Saturday, January 30, 2016

Master LEA: women in the USA

Our new topic, as you know, is women in the USA.

This video is the first episode of the first US TV programme to feature a woman police officer with a central rôle.

Notice how the character is dressed in a "very feminine" manner, to counter the very common prejudice at the time that it was not ladylike for a woman to be a police officer.


Celebrating multicultural Britain

This article from the Guardian gives statistics about the White and non-White population of England and Wales. It is customary in Britain to make such statistics available.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Popular culture: A History of Horror: Hammer Films and the British Horror (legendado PT-BR) - YouTube

Britain is no longer well known for its horror films : but it used to be : look at this video

John Mullen- Teaching blog: A History of Horror: Hammer Films and the British Horror (legendado PT-BR) - YouTube

L3 on popular culture: 100 Best British Films: The full list - Time Out London

Next week we will be moving onto the history of British cinema. In preparation, look at this list of, according to somebody, the 100 best British films.

100 Best British Films: The full list - Time Out London

Monday, January 25, 2016

Grammar "used to"

Students of all levels and all standards seem to have problems with "used to" which is more complex than you think. Some of the explanations on the internet are very poor. This is one of the best:

Remember that if you want to talk or write about habits in general : what you habitually eat, what the company habitually demands etc, you do not use "used to" in any of its forms: an adverb like "usually" is sufficient.

I usually have sushi on Saturdays.
These companies normally only take on people who have a master's degree.

Master LEA : women in the USA

We have finished looking at India and its economy. Our next topic is going to be "Women in the USA". We will be looking at some aspects of this vast question.

 So, watch this video on women astronauts!


Thème agrégation : next passages

On the 27th Jan we will be working on the passage by Pierre Silvain, which I have distributed in class and posted below. The following Wednesday we will be working on this passage from Le Grand Meaulnes:


Pas de cours mardi 26 pour mon groupe de Master LEA et pour mon groupe de L3 et aussi pour mes autres groupes ce jour-là. Je mettrai ici sur le blog du travail.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Agrégation interne

Good luck to all the Rouen people taking the agrégation interne in English this week; don't heistate to send me an email after the exams to tell me how it went.


Friday, January 22, 2016

L3: Popular culture since 1945: the 1940s house

No class on the 26th (see below). So here is some work to be getting on with.
To understand the popular culture of 60 or 70 years ago, it is important to see what kind of life people had at the time. This documentary is about an attempt to recreate life in the 1940s. It is rather long, but if you watch the first half hour, you will get a good idea of the theme.

Just click here

Anglais pour master Histoire: Britain in 1900

No class on the 26th, so here is some work to be starting with. We will be looking at different documentaries about people's lives in the past in Britain.
Here is the first one, entitled "Britain in 1900". Try to find the time to watch it.

Click here

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thème agrégation - next passage: Sylvain

This is the passage we will be working on on the 27th January.

Thème agrégation

This is the passage we worked on in class on 20th January. Some students who were not present wanted to see it. My suggested translation for this passage will be available in a day or two on this blog.

Eddie Izzard - Cake Or Death? - YouTube

Just for fun

Eddie Izzard - Cake Or Death? - YouTube

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Conference | The Musicians' Union: A Social History

Dear students

I have just got back from this conference.

Conference | The Musicians' Union: A Social History

It was very productive, but it means I am a little late with everything - marking, emaisl etc. So please be patient.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

salle thème et version agreg

B 216

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

LEA master : what did Gandhi say or not say about the customer ?


LEA Master reading comprehension

At master level you need to be practising English a lot : newspapers, radio, films, novels. Quantity is what is important .

Here is a short reading comprehension test for you.


Monday, January 11, 2016

LEA MASTER 1 india

Here are two contrasting videos for you to practice your English and learn a little about India

India's frontier railway
BBC documentary on the railway from India to Nepal:

Delhi Business school

India's cinema business

The recent history of Bollywood

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Agrégation. Mock exam: suggested translation

Study carefully: I have made a couple of changes since the class. Notein particular the "would" form in an early verb.

  Mock exam Thème agrégation 12.2015. Suggested translation

Mr. Tristani had ordered the drinks in the large dining room  of the deserted panoramic restaurant, and must have been expecting  to spend lunch flirting[1] with some young woman who wanted to know about the manufacturing of honey, but Marie was not in the habit of indulging in idle chit-chat during her working lunches.[2] As soon as the head waiter[3] had come to take their order, she set about explaining to him in a determined voice the main outline of her project. Mr Tristani, whose eagerness had quickly cooled off, listened to her gravely, nodding. His wrist was in plaster,[4] and from time to time he would clumsily separate out a piece of the sole with his good hand ; then put his fish knife[5] down on the tablecloth , pick up his fork and swallow a mouthful looking pained, and even worried, since, if he had correctly understood, the idea involved coating   a top model with honey.

