• Andrew Starr

Portsmouth College Improvers - Summer 2019

Welcome to the blog for the Adult Education Improver'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.

Watching French TV to improve your listening

I have a TNT SAT system installed at home, which allows me access to French Freesat channels and German Freesat channels. However, that is an expensive option...

There are some current online free streaming sites that show French public shows. This link takes you to one which streams France 2, the French public broadcaster's main channel. It does however only allow a few minutes until it asks for money!

This is France's equivalent of BBC News 24 called France 24 - it is free to air via their site online

I will use some materials from this coursebook during the course. You might like to get a copy yourselves. Amazon sell it for between £2 and £25.

Unlike the beginners course that came before it 'Voilà!', 'Voici!' has just one published version in 1998, with a slight revision made in 2015, my version is the revised 2015 version. Various people are selling off their old copies. It is around £20 new. I have the listening materials, so you do not need to buy a version with those unless, of course you want to.

It is also possible I will use materials from this book aimed at intermediate learners. It is much more based around conversations and may be of use for those seeking to attain B1/B2 level in French. This one is not so good at teaching grammatical points and really is only of interest to those who want to have it.

Classes for September are now live on the College Website:

This is the link for this improvers' class, which will be different to the course you have already had.

In case you know someone who wants to do the beginners' class.

​Thursday June 27th

We will complete the chapter from Voici on applying for work in France.

This is the last class for the year...

Among other things, we will also look at Bastille Day...

A PowerPoint about Bastille Day

A worksheet about Bastille Day

A document about les fêtes en France

This event on July 13th might be of interest.

or if you can go out on a school night, what about this one?

​Thursday June 20th

Working on the theme of tenses we will look at some items based on the theme of 'La Nostalgie' (imperfect tense)

We will also work on talking about preferences, and holidays using the perfect tense.

This sheet is to help people make a document about 'La Nostalgie' for themselves.

This one gives an overview of the Imperfect Tense.

​Thursday June 13th

We looked at the formation of the imperfect tense, the conditional, the future and the near future tenses. We touched on the pluperfect and even mentioned the past historic, which some remembered from their O' Level days and is only used in French literature.

Here is the document of notes made on the board together in class...

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

Thursday June 6th

We did some more work about daily routine and then began to discuss how the Perfect Tense is formed for regular '-er', '-ir', and '-re' verbs with 'avoir' as auxiliary.

We looked at those verbs which use 'être' as their auxiliary and in turn, the reflexive verbs, which are used substantially when taking about what you did on a specific day in the past rather than what you do on a daily basis.

I compiled the notes into a Word Document which you can find on the link in June 13th's post.

Thursday, May 23rd

There is no lesson next week as it is half term and the college is closed.

Today we will work on talking about day to day life and touch on talking about what happened and what will happen..

Here is a worksheet that helps you talk about daily routine in three tenses

Here's an introductory PowerPoint about daily routine

Here is a more detailed PowerPoint about daily routine

Here is the model text about daily routine

This match up exercise is all about day to day chores

Another source of French vocabulary about topics is this site from Français Authentique... He is a little of topic here, but it might be interesting to see what you can pick up.

Thursday, May 16th

You may have prepared a description of what sort of people those who drive orange/beige/purple cars are...

You may have completed the worksheet called "les visages"

We will continue to look at people's physical characteristics and personalities adding to this describing the clothing they are wearing.

Thursday, May 9th

We will look at how to describe people's physical characteristics and personalities in French.

A graphic of some French adjectives to describe feelings

A vocabulary listing of how to describe people

The video below is one from a very enthusiastic Thomas who will take thorough once more some of the items we cover in class...

Thursday, May 2nd

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. You will do a varying difficulty attainment level test, this is just to give me an idea of your current level so I can better plan to 'improve' your attainment.

You will find resources I can share for the class on this page. Other materials which are copyright I cannot share here. From next week we will know how we are going to progress.

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.

Link in case


© 2020  by AJ Starr Language Tuition. 

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