• Andrew Starr

Portsmouth College Advanced French Autumn 2021 (Mondays)

The main resources and ideas will be linked here.

The college will soon be advertising the courses beginning once more in January. At the moment my best guess is that the courses will begin on Monday January 17th as half term is 19th to 27th February. That makes 5 weeks before half term and 5 weeks after with the last lesson being on March 28th. The course will not be a repeat of things we have done before, although it is likely we will look at cultural events and some grammar points you may already have covered, but the themes will be different.

>> You are all far more than capable of coping with the 'Socials for French' both online and in person happen in Portsmouth click here to see when <<

To help improve your listening and tune your ear to the sound of the language, you can use the internet. There are a lot of free to air radio stations out there and this website helps you tune in to the free stations...

Monday, November 29th 2021

Culture - Noël

Noel - Au secours
Download PDF • 519KB

Les fêtes de la fin de l'année

Les fêtes de la fin de l
Download PDF • 37KB

Le réveillon

Réveillon de Noël
Download PDF • 324KB

Caen - Resto Bœuf et Cow - Veille de Noël et la Saint-Sylvestre

Caen Menu Réveillon 2019

Patrimoine Bretonne

Les Korrigans

These creatures of legend are the Breton little folk. A little like the same ideas of the Irish Leprechauns.

The video below is just text, but the one below that is certainly one to develop your listening comprehension skills.

Cantiques de noël

Les Cloches Du Hameau La colombe de Noël
Download PDF • 26KB

La colombe de Noël

Monday, November 22nd 2021

N.B. The France at Home market is visiting Palmerston on Sunday November 28th from 10 am to 4pm - I will have a twinning stand there, but the full market offering is due to be in situ for the day.

*check e-mail is correct so JP can email once the courses for January go live...

Next week we will look at how Christmas is celebrated in France and other French Speaking nations in greater detail, along with a 'true' Breton cultural legend. If you have then managed to prepare anything for me to check about Christmas in France (and have already e-mailed it to me, if you wanted it checking) you can 'present' it next week.

This article I wrote a year ago is still pretty much as valid today as is was then.

Il était une fois à Noël
Download PDF • 205KB


Les stations de ski

Le jargon du ski

Pourquoi travailler dans une station de ski

La Covid et les stations de ski

Useful Phrases for Skiing Fartez vos skis

Les vitrines de noël

Monday, November 15th 2021


France Info - La Reine est malade

La Biélorussie et la Pologne

Les Infox

Les fausses comptes - qu'un pensez vous?



L'action de grâce au Canada - Et que font les Américains et quand? Et nous?


Florent Pagny - Le Soldat (below)

Monday, November 8th 2021


France Info on the festering relationship between France and the UK since Brexit


A case of mistaken identity

A long long time to fix

I can also continue with another theme from Saison 3 - The FLE book aimed at level B1 in French.

Ce jeudi sera la commémoration de l'armistice ou le jour du souvenir. Un jour férié en France.

I have some resources that I have permission to reprint, but not to distribute. So we can use those in class.

L'Armistice et le découpage de la France
Download PDF • 260KB

For the Armistice 100 on November 11th 2018, I was in Caen. I took some footage of the commemorations there, if they are of interest to you.


If you have not seen this film, I would recommend it - The film Joyeux Noël set in France of Christmas 1914 when the legendary football match between the two sides allegedly took place. The film is in English, French and German and usually subtitled when not in English. This version has been on YouTube since November 2019. Something to be seen between Armistice time and Christmas as it fits both 'holidays'

Download PDF • 1.95MB

Monday, November 1st 2021

Current Affairs

Le changement d'heure pour la dernière fois?

La Tripière d'Or

Bravo au restaurant Le Bougnat (Laurent Aknin) de Dives-sur-mer qui remporte la Tripière d'Or.

— with Catherine Pradal-chazarenc à Caen, Salle Du Duc Rollon.

