Category Archives: Teaching English & Other Languages

Applied Linguistics, CALL and French Conferences in 2014 and Beyond

Upcoming conferences on applied linguistics, computer-assisted language learning/teaching with technology, general language teaching & learning or French studies:

 
Applied Linguistics / Materials Design

Organization Dates Abstracts due Location
American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) March 22-25, 2014 closed Marriott Downtown in Portland, Oregon
Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics (CAAL / ACLA) May 26-28, 2014 ?? Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario
Materials Development Association (MATSDA) July 28-29, 2014 ?? University of Liverpool in Liverpool, England
International Applied Linguistics Association (AILA) August 10-15, 2014 closed Convention Centre in Brisbane, Australia
British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) September 4-6, 2014 March 1, 2014 University of Warwick in Coventry, England
American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) March 21-24, 2015 August 20, 2014 Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, Canada
International Applied Linguistics Association (AILA) August 2017  ?? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I don’t believe the applied linguistics associations of Australia or New Zealand will be holding conferences in 2014 since the AILA World Congress is in Australia.

 

Computer-Assisted Language Learning / Teaching & Learning with Technology

Organization Dates Abstracts due Location
Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) May 6-10, 2014 closed Ohio University in Athens, Ohio
European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (EUROCALL) August 20-23, 2014 January 31, 2014 University of Groningen in Groningen, the Netherlands
Technology for Second Language Learning (TSLL) September 12-13, 2014 May 23, 2014 Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa
Globalization and Localization in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (GloCALL) – jointly sponsored by Asia-Pacific and Pacific CALL associations October 10-11, 2014 April 30, 2014 Ahmenabad, India
Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) November 23-26, 2014 ?? University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand
International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT) August 11-15, 2015 ?? Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

 

Language Teaching & Learning (Secondary and Tertiary Levels)

Organization Dates Abstracts due Location
Association for Language Learning (ALL) April 4-5, 2014 ?? Lancaster University in Lancaster, England
Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics May 9-10, 2014 February 15, 2014 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
New Zealand Association of Language Teachers (NZALT) July 6-9, 2014 May 16, 2014 Convention Center in Palmerston North, New Zealand
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) November 21-23, 2014 January 15, 2014 Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas
Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT) with International Federation of Language Teachers Association (FIPLV) and Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association (OMLTA) March 26-28, 2015 May 1, 2014 Sheraton/Crowne Plaza, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association (AFMLTA) July 9-12, 2015 ?? Melbourne, Australia
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) November 20-22, 2015 ?? Convention Centre / Marriott Hotel, San Diego, California
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) November 18-20, 2016 ?? Convention & Exposition Center / Westin Riverfront Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) November 17-19, 2017 ?? Music City Center / Omni Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee

 

French Studies

Organization Dates Abstracts due Location
Association for French Language Studies (AFLS) June 25-27, 2014 January 10, 2014 University of Kent in Canterbury, England
The Society for French Studies (SFS) June 30-July 2, 2014 closed University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland
American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) July 19-22, 2014 ?? Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana
Federation of Associations of Teachers of French in Australia (FATFA) July 25-26, 2014 February 21, 2014 University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia
Association canadienne des professeurs d’immersion (ACPI) October 23-25, 2014 ?? Halifax, Nova Scotia
Australian Society for French Studies (ASFS) December 3-6, 2014  June 30, 2014 RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) July 8-11, 2015 ?? Saguenay, Quebec

English Teaching Positions in France or DOM-TOMs 2014 (Lecteur/Lectrice d’anglais)

UPDATE: The 2015-2016 job listings are now available.

If you would like to teach English at a university in France or the DOM-TOMs for the 2014-2015 school year, job announcements for lecteur/lectrice and maître de langue positions are starting to appear on university websites. Both positions require native or near-native fluency in English but the lecteur/lectrice position requires completion of only one year of a Master’s degree (some universities may accept a 4 year Bachelor’s degree since it is Bac+4) while the maître de langue position requires a Master’s degree. I will continue to update this post with any new positions I find.

I’ve recently been made aware of the illegal practice of forcing lecteurs to work 200 TD hours per year. As stated in the official décret, lecteurs should only work a maximum of 100 TD hours (the lecteur position can include a maximum of 300 TP hours as well). The maître de langue position requires a maximum of 192 TD hours but pays more than the lecteur position –  yet some universities are hiring lecteurs and making them work as much as a maître de langue so they can save money by only paying the lecteur salary (which is around 300€ net less per month). Some of the lecteur jobs below require 200 TD hours, so keep in mind the number of hours they are asking you to work is unfair and illegal. Either the university needs to lower the TD hours to 100, or the position and salary need to be classified as maître de langue and not lecteur. The January 2014 edition of SNESUP (page 17 in the PDF) includes an article about this illegal practice.

