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France can be a treasure trove for the intrigued expat or the curious traveler trying to meet new people. But should you say "tu" or "vous" upon greeting? Should you shake hands or not? When should you kiss cheeks? And how many times? In an attempt to answer, I have interviewed a French native. His name is Gerard and he is from Paris. Gerard, French etiquette is rather complex. Can you explain why? French people like sophisticated things: cuisine is complicated and très difficile, and the language- it is full of complexities. When it' s not complicated, the French don't like it. It's too easy. The fun isn't there. For example, when you are in France, it' s not really what you say, it' s how you say it: if you use sophisticated grammar and fancy terms, you'll have an audience. If you try to relay a very simple idea, using basic language, you will be regarded as "base", maybe even... read more

Bored with your everyday use of the French language? Are you looking to add un peu de variété (a little variety) to your daily discourse? Language is often limited by the extent of our vocabulaire (vocabulary), our grasp of proper grammaire (grammar) and, to a lesser extent, our knowledge and application of colloquialisms. People’s ears always perk up when an expression befitting the topic of conversation is carefully inserted. If you’re a native English-speaker learning French, judicious use of expressions can make quite an impact on a native French listener. You may have a terribly thick accent or your grammar may be a little weak, but driving home a point with a serious or humorous saying can place you in the category of étrangers (foreigners) who have cultivated a deeper appreciation of French by studying its aphorisms. **Phrase in parentheses is the literal translation, or as close to it as possible.** Travailler pour le roi de Prusse (Working for the... read more

When in a French speaking country, here are 20 simple sentences that will help you understand and be understood.   Enjoy!    Please S’il vous plait Thank you very much Merci beaucoup You’re welcome De rien Excuse me Excusez-moi OR pardon My name is Je m’appelle I would like... J’aimerais... I need ... Je voudrais ... Do you have ...? Avez-vous…? Please give me…? Pouvez-vous me donner …? Could you help me please? Pouvez-vous m'aider s'il vous plait? Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais? I speak a little French Je parle un petit peu de français I don't understand Je ne comprends pas. Please repeat? Pouvez-vous répéter s’il vous plait? What did you say? Qu'avez-vous dit? I'm lost ! Je suis perdu! I am looking for ... Je cherche... Where is the bathroom? Où sont les toilettes ? Where... read more

  There are many components to learning a language, especially to learning the nuances of that language. We agree that the primary four are reading, speaking, writing and listening. Here, we will focus on reading, and tell you a bit more about a wonderful learning tool you can access from your computer, at any time. To begin, when reading French, choose according to your level. At best, passages should not be too long so as not to confuse you. French newspapers are a highly effective means for applying your knowledge of the language to active reading. If you have any doubts at all about the content, you can always go back to reading the English version of the newspaper.         So what’ s available? Lets have a look by level. Level of French: Beginner to Intermediate: 20 minutes 20 minutes is the most recent of the French newspapers that... read more

Summer is a great break for students and teachers alike.  However, students can experience a huge educational deficit by not being able to practice the language they have been studying by not being exposed to it during summer months.  There are some fun ways for them to practice their language skills during this much needed vacation.   Study Blue is a great site full of flashcards that kids can review and even take a quiz with.  There are a multitude of languages and other subjects that teachers and students have made.  Spending 10 minutes here a day can keep their minds refreshed.  As a parent, you can even monitor your child's time spent here and their scores on activities they attempt.   Specifically for French - Tex's French Grammar is a great site put together by the University of Texas that reviews French grammar - from very basic to advanced.  There are listening and written activities that students can complete and... read more

Having lived in France 13 years, I've learned that the best way to sharpen and improve your French requires immersion!  If you won't be visiting France or a French-speaking country this summer, you have many other options.   See a movie in French Find a French TV station and get the news there Read a book in French Invite a French exchange student at your home Look up a different French article from thousands online Read an Asterix, Tintin, or other famous French comic books (it's fun & pictures do help!)   Just keep the subjects interesting with topics you care about.     A bientôt! Ken 

