I’ve been teaching French for years now, and I’ve noticed that most methods seem to miss the essential point of learning a language, which is: communication. And communication is not a one-way street, it’s about understanding as well as being understood.

Most folks get comfortable with writing and reading, but when you start engaging in an actual conversation, that’s where things start to get challenging. I would say that if you can manage to start thinking in French, then things should get smoother. The other tip I would give is not being afraid to make mistakes, take a chance – after all you’re learning a language – nobody’s going to make fun of you. And if you’re wrong, you will learn something.

As my dear students (and God knows that I challenge them all the time) are becoming more fluent in conversation, they still admit that the listening is their weakness. I admit that French people can talk fast (and I think it’s the same goes with any natives speakers in their own country) therefore I try to speak a little bit slower and in a comprehensible manner. With that in mind, I’ve decided to record some French podcasts.

What will they be about? Well, most likely topics of my own interest: literature, art, folklore, herbal medicine maybe, European myths & legends, maybe some of my own writings and projects as well…Whatever strikes my fancy! I plan to indicate whether my podcasts are for beginner, intermediate and/or advanced students.

How to use them? I would, of course, recommend a first listening to get a gist of what the podcast is about. A second listening should allow you to be able to catch some words and sentences. With a third listening, maybe you can start translating some of it. You can also use those podcasts as dictations: you write down what you hear and understand. Rereading your notes should allow you to self-correct some grammatical and conjugation mistakes. I will prepare a written transcript that I will be willing to email to folks who request it via email or private message.

For each podcast, I will prepare a written transcript that I will be able to email to folks who request it via email or private message. Subscribing to my blog is optional, but would allow you to not miss any podcast (I’m thinking about doing it on a weekly basis for now, but things might change over time).

I also plan to work on my own French learning method (that I hope to be able to use for my classes in a near future) based on TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling), in which language, art, and tales can coexist harmoniously…But that’s another story ;).

 

 

 

It’s been a little while since I last went thrifting…One or two months maybe. The funny thing is that I don’t like shopping, I really don’t. But I loooove thrifting. I guess it’s because I never know what kind of treasures I’m going to find…

I am lucky to have a good eye for things (being a textile designer helps, I suppose) and I rarely come home empty handed. My local thrift shop has become more finicky in their selection a few months ago, and of course, the price tags are a little bit more steep than they used to be. But I still find some nice things and they are often brand new or in mint condition (I mean they’ve been worn no more than once or twice, I can tell).

Anyway, without further do, this is what I found yesterday:

Thrifted 1.1

Clockwise from the top left: a floral cotton blouse, a shoulder bag, an asymmetrical jacket and a butterfly printed cotton shawl

Thrifted 1.2

This shawl is made of semi-sheer beige cotton and printed with golden butterfly (brand new, the store’s tag was still on it)

Thrifted 1.3

This is a designer’s blouse but I can’t figure out the brand (however the tag needs to be partially sewn back). It’s made of a light floral cotton, I like the fact that it looks a bit like a painter’s blouse ;). I just noticed some buttons on the sleeves which will allow me to roll them up.

Thrifted 1.4

I thought this asymmetrical jacket was an interesting piece. It’s made of merino wool and looks that it’s been worn once at the most. It’s a medium, which is a little bit larger than I usually wear, but given that it’s made of wool, chances are that it will shrink slightly.

Thrifted 1.5

Last, but not least, a shoulder bag. Neither too big nor too small, which should allow me to put quite a bit of my stuff in there. Too bad it’s not made of leather though.

All these nice pieces and I didn’t break the bank, the total price was overall very reasonable (much more than a regular clothing store, that’s for sure).