English Teaching Positions in France or DOM-TOMs 2014

Positions:

Université de Toulon has a lecteur/lectrice position; no deadline given (PDF uploaded May 15)

Lecteur/Lectrice de langue anglaise position available at Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Campus de Schoelcher, Martinique; deadline June 10, 2014

Université Jean Fourier (Grenoble) is hiring a lecteur/lectrice d’anglais; deadline May 30, 2014

Université de la Réunion recrute un lecteur ou une lectrice d’anglais; rémunération environ 1 865€ net; deadline May 20, 2014

Université Claude Bernard-Lyon 1 recrute un/e lecteur/lectrice d’anglais pour l’année 2014-2015; deadline May 19, 2014

Recrutement lecteurs / maître de langue (en anglais)

– Les inscriptions pour la campagne de recrutement pour l’année universitaire 2014/2015 sont ouvertes. Plusieurs postes sont à pourvoir au sein de l’UFR LSHS sur le site de Villetaneuse et au sein de l’IUT de Bobigny.

– Cours dispensés : anglais oral (compréhension orale et expression orale) et transcription phonétique en laboratoire de langues au sein du département d’anglais, et/ou cours d’anglais aux étudiants des autres départements (espagnol, lettres modernes, histoire, psychologie…).

– Les dossiers de candidature doivent comprendre :

– un CV détaillé.

– une lettre de motivation en français, datée, signée et adressée au Président de l’Université de Paris 13.

– la photocopie d’un diplôme équivalent à un Master 1 (bac +4) pour un recrutement en qualité de lecteur ou d’un diplôme équivalent à un Master 2 (bac +5) pour un recrutement en qualité de maître de langue.

– Les dossiers doivent être retournés, accompagnés des pièces justificatives par courrier à l’adresse suivante :
Université Paris 13 A l’attention de Pierre Fournier (UFR LSHS – département d’anglais) 99 Avenue Jean-Baptiste Clément 93430 Villetaneuse
ou par mail à l’adresse suivante : pierre.fournier@univ-paris13.fr – Date limite de dépôt des candidatures : le vendredi 11 avril 2014 (le cachet de la poste ou la
date du mail faisant foi).

 

April 16: Le Service du Département des langues à l‘Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne recrute pour l’année universitaire 2014-2015 3 lecteurs et un maître de langue en anglais. La date limite d’envoi des dossiers est fixée au samedi 3 mai 2014. Demande motivée + CV à adresser à : andre.gorlier@univ-paris1.fr

 

April 9: Institut du Monde Anglophone at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris is hiring a lecteur/lectrice (deadline April 10, 2014) and a maître de langue (deadline May 4, 2014)

 

April 9: Université Lille is hiring two English lecteurs/lectrices; deadline April  25, 2014

 

April 8: Université Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand has two vacancies for a post of Lecturer at the Hypermedia Language Centre of the Faculty of Applied Languages, Commerce & Communication for a 1 year (renewable) position starting in September 2014; no deadline given

The post involves teaching in a state-of-the-art multimedia lab and offers a relatively rare opportunity to gain valuable experience in a developing area. The centre, which earned the European Award for Languages in 2003, aims to foster and develop students’ oral communication and comprehension skills in English by its unique combination of face-to-face group activities and on-computer pair work. See the Guided tour section of our website at http://englishlab.univ-bpclermont.fr

The teaching load averages about 14 hours a week during term time. Work will also include tutoring students’ recorded discussions on our own innovative software platform and working with colleagues to prepare IWB flipcharts and multimedia lesson material. Monthly salary is roughly 1480 euros (gross). Overtime is available.

The applicant should be a university graduate and a native speaker of English with training and experience in TEFL. A qualification such as the CELTA would be particularly appreciated. He or she should be enthusiastic about working with ITC in a communicative approach as part of a dynamic team.

A CV, references and covering letter should be sent by email to: Dacia Dressen-Hammouda (Dacia.Hammouda@univ-bpclermont.fr) and Emily Butler (Emily.Butler@univ-bpclermont.fr)

 

April 8: IUT de Sceaux (equivalent of a Technical College of Higher Education) is recruiting a lecteur/lectrice d’anglais for the 2014/2015 academic year (September to June); deadline is April 30, 2014

The position can be renewed for a second year. The IUT de Sceaux caters for students doing courses majoring in Commerce and Financial Management, so the classes are oriented towards business English. Other activities include preparing students for oral exams (business schools) or international certificates (TOEIC, for example). Working conditions are good: class sizes are a maximum of 18 students, all classrooms are equipped with audiovisual equipment. There are language laboratories and a multimedia room available for use. Many English-teaching textbooks are at your disposal.

Teaching hours: 200 annually, on average approx.15 per week (plus the possibility of doing extra hours, paid as overtime @ approx.€40 gross/hour).
Monthly salary: €1486 gross (approx. €1200 net), September 2014 to August 2015.

