Hello class! Today we'll be practicing pronunciation and discussing French accent marks. I wanted to share a screencast with you to show you the easiest way (as far as I know) to make the French accent marks on your computer. Here it is:
Your book has audio of the pronunciation of the French alphabet, but I think that this video is very helpful to watch. In the following video, Alexa discusses in detail the strangest letters and the pronunciation hang-ups that English speakers commonly have.
Une recette de coucous
Your book mentioned a Moroccan dish, couscous. You know, I don't think there are any Moroccan restaurants in Houston (if I'm wrong, please educate me!). But if you were curious about the flavors of Moroccan food, here's a video of the recipe. What do you think? Would you eat this stew?
Our second week of online classes is almost behind us. Please remember to check your agenda: you have some exercises to complete in the book before next Tuesday. If you are still having problems accessing the book, please reference last week's blog post and watch the short tutorial videos. This blog post I'll be covering:
Accessing Your Grades
Today and tomorrow I will be entering your first grades. I just wanted to make sure that everyone knew how to access your grades. As if this year wasn't enough of an adventure, we are all getting used to the new Power something grading technology that has replaced Gradespeed. If you haven't accessed your gradebook yet, please go to the Belliare High School website and click the HISD Connect button located on the right side as circled in the picture below. If you have a zero entered in the gradebook for my class, please complete your assignment and send me an email or a Remind so that I can update your grade.
Next Wednesday's Content Hour
Next Wednesday for the foreign language content hour, we will be continuing the computer tutorials that I held this afternoon. Originally, I had thought the second round of tutorials could be tomorrow afternoon at 3:10, but it turns out that there is a faculty meeting scheduled then. Just a heads-up: we've been having some tech issues with Teams, and I know that most of you have communicated with me through Teams up until now. Just to be sure I received your messages, I think it's a better idea to email or Remind me until everything gets ironed out.
My French Adventures
Many students in the question part of the beginning of the year form have asked me questions about my experiences with French: how long it took me before I became fluent, if I've ever been to France, if I have French ancestry. Here's my story, the short and sweet version.
I began studying French my freshman year of high school, and I continued taking French classes in college. I chose my university (the University of Southern Mississippi) in part because I knew they had a lot of study abroad opportunities. I spent a semester learning at L'Université d'Orléans. As far as I know, I don't have any French ancestry, but I was born in New Orleans, and I lived for a short period of time in Old Orléans. It wasn't until I lived in France and spoke French every day and studied and watched TV and read and listened to music all in French that I finally became fluent. The truth is, it takes a lot of work and time to learn another language, but I truly believe the investment is worth it. My life has been so much richer because I studied French.
Song of the Week
We've been greeting each other a lot in class, and so many times this song has gotten stuck in my head. I always hear the opening lines: "Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour!" for some reason. Below is the French version of the song with subtitles. I have to say, the landscape and the architecture make me think that maybe the Beauty and the Beast artists went to Orléans to create the world of the movie. Just compare the photo above to some of the buildings in the clip below.
Have a restful weekend. I'll see you all on Monday in Teams!
Hello class! I hope that you've had a exciting first week. We all hit some bumps in the road, but that's okay, because we've all adopted a flexibility mindset like we discussed last class. In this blog post I will discuss:
Hey, did you that French is the official language of Mali? And that Bamako is the capital?
You can access our online textbook through the HUB below is a short video that shows you where to find it.
Book Tips and Tricks
Below is a short video to help you navigate a few common snags when you use your online textbook.
Finishing Your Homework
The last step to successfully finishing your homework is marking the task in the HUB. The video below explains how to do that.
And that's it! Get some rest and some not-looking-at-your-computer-screen time this weekend. Relax, have some fun. And check out Amadou & Mariam's song "Les Dimanches à Bamako." ("Dimanches" means "Sundays.")
Welcome to your online French class! I'm so, so excited to be teaching you your first year of the French language. Studying other languages has enriched my life more than I ever could have imagined. Learning French opened up the world to me.
Thinking back, back, back to my first day of French class, I never would have imagined I’d be here. My freshman year of high school I earned a scholarship to study at an all-girls Catholic high school in Memphis, Tennessee called Immaculate Conception. I don’t think it’s even there anymore. I don’t remember her name (Sister Agnes?), but my first French teacher was a nun. I was not happy to be there. I wanted to learn Spanish because I had recently discovered guacamole and sopa de pollo. Yeah, I know. My childhood world of north Mississippi was a very, very small place. But I landed in French class because the terms of my scholarship dictated that I take French and Latin. And sitting there in that classroom, the boundaries of my world grew wider.
Your world will grow larger and richer, too. Around 300 million people around the world speak French. Only 40% of these French speakers live in Europe. The rest live around the globe, especially in Africa: 35% of French speakers live in Africa. Closer to home, we have some French speaking cousins just to our east: there are around 200,000 French speakers in Louisiana.
In this, our first blog post and also our syllabus, I will be be outlining the following topics:
We will not be afraid to make mistakes. As Sir Ken Robinson says in his TED talk on Creativity in the Classroom, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” Right now, in our minds, let’s just decide we are all prepared to be wrong. It’s impossible to learn a new language without making mistakes. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn something new about the French language.
We will be flexible with each other. This year it will be even more necessary than usual to bring open minds and willingness to adapt or change into our learning. The only thing we really know about this school year is that the first six weeks will be online.
We will be curious. At least, as much as we can. In my experience, curiosity enriches language learning so much. The way we use it is by linking our own interests to our class. If you love pop music, get curious about French pop musicians. If you love cooking (this was always my biggest one), get curious about French cuisine. If you love fashion, get ready to learn about French fashion.
We’re going to get you listening, speaking, reading, and writing the French language. Always remembering our flexibility mindset, here is our content calendar for French 1:
In what ways is learning another language beneficial?
What do activities and pastimes reveal about a culture?
How does education shape individuals and society?
What activities do friends in other countries do together?
What is the nature of relationships in other cultures?
How is shopping in other countries?
What makes a house a “home?”
How do major world cities tell their stories?
Our new world calls for new norms. Let’s start with what you can expect from me:
And now, what I expect of you:
In an effort to create boundaries where none exist, that is, between home and school/work, here are a few norms for all of us:
List of Tools
Your First Day Action List
All of the class codes for Remind and Teams are in the HUB. See you in TEAMS!