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Ce blog est à destination de tous les élèves qui souhaitent enrichir leur connaissance de la langue anglaise. Chaque jour, des cours nouveaux expliqués... (cliquez sur le drapeau de votre choix pour lire la suite dans la langue voulue)
December 2 2010 5 02 /12 /December /2010 17:59



today we first warmed up with a topical issue: AIDS. I was surprised that many of you didn't know that yesterday was World Aids Day... Here is what we said about the topic:


Yesterday was Dec. 1st. It was world AIDS day. Many people didn't know about it because there was not a lot of information.
The charity and the government should make more propaganda / awareness campaigns because the virus (HIV) is still active. You can get AIDS if you have sexual intercourse with an infected person; and drug-addicts can get AIDS exchanging needles. You can't get AIDS if you French kiss someone, there in not enough HIV in saliva to get infected.

Additional vocabulary:
- public health

- health concerns
- to be sick -> sickness
- ill -> illness
- disease / a virus.  


Then we continued speaking about Dancer in the Dark and analysing the different scenes from the movie.





Here is what we said:

- a pun on words -> Gene's name is a pun on words because he has the genetic disease of his mother. He is going to be blind like his mum unless he gets an operation.

- (to) call for back-ups

- syn. "afraid":
scared to death

- lost / puzzled

- (to) pull the trigger

- goddamn -> an adjective you can use before a noun when you are angry.



HW: get ready to re-enact some parts of the scenes we have watched so far. You'll record yourself and practise on pronunciation.

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November 26 2010 6 26 /11 /November /2010 14:01



today we first gossiped a little about Tony Parker and Eva Longoria's divorce with Aurélie, the "gossip queen" who says she never ever talks about people..., and our two gossip girl and gossip boy (Quentin and Ambre)...  Here is what we said:

How to express betrayal

"How could you do this to me?" she said / screamed / yelled / barked in a sad tone.

She must have felt so much betrayed when she learned that her boyfriend was seeing another girl / having an affair / cheating on her.


Then we continued the lesson with the study of a scene from the movie Dancer in the Dark by Lars Von Trier, featuring the singer Björk. You can watch the two extracts below: 


Extract #1


Here is what we said about it:

This scene deals with Selma who goes to Bill's home to get her money back. She explains the reasons why she needs the money. She wants to pay the doctor in the afternoon so that Gene, her son, can have surgery / undergo an operation. She doesn't want him to have the same disease. She's blind and it's a genetic problem. 


Extract #2


Here is what we said about it:

How to express consequence and goal:

* Selma has decided to pay the doctor in the afternoon, that's why she can't wait until the end of the month to get her money back.

* She has recently been fired from her job that's why she can't save up more money.
* She's blind and it would take her too much time that's why she decides not to count the money.

According to her, at the beginning of the scene, Bill doesn't intend to shoot her because he is a good friend. But he shouts in order to alert his wife and so as to scare Selma. He is lying in order not to give the money back and so as to pass for the victim.


HW: for next time, you need to learn the lesson and be prepared to talk about the two extracts.

Files: Download the worksheet that we have worked on here.

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November 25 2010 5 25 /11 /November /2010 17:26



today you had to correct your dialogues and we worked on Ambre's corrected version to have an example of something positive to get inspiration from.

You can download a copy of the correction here:



See you tomorrow!

Mr Hattais.

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November 19 2010 6 19 /11 /November /2010 10:33



today you took your final test about stereotypes. Here reads the assignment:

"You are discussing with a friend about going to London. But you quickly understands that he/she doesn't want to go with you. He/She has a lot a preconceived ideas about the British." Write the scene and conversation. (200 words)


Hope you were able to express interesting ideas and that you won't have made a lot of mistakes... at least not the same mistakes you did for your training exam.


Take care,

Mr Hattais.

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November 18 2010 5 18 /11 /November /2010 18:26



today you worked on the correction of your dialogues. I hope that you will have understood how to improve it and make it perfect.

Here is the correction (adapted from Claire's paper which was outstanding):



See you tomorrow for your final test about the sequence "Stereotypes".

Take care,

Mr Hattais.

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November 12 2010 6 12 /11 /November /2010 13:57



today we first warmed up with a topical issue. Here is what we said about the recent event in London:


David Cameron has decided to stop funding British universities. Consequently, students have demonstrated against his measure. They protested yesterday in the streets of London. They were violent.
They smashed / destroyed shop windows. It's a topical / burning issue in the news.
David Cameron is the Prime Minister, from the Tory party (conservatives).
Education is getting more expensive (less cheap).


You can watch a video from the Reuters website, a British news agency, down here:



Then we continued speaking about the document entitled "Disunited Kingdom" and we tried to understand if there was a difference between what we said about the Royals and what they really felt. Here is what we said:


The Royals:
Most people dislike the grandeur and the ceremony effect. They like it better when the Queen smiles. But generally they're turned off by the Royals / pageantry.
However lots of people have personal affection for the Royals even if they reproach things to the Queen. For example, one of the guinea pigs says he's angry because they were not elected; it's not a republic, but a kingdom.


(to) be impressed

I don't care about them


Watch the video here again:


HW: learn you lesson and vocabulary. Your test will take place on Friday, Nov. 19th.