Requirements: Applicants must

§ be native speakers of English
§ have a university degree at BA (Hons) level or higher (i.e. a 4-year degree, comprising 240 ECTS)
§ already have valid working papers for France or have an EU nationality

Applicants will preferably:

§ have already had significant experience in teaching (business) English to students or to adults
§ have some knowledge of new language teaching technologies (the use of language teaching software in the context of a language laboratory or a ‘multimedia room’)

To apply, send your application (CV and letter) by email to:

Kevin Diamond

Coordinateur des langues
IUT de Sceaux
kevin.diamond@u-psud.fr

 
April 6: Le Centre Inter-Pôles d’Enseignement des Langues (CIEL) de l’Université de La Rochelle cherche à recruter un Maître de Langue en anglais. [No deadline given]

La personne recrutée travaillera à l’UFR Sciences et sera administrativement rattachée au CIEL. Les candidats doivent être de langue maternelle anglaise et avoir au moins un Bac + 5. L’obligation de service est de 192 heures TD mais il y a également des tâches administratives annexes à assumer. Si vous êtes intéressé par ce poste, vous êtes prié d’adresser un CV complet, une copie de votre diplôme, une copie de votre passeport, 4 photos d’identité et une lettre de motivation à Joseph EGWURUBE, Directeur CIEL, 1, Parvis Fernand Braudel (FLLASH), 17042, LA ROCHELLE CEDEX 1. (tél: 05 46 45 68 45/ fax: 05 46 45 68 44 e-mail: contact_ciel@univ-lr.fr)

 

April 3: L’ENSIAME, Ecole d’Ingénieurs, sur le campus de l’Université de Valenciennes propose un poste de lecteur ou de lectrice à pourvoir pour la rentrée de septembre 2014 à juin 2015. [No deadline given]

PROFIL: Langue maternelle : Anglais
DIPLOME : Universitaire, Bac + 3 minimum
EXPERIENCE : Avoir déjà enseigné l’anglais, de préférence aux étudiants post-bac.

CONTACTER pour plus de renseignements :
Mme Jane LAURO, Tél. : 03. 27. 51. 12. 16
Email : Jane.Lauro@univ-valenciennes.fr

 

March 28: Université Jean Monnet in Saint-Etienne is hiring a lecteur/lectrice for September 2014; deadline is April 22, 2014

 

March 21: Université d’Evry is hiring a lecteur/lectrice for September 2014; deadline is April 26, 2014

– must be a native speaker
– this post is for one year, renewable for one further year.
– a Master’s (or at least a first year of Master’s) is necessary
– nationality of a European Union country is required, or if anglophone from outside the EU, residence/work papers must already be established
– English teaching experience is important, especially at secondary school/university level, with medium-sized/large groups
– salary paid monthly. Contract = 200 hours per year – extra hours possible.

Please contact Frederick Goodman at goodman@univ-evry.fr

 

March 1: Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie is hiring a lecteur/lectrice d’anglais; no deadline given but the academic year in New Caledonia starts in February so they probably need someone right away.

Elle / il doit être de langue maternelle anglaise et justifier d’un niveau bac + 4 minimum. Le contrat est d’un an, renouvelable une fois pour la même période. Le salaire est de 370 000 xpf brut / mois. Le service annuel est de 200 heures TD ou de 300 heures TP. Contact : rene.zimmer@univ-nc.nc ou eleonore.laineforrest@univ-nc.nc

_______________________________________________________________________________

Université d’Avignon will post any open positions in June 2014

_______________________________________________________________________________

 Deadline passed:

Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon is hiring 5 lecteurs/lectrices d’anglais; deadline is March 7, 2014 (Must have started an MA program; a 4 year Bachelor’s degree is not enough for this position)

La Faculté de Droit, de Sciences Politiques et de Gestion at Université de Strasbourg is hiring a maître de langue; deadline is March 17, 2014

Université Paris Ouest Nanterre is looking to hire 16 lecteurs/lectrices and 2 maîtres de langue to teach English; deadline is March 21, 2014

Institut Français de Mécanique Avancée is hiring a maître de langue for a two year position; deadline is March 31, 2014

Université Paris-Sorbonne has two lecteur/lectrice positions available for la rentrée 2014; deadline is April 4, 2014 (closed early)

Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée recrute un lecteur/une lectrice de langue anglaise pour l’année universitaire 2014-2015. Les TD à assurer (en LEA et/ou LLCE anglais ; 200h sur l’année) seront en priorité en civilisation américaine contemporaine, expressions écrite/orale, communication et multimédia. [No deadline given]

 

If you don’t have the qualifications to teach English at the university level, you can still apply for the Teaching Assistant Program in France if you’d like to work in the public school system. The contract is shorter and the pay is less, but it is good experience to eventually move on to teaching at the university level. Deadline is in January each year with positions starting October 1 and ending April 30 of the following year.

