche correctly? How many silent letters are there in prompt ? Do you want to cry when you’re forced to pronounce serrurerie ? Since I’m still on vacation, I’ve been working hard […]

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Christmas Vocabulary in French

Even Canaille gets into the Christmas spirit! Ok, he hated wearing the hat, but he still wants everyone to learn some French words for Christmas. You can listen to David reading the list:       Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël ! angel l’ange (m) bell la cloche / la clochette bow le nœud bulb la […]

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English Ad Slogans in Non-Anglophone Countries

This Spiegel article is about German of course, but just replace “Germany” and “German” with “France” and “French” and the outcome is the same. How Germans Really See English Ad Slogans: English is all the rage in Germany — the height of fashion, except that many people don’t understand it. Consumer groups would like to […]

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More Free Language Resources Online

Publisher Websites. A lot of publishing companies have companion websites for their foreign language textbooks. Most offer extra exercises in grammar and vocabulary, while some even offer free downloads of  mp3s and a sample chapter. McGraw-Hill World Languages: Free audio downloads to accompany textbook & workbook (in the Student Edition section) Heinle World Languages: Mostly […]

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First Semester Language

We all laugh at these songs that make fun of beginning language classes and the somewhat useless words and phrases we learn. How many times in French have I ever said “Où est la bibliothèque ?” Um, probably never. But these videos also show the poor attempt at language teaching and/or the poor attempt at […]

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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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