Friday. The Daddy of the days of the week. The other days ain’t got nothing on Friday. Not one of them can boast such a delightful combination of anticipation and relief. Relief that the week is over. Relief that you don’t have to obey your alarm clock in the morning. Relief that you can renounce the diet for one evening of reckless abandon; cue wine and a takeaway (or two dine for £10 if you are attempting to retain an air of sophistication!) Anticipation of the endless fun to behold as the weekend stretches out ahead of you.
And so in honour of this glorious day I announce my weekly Friday Freebie. As we are in the midst of exam season, I have created a funky (Uptown Funk-y) video crammed full of those small but deadly words that make all the difference in the listening and reading exams. You know the ones. Misleading little ****ers. Eg. Je mangeais souvent des sucreries mais maintenant je n’en mange plus. Grrr!!!
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This question (usually following a concise set of instructions): ‘do you want us to do it in French, Miss?’!
Pupil: ‘How do you say ‘got’ in French, Miss?’Me: ‘Got what?’ Pupil: ‘Just got?’ Me: Please excuse me, I need to find a brick wall to bang my head against.
You write the date in French approximately 975 times a year. If only it were copied correctly the same number of times. More often you encounter a weird hybrid not unlike the following:
How seriously rich you would be if you were given a pound or even a penny for the number of times a pupil shouted out ‘the word I want isn’t in the dictionary Miss!’(Response-French words are at the front; English at the back). ‘It’s still not there Miss!’ Your eyes roll and a sigh escapes as you make your way over to point out that they are still one and a half pages away due to misspelling their word.
Every September without fail when you meet your bottom set Year8s and are greeted with ‘Miss, Miss, do you know what enculer le poulet means?’!
Hearing yourself for the hundredth time refer to the audio file as a tape. Then sensing the internal groans of the pupils as you attempt to drag yourself into the 21st century by quickly dropping the words ‘MP3’ and ‘download’ into conversation.
Google translate. Enough said.
You mourn the fact that wordreference.com wasn’t around when you did your degree.
Ditto for what’s app and face time. You actually wrote letters to stay in touch with family and friends during your year abroad!
Every non linguist’s reaction upon learning you teach a language ‘ooh, say something in French’.
The ensuing 20 minutes during which gems such as these are offered up by said non linguist as evidence that they know some French: ‘excusez-moi, où est la bibliotheque?’ and ‘un kilo de pommes de terre s’il vous plaît’!
This plea: ‘Can’t I just read it, Miss?’ (No). ‘But other teachers let them read it!’ (No). ‘Can I just write it out in full but in really small handwriting?’ (No).
When your A* pupil is smashing his CA Speaking test and you are mentally punching the air when… the bell rings/ the door opens/a fight breaks out in the corridor…
When the exam board tries way too hard to be cool, throwing in references to new technology. Anybody remember the bizarre ‘e-reader’ question circa 2012? They couldn’t say kindle because it is a brand but the word ‘e-reader’ bamboozled many a pupil (and teacher!!!)
Your face when you heard role plays were making a comeback.
Your face when you heard translations were making a comeback.
BUT…no more controlled assessments!!!
#mfltwitterati is your Church; @joedale your God.
Your obsession with catching any French film or programme on TV. Sitting back to enjoy but getting mildy p***ed off at the distracting subtitles.
Then reaching for a pen and paper as you realise you are missing an opportunity for refreshing your slang!
You say ‘school trip to Paris?’; the pupils say ‘Disneyland?’
On personal visits to France, heading straight for the sweet aisle of Carrefour and raiding all their bags of Carambar- for the pupils. Then eating all the strawberry ones before you reach the ferry terminal!
Stressing out because no matter how good you think your French is, you still struggle to comprehend the jokes inside said Carambar wrappers.
The bonus that end of term film time is totally justifiable from both a cultural and linguistic point of view.
But certain films will always raise a few eyebrows and trigger a few giggles…
Those members of staff who speak un peu de français who come up with any excuse to barge into your classroom with an unsolicited ‘Bonjour Madame, comment allez-vous?’
Your faculty meetings are the bomb. Croissants and coffees all round. And your end of term lunches are the envy of the staffroom. No sausage rolls here, thank you very much.
You are probably regarded as the extrovert and eccentric ones. Which is probably quite true.
But you are also undoubtedly the warmest, most gregarious, cultured and emotionally intelligent faculty of all.
Have I missed any classics? Please add them below.
Happy exam season! I hope you enjoyed a five minute distraction courtesy of