English Teaching Assistant in France 2014-2015

If you would like to teach English in the public school system in France as an assistant for the 2014-2015 school year (October 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015), use the links below to find out the specific requirements and application process for your country. In general, you must be a native English speaker, have finished two to three years of university & be between 20 and 30 years old by October 1, 2014, and speak French at an intermediate (B1) level. The teaching assistantship program in France is open to citizens of other countries as well, to teach German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, etc. in French public schools. Refer to the official CIEP website for all countries and languages involved in the program.

Assistants work 12 hours a week and are paid about 795€ a month net, with paid vacations in October, December, February, and April. There is only one contract length (7 months) but you can still choose between two levels: primary (elementary school) or secondary (middle school, high school, or both). For the majority of countries, assistants can be assigned to mainland France + Corsica and the overseas départements of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guyana and La Réunion. Assistants working in the overseas départements have a slightly higher salary to compensate for the higher cost of living; however, assistants working in Paris or other cities with high costs of living in mainland France do NOT have a higher salary. Australia and New Zealand also send assistants to New Caledonia, but the school year is between March and October so the application process is different.

You can read through my Guide for English Language Assistants in France for more detailed information and my personal experience as an assistant, as well as download all of the ESL lesson plans I created for my classes.

Applications for many Anglophone countries are now available, and the deadlines range from December to March. You should be notified between April and June if you have been accepted.  Most countries require you to go to the French embassy/consulate to get your visa before leaving for France, so make sure you take that into account because it could be very far from where you live and you will have to pay for your own transportation. All Australians must go to Sydney and all NZers must go to Wellington, for example. The visa is free, however. Assistants are responsible for buying their own plane tickets to France and finding their own housing (though some schools may be able to help with this.) Non-EU citizens are also required to undergo a medical visit upon arrival in France. Since assistants have low incomes, they are eligible to receive money from the state (CAF) to help pay rent, though the amount depends on age, current rent, previous income, etc. Assistants are allowed to have a second job as long as they get permission from their school and it does not pay more than 30% of the assistant salary.

France

Links to each country’s French embassy page:

Deadline is January 15, 2014, and there is an application fee of $40. Dual French-American citizens are not eligible to apply; however, all other dual EU-American citizens may apply. Also check out the TAPIF USA page on Facebook if you have questions that are not answered on the French Culture site linked above.

Deadline is March 1, 2014. Canadians must be enrolled in university at the time of application.

Deadline is January 31, 2014.

Deadline is February 3, 2014.

Deadline is December 13, 2013. There are also positions in New Caledonia, but the deadline for teaching March-October 2014 has already passed. Application deadline for New Caledonia is usually in September.

Deadline is March 21, 2014. There are also positions in New Caledonia, but the deadline for teaching March-October 2014 has already passed. Application deadline for New Caledonia is usually in August.

Deadline is December 2, 2013.

Deadline is January 3, 2014. Also note: “This year, the program is also open to students from the University of the West Indies from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Citizens of South AfricaTrinidad & Tobago, and Barbados are also eligible, but I could not find any pages on the assistantship program on the embassy websites. The official CIEP site has applications for these countries, but the deadline dates are not specified.

English Teaching Opportunities in France, Spain and Germany for 2013

Update: If you’re looking for jobs in France for the 2014-15 school year, go here.

 

If you’re interested in teaching English in Europe later this year, here are a few jobs:

 

FRANCE

Added June 12:

English lecteur/lectrice positions at Université Paris Dauphine to begin September 1, 2013.

Requirements:

  • English must be your mother tongue or a language that you speak with the same proficiency as your mother tongue
  • You must have successfully completed one year of university studies after receiving your Bachelor’s degree.

Candidates should include the following in their application file:

  • Résumé
  • Photocopy of your university diploma and a French translation of the document
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Photocopy of a photo I.D.

All applications must be submitted via email to the following address: recrutement.lecteurs@dauphine.fr

Application deadline: June 27th 2013

 

Now closed or no deadline was given (but you can always send your CV anyway):

Added May 11:

Maître de langues in English at Université de Lorraine in Nancy, France, to begin in September 2013. Native speaker of English and Master’s degree required. Send lettre de motivation and CV to andre dot pannier at univ-lorraine dot fr before May 31.

Added April 30:

Lecteur/lectrice in English at Université d’Evry, south of Paris, France, to begin in September 2013.  Teaching experience of English important, especially at secondary school/university level;  a Master’s (or at least a first year of Master’s) is required;  nationality of a European Union country is required, or if anglophone from outside Europe, residence/work papers must already be established; contract = 200 hours per year – extra hours possible. Please contact Frederick Goodman, by 21st May at the latest, at goodman at univ-evry dot fr

Added April 7:

Lecteur d’anglais at Université de technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard in Belfort, France, to begin in September 2013. Applicant should be a native speaker or have near-native fluency as well as  an MA or equivalent degree. For more information about this position, contact Laurent dot Tourrette at utbm dot fr To apply, send CV and lettre de motivation to bettina dot steffen at utbm dot fr by April 26.

