• Andrew Starr

Portsmouth College Beginners - Summer 2019

Welcome to the blog for the Adult Education Beginner's Class at Portsmouth College.

Links are highlighted in blue bold and should take you to another webpage or download a resource to your computer.

An easier to remember link to this blog page is ...

Radio Garden

is a good source of free internet radio. This one takes you directly to a radio station near Lannion in Brittany where I once lived.

France 24

is a French language news channel, much like BBC News 24 in structure.

I will use some materials from this coursebook

during the course. You might like to get a copy yourselves. Amazon sell it for between £10 and £15.

The courses are live online for next Autumn, should you be thinking of continuing your studies...

French Beginners is here

French Improvers is here

Tuesday, July 2nd

This lesson replaces the one from May 14th.

We will learn about clothing in French and work more on adjectives and their agreement with number and gender.

Culturally we will look at Bastille Day, France's National Holiday which is coming up on July 14th and why it is celebrated.

A worksheet which matches types of clothing with weather conditions

A worksheet to describe the colours of clothing

A glossary on the theme of describing clothes


PowerPoint about Bastille Day

Worksheet about Bastille Day

A document about les fêtes in France

Tuesday, June 25th

We will look at higher numbers and telephone numbers again moving onto quantities in which food and drink is often sold.

Loosely based on the coursebook 'Voilà' we will look at:

* Look at making polite requests in French

* Look at how to buy food in various quantities

* Look at shopping in French in general

A worksheet on quantities in French

A further worksheet on quantities in French

Buying food at a market

food shopping quantities

various practice exercises on food quantities

Tuesday, June 18th

We will look at the weather and going on holiday in French

Here is a document about the weather

Here is a reading exercise about the weather

Here is a vocabulary list for talking about the weather

Here is a speaking document about the weather, seasons and holidays

Tuesday, June 11th

We looked at working in France, jobs and professions in French.

Here is a glossary to help you talk about jobs and professions

Here is a matching exercise about jobs and professions

Here is a crossword puzzle about jobs and professions

This link will take you to a blog post about the D-Day 75 celebrations in Portsmouth featuring the Caen Twinning Association...

Two events of possible interest...

To mark the D-Day 75 celebrations - Portsmouth European Cities Twinning Committee has negotiated and planned two evening events on June 8th and 9th featuring an a capella choir from Caen. Further details are on the link here

Tuesday, June 4th

In this lesson we covered nationalities and countries with some more work on the family.

Here is a PowerPoint about nationalities and languages.

Here is a puzzle revision sheet about countries and nationalities

Tuesday, May 21st

Next week is half term, the college is closed.

Today we will look at the family in French.

We'll look at how to talk about family and a document was issued which would enable you to introduce and describe your or another family in French.

This document cannot be uploaded here. However, there are some useful documents.

We will also look at some contemporary French bands and artists. A really good way of tuning your ear to French and improving your pronunciation is to find French music you like to listen to.

Another of course is to listen to French Radio (which can be done for free through Radio Garden. It is also a good idea to watch TV broadcasts and films in French, perhaps with either English or French subtitles - English if you do not know the story, French if it is a film you have seem before and know the plot, this then really helps you learn phrases and words in contexts you are familiar with)

I have added links to some contemporary French Artists at the bottom of this page.

Here is a PowerPoint used to introduce many words for family members.

Here is a puzzle about the family


Here is a crossword about family and pets.

Tuesday, May 14th

There is no class this week, as I am involved in the city's Mayor Making Ceremony and evening function. The class to replace this session is added to the end of the course on Tuesday July 2nd.

Here is a rather old video about where people live... It could serve to give you some phrases when you talk about your town in French.

A little bit of fun for you...

Tuesday, May 7th

We looked at places in a town, paying attention to Portsmouth's Twin City of Caen.

We looked at simple ways to talk about the town and began to look at ways we could talk about the homes in which we live and where they are situated.

We looked at the use of accents in the French alphabet.

You might like to write a few lines using the sheet provided about a house and town you live in (real or imaginary).

Here is the PowerPoint of Caen I used in class

Here is the phrase maker sheet about where you live

Tuesday, 30th April

This is the first lesson, you need to fill in and check your registration papers and I need to check identity - this should have been told to you on registration.

During this lesson we will look at what you already may know, basic greetings. Giving your name and we'll begin to learn the alphabet.

We'll discuss grammar points such as masculine and feminine nouns; Informal and formal register (tu and vous)

Here is a copy of the Numbers handout

Here is a copy of the days of the week poster

Here is a copy of the months poster

Here is copy of the of the Alphabet handout

Here is the 'How to write the date' handout

When you feel confident enough, why not join the Facebook Group 'French Speakers in Portsmouth

' to practise some more and meet some new people. If you don't have Facebook send an email to
to ask to be added to the bulletin of organised events.

This video clip is of the little song for French Children used by many a family to help their kids learn the alphabet.

One really good way of tuning your ear to listening to French is to listen to the radio and watch tv in French. Also, why not look for French bands or singers that sing the sort of music you enjoy.

Here are a few video clips from a few bands and singers I like to listen to...

Kyo - Le Graal

This band from Rouen, were big in the 90s and they made a comeback a few years back with a new album and a couple of hit singles...

Patricia Kaas - Les hommes qui passent

Mylène Farmer - Oui mais non

Zaz - Tous les Cris les SOS

Christine and The Queens - Christine

I cannot possibly cater for all tastes in music, but searching YouTube will bling you a plethora of different artists...

There are so many more including a multitude of rappers!

For non-rappers, try: Shy'M, Keen'V, M. Pokora, Marc Lavoine, Renaud, Desireless, Louane, Patricia Kaas, Amel Bent, Calogero, Christophe Maé, Christophe Willem, Etienne Daho, Francis Cabrel, Patrick Bruel, Grégoire, Indila, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Joyce Jonathan, Najoua Belyzel. Navii, Raphaël, Vianney, William Sheller and Yseult....

All have a presence on YouTube and then of course there will be recommendations for more similar things down the side...


© 2020  by AJ Starr Language Tuition. 

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