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Posts posted by Fi

  1. Not sure that this a solution but this is what happens:

    if I enter a search term in the box and hit the return key it sends me to the advanced search screen

    if I enter a search term and click on the search button with the mouse it does the search as requested.

    Edit:  this only works within a thread.  If I search on the advanced search page, and either click or press enter, it still searches the whole forum.

    I am not a great user of the mouse - too time-consuming - typing, then fiddling around with the mouse, then typing again.  I (nearly) always use the keyboard - I'll just have to slow down a bit I suppose ..

    Thanks for all the input

  2. Tried that.  Sends me to the advanced search screen which doesn't seem to have any selectivity (sorry, was a direct marketing database manager in a previous life -  selectivity was all!).  This is still quite annoying though. 


  3. [quote user="Russethouse"]

    Maybe manual used in this context isn't the best word ? How about 'guide'



    A good point and I will use that search criteria, but how do I select the specific forums?  When I do, it still gives me everything from everywhere.

    I've a bad feeling I am being very dense and it is blindingly obvious.  Oh dear...


  4. I must be doing something wrong.  I want to search the gite owners and b&b owners forums only for any info about information manuals.  I select those forums only in the advanced search page, only for all the forum to be searched.  With a word like manual I get a lot of diy/electrical/tv stuff which is totally irrelevant.  What am I doing wrong?

    I enter the keywords

    select selected forums (sorry fora) only

    select the relevant ones

    press search


  5. [quote user="jon"]

    I thi nk that in the poast I have given you some receipes.

    I am happy to do so again.Once again I need to reminde you that I do intigrate with people within my community and sujrrounding areas.

    Most of the people who run restos in the area are very proud an d are not interested to know better.They seem to be happy to struggle with little or no customers.Yes I could help them and would love to help them if the so wished.

    The English in the area with caterting outlets also have a mind of their own.

    Come on it is all about pride....how many people are willing to be helped?

    I have tried.

    Yes things are working rather well for me despite my problems with the terrible website....which will be changed.

    The produce here is good but people can be lazy and they think that this is unoticed.But for those who like good food they see it all.

    I am not sure that you will have the time to use my receipes as most of you  like to take the quicker route....this I understand.....however good food often takes time and effort. Thats why it costs rather more to eat in a special restaurant. We are all differenet.



    It's called resistance to change and occurs in all walks and areas of life.

    However, I think many people have issues with being patronised.  What form exactly would your "help" take? 

    Indeed we are all different, and we all have a different approach.  My days of cooking for money are past at the moment,(I was a chalet host in the Alps - similar to running a CdH but with snow I imagine) - we produced a mixture of  simple (or should that read cop-out?) dishes, and more complex offerings (loin of pork with red pepper jus for example).

    Jon, do you really believe you are the only person on this forum who has any valid comments to make about food and catering?  I admire your experience and have tried a couple of your recipes (even for just my family I still make proper stock and freeze it in useable lumps) and they were good.  But there are other points of view which are equally valid.

    Going to prepare pane de poissons avec haricot blanc, sauce tomate for lunch.  Yum.  Then going to make and freeze the boulettes de moelle, and the first part of the consomme, for a forthcoming lunch party.  It's not hooligan food all the way!


  6. [quote user="NormanH"]We won't agree, that is certain.

    I would like to ask ( or re-ask) a few specific questions

    1) I would just defend myself against the recurrent idea that I don't believe in humour in English lessons. Where did I say that (please cite)

    2) You evaded with a "Whatever" my question "If you have a lesson plan what was the objective, and how do you think

    you particular strategy of laughing at your students helped you to

    achieve it?."..Have you an answer, or  are you just avoiding admitting that it isnt a good idea.

    3) You say that I am responsible for a 'character assassination' when in my opinion all I have done is draw attention to some of the inevitable weaknesses that accompany a over-confident, but unqualified  and under aware person's foray into the specialist area of TEFL.

    Please quote examples where  I have been personal against "Fi" as opposed to analysing or deploring your own statemants.

    4) You have never explained why the word "Woolwich" would be in a lesson to "to try and instil some confidence in my two (9 & 6)."