One of my favorite French resources is an app called Duolingo. Duolingo is free and it provides an easy way to track your progress and set goals for yourself. It's set up like a game and you win points for correct answers, and you can 'compete' with your friends at different levels. It also requires that you "strengthen your skills", which keeps your memory fresh and up to date by having you repeat certain parts of a lesson that you haven't encountered within a certain period of time. Duolingo is a great supplementary resource to go alongside formal classes, tutoring, or self-instructed study, and it's really fun and even addicting! Even as a fairly fluent French-speaker, I enjoy the vocabulary and grammar games because they help keep me engaged in learning and remind me of vocabulary words that I don't often use. I've also used it to start developing a basic vocabulary in German, Spanish, and Italian. Duolingo is available in French, German, Spanish, Italian, and... read more

Have you studied French for what seems like forever, and still have difficulty being understood by French speakers when you travel to France? Do the particulars of French pronunciation and intonation escape you?   French vowels are quite tense and register a higher pitch than English vowels when pronounced correctly. Also, the French intonation pattern is syllable-timed, while English is stressed-timed. Then, there is that guttural “r” that makes you sound so French.   Acquiring correct pronunciation takes awareness and a bit of practice. However, correct accent and intonation are important if you wish to be understood when using the language. If you have a good handle on grammar and vocabulary, consider working on your pronunciation as your next step in the journey of speaking French well.

Bonjour chers lectrices et lecteurs!   Je me rejouis de commencer ce blog! Pas très sure encore de ce que je vais y mettre mais je me lance...   Je vis à Hilton Head depuis plus de 5 ans maintenant, mariée à un américain. J'ai 2 enfants bilingues.   Un article était paru dans le Island Packet en 2011 sur mon rôle de mère élevant ses enfants dans un milieu biculturel et les défis que ça comportaient. C'est plus difficle que ça pourrait paraître, car parfois les enfants manquent de motivation. C'est finalement ma motivation qui les motive vraiment!   La vie semble injuste, n'est-ce pas? Mes enfants rechignent à apprendre le français, alors qu'il ont un prof sous la main 24h/24 et vous, vous pouvez les enviez d'avoir cette chance!   Voilà pour ce premier mot. Alors, à bientôt!

When I was in high school, I was fairly skilled at most subjects. One that always seemed to be an effort, though, was French language classes. They just seemed to have a lot of little parts to memorize and drill, so many irregular verbs, so many special cases. I held on, but it always seemed like a lot of work. That is, until my senior year. Due to my ballet training, the IB-level French class that I should have been in didn't fit into my schedule. As a compromise, the IB 2 French professor agreed to give me an independent study in French, which would be a self-guided project. I decided I wanted to read a selection of plays by the French playwright Moliere, in their original French, and write a paper about each play, also in French. Over the course of that year, I learned more about the ins and outs of French as a language than any number of irregular verb drills would have taught me, and I chalk it up largely... read more

Many students have a fear of learning a foreign language.  Instead of approaching acquiring a new tongue as an exciting challenge, many approach it with the question "Why do we have to learn this?"  Learning a foreign language can be a wonderful experience.  Here a few of my "Dos and Don'ts" when approaching foreign language learning.   DO keep an open mind and be positive about learning something new. DO recognize the similarities of your native language and the new language that you are learning. DO review your notes from class everyday and practice at home. DO find a language/study buddy in your language class. DO think about your future and how a new language is going to benefit you with your future goals. DON'T be negative. DON'T be prejudice about a foreign language and its culture based on stereotypes. DON'T stop trying even when there are words that you do not understand or there is a chapter that is... read more

I recently got a tip about this language-learning app from Duolingo and have been test-driving it on my iPhone for a few days in Spanish, a language I've never formally studied. And I like it, quite a bit in fact. As an ESL and German teacher of many years, and someone who has dabbled in a variety of other languages, I put a lot of thought and study into the process of learning language. Duolingo covers many of the important bases by incorporating key principles into its design: Activities for all four facets of language study: writing, reading, listening, and even speaking (you speak into your device's microphone and it judges your pronunciation).  Moving gradually from passive recognition (What does "Adios" mean? - choose from word bank) to active use (What is "Goodbye" in Spanish? - no word bank). Overlapping reviews, incorporating grammar and vocabulary from previous lessons into new lessons. An emphasis... read more