I can also continue with another theme from Saison 3 - The FLE book aimed at level B1 in French.

Patrimoine - La Bretagne

Les sacres au Québec

On parle d'un mot latin qui a donné taverne pour le français, et tabernacle pour les Québécois.

Comment en est-on arrivé là ?

Que signifie cette insulte ?

D'un lieu sacré à un gentil juron, en voici une exception culturelle !

L'Armistice de 1918

Download PDF • 8KB

Monday, October 18th 2021

This will be the fifth lesson so the last one for this half term. The next lesson will be in November.

I can continue with another theme from Saison 3 - The FLE book aimed at level B1 in French.

Current Affairs

Info ou Intox (Infox) ?

France Info _ Le Factchecking!


Ouest France - Les nouvelles cartes d'identité

Le nom du village le plus long du monde


La Toussaint

L'histoire de trick or treat
Download PDF • 24KB

La citrouille sorciere
Download PDF • 252KB

Chanson - One for the past historic tense (among others)

AE_VBS_Le fils de Superman cloze
Download PDF • 30KB

Monday, October 4th and 11th 2021

On Monday 4th there were so many missing that I decided to do some specific and different things. Therefore we still have anything from that evening remaining.

We can look at the Module on Cultural Identity from the book Saison 3

about Cultural Identity.

Current Affairs

An article from France 24 about the fuel shortages in the UK.

A previous article about shortages in the food supply chain

France Info - Article on shortages leading to price increases (rather than empty shelves and price increases in France)


I have gone through the lists of the most well known and loved songs in French from over the years. This one is all about France...

GAPS_Jean Ferrat - Ma France
Download PDF • 24KB

I have added the lyrics to the two songs at the bottom (Déprime by Sylvie Vartan and Si Demain by Bonnie Tyler and Kareen Anton). You might want to have a go at inerpreting them in English.

Monday, September 20th 2021 & Monday September 27th.

It would be useful if you can think of a few general themes and topics you would like to study. In particular any grammatical features you feel you need to improve on.

Voici quelques questions:

Pourquoi voulez-vous améliorer votre français? 20.09.21

Parlez-nous de la dernière fois que vous êtes allé(e)s en France... 20.09.21

Qu'est-ce que vous aimez regarder à la télévision ou au cinéma ou en streaming? 20.09.21

Voici une compte rendu d'une série que je regarde en streaming en ce moment... 20.09.21

La Série Télévisée Grey
Download PDF • 114KB


You may have prepared something to present about a TV programme or film that you enjoyed. It could be a book. Remember you ought to be able to look at a published article in French and use that to turn into your own shortened presentation of said product.

Current News...


Article in Ouest France about the Abba revival

Article in Ouest France about la foire internationale in Caen

Current Affairs...

Article in Ouest France about a volcano in the Canary Islands

Le Point article about the now defunct Franco-Australian Submarine deal

Une petite chanson - Boulevard des Airs - Allez reste... with some very unusual lyrics.

I have removed the verbs from this song. A very good way of getting you to think about verb endings in various tenses.

If you are not sure about these verb endings, do look at the blog page created that takes you through, step by step on French verb formation.

GAPS_Boulevard des airs ft
Download PDF • 31KB

We may begin looking at a B1 Level Module about Cultural Identity. This is from a book called Saison 3. It will be an experiment to see how we cope. Do not feel you need to buy the book as I will use it to create presentation for use in class.

Remember anything you do that uses French in the meantime will improve your memory of the language and build on what you know in your mind. So reading articles, listening to radio, watching TV, films etc all help!

Extra = C'est la version française de quelle chanson fameuse britannique... Ça n'a rien à voir avec la chanson originelle...

Sylvie Vartan - Déprime
Download PDF • 21KB

Et cette chanson - un peu plus facile à devenir peut-être!

Here are the full lyrics for you to have a go at interpreting into English

Si Demain
Download PDF • 39KB

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