Added April 4:

English Lecturer position in Hypermedia Language Centre of the Faculté de langues appliqués, commerce et communication at Université Blaise Pascal, in Clermont-Ferrand, France, to begin in September 2013. Applicant should be a university graduate and native speaker of English with training/experience in TEFL. Certification such as CELTA is a plus. CV, references and covering letter should be sent by email to Dacia Dressen-Hammouda at Dacia dot Hammouda at univ-bpclermont dot fr (no application deadline was given)

Added March 27:

Lecteur d’anglais in the Centre de Langues Vivantes at Université Pierre Mendès-France in Grenoble, France, to begin September 2013. Applicant should have minimum Bac+4. Send lettre de motivation, CV, copy of ID card/passport and diplomas by April 19.

Added March 23:

Lecteur d’anglais at Chimie ParisTech in Paris, France, to begin in September 2013. Applicant should be a native speaker with an MA or a BA. Send CV and lettre de motivation in French to jean-le-bousse at chimie-paristech dot fr by April 30. (2 positions available.)

Added March 20:

Maître de langue in the UFR de Sciences et Technologie at U-PEC in Paris, France, to begin in September 2013. Applicant should be in or have completed at least one year of a doctoral program. Send lettre de motivation in French and CV in English to Monsieur Bernard Frouin [frouin at u-pec dot fr] and Madame Andrée Martin [a.martin at u-pec dot fr] (no application deadline was given)

Maître de langue at IEP in Lille, France, to begin in September 2013. Applicant should be in or have completed at least one year of a doctoral program. Apply between March 4 and 29.

ens

 

Lecteur/Lectrice at ENS in Lyon, France, to begin in September 2013. Applicant should have completed four full years of university study, or equivalent to completion of one year of Master’s degree in France. Applications due by March 25.

For more info about these types of positions at French universities, read my post on How to Become a Lecteur or Maître de Langue.

 

GERMANY

English teacher for 4 week summer programs (July/August) at Sommerschule in Wust, Germany. MA not required, but some German is. Program usually pays for airfare, housing and offers a small stipend. Apply through their website starting in May of each year.

 

NO LONGER OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS:

For those who do not yet have graduate degrees and are under 30, the teaching assistant program is still open for some nationalities (for October 2013 to April 2014). You can read about my experience in France at my Guide for English Language Assistants in France. Applications for the USUK and Indian programs are no longer open for 2013 but the applications for 2014 will be available in October. If you have citizenship in other countries, you still have time to apply:

 

SPAIN

If you’re American or Canadian (under 35) and speak some Spanish instead of French, you can apply for the Spanish teaching assistantship. The deadline for applications is April 2.

 

I’ll continue to update this page if I find any other job listings for 2013.

 

Beliefs of American University Students Towards Foreign Language Requirements and Textbooks

I’ve been reading articles and dissertations on students’ beliefs and perceptions of foreign language study recently, and came across two with some incredibly painful quotes that I had to share.

Foreign Language Requirement

Price and Gascoigne (2006) reported on 155 incoming (directly out of high school) college students who responded to this essay prompt:

One goal of a college education is to become a well-educated person. In the past, most degrees required that students study a foreign language, but many degree programs have dropped that requirement. As a new student, write an essay in which you explain both sides of this issue: why students should and why students should not be required to study a foreign language. Include your personal opinion in your response.

[Currently in the United States, around 50% of higher education institutions (according to a recent article in Forbes) have a foreign language requirement for students earning a Bachelor’s degree.  In the mid-90’s, the figure was 67.5%.]

Some choice quotes from the not-so-well-educated teenagers:

“If you come to the US, you speak the language spoken in the US. Everyone in the US should not have to learn Spanish.”

“The US was founded in English, let’s keep it that way.”

“We are Americans and our language is English.”

“There are so many foreigners entering our country, both legally and illegally, who do not know the English language, that we now have to learn their language just to get by from day to day.”

“In the Constitution of the United States you have to be able to read, write, and speak English.”

I just… ugh… what?

The United States was not “founded in English” nor is it the official language of the US and English is certainly not mentioned in the Constitution. I’m a little confused as to why these students decided to complain about immigrants instead of actually talking about Americans learning foreign languages. Do they really think that  Americans learning other languages equals immigrants in the US no longer needing to learn English? That the only reason to learn another language is to cater to immigrants? What about cultural understanding, breaking stereotypes, better job opportunities, travel, self-improvement, cognitive benefits of bilingualism, appreciation of other human beings?  Youth of America, I cry for you.

