• Andrew Starr

Portsmouth College - French Beginners Autumn 2021 (Tuesdays)

Updated: Jan 15

The main resources and ideas will be linked here.

The college will soon be advertising the courses beginning once more in January.

You should, if you wish to continue, switch to Thursday evening classes. If you continue on Tuesday, you will very much be repeating what you have already learned.

At the moment my best guess is that the courses will begin on Thursday January 20th 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 31st.

>> 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...

Tuesday, November 30th 2021

Key Vocabulary linked to Christmastime

Glossary from an Italian Language School

Download PDF • 136KB

Food and Drink

French Traditions at Christmastime

AS_Christmas in Provence
Download PDF • 630KB

Pour le Nouvel An
Download PDF • 74KB

Download PDF • 2.77MB

Vive le Vent - GR
Download PDF • 24KB

Les anges dans nos campagnes
Download PDF • 44KB

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année - A la prochaine fois en 2022 - peut-être!

Tuesday, November 23rd 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...

La culture du monde francophone

fetes en france
Download PDF • 1.23MB

Les Vêtements

We will use the rest of Voilà Chapter 4 to look into stating your likes and dislikes and introduce shopping for clothing.

Clothing (Avantage Worksheet - printed)

Download PDF • 11KB

weather and clothes
Download PDF • 358KB

Clothing Glossary
Download PDF • 19KB

Likes and dislikes

We can use the section in Voilà Chapter 4 to complete discussing likes and dislikes along with clothing.

Une cantique de noël

If we've time we can study the lyrics of this song (if not next week) - Il est né le divin enfant, is pretty much the go to carol for French children to learn. A little like 'Away in a Magner' for British kids.

Annie Lennox - il est né
Download PDF • 29KB

Tuesday, November 16th 2021

Today we will practise more on telephone numbers and we shall look at buying food in quantities and some other aspects of shopping in French.

We may use exercises from the relevant part of Voilà too.


L'acte de grâce au Canada - Canadian Thanksgiving (happened already, but gives good phrases for the US version coming up soon.

Chanson - Desireless - Voyage Voyage (Below)

food shopping
Download PDF • 194KB

Download PDF • 6KB

Download PDF • 191KB

Download PDF • 149KB

Download PDF • 79KB

Download PDF • 99KB

Int 1 speaking restaurant sheet
Download PDF • 45KB

Tuesday, November 8th 2021

Today loosely based on the coursebook 'Voilà' we will look at:

Talking about Telephone Numbers and the higher numbers beyond 69 in French, where they are certainly not the easiest in the world! Telephone numbers require knowledge of all numbers as the French have a particular way of giving out their numbers - The sheet below in September:

We'll revise dates once more and we may be able to learn another ear worm song about the months of the year.

Quelle est la date
Download PDF • 23KB

Tues Telephone Numbers
Download ZIP • 500KB


One way of improving your listening skills, as I have said before, is to find songs sung in French and listen to the radio. Well another thing to do with music, is to do a close exercise, where you have to listen for specific lyrics within the lyrics (i.e. missing lyrics).

Here is a song that made number 5 in the UK charts way back in 1988...

Download DOCX • 103KB

Tuesday, November 2nd 2021

On est de retour!

Today loosely based on the coursebook 'Voilà' we will look at:

* Holidays in French.

* Describing local things and things to do.

* Talking about the weather

> You may wish to have any homework you’d like me to check ready to collect.

What is 'une perturbation' ? une éclaircie ?

How many mm of rain for Alsace?

What do these mean? 'le ciel restera très gris'

'quelques rafales de vent'

'plus frais'

Will there be any 'neige' anywhere?

Quel temps fait
Download PDF • 19KB

weather and clothes
Download PDF • 358KB

Download PDF • 154KB

La météo
Download PDF • 61KB

Il Pleut
Download PDF • 40KB

Culture - La Tripière d'Or

Culture - Le jour de L'Armistice

Le 11 novembre 1918 – Le jour de l’Armistice
Download PDF • 330KB

Tuesday, October 19th 2021

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

You may wish to present to me what you have prepared on yourself, family and pets, using the information from here and the lessons

We will look at jobs in French, in basic terms. (Next time weather and holidays with further work on town)

We can use chapter 2 of the course book Voilà for further reinforcement.

Les emplois
Download PDF • 45KB

2 Les emplois
Download PDF • 22KB

Download PDF • 256KB


Download PDF • 172KB

halloween sounds
Download PPT • 531KB

Tuesday, October 12th 2021

I will use some of the chapter one from the book Voilà to revise all we have studied in the last few lessons.

