Language Fellows Blog

           There are two ways to go from A to B (and vice versa) : A being where you are today and B being where you want to be regarding your level of acceptance in a different community. Either you get there taking the way through the cultural barriers or you take the time to find another way that looks more promising and enjoyable.

           If you feel that no matter what, you need to go the hard way and face those one day or another, I would say go ahead, you are correct ! But do not undertake the journey on your own. Breaking barriers is an impossible task. When facing them, you can only do your share in a concerted attempt to set them aside. You need to co-operate to find common ground between the two. It may start with learning the language and being exposed to B’s culture, but you can only claim acceptance when superiority and inferiority comparisons are completely eliminated. 

            At Language Fellows, we want to be part of your journey. We believe, you will enjoy it and we guarantee that you will be able to communicate and have meaningful conversations. By joining our learning community, you take a step towards eliminating prejudice by experiencing different cultures.schema

          Our  Spanish and French communities are open to all, but some features are only available to active students. The purpose of the community is dual. On the one hand, it is a forum to share with other people about your linguistic and cultural experiences and on the other one, it is a blog where meaningful information, articles, and links are posted.

What is 5 de Mayo ?

you're invited

What is 5 de Mayo?

Historically 5 de Mayo 1862 is the day that Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the French Army in Puebla. It is commonly mistaken with the Mexican Independence day that is celebrated on September 16.
In fact, Cinco de Mayo has a very limited historical importance. Nevertheless, it became a very popular celebration of the Mexican Community living in the USA, to honor their proud spirit and ability to overcome incommensurable difficulties. “Si se puede !”.
It is also a perfect excuse to share Mexican dishes like antojitos and drink a “cerveza” or a “margarita”.

La galette des rois, tradition bien française !

La galette des rois, tradition bien française et si sympathique ! 

En France, la galette des rois, c’est incontournable.

C’était au début une fête païenne, puis elle est devenue une fête religieuse.

Aujourd’hui c’est une coutume.

Elle se mange à l’épiphanie, le 6 janvier.

La galette des rois est garnie de frangipane et cache dans son coeur une fève. Qui la trouve, devient Roi ou Reine.

“Toi, le plus petit de la famille, glisse-toi sous la table et désigne à qui je donne cette part, puis cette autre. “

“J’ai la fève ! C’est moi la reine,  je choisis mon roi ! “

“Vive la reine, vive le roi”.

“A-t-on gardé une part pour le pauvre dans la rue ?”   

 

Et maintenant, chantons tous ensemble :

 

 

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Bonne et heureuse année !

Language Fellows vous souhaite une belle et heureuse année de découverte, d’apprentissage, d’échanges, de passions.

Language Fellows wishes you a beautiful and happy year of discovery, learning, exchanges, passions.

 

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The french christmas log (recipe and origine)

The french Christmas Log

its origin :

Formerly the christmas log was a very large piece of wood that had to burn for a long time. It was sometimes offered as a gift for heating. It was also tax to pay. The evolution of heating systems has eliminated the tradition which has turned into a pastry to be enjoyed at Christmas time.

Traditional recipe : 

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 4 people):
– 6 eggs
– 150 g caster sugar
– 150 g flour
– 11 g of Alsatian yeast
– 250 g chocolate
– 200 g butter
Preparation of the recipe :
Separate the whites from the yolks.
Whisk egg yolks with sugar and 3 tablespoons warm water to make foam.
Add, little by little, the flour and the yeast.
Place the egg whites in snow and gently incorporate them into the previous mixture.
Preheat oven to 180 ° C (thermostat 6).
Roll out the dough in a long, flat pan (pan type) covered with a 1 cm thick cooking paper.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, the biscuit must be lightly browned.

When leaving the oven, place on the biscuit a clean damp cloth and then unmold it and roll. Let cool.

 

Break the chocolate, and melt it in a bain-marie.

When melted, add soft butter and mix.

