teaching and learning

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


Conceptually-difficult French: se reposer et se détendre


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.

“Savoir-vivre” plurilingual intercultural learning portfolios




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…)


LAST UPDATED: 2018-08-31

(The second general-purpose appendix to any syllabus.)

I (Dr O’Brien) am sharing some general useful resources below: openly-accessible freely-available information from the University. I use these resources a lot in the advising side of my work, you might also find them helpful, and they could also help you to help someone else. There are many people here at UBC who can help; even if it is “just” talking to someone with whom you feel comfortable and whom you trust, who will listen to you, that alone is already a vital service.

The same goes for any need to talk and to find support, whether something has happened to you or to someone you know, and also if nothing has happened but you worry that it might. Even if sometimes this seems like an overwhelmingly large university, and impersonal through its size and complexity: UBC is a compassionate caring community, made up of individual human beings.