To be fair, there were many “pro” comments that were intelligent and not borderline racist. Overall, 57% of the students had a positive attitude towards the foreign language requirement. So there is still hope…

 

Foreign Language Textbooks

Virginie Askildson’s (2008) PhD dissertation from the University of Arizona, “What do teachers and students want from a foreign language textbook?”, gives us some great quotes on what students think about French textbooks. Over 1,000 students of French at American universities responded to the questionnaire. Agreeing with the statement “I trust the cultural content of my textbook,” the students explained why:

-“its a text book for a reason, if the cultural info was false it wouldnt be printed or chosen by the department. So I do believe the cultural topics.”

-“it’s proofread and someone will pick up the fact that it’s wrong if it is indeed wrong.”

– “its published in my book”

-“ if the cultural info was false it wouldnt be printed or chosen by the department.

– “I figure it had to be read by multiple people who know the material well.”

-“Because it was written and published by professionals”

– “They wouldn’t get into so much detail over something if they were going to lie about it. It simply seems unlikely that it’s made up.”

– “it is written by professors and i just trust it.”

And my personal favorite:

“books can’t lie. It’s unheard of.”

Yes, that’s right. A university student believes that books cannot lie.

….

I am speechless.

Teaching Assistant Program in France for 2012-2013 School Year

If you would like to teach English in the public school system in France or the DOM-TOMs as an assistant for the 2012-2013 school year (October 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013), use the links below to find out the specific requirements and application process for your country. In general, you must be a native English speaker, have finished two years of university & be less than 30 years old by October 1, 2012, and speak French at an intermediate (B1) level. The teaching assistantship program in France is open to citizens of other countries as well, to teach German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, etc. in French public schools. Refer to the official CIEP website for all countries and languages involved in the program.

Assistants work 12 hours a week and are paid about 780€ a month net, with paid vacations in October, December, February, and April. As of this year, there is only one contract length (7 months) but you can still choose between two levels: primary (elementary school) or secondary (middle school, high school, or both). For the majority of countries, assistants can be assigned to mainland France + Corsica and the overseas départements of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and La Réunion. Assistants working in the overseas départements have a slightly higher salary to compensate for the higher cost of living; however, assistants working in Paris or other cities with high costs of living in mainland France do NOT have a higher salary. Australia and New Zealand also send assistants to New Caledonia, but the school year is between March and October so the application process is different.

You can read through my Guide for English Language Assistants in France for more detailed information and my personal experience as an assistant, as well as download all of the ESL lesson plans I created for my classes. If you have questions about the program, search the Assistants in France forums where many past assistants such as myself (I’m the moderator) help out the new and hopeful assistants.

All applications for Anglophone countries are now available, and the deadlines range from December to March. You should be notified between April and June if you have been accepted.  Most countries require you to go to the French embassy/consulate to get your visa before leaving for France, so make sure you take that into account because it could be very far from where you live and you will have to pay for your own transportation. All Australians must go to Sydney and all NZers must go to Wellington, for example. The visa is free, however. Assistants are responsible for buying their own plane tickets to France and finding their own housing (though some schools may be able to help with this.) Non-EU citizens are also required to undergo a medical visit upon arrival in France. Since assistants have low incomes, they are eligible to receive money from the state (CAF) to help pay rent, though the amount depends on age, current rent, previous income, etc. Assistants are allowed to have a second job as long as they get permission from their school and it does not pay more than 30% of the assistant salary.

France

Links to each country’s French embassy page on the assistant program and the approximate number of positions available:

  • USA : 1,450 (last year 2,100 people applied)

Deadline is January 15, 2012, and there is an application fee of $40. Dual French-American citizens are no longer allowed to apply; however, all other dual EU-American citizens may apply. Also check out the TAPIF USA page on Facebook if you have questions that are not answered on the French Culture site linked above.

Deadline is March 1, 2012. Canadians must be enrolled in university at the time of application.

Deadline is December 1, 2011.

Deadline is March 2, 2012.

Deadline is December 12, 2011. There are also 4 positions in New Caledonia, but the deadline for teaching March-October 2012 has already passed. Application deadline for New Caledonia is usually in September.

Application is available now. Deadline is March 12, 2012. There are also positions in New Caledonia, but the deadline for teaching March-October 2012 has already passed. Application deadline for New Caledonia is usually in August.

Deadline is December 15, 2011.

Deadline is beginning of January 2012.

Citizens of South AfricaTrinidad & Tobago, and Barbados are also eligible, but I could not find any pages on the assistantship program on the embassy websites. The official CIEP site has applications for these countries, but the deadline dates are not specified.

Aussie English for the Beginner

Australian English for the Beginner

And now for the post on Australian English!

