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A language is more than words: it’s a culture 18 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in English.
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When I was 12, my parents sent me to Paris to stay with a French family in order to improve my French. The family lived in a lovely flat in the 7th arrondissement and we could see the Eiffel Tower from the flat. They were very nice to me and showed me the beautiful sights of the city.
However, I remember one incident which was particularly unpleasant. I was quite a fussy eater but managed to get through most of the meals until the day when a revolting-looking and smelling dish arrived at the table. What was this sloppy, steaming mess ? Tripe !!! This is something we definitely never eat in England and yet, this nice middle-class family were serving it to a 12-year-old child ! I’m afraid to say that I didn’t even taste it, but had a baguette sandwich instead.

                                     S.W, an English teacher from England.


La langa d’oc senta la lavanda! 15 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in 1.
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Dins la langa d’oc, i a tutt’un monde de vida : joia e rudessa.
Se ausis lo cant de la cigala que vibra dins l’arie, aqueu “keke” fa un bosin pas possible!
La força de l’oliu, plan
tat, tuort ma vigoros.
Si senta la lavanda e son abelha quand lo soleu trelusa dins un cel sensa retenguda.
Ma i a tanben lei claps e lei clapas su lo camin de la vida, su lo camin de lei cabras.

                      M.D, professeur de lettres.

More experiences with languages 15 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in English.
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Last summer, I went to Italy to visit my family for ten days. I think life is better in Italy than here, maybe because I don’t live in Italy everyday, that’s why I can’t see what is wrong. People are simple, more or less everything is cheaper, it’s very pleasant. The only thing that I didn’t like was the heat. In the daytime, we visited cities and saw monuments, and in the evening we went to concerts or in pubs with my cousins. I often had to speak Italian because a lot of people don’t understand the French language. I think it was a very good experience to improve my Italian.

                                                 F.C., from 1re  


Histoires vraies de dictionnaire 15 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in Français.
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Dans une classe de 6ème, nous corrigions un exercice fait à la maison. Il s’agissait de décrire une image sur laquelle on voyait un chat sur une table.
Le petit garçon : « The cat is prep the table. »
Le professeur : « Prep the table ? »
Le petit garçon : « Oui ! j’ai cherché dans le dictionnaire. Prep, ça veut dire ‘sur’ ! »
Effectivement, le dictionnaire dit bien :
« sur [syr] Prep (position) on, upon » …
Pas facile à utiliser, le dictionnaire, quand on a 11ans !et même après, parfois…

L’histoire se passe dans un lycée américain où j’enseignais le français. J’avais demandé à ma classe de seconde de me dire pourquoi ils aimaient les vacances .Après avoir corrigé quelques copies, je lis ceci :
« J’aime les vacances beaucoup parce que je bidon me reposer, je bidon aller à la plage, je bidon me coucher tard. Je bidon aussi sortir avec mes amis… » Il m’a fallu un petit moment pour comprendre comment l’élève était arrivée à cette traduction : Elle avait cherché ‘can’ dans le dictionnaire, mais n’avait pas fait la différence entre le verbe et le nom !

M.C, professeur d’anglais

Mein erster Kontakt mit der deutchen Sprache 15 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in Deutsch.
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Mein erster Kontakt mit Deutsch war in der Klasse C.M.2.
Ich war klein und meine Deutschlehrerin war Frau Eschemann.
Deutsch war sehr interessant, weil sie uns Bonbons oder Schokolade gab.
Wir machten viele Aktivitäten, zum Beispiel die Schultüte und Bleigießen.
In der Klasse waren wir 6 oder 7.
Seitdem war Deutsch sehr lehrreich.

Eine Schultüte
Wenn die Kinder mit sechs Jahren zum ersten Mal in die Schule kommen, bekommen sie eine Schultüte mit Schokolade und Bonbons….


Am 31. Dezember, in der Silvesternacht, trifft man
sich mit Freunden zum Bleigießen: aus den kleinen Figuren kann man (vielleicht!) die Zukunft lesen.

Why do scientists have to learn English? 15 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in English.
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When I was a student, I had to read many English papers to know how to make many experiments.

We were a small group of students who had to make as many experiments as possible.
One of them was rather easy to make and all of us had managed to make it except for one girl.So, one day, she decided to make it too. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and she didn’t obtain the right chemical. The next day, she tried to know why it had not worked. So she explained what she had done.
We understood what she had done wrong quite easily. She had just mistaken two verbs: the assignment said, “Pour the balloon into cold water” and she had understood, “Put the balloon into cold water” !
So she hadn’t really finished the experiment… and she had to spend another three hours to complete it correctly.

So, if you want to do some chemistry, don’t forget to learn English !

from a physics teacher who prefers to remain anonymous…

Experiences with languages 6 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in English.
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This story happened last summer, in Scotland,with my friends. We were visiting Edimburgh but did not know where we were. After one hour, we were lost in this big city. So we asked our way to a man. He listened to us and suddenly he began to talk very fast, with a strong accent. We didn’t understand anything. Politely, we asked him to repeat slowly. He smiled and repeated his explanations. Finally, we understood, thanked him and easily found our way  back.    C.0.         


Writing about languages. 6 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in English.
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Two years ago, I went to the United States with my father and elder brother. We traveled for three weeks and visited Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Francisco. My favourite city is L.A. and I’d like to live there when I’m older. Since I went there, I speak English better but I still have problems writing it .                               J.R. (more…)

Learning a language can be stressful! 6 October 2008

Posted by Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in English.
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            The story I’m going to tell you happened five years ago. I was eleven and starting junior high school. Obviously, in every class, we had to introduce ourselves, and came the English lesson.I remember the teacher ,Mrs. S, who told us to stand in front of the blackboard, two by two, face to face and ask questions to our schoolmate. It consisted in making each other’s acquaintance and checking our English level: Such a hard task for us, poor little sixth grade pupils ! As for me, I thought about each word I was going to say.Suddenly, I heard the teacher’s voice pronouncing : “Laura !” So, with a trembling step, I went to the blackboard and (more…)