teaching and learning

On revising for exams (2018 version)

Welcome to this year’s updated version of the revision guide for one of the courses that I coordinate, beginners’ French. The original post is at UBC Blogs > FREN 101 & 102 Resources > Révisions : FREN 101. Its ancestor is at that course’s old site and first appeared there in 2014; I made a new site for this year as part of redesigning the course. Of course, the main actual exam revision guidance and general exam season guidance haven’t changed since then, nor indeed have they since predecessors that circulated orally; I’d say the same things in the last class every term in every language, literature, and culture course I’ve ever taught, back to 2001. (Does such guidance ever change? The classic complaint and old lament of traditional knowledge dismissed as non-knowledge, until it is stolen for profit by others and translated into authoritative publication and official sanction.)


(more…)

Making beginners’ French more inclusive: reflexive verbs (introduction) with bonobos

79AB87F0-E0DA-4BE9-BE86-CAA299AC03B3

Conceptually-difficult French: se reposer et se détendre

(more…)

Poeticising language learning for beginners (feat. Apollinaire for #ApollinR18)

7E0F4A9A-6C48-4D24-B5A9-6E32507A3128Welcome to a second post remembrancing Guillaume Apollinaire, through keeping his poetry alive by sharing it with others and opening it up to continued reading and to creative continuation. It’s never too late or too early to start: this post is about an assignment for a beginners’ French course (UBC FREN 101). The assignment itself can be adapted to put into practice a range of lexical and grammatic knowledge and can be tweaked to different learning levels, and its underlying raison d’être ideas can be translated to other languages (modern or ancient, living or dead or sleeping) and their cultures.
(more…)

“Savoir-vivre” plurilingual intercultural learning portfolios

838EE1AB-6B2A-497D-AFE1-7E7663FFD019

WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE: UBC 2018 FREN 101

689C3EA9-5868-4352-A59C-0E1D98200976
(more…)

Resources: French dictionaries

This post is a mixture of resources for several levels of French, from absolute beginners (CEFR A1) to advanced users (C1+). I’ve focused on free online resources, plus some that are in public libraries: in celebration and encouragement of open access.

Some are available through university libraries such as our own here at UBC; many of these can also be accessed for free through public libraries. If uncertain or stumped, consult a librarian: if anyone can help you, it will be a librarian, because librarians are awesome knowledge superheroes with superpowers. (more…)