Thanks to Australian friends and the internet, I had learned some Australian English words before arriving so I wasn’t lost when reading about diggers in the news or picturing the wrong thing when hearing the word thongs. Being a linguistics nerd, I am endlessly fascinated by the mixture of British and American terms used here, plus the words borrowed from the languages of the Aborigines. This cute website from the National Museum of Australia gives a nice overview of Aussie English and Australia Network has several video podcasts mostly designed for ESL students but still useful for native speakers of English who want to learn about Australia and the variety of English spoken here.

Some words are the same as in British English (zed for Z, holiday for vacation, fringe for bangs, boot for trunk, porridge for oatmeal, car park for parking lot, mobile phone for cell phone, torch for flashlight, trolley for cart, hire for rent, etc.) as well as the spellings (tyre, colour, socialise, etc.) Oddly enough though, the Australian Labor Party does not use the u in their official name because they kept the spelling that was preferred in Australia in the early 1900’s. In other cases, there are similarities with American English, such as eggplant and creek, though I am still a little confused as to the series/season distinction when referring to television shows. (Any help here, Aussies? Brits say series where Americans say seasons to refer to the year, as in Everyone loved season one of Heroes, but man, season two sucked.)

Most Americans are familiar with outback, bush, g’day, no worries mate, crikey, and that’s not a knife; that’s a knife, but the phrase that still catches me off guard is How are you going? I’m expecting to hear How are you doing? or How is it going? and so I always hesitate for a second before replying to make sure I don’t say something weird like I’m going good.

Other Australian words that I have actually heard in the past few weeks include:

tucker (food)
take a burl (take a whirl)
bung (broken)
sanger (sandwich)
salads (vegetables)
ute (truck)
capsicum (bell pepper)
light globe (light bulb)
anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise)
serviettes (napkins)
bathers / swimmers / togs (swimsuit in most areas / New South Wales / Queensland)
paddock (field)
oval (field for Australian Rules Football WHICH I DO NOT UNDERSTAND AT ALL)
bogan (lower-class person)
flat white (espresso with steamed milk; I don’t think you can find this drink often outside of Australia/New Zealand)
short black (espresso)
long black (espresso with water; similar to regular American coffee)
bottle shop (liquor store)
fair dinkum / dinky-di (true, genuine)
dunny (toilet, though usually outdoors)
Macca’s (McDonald’s)
pom (Englishman/woman)
snag (sausage)
ta (thanks)
good on ya (well done)

Bastard is a term of endearment, while root/rooting has a very vulgar meaning so Americans should never say they’re rooting for someone… Numbers and letters are often said as double or triple instead of saying each one individually. My name is J, E, double N, I, E. On most forms, you have to fill in the name of your suburb, and not your city.

Abbreviations and shortening of words is very common, especially with the addition of -y / -ie or -o:

bikkie (biscuit / cookie)
brekky (breakfast)
barbie (barbecue)
mozzie (mosquito)
sunnies (sunglasses)
pressie (present)
arvo (afternoon)
garbo (garbage)

Here in South Australia, stobie pole is used for electricity pole while heaps is a common intensifier (instead of very). And back to the beginning, a digger is a soldier and thongs are flip-flops (though I’m sure older Americans still remember when they were called thongs in the US too, but to us young’ins, it now refers to G-string underwear.) Even though Paul Hogan did say “I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you” in a tourism video aimed at Americans, Australians actually use the word prawn. Oh, and Foster’s is NOT Australian for beer because no Australian would ever drink that stuff.

I have now been in Australia for one whole month! More cultural observations and comparisons (for America and France) to come!

Cultural Differences between the USA and France in Photos

Cultural Differences between the USA and France

That’s not a cake. That’s a cake!

In my English classes I taught at the university in France, we used flashcards with a photo of an object and the English word written out to teach and/or reinforce vocabulary. For most objects, there were no problems with the images provided but every once in a while, my students didn’t quite understand the connection between the image and the word because of cultural differences between the USA and France.

For example, what word comes to mind when you look at this image?

If you are American, you would most likely identify it as a loaf of bread. All of my French students, however, thought it was a cake. Why? Because un cake in French is this:

Most Americans would probably call this a sort of quick bread, such as banana bread or zucchini bread, because the shape is similar to a loaf of bread. Loaves of bread are not all that common in France because pain has many shapes, whether a baguette, or pain de campagne, or petits pains. Sliced bread sold in loaves is just called pain de mie, or “American Sandwich” as it’s written on the bag, and it is not really eaten with meals but used almost exclusively for making sandwiches or croque monsieurs.

Another image that my students found strange was this:

Orange prescription bottles that are the norm in the US don’t exist in France. When you go to the pharmacy, you receive a box of medication but there is no printed label with the directions on it, or even your name or doctor’s name. All of that information stays on the prescription paper itself, which you must keep.