Unroll the cake and spread out 2/3 of the chocolate. Then roll the biscuit again on itself.

Cover the biscuit with the remaining chocolate and then, using a fork, stir the top.

Take to the refrigerator.

Do not forget to decorate your log like this for example :

Bon appétit  et joyeux Noël à tous !

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Are you an old dog ?

Are you an old dog?

The old saying you cannot teach an old dog new tricks is true… for dogs… not for people. Research demonstrates that a person’s intelligence does not diminish with age. In fact, individuals tend to acquire higher levels of understanding because of their life experiences and the accumulated knowledge and wisdom that comes with it. Sometimes, however, they lack confidence and are insecure about their ability to learn.

The point of “The benefits of failing at French” article published in the New York Times is that learning a new language makes you a sharper person regardless of your age.   OK, you cannot expect to speak like a native, but even kids ages 7 and over can not either. What you can expect is “like drinking from a mental fountain of youth,” says William Alexander; author of the book: “Flirting With French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke My Heart.”

At language Fellows, our language and cultural instructors believe that anybody can learn a new language. We want to encourage you to do so by joining one of our programs designed to keep you motivated along the way.

 

Clik here to leave a comment on our forum.

 

The Benefits of Failing at French

 Jason Logan
By WILLIAM ALEXANDER

I USED to joke that I spoke French like a 3-year-old. Until I met a French 3-year-old and couldn’t hold up my end of the conversation. This was after a year of intense study, including at least two hours a day with Rosetta Stone, Fluenz and other self-instruction software, Meetup groups, an intensive weekend class and a steady diet of French movies, television and radio, followed by what I’d hoped would be the coup de grâce: two weeks of immersion at one of the top language schools in France.

“French resistance” took on an entirely new meaning as my brain repelled every strategy I employed. Yet my failure was in fact quite unremarkable. Advertising claims notwithstanding, few adults who tackle a foreign language achieve anything resembling proficiency. In the end, though, it turns out that spending a year not learning French may have been the best thing I could’ve done for my 57-year-old brain.

In the last few years, unable to hold a list of just four grocery items in my head, I’d begun to fret a bit over my literal state of mind. So to reassure myself that nothing was amiss, just before tackling French I took a cognitive assessment called CNS Vital Signs, recommended by a psychologist friend. The results were anything but reassuring: I scored below average for my age group in nearly all of the categories, notably landing in the bottom 10th percentile on the composite memory test and in the lowest 5 percent on the visual memory test.

This, obviously, did not bode well for my nascent language project, but I forged ahead. To be sure, learning a foreign language is a daunting task for any adult. How can something that a toddler accomplishes before learning to tie his shoes be so difficult for grown-ups?

Psycholinguists are divided on the answer, but they agree on several points. For starters, a 2-year-old’s brain has a substantial neurological advantage, with 50 percent more synapses — the connections between neurons — than an adult brain, way more than it needs. This excess, which is an insurance policy against early trauma, is also crucial to childhood language acquisition, as is the plasticity, or adaptability, of the young brain.

Once the “critical period” — the roughly six years of life during which the brain is wired for learning language — is over, the ability to acquire a first language is lost, as your brain frees up room for the other skills you’ll need as you mature, such as the ability to kill a wild boar, or learn math, or operate your iPad.

Another advantage a toddler holds is his very lack of experience. After speaking our native language for decades, we adults can’t help but hear the second language through the filter of the first. And this filter doesn’t take decades to develop. Researchers have found that newborn Japanese babies can distinguish between the English “L” and “R” sounds, but if not exposed to Western languages, they begin to lose that ability — not by the age of 6 or even 3 — but by eight months.

Adult language learners are, to borrow a phrase used by some psycholinguists, too smart for our own good. We process too much data at once, try to get everything right from the get-go and are self-conscious about our efforts. But toddlers instinctively grasp what’s important and are quite content to say, “Tommy hitted me,” as long as Tommy gets what’s coming to him.

