La bise 101

 

Most people know or have heard of “la bise” as a French form of greeting. But what is “la bise” exactly and most importantly, how does it work? If you are one of the many people left discombobulated by the mysterious Gallic custom, read ahead!

First things first, who on earth came up with such a silly idea?

Well, apparently, it is all the Romans’ fault as they would be the ones who started this curious business! They used to have three different types of kisses: the romantic kiss (saevium), the religious or friendly kiss (osculum) and finally the greeting kiss (basium – word at the origin of the French word “bise”) which they would use in a very similar manner the French do today.

And though kissing was actually banned in France during the Plague for obvious health and safety reasons, the “bise” resurfaced during WW1 to never leave again!

These days, “faire la bise” is pretty much a social convention.

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Le retour des bons points !!!

Ah les bons points, que de bons souvenirs….

C’était le siècle dernier (eh oui, cela ne nous rajeunit pas), mais comme je les attendais avec impatience ces bons points quand j’étais à  l’école primaire. Même s’il est vrai que je passais plus de temps sous le bureau de la maîtresse qu’à trier ma collection de points, je me souviens encore du bonheur procuré par ces petites images sans prétention ! Une simple vache dans un pré ou un chaton coquin, aucun texte, mais la fierté de l’obtenir n’avait aucun équivalent!

Et je me rends compte en enseignant le français à des élèves de l’école primaire, que la carotte, mes amis, ça fonctionne toujours! J’aime pouvoir récompenser et encourager mes élèves et surtout je préfère célébrer les réussites plutôt que de sanctionner les erreurs. Et le côté ludique des bons points me semble convenir parfaitement à l’âge des apprenants.

Et plutôt que d’essayer de trouver un fournisseur local (eh oui, je suis en Australie!!), j’ai découvert qu’il était possible de tout simplement créer ses propres bons points. Tout ce dont vous avez besoin est d’un ordinateur, d’Internet, de Word, d’une imprimante et si possible d’une plastifieuse!

Et pour vous faciliter encore plus la tâche, il y a de nombreux modèles prêts à l’emploi en ligne.

Vous trouverez ci-dessous mes préférés: Continue reading

Discover Paristique!

paristique

Paristique’s beautiful watercolour interactive map

If you are planning a trip to Paris or just want to learn more about the City of Lights’ history, head to the very cool website called Paristique!

Paristique is an interactive online map where each dot represents an urban element: a street, a square, a boulevard or a parvis (6,840 places in total).
If you want to learn about the origin of a place’s name, all you have to do is click on it and a box explaining the origin and history of that place will open.

Note: the site is exclusively in French!

Paristique Map example

An example of a street description on Paristique

Guillaume Derolez, a Google engineer and creator of Paristique, carried out an impressive amount of research about Parisian streets on the no less impressive City of Paris’ Open Data website.

The result is pretty impressive with its gorgeous watercolour map, colour-coded points of interest (white for streets, yellow for squares, pedestrian streets in blue).

So if you have some time to check it out, do not hesitate! A good way to practise your reading skills in French!

 

Source: outilstice.com; paristique.fr; 20minutes;fr;

A Great Definition of “Bullying” (Not mine!)

 

High school students being bullied.

Last Saturday, I was at some friends’ celebrating the end of rugby season (or rather trying to make it last a little bit longer!) with my husband and two boys. We are not talking adult rugby but Under 9 , so the driveway looked a bit like a school playground gone completely mad with around 15 tough kids running wild!
At one point, I went looking for my 8-year-old as he was nowhere to be seen, and found him, upset, hiding behind the house. He told me that one of the other boys had “bullied” him. I never got the full story but from what I understand, the said boy probably said something mean and carried on playing.

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You can sit with me

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There is one topic I have always been passionate about, as a teacher, a mother and a writer, and this topic is bullying.

I loathe bullying and my heart sinks every time I hear of bullying stories driving beautiful young souls to despair. I believe that no child should feel alone, insecure or threatened.

So when I see a campaign or an initiative which goal is to help eradicate this sneaky from of violence, I need to share it with the world! And I cross fingers people will get on board and help fight this worldwide epidemic.

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11 useful websites to learn/teach French!

 

Learn French

Whether you are learning French or teaching the “langue de Molière”, you probably have found yourself in the situation of trying to find some cool and useful websites to assist you with your French.
And if you indeed have, then you probably know how frustrating this process can be!! So many places to look, so little time, right?

So in order to save you some precious time, I have put together a list of some of my favourite sites, for all levels.

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Micro-vendez vos ouvrages numériques avec 7switch!

Vous pouvez désormais vendre vos livres numériques grâce à la platforme 7switch en intégrant un widget sur un réseau social, un blog ou un site Internet.

https://www.7switch.com

Le processus est simple: vous devez vous inscrire sur 7switch et créer un compte (très rapide : soit avec email, compte Facebook ou Google+).
Si votre livre est listé dans le catalogue d’Immatériel, il vous suffit de le sélectionner dans l’onglet “Library”, cliquer sur “Sell” et partagez le lien grâce aux boutons intégrés.
Vous pouvez également cliquer sur “Configure Widget” afin d’obtenir le code intégré que vous pourrez ensuite incorporer en HTML sur votre site Internet ou blog.

Pour chaque ouvrage vendu, vous touchez 15% de la vente réalisée via le lien partagé ou le widget intégré (variable en fonction des ventes – voir le site 7switch pour de plus amples détails).

Un exemple (mais qui a donc bien pu écrire cet excellent livre)?

http://www.leforum.com.au/contents/en-us/p5358_french.html

Alors qu’attendez-vous ?