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  • Andrew Starr

Portsmouth College Improvers

This blog post serves as the page for the Thursday evening Portsmouth College improvers class. A short link to this page is tinyurl.com/pcolli20


Useful links and other information to support your learning both in and outside the classroom will appear here.


There is a Facebook page for this group and alternatively, a password-protected website. I would have given you the password if you are in the class.

Radio Garden is a website where you can easily access streaming radio through a web browser on any capable device.

This link will take you to France Bleu Normandie in Caen.


France 24 is the equivalent of BBC News 24 or Sky News in France it is free to watch in streaming here.


There will be an online video conference at 2 pm on Saturday, March 28th 2020.

This is intended for French Speakers in Portsmouth but will be a good way of listening in and hopefully practising your French.


To join the video meeting, click this link: https://meet.google.com/uho-wemw-zzi Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +44 20 3956 7255 and enter this PIN: 602 985 088# To view more phone numbers, click this link: https://tel.meet/uho-wemw-zzi?hs=5



Course Content

Message received from Portsmouth College on Wednesday, March 18th 2020


Dear all, In light of the current situation regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus) all Portsmouth College fun courses are being postponed. All students will be contacted to ensure they are aware of this and informed that the course will resume at a later date... We are also in contact with all venues for off-site courses and working with them to be able to continue your courses at an appropriate time. This may cause some inconvenience to the student and possibly to yourselves. Apologies for this but we must follow the advice we are given. We will deal with any concerns individually so please do come back to me if there is anything you need to discuss. Kind Regards,

Faye Carpenter Logistics and Operations Manager for Adult Education and Apprenticeships


Thursday, March 26th 2020


Portsmouth College closed fully on Wednesday, March 25th


A rather corny BBC series made for teenagers based loosely on the Friends sitcom formula...

I am planning to do some online chat sessions about French learning


It allows for a maximum of 8 connections at once so could serve at least for small groups to talk together a maximum of 8 of us could meet. 

It does require downloading an app for Android or Apple iOS or Mac OS or a Google Chrome extension for PC. You will need to set up an account and password. It is a free thing to use. 


https://houseparty.com/#download


To join me in Houseparty ready for a meeting: 

https://houseparty.com/add/ajstarruk

When enough people are signed up I will message a time for a meeting...


This lesson is the final lesson timetabled for the course. A further 8-week course is planned for Improvers 1 (A1-B1) on Thursdays beginning on April 30th. Improvers 2 (A2-B2) is planned for Mondays starting on April 27th. Please see note below from Portsmouth College (valid as on Wednesday, March 18th 2020).


DUE TO THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 OUTBREAK, ALL FUN AND FUTURES (QUALIFICATION) COURSES DUE TO START IN APRIL WILL BE DELAYED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE KEEP MONITORING OUR WEBSITE FOR UPDATES.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO BEING ABLE TO OFFER THESE COURSES IN THE NEAR FUTURE.


Thursday, March 19th 2020


Adult Education classes closed on Wednesday, March 18th


Thursday, March 12th 2020

We may have a photographer doing photos for the website and promo leaflets etc.


A vocabulary test on Module 7 was promised.

Based on Voici Chapter 8 we will begin to look at invitations and making arrangements to go out.

We will do a study of the Imperfect Tense in French.

We will look at a letter about the Coronavirus from a village near Caen.

Local News for Caen about Coronavirus



We may have time this week to look at a song full of drama from Céline Dion



Thursday, March 5th 2020

We did more work on the Conditional Tense in French and some work on texts...


We did a thorough study of the Zaz version of the old French Musical Song 'Paris sera toujours Paris' - doing a better English version than the one on screen...


Thursday, February 27th 2020

We will look at Paris from Voici Chapter 7


La Gastronomie et pourquoi les Français sont si fiers de leur cuisine...


An article on China banning the sale of wild animal meat in markets following coronavirus from 'Le Nouvel Observateur'


A couple of little interviews in Montréal done by young French vlogger guys with locals speaking in their accent...



Thursday, February 13th 2020


We will look at:

Quebec City from the Voici Course book, plus a few other bits relating to Quebec.


A couple of little interviews in Montréal done by young French vlogger guys with locals speaking in their accent...


Montreal pdf of PowerPoint


For terminology and vocabulary building, we will look at two articles published by the newspaper Ouest France about Storm Ciara last weekend.


For half term, you might like to look at this perspective on Brexit... Simplistic and quite different to the promises made to the UK by certain politicians...


Interested more in Québecois?


Thursday, February 6th 2020

We will look at the Tour de France and the route - some cities on the route etc.

I am preparing items on Gastronomie too

We may look at Québec City (Voici Chapter 7)

Thursday, January 30th 2020


Loosely based on the coursebook Voici we looked at asking for information from Chapter 6.

We looked at the formation of the Future and Near Future Tenses. These are covered in sparse detail by the book itself.

Files on the formation of the Future Tense and exercises


Another explanation in case you need further notes...


Thursday, January 23rd 2020


Loosely based on the coursebook Voici we looked at asking for information from Chapter 6.

We used four pages from the Caen City Brochure Guide available online to see how some landmarks there are advertised in their tourism brochures and the style of language used.


Caen Guide Pratique 2019


Thursday, January 16th 2020.


So we can establish the best level to be working at in this class in principle, we will begin with a listening task aimed at level B1, which is right in the middle of the European Language Levels.


This link takes you to the page about Boris Johnson published on January 14th 2020.

This link takes you to the page on Harry and Meghan.

This link takes you a page about the D-Day landings in 1944.



There is a social group for people in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas to get together from time to time and have a chat in French (and English) about wide and varied topics.


There is a Facebook page for this group and alternatively, a password-protected website. I would have given you the password if you are in the class.



Mylène Farmer - The French 'Madonna' a megastar in the French Speaking world and in other countries as well.

Here in duet - The French 'Madonna' a megastar in the French-Speaking world and in other countries as well.


There are many other artists you could look up on YouTube. Dailymotion, etc.

I will add some more here if I get the time!


Kyo - Je cours

Kyo - Le Graal

Stromae - Formidable

Vianney - Pas là

ZAZ - Tous les cris les SOS

Mylène Farmer - Desenchantée - to this day the largest selling French-language single of all time:


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