Notre Dame de Paris: The Musical

Notre-Dame de Paris is a French-Québécois musical that debuted in Paris in September 1998. Based on novelist Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), it has been performed in more than 17 countries and in seven different languages. Even better, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Notre Dame de Paris broke the record for the most successful musical in its first … Continue reading Notre Dame de Paris: The Musical

The French School System

The French school system is very different from the American school system, but it is considered one of the most vigorous in the world. The country of France is divided up into 30 different académies; Le Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de la Jeunesse et de la Vie associative) (the Minister of Education– kind of like a superintendent) oversees France’s school system. Then, each academie (kind of … Continue reading The French School System

Two items That make Me Look Slightly More French

Since my arrival in Toulon one month ago, I have acquired two items that have made me inherently and undeniably more French: un vélo (bicycle) and un chariot (a bag on wheels). The first week I was in Toulon I decided I wanted to buy a used bike. Pharmacycles is a shop in Toulon that finds old bicycles on the streets, in dumpsters, on the side … Continue reading Two items That make Me Look Slightly More French

French language Faux Pas: «Ce n’est pas Terrible»

In France, there is a phrase that the French use often. «Ce n’est pas terrible» literally translates to, “It’s not terrible” and as simple as it sounds, it is actually a lot more complicated than it seems, because it means the opposite! Simply put, we cannot compare it to our English equivalent. In English, when we say something “Isn’t terrible,” we mean that it’s “pretty … Continue reading French language Faux Pas: «Ce n’est pas Terrible»

Je m’appelle «Dah-Nah» (Just call me “Dah-Nah.”)

My name is not “Dana” anymore, and it hasn’t been for almost three weeks. Nope, the French look at my name, scrunch up their faces in a puzzled manner, look at me nervously and ask, “Dah-nah?” French phonetics are a bit more straight forward than English phonetics. In English, we have as many as three different sounds for “a” such as “apple” or “date” or … Continue reading Je m’appelle «Dah-Nah» (Just call me “Dah-Nah.”)

Teaching Normandy to High School Students

As many of you may or may not know, I am currently studying to become a teacher of French, and a teacher of English as a Second Language. This past semester I completed my first round of clinical placements at a local high school. I taught a French II class and a French IV/V class for approximately 4 months (September-December) and 60 hours classroom time … Continue reading Teaching Normandy to High School Students