    Have you thought about the difference between pronunciation ( problems with which in most cases in France comes about because the teacher precedes the pronunciation with a written text  so that the student is blocked by trying to interpret the interference of the written. As a simple example the word 'answer' is only difficult for a French learner if they see it and don't know that the 'w' and 'r' are silent and that the nasal sound 'an' in French isn't the same in English..If you begin by asking to them to  imitate there is rarely a problem ) and oral fluency, which in most cases would be impeded by too great an insistence on perfect pronunciation.?

    one or two links for you to consider:






    I continue to reply, not because  " I am  bovvered"..about your brash entry into the world of education simply because 'I could do with the income during the low season' but because I have had to pick up and cherish students who have suffered at the hands of amateurs.

    Just as an aside.

    Is your comment "Past historic anyone?" supposed to be an example of  your 'humour'?

    1) It is called the Passé Simple in France

    2) It is frequently employed, not only in literature, but in the daily Press,  and even in the speeches of better educated politicians such  as Bayrou so where does your 'ha ha' tone come from?

    The whole point of this post is to elicit specific answers and to correct misimpressions.



    I'm sorry, I have no time to deal with all your questions.  Most of them could be answered with more careful reading of my posts, and accepting that maybe you have misconstrued my meaning once or twice.

    However, I do not understand why you are so against my finding employment which fits in with my other commitments - or are you anti working mothers?    I have 3 small children, who, from September will all be in full-time education.  I will then be in a position to do something outside the home - is that really so bad?  I have several friends who work as teaching assistants because of their family commitments.  This is exactly the same thing!  Most people work to earn money - what is the problem there? 

    I have never once said that I would take the p**s out of my students.  I said "My comment about www not vvv was supposed to be lighthearted  It can be quite entertaining to get a French person to try and pronounce Woolwich. "

    You said   "Where is the humour in laughing at the attempts of your students? The main joke is your belief  that you can teach out of ignorance, and display contempt at their efforts. That is a real laugh." 

    As many others have posted, gentle teasing and getting slightly tongue-tied are part and parcel of learning a foreign language.   This is the fun bit (or at least it was for me when learning French, German and Dutch!).  I think you take me too literally - it's called irony in English!

    When did I say "woolwich" and teaching my two children in the same sentence?  The woolwich comment was a piece of throwaway humour which you have blown out of all proportion and used as the basis for personal attacks on me. 

    Don't know what the others think, but to refer to a person you have never met as ignorant, contemptuous and brash, based on a few lines in a forum - is a personal insult. 

    I was taught that the passe simple (translated as past historic at my school - maybe all those teachers were wrong) is only ever used in the written form and is viewed as slightly archaic nowadays.  Perhaps a proper French person could clear up this point?  Please!

    Am going to ignore comments at haha tone and other snipes - anyone would think you were the greatest fan of France and the French - not demonstrated in many of your other posts - which I usually read with relish - however I have never seen such a persistent level of attack on another person - what is is that I have done to upset you so much? 

    I have spoken to my friends, family and neighbours about the possibility of some language teaching (as a classroom assistant to initially, cf my conversation with Frenchie)  and, bearing in mind these are people who actually know me on the basis of a bit more than a few posts on a forum, think it would work and I do have something to offer.  We have all suffered at the hands of terrible teachers (mine was mathematics - an academic genius with the communication skills and charisma of a peanut - failed maths O level three times as a result!).

    Thank you for comments and links about pronuciation - I will read them properly when it is a little quieter and I can concentrate properly.

    I have things to do.  This is all getting rather repetitive now.  I do not see why I need to keep defending myself - you have completely misconstrued many of my points, and twisted  and spun the others in order to make your unfair and hectoring comments. 

    I will continue to watch this thread because, apart from one exception, most posts have been constructive - I have no problem with criticism if it is well-founded - I am not conceited enough to think I know everything about everything.


  7. [quote user="Frenchie"]

    I am a teacher in a high school, we 've already had adult language assistants , what you have to do is  mainly  organize conversation groups, the teacher will give you hints , so you can prepare .

    Best of luck .

    I'd like to go back to Uni to prepare l'agrégation , my job would not change, just the number of hours/week, and the salary .

    I love studying, it would be a challenge. But I don't know if I can do it now, it requires total investment..