Students who watch a lot of American TV or films recognized the bottle, but it was still a foreign concept to them – just as not receiving an orange bottle is still a bit odd to me whenever I fill a prescription in France.

Now what image pops into your head when you hear the words crutches or vacuum?

If you’re American, I bet you think of these:

If you’re French, I imagine it’s more like these:

The forearm crutches and cylinder vacuum are also used in the US, but the underarm crutches and upright vacuum are relatively rare in France. I always thought it was strange when my students came to class with the forearm crutches after a car or skiing accident, because I only ever saw those used by elderly patients with lifelong disabilities or Kerry Weaver on ER. I don’t know which set of crutches is considered better for healing, but at least with the vacuums it makes more sense that the upright version is more common in North America – because we have a lot more carpet in our homes and businesses. I have yet to set foot in a home in France where there is wall-to-wall carpet instead of a few small rugs here and there. Since Europe prefers hardwood and tile floors, the cylinder vacuum is more convenient here.

Another difference that I had never thought of came to me when I was flipping through Oops magazine this past weekend. Oops is one of those trashy celebrity magazines that I only look at to learn more slang. There was a picture of Zac Efron next to a car holding a few things in his hands, one of which was a tube of Burt’s beeswax lip balm, which is very recognizable to Americans – as are most tubes of chapstick.

However, the caption in French said that he was holding a tube of homeopathic pills. I don’t think that Burt’s Bees products are as popular in France as in the US, and homeopathic pills found in little tubes are very common in France, so it’s easy to see why the author was mistaken:

There are many other subtle differences that don’t lead to confusion (houses with siding vs. stone houses, cars with trunks vs. hatchbacks, top-loading washers vs. front-loading) that help to identify something as American or French/European. Searching for the English word on images.google.com and the French word on images.google.fr will provide many examples.

Can you think of any other items that could be mistaken for something else like the cake and tubes above?

English Language Teaching Assistantship in France for 2011-2012 School Year

If you would like to teach English in the public school system in France or the DOM-TOMs as an assistant for the 2011-2012 school year (October 1, 2011 to either April 30, 2012 or June 30, 2012) , use the links below to find out the specific requirements and application process for your country. In general, you must be a native English speaker, have finished two years of university & be less than 30 years old by October 1, 2011, and speak French at an intermediate level.

Assistants work 12 hours a week and are paid 780€ a month (after social security is taken out), with paid vacations in October, December, February, and April. There are two contract lengths (7 or 9 months) and two levels (primary or secondary – though only the primary level has 9 month positions.) For the majority of countries, assistants can be assigned to mainland France + Corsica and the overseas départements of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyane and La Réunion. Assistants working in Corsica and the overseas départements have a slightly higher salary to compensate for the higher cost of living. Australia and New Zealand also send assistants to New Caledonia, but the school year is between March 15 and October 15 so the application process is different.

You can read through my Guide for English Language Assistants in France for more detailed information and my personal experience as an assistant, as well as download all of the ESL lesson plans I created for my classes. If you have questions about the program, search the Assistants in France forums where many past assistants such as myself (I’m the moderator) help out the new and hopeful assistants.

Most applications become available in October, and the deadlines range from December to March. You should be notified between April and June if you have been accepted.  Most countries require you to go to the French embassy/consulate to get your visa before leaving for France, so make sure you take that into account because it could be very far from where you live. All Australians must go to Sydney and all NZers must go to Wellington, for example.

France

Links to each country’s French embassy page on the assistant program and the approximate number of positions available:

  • USA : 1,500 (last year 2,300 people applied*)

Application available as of October 11. Deadline is January 1, 2011. As of this year, dual French-American citizens are no longer allowed to apply.

Application will be available soon. Deadline is March 1, 2011.

Application will be available soon.

Application will be available soon. Deadline will be around March 24, 2011.

Application available now. Deadline is December 11, 2010.

Application available now. Deadline is January 22, 2011.

Application available now. Deadline is December 15, 2010.

Application available now. Deadline is January 11, 2011.

Citizens of South AfricaTrinidad & Tobago, and Barbados are also eligible, but I could not find any pages on the assistantship program on the embassy websites. The official CIEP site has applications for these countries, but the deadline dates are not specified.

*Acceptance criteria from the Teaching Assistant Program in France – USA Facebook page:

“Last year we had around 2,300 applications for approximately 1,500 spots. We evaluate applications based on a number of criteria (including French-language skills, experience teaching or working with children or young adults, experience living abroad, level of university studies, etc.) and then rank the applications. The top 1,500 applicants are offered positions in early April. Those applicants who do not make the top 1,500, but still meet the program’s basic eligibility requirements, are placed on a waiting list for spots that open up over the course of the summer due to withdrawals.”