Then we are covering countries and nationalities.

In your own time, you may want to prepare a paragraph describing your family and/or pets. Giving nationalities of various people therein.

Alternatively you could make yourself part of a fictional family and introduce them instead.

Les Pays et les langues
Download PPT • 702KB

Download DOC • 158KB

Tuesday, October 5th 2021

This lesson will be held at the Highbury Campus in Tudor Crescent in Cosham.

Today we will look in some detail at how to talk about the family.

The final part of Voilà chapter one, introduces some basic vocabulary for family. We will do more today than the book requires.

The files below will support you in working on the family in French. There is further support on Google Classroom

Ma familleAS
Download PDF • 19KB

Ma famille puzzle
Download PDF • 61KB

Ma famille AS copy
Download PPT • 856KB

Ma famille et les animaux
Download PDF • 16.17MB


A video filmed during 'le confinement' in Caen, when you were permitted one hour and no more than a 1km radius from your home...

A tour of the city using Google Earth

Tuesday, September 28th 2021.

N.B. - Next Tuesday is Open Evening at Portsmouth College. We will be moved to the Highbury College Campus, Tudor Crescent, Cosham. I would hope that the college will inform you in time to allow you all to know where we are to be situated, if not there is most likely going to be a board in reception with the room and directions on it .

In this second lesson, we will recap what we did last week. Hopefully, you will all be able to say hello, introduce yourselves, say where you live and ask someone how they are in French.

If you can, you should be able to give your age, or your birthday, or your whole birthdate.

If you can do all of this can you all tell people how to spell either your name, the city or town you live in or indeed your place of birth? Can you do all of this?

Now to introduce spellings after a phrase, you should say...

...Ça s'écrit, (then spell the word using the French Alphabet).

To ask how something is spelled, you can either ask - <<Comment ça s'écrit?>>,

or <<Ça s'écrit comment?>>

To check the pronunciation of those phrases above - download this zip file.

Comment ça s'écrit
Download ZIP • 270KB

Remember for pronunciation of numbers, letters, days of the week, month of the year etc. Check out the little song and Thomas' French YouTube videos.

We will use some exercises from the course book 'Voilà'. It is useful support and consolidation.

We will look at:

* Formal and informal greetings

* Asking how people are

* Showing someone around town

We may also begin to look at introducing family and friends...

Here is the PowerPoint used in class about places in our twin city of Caen.

PCOLL Caen La ville
Download PPTX • 10.68MB

Here is further information on what is in a town...

Décris-moi ta ville
Download DOC • 819KB

Download PDF • 1.88MB

J'habite en ville OHT
Download PDF • 272KB

This very young French Teacher made these vlogs for his French beginners during the Coronavirus lockdown. However, he pretty much covers the things we covered in class today, which can serve as a reminder for you!


Tuesday, September 21st 2021.

In the first class, we will introduce ourselves to each other and find out our reasons for learning French as we do not all know each other yet.

During today's lesson, we will learn how to greet people. We will learn about the Alphabet and some of the numbers in French. We will look at the formal and informal register and possibly how to write the date in French. There is a course book for this beginners class that I have based the content we study on. You may find it useful to get yourself a copy for home use and self study.

We will also discuss your motivation for learning French.

Worksheets for use in class.

Download PDF • 37KB

Alphabet French
Download PDF • 48KB

Download DOC • 30KB

les jours OHT
Download PDF • 558KB

Les mois OHT
Download PDF • 61KB

Download PDF • 25KB

Microsoft Word - Bonjour.doc copy
Download PDF • 21KB

Florabelle et la Mushroom Family - L'alphabet en chantant - An ear worm, which will teach you the alphabet.

This guy does a lot of beginners videos... Now there's enthusiastic and then there's ~Thomas!

He can, at least, serve as a reminder of the correct pronunciation, should you need one...



A really useful way to tune your ear into French is to find some singers and bands who perform in French and begin to follow them on youtube or if you do have a paid for music streaming service, you may be able to access them on there.

Out in 2020 from Mylène Farmer (The French Madonna around since 1987, but still gets to number one in France!)


Zaz does a wide variety of old and new songs and Jazz style. This one is a cover version of a Daniel Balavoine song. he was huge in the 80s, but unfortunately was killed in an helicopter crash. This song was part of a tribute album to him.


A band from Rouen, big in the late nineties and early noughties and came back a few years ago...

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, Boulevard des Airs, 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...


Once you feel confident enough, why not join the French Speakers in Portsmouth group?

There is a Facebook page for this group and alternatively, a blog post where dates of events are published, but no venue...

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