All this means that we adults have to work our brains hard to learn a second language. But that may be all the more reason to try, for my failed French quest yielded an unexpected benefit. After a year of struggling with the language, I retook the cognitive assessment, and the results shocked me. My scores had skyrocketed, placing me above average in seven of 10 categories, and average in the other three. My verbal memory score leapt from the bottom half to the 88th — the 88th! — percentile and my visual memory test shot from the bottom 5th percentile to the 50th. Studying a language had been like drinking from a mental fountain of youth.

What might explain such an improvement?

Last year researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Northwestern University in Illinois hypothesized that language study should prove beneficial for older adults, noting that the cognitive tasks involved — including working memory, inductive reasoning, sound discrimination and task switching — map closely to the areas of the brain that are most associated with declines due to aging. In other words, the things that make second-language acquisition so maddening for grown-ups are the very things that may make the effort so beneficial.

The quest for a mental fountain of youth, pursued by baby boomers who fear that their bodies will outlive their brains, and who have deeper pockets than Juan Ponce de León, has created a billion-dollar industry. There is some evidence that brain exercise programs like Lumosity and Nintendo’s Brain Age can be beneficial, but if my admittedly unscientific experience is any indication, you might be better off studying a language instead. Not only is that a far more useful and enjoyable activity than an abstract brain game, but as a reward for your efforts, you can treat yourself to a trip abroad. Which is why I plan to spend the next year not learning Italian. Ciao!

 

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Open Christmas market in Strasburg

Language Fellows takes you Christmas shopping at the open market in Strasburg.

Open Christmas market in France, what is it?

Many cities host in their hearts, colorful and illuminated open markets where hot wine, candies, santons, and Christmas decorations coexist. French people go there to buy their last minute’s gifts and traditional ingredients that they will use when composing their gastronomic Chrismas eve’s meal.

The tradition of the Christmas open markets finds its origin from Germany and Alsace.The first traces of the Christmas markets date back to the 14th century in Germany and Alsace, under the name “Marché de Saint Nicolas.” In Strasburg, it started in 1570. In the 19th century, it was held during the 8 days before Christmas up until the midnight mass.

In the mid-1990s, the movement expanded to many cities in Europe. They now have established their own Christmas markets with pavilions and sometimes attractions.

Strasbourg where is it in France?

It is located in the north-east part of France, in the vines and storks region of Alsace! The Christmas market dwells around its prestigious Cathedral. With about 300 pavilions spread over a dozen sites in the heart of the old city, it is one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe. In 2016, Strasbourg welcomes Portugal, from which you can discover all the charms, at the Portuguese Village.

 

 

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Learning a language is the first step towards eliminating prejudice!

 

           There are two ways to go from A to B (and vice versa) : A being where you are today and B being where you want to be regarding your level of acceptance in a different community. Either you get there taking the way through the cultural barriers or you take the time to find another way that looks more promising and enjoyable.

           If you feel that no matter what, you need to go the hard way and face those one day or another, I would say go ahead, you are correct ! But do not undertake the journey on your own. Breaking barriers is an impossible task. When facing them, you can only do your share in a concerted attempt to set them aside. You need to co-operate to find common ground between the two. It may start with learning the language and being exposed to B’s culture, but you can only claim acceptance when superiority and inferiority comparisons are completely eliminated. 

            At Language Fellows, we want to be part of your journey. We believe, you will enjoy it and we guarantee that you will be able to communicate and have meaningful conversations. By joining our learning community, you take a step towards eliminating prejudice by experiencing different cultures.schema

          Our  Spanish and French communities are open to all, but some features are only available to active students. The purpose of the community is dual. On the one hand, it is a forum to share with other people about your linguistic and cultural experiences and on the other one, it is a blog where meaningful information, articles, and links are posted.

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Le marché de Noël de Strasbourg (french version)

Language Fellows vous emmène au marché de Noël de Strasbourg

Le marché de Noël en France, qu’est-ce que c’est ?