    I need to do something for me (from September youngest boy who is autistic starts in a CLIS TED class) so I will finally, after goodness knows how long, have some time to do something for myself.  Not on any major scale, but I should be able to spare a few hours a week.  And I like young adults (teenagers?  not sure of the correct terminology) - they interest me, so this would seem a good route for me to follow.  (I await howls of horror from some quarters[:)])


  8. [quote user="Scooby"]

    I think the comparison of work attitudes (i.e. the bridge days) is out of date Quillan.  Many employers in the UK now offer flexible working, i.e. part-time, compressed hours, the opportunity to buy additional holiday, take unpaid leave or sabbaticals.  The uptake of all these is very high.  The problem has been that, previously, employees in the UK did not have these choices and they had limited power to force changes in working practices.  IMHO France goes too far the other way.


    We were quite shocked when we moved from the UK to the Netherlands - in the UK we had homeworking, flexible working etc etc - we were trusted to do the job without constant supervision.  We were probably more productive in those circumstances than sitting in an office, doing the dreaded office politics, and having to sidestep "Eastenders" conversations.  In the Netherlands there is none of this - employers don't think you are working unless they can see you.  The situation seems to be the same in France.  The only way to get the flexibility we would like would be to work freelance or on short-term contracts - sadly not many of those jobs about in the current climate.

    Going back to local bars/restaurants, in our village, the baker has a cafe attached - it is only open in the summer though.  The karting operation (5 minutes away) has a resto rapide (aka chips with your frites m'sieur?) but 10 km away in Gerardmer there is everything from stuffy fine dining, to brasseries, to pizza and kebabs.  And they are open year round (other than the traditional fermeture annuelle), but, this is a year round tourist destination because of the wintersports, which makes a huge difference.

  9. [quote user="Frenchie"]

    Fi, are you really going to teach ot be what we call " a language assistant ? "

    Students really like having natives in the class , it is " exotic " [:)]


    Never been called exotic before!  [:)] 

    Initially at least as an assistante rather full on teaching per se.  However, I do intend to get myself qualified to teach ESL properly, then I may extend into small groups/individuals either at my home or theirs.  It's been a long time since I did any academic study - I'm quite looking forward to it - see if my brain still functions in any useful way.


  10. I think I have finally arrived on the forum [:D][:D]

    I have undergone the rite of passage of a wholesale character assassination by NormanH on two threads in the last three days. (Thought there were rules about this kind of thing on the forum -

    maybe some people consider themselves above the normal rules of

    civilised behaviour?) Fortunately I am old enough, confident enough and dare I say ugly enough to find these rantings mildly amusing.  In the words of Catherine Tate "am I bovvered?".

    Many thanks to Cathy for those kind words - I shall do some research into ESL courses - I think some formal training would be useful.

    Hope everyone has a fantastic Sunday - I'm going to finish off my gravel garden. (And sheep-proof the terrace).


  11. Was his surname Cuny?  There is a huge scierie with that name in Gerardmer. By the way you are my second friend who had a boyfriend from Gerardmer (she gave him a terrible time poor boy, and she can't remember his name either!) - what is about les Geromois?

    Congratulations on the birth of Cara (what a lovely name) - I am sure she is very beautiful.

    Have a great weekend.


  12. Thanks for the thoughts.  "oral confidence" is a good way to describe what we had discussed. 

    I am paying a neighbouring student 10 euros an hour (5 hours/week) during the holidays to try and instil some confidence in my two (9 & 6).  It's all in their heads, but they don't speak - we (me, teachers etc) feel at something of an impasse, so this girl is going to do a mixture of fun stuff (playing with the horses, roaming around the countryside) mixed with some more formal language teaching - hopefully this will give them push they need. 

    I don't imagine I would charge more than that - I would feel a bit of a fraud anyway!

    Now if one or two of the local ladies fancied brushing up their English, I would gladly do it for free if someone did the ironing for me (one of my greatest hates after rhubarb)!

    Have a great weekend.  Don't know what it's like in the Jura, but here in the Vosges it's a bit grey at the moment - but it's stunning even  when it's grey and the cloud descends so who cares!


  13. [quote user="NormanH"]So instead of thanking me for drawing attention to a potentially useful thread, you go to the personal.

    I neither know you nor want to, but am very happy to contribute to threads about Books Films songs etc. which help people to consolidate their French.

    Have you done this?


    The feeling is entirely mutual. 

    No, I haven't contributed to "culture" threads (I do to many others though) because that is something sadly lacking in my life, hence my post.  (The thread you quoted was more than 2 years old  - I do search, but stop looking after a year or so - mea culpa). 