Following are a few testimonials that have been provided by people who have seen and/or benefited from our language teaching skills and experience. Bovic L. taught French at the University of Indianapolis in 2004. It is my recollection that he did a very admirable job. He is a native speaker of French who has an engaging style and who is very interested in the success of his students. I might add that my wife studied with Bovic and was very pleased with his classes. He is a conscientious instructor who can adapt his teaching approach to reflect his students' learning styles. In summary, I believe that Bovic L. is an excellent teacher. Daniel B., Special Assistant to the Provost,University of Indianapolis I was Principal of Fall Creek Valley Middle School in Indianapolis/Indiana, when Bovic L. was a French teacher at the school. Bovic was a very competent teacher. He planned and delivered engaging lessons. He had excellent classroom management. Bovic was able to get... read more

Hello! Thank you for visiting my site! I have 8 years of language teaching experience. I taught for 7 years at Princeton University and 1 year at the University of Notre Dame. It is truly a joy for me to help people reach their academic and personal goals. Please contact me as soon as possible to inquire about scheduling a tutoring session with me. I specialize in language arts, particularly Spanish, French, and English. I also have experience tutoring people of all ages, and helping them prepare for standardized tests. I look forward to hearing from you soon! Best regards, Valerie

I found using iCal to schedule my tutor assignments to be excellent. My iPhone5 and iPad are synchronized to my iMac, so wherever I am I can reference my appointments. Wherever I am, I can add, delete, or change appointments. Usually I modify the title of the appointment to show the time, so that when I bring up the monthly calendar I can see what I have scheduled for each day, organized by time slot. iCal automatically sorts by time. In addition, iCal has a feature that allows for the replication of an appointment by week so I can populate my calendar with one entry. Another feature allows me to pick an end-date or number of replications to indicate the end of a tutoring assignment. All-in-all the combination of features makes iCal very useful.

Have you taken a full year or two of a foreign language, and wish to have an enjoyable way to increase, improve, and expand your vocabulary and comprehension of the language in 'real' life? Here is an easy and rewarding way to do so. First, let's figure what you usually 'need' for foreign language study: material in the language you're studying; a way to look up or translate unfamiliar words and expressions; a program that provides 'thematic' content, like 'a trip to the mall,' 'a visit to the beach,' or 'preparing a party.' But wait a minute! Are those 'learning units' really interesting? They don't do much for me. But here's an idea worth trying. Look for a complete season of a TV show or mini-series that is available on DVD, AND comes with BOTH subtitles and dubbing in the language you're studying. You can easily get that information from the product page. Then rent the DVDs. You might even buy them and it would be less money that the software programs that cost in the... read more

I was working with a student last week who is preparing for her French 2 final (in high school). She has not had much success with her teacher and is missing some very basic vocabulary and grammar concepts. Although she has improved by leaps and bounds she needs a really good grade on this final. At the end of our tutoring session, we broke down the units that would appear on her final. This would give her a lesson a day, and then two days of light overview the days before. I personally had a very difficult time following a paper plan like this when I was in high school. What is your experience with study schedules?

Bonjour à tous et à toutes, bienvenue sur mon blog, en français bien sûr ! Après tout, c'est la langue que vous rêvez d'apprendre, non ? Vous voulez apprendre le français ou vous perfectionner ? Rien de plus facile. Vous êtes étudiant, vous utilisez le français dans votre cadre professionnel, vous voulez voyager en France, vous pouvez compter sur moi. Quel que soient votre niveau et vos besoins, ma méthode d'apprentissage s'adaptera à vos connaissances et à vos envies. Méthode testée, éprouvée au fil des heures de tutorat, elle se veut efficace et permet en quelques semaines d'acquérir les bases nécessaires à la compréhension et à l'expression orale. Nous pratiquerons ensemble tous les modes d'expression de cette langue parlée et aimée dans le monde entier : conversation, écrit, lecture, écriture, rien ne sera oublié. Orthographe et grammaire compléteront les leçons, agrémentées de fiches personnalisées, avec un accent mis sur la pratique ludique de... read more

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