Bon nombre de villes françaises voient s’installer en leur cœur, des marchés colorés et illuminés où se côtoient vin chaud et sucres d’orges, santons et boules de Noël. Les français s’y rendent pour acheter leurs derniers cadeaux à déposer au pied du sapin ou les mets traditionnels qui composeront le repas du réveillon.

La tradition des marchés de Noël a son origine en Allemagne et… en Alsace.

Les premières traces des marchés de Noël remontent au XIVe siècle en Allemagne et en Alsace, sous l’appellation “Marché de Saint Nicolas”.

Le marché de Noël de Strasbourg date de 1570.

Au XIXe siècle, le marché de Noël de Strasbourg avait lieu 8 jours avant Noël et jusqu’à la messe de minuit.

Au milieu des années 1990, un renouveau commercial a vu s’étendre le mouvement. De nombreuses villes en Europe ont instauré leurs propres marchés de Noël avec des chalets et parfois des attractions.

Strasbourg, c’est où en France ?

C’est en Alsace, au nord-est de la France. L’Alsace pays de vignes et de cigognes !

Depuis 1570, Strasbourg déploie son marché de Noël autour de sa prestigieuse Cathédrale.

Avec environ 300 chalets répartis sur une dizaine de sites au cœur de la ville, c’est un des plus grands marché de Noël d’Europe.

En 2016, Strasbourg accueille le Portugal, dont vous pourrez découvrir tous les charmes, au Village portugais.

 

 

Vous rêvez d’apprendre une langue, de découvrir son pays et sa culture, vous désirez voyager ? Notre site et notre forum sont là pour vous. Rejoignez-nous !

Sainte Catherine le 25 novembre en France

tout-bois-prend-racine-2 A la sainte Catherine, dit-on, tout bois prend racine.

 

 

Le 25 novembre en France, les jeunes femmes qui ne sont pas mariées à l’âge de 25 ans, coiffent, dit-on, Catherinette. Elles espéraient ainsi rencontrer un cerellement-votre-sourcemari dans l’année. C’est encore aujourd’hui, dans certains villages et à Paris l’occasion de faire la fête en coiffant le chapeau traditionnel vert et jaune. La couleur jaune symbolise la Foi et le vert la connaissance.

 

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En Picardie, plus particulièrement au nord de la Somme, un département du nord de la France, la sainte Catherine est la fête de toutes les petites filles. Elles échangent des cartes postales entre elles.

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Language Fellows is looking for instructors

We need a French Instructor

At this time we have part-time (from 3 hours up to 18 hours per week) opportunities for Spanish, French, Italian and Mandarin instructor positions to be part of our pool of instructors for classes starting in the first quarter of 2017. Our children’s classes, ages 3 to 12 will be held from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and our classes for adults take place either in the morning or after 5:00 pm. Compensation is competitive, commensurate with experience and dependent on completion of contractual sessions.

If interested, please indicate in your response which day(s) and hour(s) you can work, and what is your experience with working with groups.

Requirements

An ideal candidate is a native equivalent speaker and has an energetic and fun personality. He / She have the ability to develop an innovative activity-based curriculum. Experience with teaching or working with small groups (6 to 10 kids or adults) is preferred. Commitment through March is required; longer-term commitment is preferred.
Apply for this job
 

Continue Reading…

Le 3ème jeudi de novembre en France…

    C’est l’arrivée du Beaujolais primeur !

Je vous propose de jouer avec moi pour découvrir ce vin nouveau si célèbre en France.

Suivfrançais beretez-moi !

 

 

 

le-gamay

 

Voici la réponse :

Gamay is a shiny heavy red wine, deep and fluid. He has some purple crimson cherry and find all the  shades  of ruby stones. It can be  pomegranat. It often wears  some violet tones. Put your imagination to work and find smells and tastes of rip. Yes ! It’s Gamay.

A bientôt pour d’autres nouvelles de France sur le blog de Language Fellows.

 

 

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