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November 5 2010 6 05 /11 /November /2010 14:43



today we first worked again on understanding the end of the text and on seeing how attitudes were very important. Here is what we said about the text:


The tone of the text is funny / ironic / sarcastic. The author makes fun of French stereotypes. People in France are said to speak English very poorly and he confirms it. They are believed not to be efficient / constructive at work and he confirms it too.


Then we continued the class with a video. You can watch it again below:




Here is what we said about the document (presentation, analysis, meaning):


The document is a news report from Skynews, a British channel. The anchorman presents the topic. It's about an experiment to see if / whether British people are patriotic (or not)
The experiment consists in reading people's brains and see if /  whether they like or dislike pictures symbolizing Britain today / Britain's cultural diversity.

Additional voc:
- shrimp http://weldbham.com/stayhungry/files/2010/08/Shrimp.jpg



HW: re-write the sentences from the text that are mispronounced into correct English + identify the main phonetic problems of French people when they speak English.

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November 4 2010 5 04 /11 /November /2010 18:58



today we first warmed up with what you did during the holidays. Here are some adjectives that could qualify Quentin's Halloween party:


It was lame / boring /  crappy **


Then we continued speaking about the text from A Year in the Merde and we particularly analysed how the feelings and attitudes of the characters were expressed. Here is what we said:


Verbes de discours riches (au prétérit):

l-4 suggested
l-11 ventured
l-17 explained
l-38 retorted
l-46 confirmed

Manière d'agir:
L-8 frowned / laughed / turned to... for help (... for support)
L-27 smile
L-27 nodded
l-26 was not looking keen
l-44 was playing interpreter
l-25 were peering at me...
l-49 appealed to...
l-18 T felt as if I...
he put on a eureka smile


Autres compléments de manière: 3 possibilités de les exprimer!

- clearly

- in a desperate tone
- in a dishearted voice

- in a flat voice

- with a grin



HW: for tomorrow, you need to finish filling in the column "Manière d'agir". Don't forget the dialogue that you have to write for tomorrow.

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October 22 2010 6 22 /10 /October /2010 13:59



Correction of the exercise:  as if / as though

1. French people are believed to speak English very poorly, as if they never learnt foreign languages.

2. Americans are thought to be fat and lazy, as though it were (prétérit modal) the case for all of them.

3. Canadians are said to be peaceful and close to nature, as if they were all hippies living in the forest.


today we continued talking about the text I gave you yesterday. We analysed the characters and their levels of English and we answered all the wh- questions. Here is what we wrote in the copybooks:

  • Who ? the characters:

- Paul West= consultant. English: mother tongue. He gives ideas and advices.
- Jean-Marie: the boss of the French company. He is better than his employees. He explains to Paul what his employees say. He is the interpreter.
- Stephanie / Marc / Bernard } Jean-Marie's employees.
Level of English: they have a redneck accent, they talk English and French at the same time, they make a lot of mistakes, they hesitate a lot
and they use very short and easy sentences.

  • Where?

The scene takes place in Paris (in a Paris office).

  • When?

It might take place in the morning since it's a meeting.

  • What?

They are discussing over the new name for a chain of British tearooms. They don't agree with the different names.

  • Why?

On the one hand, the French employees think Paul's suggestion is flat. It's not a funny name. There is no humour.
On the other hand, they've already chosen a name.



- Learn your lesson and new vocabulary (test)
- Highlight the verbs of speech in the text or add some verbs of speech where they are missing to express the characters' feelings / points of view.
- Write a dialogue: "you are in Canada and you see a group of teenagers who is making fun of a lumberjack". Write the story and dialogue (200-250 words).


Files: you can download the dialogue sheet again here.

More information about the book A Year in the Merde here.

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October 21 2010 5 21 /10 /October /2010 18:25



today we first warmed up with the pension reform. Here is what we said about it:


Students and workers are protesting / demonstrating / striking because of the pension reform. With the new bill / law, people must work until 62 and they cannot retire before. If they want to have a full pension, they must work until 67.

demonstration / protest / strike
retirement (la retraite) / pension (l'argent que l'on touche à la retraite)


Then we continued the lesson about stereotypes after you filled in a vocabulary test that I have decided not to grade since it was really poor... you'll take another one very soon.


Here is what we said about the video:

  • Confirmed stereotypical ideas:

- the best hockey players
- not to like Americans
- they want to be different from Americans

  • Denied preconceived idea:

Canadians are said to have a redneck accent but it's not true. For example, they pronounce "about" correctly; not [abu:t]


Finally, we began to study the picture illustrating the text that we are going to talk about. Here is what we said about it:


French people are said to smoke as if everybody in France smoked. But it's not true.
French people are believed to wear a beret as though everybody wore a beret. But that's not the case for everyone. 



HW: you need to complete the as if / as though exercise. You can download it here again.


Files: Download a copy of the text here.

More activities: you can try to find out what French stereotype you correspond to. Click here and have fun! And get back to me with the result (post a comment to do so).


Here is the result for MY test...



I AM THE TEMPERAMENTAL CHEF! Which French Stereotype Are You?

You have a tidy white uniform with a red scarf and a silly white hat. When you are in a good mood, you kiss your fingers with a flourish. When you are in a bad mood, you chase ungrateful customers with a meat cleaver.

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