Welcome to the French Residential newsletter, with language tips, news from
the school and some of what's happening in Gourdon... Enjoy your read!
Reading tip: For free e-books try vousnousils. There you'll find 150 French literature classics and books translated into
French. As this site is a resource for French school teachers, the books are ranked according to French school level.
If you are not a confident French reader, you might look to start with books appropriate for école
primaire level readers, for example.
News from the school...
Things are already in full swing here at French Residential, with our first course of the year taking place in early March.
We have introduced some changes
based on your suggestions. These include 'real-life' roleplays, where we rehearse a set of tasks in
class and then go out to visit the shop keepers and locals so that you can practise on real French people! We're happy to
say that the Gourdonnais have been very gamely playing along and we will be making this a
permanant part of our residential courses.
Also starting this year, each course student will be presented with a certificate at the end of the week, stating their
French language level. The awarded grade is in accordance with the CERFL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) criteria and will be given as an overall
appreciation of each student's ability, as assessed by two tutors.
As well as the certificate, our 'going away' pack also includes a group photo, so everyone can preserve those precious
Listening tip: If you are looking for more of a listening challenge, we recommend watching
French documentaries on YouTube. In the video's settings it is possible to slow down the
audio and also turn on automatically generated subtitles. It's also a good way of
learning about something new! We recommend Secrets d'Histoire as a good start.
What's new in Gourdon...
« Il était une fois... » ("Once upon a time...") is an exhibition of 'before' photos to be
displayed in Gourdon's Jardins de la Butte from the end of this month. The initiative of a group
of local residents, these formerly abandonned spaces in the medieval quarter have, since 2012, been transformed into a
series of themed gardens.
A series of 16 photos, strategically placed around the gardens, shows just what a dramatic transformation these spaces have
undergone. The garden volunteers hope that the exhibition will encourage others to come and help, in these free to visit
public gardens. So why not lend a hand when you come to Gourdon? It's a great way to meet the locals and to practise your
Find out more on the association's website
Writing tip: Improve your French vocabulary by putting the French names of objects in your
home or office on post-it notes, then stick them to the objects themselves. Don't forget the
le or la (noun articles), as these are best learned at the
same time. Why not use two different colours of post-it: one for masculine and one for feminine? Don't stop
labelling until you can name every last object with ease!
Speaking tip: Set yourself a 'real-life roleplay', like those we do on our courses.
Choose a hotel, restaurant or museum and read up to see what's on offer. Then think up three or four questions,
(avoiding 'yes or no' type) and practise out loud. Once you have the hang of it, call the place and ask
away! Do repeat the questions if you don't understand the answer first time, but don't speak