Sunday, January 25, 2015

La maison des Seamons est dans une rue tranquille.

Tomorrow, my class will be learning about "La vie en ville" -- we'll be talking about where we live, and what our houses & apartments are like inside (there's an extra p in the french appartement).  We'll learn how to describe a house or an apartment and differentiate between the US system of numbering stories to the French system (1st floor = le rez-de-chausée, 2nd floor = le premier étage, etc.)  We'll also be learning how to pronounce the French "l" sound.  Here is a quote from our text book:

"Say the English word little.  Notice how your tongue moves from the front to the back of your mouth.  In English, we have two ways of producing the consonant l: a front l, with the tongue against the upper front teeth and a final l, pronounced with the tongue pulled back.  To pronounce a French l, however, always keep your tongue against your upper front teeth, just like the English front l."

Sometimes, in French, the -ill- combination of letters is pronounced with the /l/ sound and sometimes with the /j/ sound.  This is totally unpredictable and must be memorized.  Here are some examples:

mille  (thousand)
la ville  (the city)
tranquille  (calm, quiet, still, peaceful)
un million  (a million)
le village  (the village)

la fille  (the girl or the daughter)
se maquiller  (to put on makeup)
s'habiller  (to get dressed)
la famille  (the family)

We're also learning about verbs like choisir (to choose) which is conjugated like this:

Je choisis                  nous choisissons
tu choisis                  vous choisissez
il/elle/on choisit       ils/elles choisissent

past participle:  choisi

Some common verbs conjugated like choisir:

finir (to finish)
obéir à (to obey)
désobéir à (to disobey)
punir (to punish)
réfléchir à (to think)
réussir à (to succeed or to pass)

And speaking of apartments.  Here is a fabulous look into a Parisian apartment of an American couple.  Enjoy!

Credits:  Chez Nous, 4th ed. Valdman, Pons and Scullen and

Friday, January 16, 2015

A New Adventure!

Cardinal Stritch University is a private Roman Catholic university in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  It is the largest Franciscan university in the United States.  It offers classes throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Its motto is Ut probetis potiora which means "to value the better things."  It bears the name of Cardinal Samuel Alphonsius Stritch who was the archbishop of Chicago from 1940-1958.  The university has a rich liberal arts tradition and a fantastic athletics program comprised of 10 women's and 10 men's varsity teams.   

Stritch has a new Modern Languages Department Chair who is excited about expanding their language programs and, as a result, hired me as their newest faculty member.  I am, at present, the only French professor on campus.  What an exciting time!  Our goal is to introduce a French minor as soon as possible and in the meantime, help the students get excited about learning all foreign languages offered.  Wish me luck!

For more information on Cardinal Stritch University, click here.  

Monday, January 5, 2015

Beautiful 17th Century House for Sale

Beautiful Old Farmhouse for sale in Normandy
430,000 Euros

Ready to buy?  Click here for more information.