Marie’s many questions received little in the way of answers from Mr Tristani , who contended himself with avoiding the issue with a vague wave of his hand and a resigned expression on his face. Picking his fish knife up again, he set about separating lengthwise his fillet of sole, looking out wistfully from time to time at the administrative district of Shinjuku which stretched out[6] in the mist behind the bay window.[7]

He remained stubbornly perplexed, and gave evasive or irrelevant answers[8] to the precise technical[9] questions that Marie had prepared for him (she had[10] her diary open on the tablecloth next to her and ticked off the questions on her list as she went along). She[11] never received any useful information: anyone would have thought[12] he knew nothing about bees, or that beekeeping was just his cover story.

From Nue, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, 2015

[1] Once you’ve noticed that the adjective « galant » is very difficult indeed to translate with an adjective, then you should automatically start looking for a noun or a verb. To search for a noun you have to ask yourself « If he’s looking for a « déjeuner galant » what does he want to be ? Or what does he want to have ? To look for a verb you have to ask yourself « What does he want to do, » and the verb « flirt » corresponds quite precisely to what he is said to be wanting to do, implied in the expression « déjeuner galant ».
[2] A « work lunch » is anything you eat in the workplace in the middle of the day ; a « working lunch » is when you eat and have a meeting to discuss professional matters at the same time. This is different again to expressions such as «  a works outing » « the works Christmas dinner ».
[3] « Maitre d’ » is American, but acceptable.
[4] Revise injury vocabulary : His wrist was in plaster, he was using crutches, his arm was in a sling, he was wearing a neck brace. And illness vocabulary : he’s on a drip…
[5] Revise your knife vocabulary : fish knife, bread knife, carving knife, penknife, switchblade, dagger, cleaver
[6] This is a stative verb, so there can be no BE +ING, and no frequentative « would ».
[7] Now is a good time to check your window vocabulary : do you know what these are : A bay window, a bow window, a French window, a dormer window, a picture window, a stained glass window, window shopping, a launch window, a window ledge ?
[8] Someone came up with « answered anything but what he was asked », which I thought was good.
[9] It is not correct to write « precise and technical questions ».
[10] Some students are having a hard time believing you really do genuinely need to add main verbs when they are missing in the French).
[11] Many students tried « never receiving … » but the problem with this is that the implied subject is the last subject of a main verb : that is, Mr Tristani, and *not* Marie.
[12] Same point again : main verb required.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Master LEA Second homework : Windrush

Well, for the second homework on the Windrush generation, the work was really much better than for the frirst homework on the Celtic tiger. SO... thank you for that.

Language point: "according to me" is not used in English

This mistake is very common among my students. There is a wonderful explanation of "according to" on this page


Thursday, January 07, 2016

Master LEA: Gandhi

The first time Gandhi ever gave a filmed interview was apparently in 1931. Here it is:


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Thème agrégation

dernière nouvelle! Nous serons en F 505. À 9h demain matin.
Faites passer le message!

Monday, January 04, 2016

Nouvelle salle master LEA

Nous travaillerons à partir de demain dans la salle A 401.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Bonne année

En Angleterre on ne dit "Happy New Year" que le premier janvier, mais en France on a le droit jusqu'à fin janvier, mais il faut le dire qu'une fois à chaque personne (alors prenez des notes). Bonne année et plein de bons moments en 2016 à chacun et chacune.

Agrégation classes 6 Jan

9h Translation class

I will give back the scripts to those of you who were present for the mock exam (concours blanc). Those of you who were not present for the mock exam must prepare this translation (I posted the passage on this blog a couple of weeks back). We will go through the mock exam, and then we will begin working on the passage from Tahar Ben Jelloum.

I am still putting together the next booklet of passages. In any case, the next passage after Ben Jelloum will be this one :


Au travail!

11h Listening comprehension

The main point is to be listening every day to radio programmes in English. Radio is much better than TV or film, since you have to get by without the visual clues. Subtitled films are not good for you at this level...

We will be listening to extracts from BBC radio 4 programmes.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Master LEA : improving your English

Many of you have quite a lot of work to do to improve your English so as to be able to handle everyday work situations. The University of Rouen has an online platform, the "Portail des Langues" to help you. It includes a placement test and a large number of activities - listening, video, vocabulary etc.

To access the Portail, you need your multipass Rouen university login and password. Click here and then click on "Portail des Langues". Fifteen minutes every day is the best way.