  14. [quote user="NormanH"]"I believe there is a place for humour when learning a foreign

    language.  This poster obviously believes that there is no place for

    humour - that is his opinion.  He is entitled to it. "

    Of course there is a place for humour. I never said there wasn't .

    But at whose expense?

    Obviously you think that introducing a phrase into the lesson that you as a native speaker can pronounce, then listening to the failed efforts of your students is 'fun' ..

    Fun is not humour.

    If you have a lesson plan what was the objective, and how do you think you particular strategy of laughing at your students helped you to achieve it?.


    Whatever .........

  15. [quote user="bixy"]Hello Fi,

    My advice to you is - go for it. I teach an hour a week to someone who has become a friend through this teaching. I was a professional EFL teacher for many years and have every qualification up to Masters. Nevertheless I still plan every lesson and have come to the conclusion that the most useful qualification for teaching EFL to a French person is the ability to speak French! If you are going to give conversation lessons you will have to ensure that your students are already at a sufficient level to converse with you. Even if they are, you will find that you will probably run out of conversation after about five minutes. The point is that lessons need structure and need to be timed. My experience as a teacher trainer is that trainees think they have planned about an hour's length of material but find that it lasts about ten minutes. You will also need a good grounding in grammar. Last point, if you are being paid students will expect quality lessons.

    Hope this is not too negative - just wanted to point out some of the realities. I wish you luck.



    Not at all negative - thank you for the input.  I am in the fortunate position of having several teachers in the family (English, Latin etc) who brains will be picked thoroughly about lesson planning.  By the way I can speak pretty good French - this was one reason why my neighbour suggested I think about doing this in the first place because I would be in a position to explain if things got too convoluted.  I might even throw some humour in [;-)], in the kindest way possible of course. 


  16. [quote user="NormanH"][quote user="Fi"]It's been a long time (college in fact) since I read anything more than a newspaper, magazine or cookery book in French.  And the last book(s) were typical college fodder - Camus, Montesquieu, Moliere, Flaubert, Simone Weil etc etc.

    Can anyone recommend anything more modern to get me going again?  Nothing too deep and meaningful, or convoluted language-wise - I really don't have the same powers of concentration I had 20 years ago - and most of my reading is done either in bed or the bath (the only time I get any peace!).

    I quite like crime novels (nothing to gory) - PD James/Reginald Hill etc

    OK with historical stuff as long there aren't any long drawn out descriptions of battles/strategy

    Novels per se are good for me too

     I have read some French stuff in translation recently - for example Irene Nemirovsky - which was rather lazy but never mind.

    Any recommendations gratefully received.   Would it be worth talking the staff in the local mediatheque or would I just annoy them?



    There is already a thread on this at


    but of course to find that you would have to take the trouble to use the search facility.


    You don't like me much do you?  Not that you are in any position to judge .....

  17. [quote user="woolybanana"]Good vocabulary items for advanced students though, but you try to get across 'ignorant' in the sense of  lowlife.[/quote]

    You could explain in stages

    * ignorant - unaware

    *unaware - no sense, no empathy, existing purely for own needs

    in this sense slugs are unaware, as are woodlice and wasps

    All fairly low......


  18. [quote user="NormanH"][quote user="Fi"][quote user="NormanH"]My comment about www not vvv was supposed to be lighthearted[:D]  It

    can be quite entertaining to get a French person to try and pronounce


    You will obviously make an excellent teacher of French people based on that attitude.


    Goodness, sense of humour bypass?  I give up.  I'm out of here ............. going to bait some French people!


    Where is the humour in laughing at the attempts of your students?

    The main joke is your belief  that you can teach out of ignorance, and display contempt at their efforts.

    That is a real laugh.


    I am going to treat this reply with the disdain it deserves.  

    I believe there is a place for humour when learning a foreign language.  This poster obviously believes that there is no place for humour - that is his opinion.  He is entitled to it.    However I object to being referred to as


    "contemptuous" (the adjective from contempt just to clear up any misunderstanding).

    I do not believe there is any place for personal abuse on a forum such as this.  Perhaps this poster should read all the thread properly, from my original post onwards, before making thoughtless and unfounded comments.


  19. [quote user="Benjamin"]A friend who owns a camp site was asked if he minded a mobile home renter playing the accordion for an hour in a morning from about 10 am.

    The whole camp site stopped for that hour. It was magical.


    At least it isn't the bagpipes ...

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