Thursday, April 06, 2006

Can I learn English pronunciation on the internet?

Without doubt it is easier to learn grammar and vocabulary on the web than pronunciation.
Nevertheless, several sites claim to help with pronunciation.

Try this one


John Mullen

History again

Britain has a general reputation of being a very calm place, where huge social conflicts are rare.
But is the reputation justified? The historians among you will have heard of the General strike of 1926 in Britain. At the following link you can find some information about it, as well as some pictures.


John Mullen

Back to the British press

I was pleased to see some of you at Tolbiac this morning while the pedagogogical meetings were going on.

Today let's go back to the British press. The Press generally supports the French government, but the articles have recently been a little more accurate, a little more objective. Here are today's examples :



John Mullen

Don't forget you can contact me with any questions at john.mullen@wanadoo.fr

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Read the news from fifty years ago!

In this site you can find article sin The Guardian newspaper about famous events.
They are exactly the articles which were published at the time.
Read fascinating glimpses of the past.


John Mullen

Monday, April 03, 2006

Watch the news ... from fifty years ago!

You can watch news clips from the BBC from the 1920s to the year 2000 on this brand new website.


Learn some British history while practising your English.
John Mullen

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Writing practice

I have shown you how easy it is to find places on the web to practice reading and listening. But you can also practice your writing in English. Go along to wikipedia in English and improve the page on your town in France (or your favourite team or rock group). Here is the link for Agen, for example.


Just click on "Edit this page" and make the additions you wish.
If you write on a popular page (Georges Brassens for example) you will find that any mistakes you make in English are rapidly corrected by somebody....

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The English and anglophone press

When you read the English press about the events in France, you are reminded not to believe everything you read in the newspapers! Believe me, when the French press write about Britain it is no better.

For today here is one of the better articles

and this article is worst than most :


Finall, because it is essential to keep practising your listening, here is a BBC page with a video!
It may or may not be good journalism, but it is good practice for your English.
Watch this blog!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Young people at work in Britain

Perhaps you are interested to know what rights young people have in Britain when they start work.

Here is a document designed for young people in Britain, to explain their rights.
Do they have more rights or fewer rights than French young workers ?

John Mullen

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Practising grammar

There are many websites where you can practise your English grammar. A lot of them are full of interactive quizzes and can be quite fun.




des liens vers des cours en anglais



John Mullen

Notes et devoirs

Nous ne savons pas quand des cours reprendront normalement. Mais nous suivons la situation et je sais que tous les enseignants du Selva veulent tout faire pour ne pas pénaliser les étudiants - les sujets des partiels, les formes des contrôles etc. seront décidés selon ce principe.

Ce blog ne remplace pas des cours, je le répètes. Il donne des pistes pour pratiquer et consolider son anglais - surtout en utilisant les ressources formidables du web - pour ceux qui ont un peu plus de temps que d'habitude ( je sais ce n'est pas tout le monde).

John Mullen

Democracy and strikes

Many students and many teachers are discussing how to be sure that the movement against the CPE is democratic enough, without paralysing the movement. It is an extremely important subject, although discussions can be rather emotional (someone told me recently he preferred feudalism!). Each person is entitled to their own opinion.

If people are interested in British history and society, I wrote a couple of years ago an article about the different debates and laws in Britain in the last twenty five years about democracy in trade unions. The article is in French and is rather long, but I think it is good!

More soon
John Mullen

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A conservative blog

The Daily Telegraph, a very famous and very conservative newspaper, have one of their reporters in Paris publishing a blog for day by day news from Paris.

To view his blog, select the above adress and paste it in your browser title window.
Notice that if you do not agree with the Telegraph journalist's opinion, you can add a comment to his blog - that way you can practise writing English too.

In favour of the movement

This article is very much in favour of the movement.


Several ways to improve your listening

One of the themes of this semester is listening. This is something you can practice outside class.

1) Go to see films in Version anglaise. Or watch your DVDs in English. Often the DVDs will allow you to have the fil in English with subtitles also in English.

2) The BBC world service site is an excellent place to learn listening, and they help you with the vocabulary etc. This week the featured story is about the delay in the new Sony Play station - so you can hear computing vocabulary too. Try it out


The BBC world service gives free online many other opportunities to practice your English - news bulletins, songs, etc.


If you follow this link you can listen to a show about today’s popular music, and you can download the script to help understand.

Si vous suivez ce lien vous pouvez écouter une émission sur le top 50. Vous pouvez également télécharger le texte de l’émission pour faciliter la compréhension.


3) Radio Netherlands allow you to download in MP3 format the latest news bulletin. You can put it on your MP3 player and listen to it all day!

John Mullen

Monday, March 20, 2006

Anothe rarticle from Britain

The Independent is normally fairly Left wing, but this article is quite hostile to the anti-cpe movement :


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


If you need to contact me for any reason, it's not hard :
In addition, I am present at Tolbiac on Thursdays at the (approximate) times when I would have had classes.

John Mullen

John Mullen

John Mullen

A lot of the British newspapers don't seem to be very interested in what's happening in France.
But the radical press is beginning to talk about France - see the following article in a socialist newspaper.


You may also be able to hear news on the BBC website. As you know, it is now very easy to listen to English radion on the web. Even with a slow connection, on www.bbc.co.uk you can listen to any one of a hundred radio programmes.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Comment if you wish

Do feel free to comment if you wish.

Strange times

This blog is for my Selva students. It is not meant to replace classes - I hope Mr. V. will take the necessary action soon to allow classes to continue.

BUt I thought it would be good for you to both continue reading some English, and see what France looks like through the eyes of the British media.

For weeks the British media said almost nothing about the movement in France, but this is beginning to change. The Independent, a daily newspaper which is relatively left wing, wrote the following :


Notice that you may find errors of fact in the articles I am giving you links to. It is often surprising to see how little homework journalists do. similarly, when you read articles in the French press about Britain, it is not all true!

The Guardian is more critical of the French government :


More soon
John Mullen