For The Love Of Ciders

“Cider? That’s a girl’s drink.” “You need to grow up and discover adult drinks.” “It’s just fruit juice.” “I guess you can’t handle alcohol?” “Oh, that sweet, fruity drink?” Just some of the reactions I’ve received when I tell people about my new found love for ciders. I usually just shrug and let people continue... Continue Reading →

Postcards from 2006

I’ve read so many anecdotes of people receiving parcels, that were lost in the post, years after they were sent. But not even in my remotest fantasies did I ever think that I’d be one of those people. Sure, I’ve fantasised a lot (and I mean A LOT) about getting a call from Air France... Continue Reading →

Making A Chatbot For Students Of French

As a teacher,  I’ve been struggling for years to find a way for students to stay in touch with the language once they are done with their courses. Sure, they can (should) read, listen to the French radio channels, watch films, yada yada...the ways to stay in touch with the language are many and unlike... Continue Reading →

Pet Peeves #3 Abbreviations

I excelled at acronyms in school.  During a creative writing workshop, organised by my school in 4th grade, one of the activities was imagining the full form of acronyms. I was the unbeaten champion in the exercise, coming up with ingenious versions. My penchant for the long and winding has, over the years, led to... Continue Reading →

Goodbye Christopher Robin

My in-flight movie viewing tends to include at least one tear-jerker, so it had to be the case even this time. After a few relatively light views on the way out and in (should I reveal here that I shed a tear or two while watching “Murder on the Orient Express”?), I chose Goodbye Christopher... Continue Reading →

Pet Peeves #2 Badly Composed Tweets

As a language teacher, I'm used to dealing with all kinds of badly framed sentences: incorrect tenses, missing articles, wrong prepositions and invisible (I really mean absent) punctuation marks. I know it infuriates my colleagues, but not me. I understand that my students ' work is just that - students' work. It's in a classroom... Continue Reading →

FranceSay: The Chatbot

There are several ways to learn a language - the old-school method of joining a class, using text books and other traditional study material, through immersion and speaking to locals exclusively in their language, or the more modern method of apps, like DuoLingo. But how do you go beyond the textbook / app? And how... Continue Reading →

My Students And Other Animals

The urban animal population seems to have an affinity to me, invading my home and even classrooms with little regard for my feelings. We've always had a dog at home, and briefly welcomed turtles, fishes and even birds - all adopted by my brother. But we've also played host to many uninvited animal visitors: lizards,... Continue Reading →

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