Serendipity my friend

February 29, 2012 10:00 am

T.A. : Bravo Jean Dujardin!

It’s always nice to find a book, movie, tv show, website, magazine, etc. that interests you and motivates you to “consume” your target language. Something that makes it easier to learn, and most importantly, fun and interesting. With the recent Oscars coup of the Artist, Jean Dujardin has been thrust into the international spotlight and kudos on him. His tv sketches (performed alongside his wife) from Un Gars Une Fille are great for many levels and short enough to use in a class. Each episode focuses on a related theme, like marriage, birthdays, ski vacation, shopping, cooking, etc. What I also like about this series is that it isn’t necessary to understand the skit word-for-word in order to enjoy it. You tube and Daily motion have many of the sketches on their sites. 

10:00 am

T.A. : Bravo Jean Dujardin!

It’s always nice to find a book, movie, tv show, website, magazine, etc. that interests you and motivates you to “consume” your target language. Something that makes it easier to learn, and most importantly, fun and interesting. With the recent Oscars coup of the Artist, Jean Dujardin has been thrust into the international spotlight and kudos on him. His tv sketches (performed alongside his wife) from Un Gars Une Fille are great for many levels and short enough to use in a class. Each episode focuses on a related theme, like marriage, birthdays, ski vacation, shopping, cooking, etc. What I also like about this series is that it isn’t necessary to understand the skit word-for-word in order to enjoy it. You tube and Daily motion have many of the sketches on their sites. 

February 16, 2011 10:00 am

T.A. : Language learning tools for French

There are so many great tools out there for language learning. I have been living in Southwest France for just over two years now, and learning French is a long-haul process for me. But I am ok with that. I know what kind of language learner I am so my expectations are realistic. And I think that is why I have not encountered such frustration as in previous episodes of my life.  

As an EFL (English as a foreign language) teacher I recognize that an advanced student is only advanced to a certain point. Because they are not living in an Anglophone environment, they are not receiving the exposure to a vast array of lexical content. That is why variety is not only crucial but critical in continued improvement. Variety of speakers, variety of media, variety of accents, variety of cultures, etc. This influences how I see myself as a language learner as well.

Life happens and I have laxed in my French studies (as you do). Here are some of my favorite websites and tools for personal study. There are so many tools out there for French, English and Spanish language learning that it’s disheartening looking for tools for other languages (like Mandarin). So, if you are in the midst of learning French count yourself lucky, I know I do.

-This is a great 2011 calendar with beginner’s vocab for French. 

-Verb conjugation against a clock.

-TV5 Monde, videos and exercises (LOVE this, but you have to visit regularly because it changes often)

-Tons of grammar exercises and links to other sites (ENDLESS!).

-Coeur de Pirate is one of my favorite, new groups of the past year and this youtube user listed the songs with lyrics and English translation (can’t entirely vouch for the translation). 

-University of Texas at Austin’s French grammar reference pages. There are some exercises but explanations are in English so it’s good for beginning and lower intermediate levels. (WARNING: My French teacher told me that there are errors on this site, which is quite common for French learning sites from the US, so I am told…)

-Huge collection of interviews (approximately 10 minutes) from the show L’Invite on TV5 Monde.