Apollinaire and the calligramme

Guillaume Apollinaire (b. Wilhelm Albert Vladimir Apollinaris Kostrowitzky) was a poet and playwright of Polish decent, but spent most of his youth in France. He was known in France in the early 20th century for his calligrammes, or poems which took the shape of their subjects. Not all his poems were calligrammes, but I had the opportunity to study these ones in high school and I wrote one as an assignment (see below). To discover more about Apollinaire, read the book Selected Writings of Guillaume Apollinaire, available on Amazon.com.

Source of some information: Poets.org

My calligramme:
This calligramme is shaped like a fleur de lys, often used as the symbol of French royalty. To learn more about the fleur de lys, read my previous post on it.

Soyez motivés ! Get motivated to read, write, listen and speak French

This particular post as well as a couple of other recent posts are part of a final project for a course I am taking right now, but I figured I might as well share it with you, as I think most of you will find it very useful. My project answers the question "How can I get students motivated to read, write, listen, and speak in French?" I made a brochure for teachers to distribute to prospective and current French students that illustrates the ways in which learning to communicate in the language can be fun and interesting. I also interviewed a retired French teacher, who coincidentally, I had for 9th grade French, about her ideas on literacy motivation. The third part of my project is this comprehensive list of links to past and recent posts from my blog and a variety of external links that answer my question.

The Brochure



French Corner Posts

External Resources
  • TV5 Apprendre.TV - Practice your French through games and videos from this international French language TV station.
  • TV5 Enseigner.TV -The teacher version of this site! Find lots of fun reading and listening activities for your students.
  • TV5 Jeunesse - Explore fun and games in French targeted at youth.
  • TV5 Musique - Tons of audio and video to explore, and the best part is, they explain what the lyrics to popular French songs mean, beyond just a simple translation!
  • Carole D. Fredericks Foundation - I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet Carole Fredericks' sister, the director of this foundation. Carole was an American singer who sang in French and died tragically in 2001. This foundation sells materials to teach her songs in French classes.
  • Recoins de France - This French language site has recipes and walks from every region of France! The adorable graphics and pictures give a glimpse at what the areas look like.
  • La chanson francophone - This French teacher in Spain created games with the lyrics of popular French songs (it's a little addicting!) for various levels. You can listen to the songs in crisp audio as you play the games.
  • Jouons en français - Have a little fun with these youth-oriented games in French!
  • Interactive Novel - Try your hand at an interactive novel in French.
  • Do-Ré-Mi Deux - The music and lyrics CD and booklet set created by the teacher I interviewed!
  • Total Physical Response - Colorful boards and stickers to use in the classroom. TPR promotes learning French through actions, and is especially useful in developing speaking skills.

French learning and language podcasts

If you're a busy person, you'll love the modern version of "learn French in your car" CDs or cassettes: "learn French on your iPod" podcasts! Podcasts, if you're not already familiar with them, are like blogs you subscribe to, except every new episode is downloaded automatically to your iPod or MP3 player. They are almost always free, and some of them are even in video form, for those of you with iPod video screens. Listen to specially made French language learning podcasts or French language podcasts. Here are a few I found:

Practice Your French Tip: French TV & Radio

You don't have to be living in France to watch television or listen to the radio in French! Many French television networks and radio stations broadcast their programs with streaming media (meaning you watch or listen to a program live through a media player) or, in the case of many television stations, episodes and news clips are available to watch after they have aired. It's a great way to practice your French (to really make the most of these sites, you will have to put your French skills to the test, because naturally they are not available in English!), and at the same time you are learning a thing or two about French culture. Explore these links to French TV and radio you can watch or listen to online. You may wish to download RealPlayer and or Windows Media Player if you don't have them already, as you may be prompted to do so in order to play much of this media.

  • Listenlive - This site has a comprehensive list of French language radio stations from all over France. Go to the site's homepage to see other radio stations from all over Europe.
  • TF1 - This popular French TV channel has trailers for movies and TV shows, news clips, and episode clips.
  • INA - View a large selection of French TV and Radio archives from throughout the 20th century!
  • RFO Radio - Listen to radio stations broadcasting to French overseas territories such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Polynesia.
  • RFO Journaux - Watch news stations broadcasting to these same territories.
  • Radio-Canada - Watch news clips from this Québécois TV station.
  • Radio-Canada Baladodiffusion - Subscribe to radio programs in the form of podcasts, which you can listen to on your MP3 player. For more on podcasts, see the upcoming post.
  • France 2 - Watch videos from this French TV station.
  • France 3 - Another French TV station.
  • France 4 - Yet another French TV station.
  • France 5 - Still another French TV station!
  • VivaCité - A Belgian radio station.
  • Musiq3 - Another Belgian radio station.

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