Monday, June 29, 2020

M1 MEEF dossier women's activism

Some of you sent me your analysis of a set of documents concerning women's activism in the UK (either as an official exam or as a practive). I will put here some notes about this exercise - this post will probably be updated several times over the next few days.

I am sure you remember the aim is to show three things
- that your English is good (whether a written or an oral exam)
- that you understand the documents and what their authors are trying to do
- that you know the history they are part of. You can show you know some British history (in this case).

And the two main dangers as ever
1) paraphrasing the documents.
2) repeating your history class, without reference to the documents.

This is a difficult exercise, and remembering all five of these elements is delicate.

Certainly for most answers I got this time the main weakness was not showing knowledge of British history. So here is somewhere you can revise the history of women's activism in Britain. (Mp3 lectures) There is no doubt too much here, but if you can listen to some of it, that will help.

Women in GB part one
Women in GB part two
Women in GB part three
Women in GB part four

Here  are a few mistakes people fell into - they are not a disaster in themselves, but much better avoided.

1) This set of documents is clearly about the history of women's activism in the United Kingdom. If you use examples or quotations from the women's movement in the United States or in France, the examiner will read this as if you had written "I know nothing at all about the subject in Britain!!" It might be possible to give one example from outside Britain if you have already given three examples from Britain, but be careful.

2) You should not give the impression that the women's movements in Britain were a monolithic, homogeneous phenomenon where women in general all agreed with each other that something needed to be done, and then they did it. Like all political movements it was full of arguments and contradictions, successes and failures. National women's liberation conferences took place in the 1970s on several occasions. The last one, at the end of the 1970s, broke up because of deep disagreements - and noone ever dared organize another national women's liberation conference again!

3) It is not your job to praise feminism or denounce feminism - your main tone has to remain analytical.

[more comments will be added later here ] 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 civilisation britannique. La BBC et le service public de l'audiovisuel . Post seven - Asa Briggs, writing the history of the BBC

As well as the powerful economic, social, cultural and psychological factors which create us and our history, the past has its fair share of unplanned accidents which have enormous effects. With respect to the BBC, two of these are
1)      the recruiting of John Reith as its first director-general (when, as he later recounted, he hadn’t heard of the word « broadcasting » before !), and
2)      the recruiting, thirty years or so later, of Asa Briggs to write a history of the BBC (which would eventually count five volumes and cover 1922-1974). By a stroke of luck, Briggs was one of the best historians Britain has produced.
Now, most of you are unlikely to get through the five volumes of Asa Briggs’s  The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom. (Vol 1 : The Birth of Broadcasting – 1961. Vol 2 : The Golden Age of Wireless (1927–1939) – 1965. Vol 3 : The War of Words (1939–1945) – 1970. Vol 4 : Sound and Vision (1945–1955) – 1979. Vol 5 : Competition (1955–1974) – 1995.) But these comments of Briggs about aspects of the writing of it are not to be missed :


Over the next six months or so I will be publishing on this blog quite a number of links to videos, articles and websites which will help you explore the history of the BBC. JM

Saturday, June 27, 2020

L3 Civilisation britannique. Feedback on retake assessment

L3 Civilisation britannique – Popular Culture in the UK since 1945

L’examen de deuxième session posait la question suivante

 « Popular music is not just about melody and words. It is about who we wish we were. » Discuss, giving plenty of examples from British popular music since 1945.

Many of the answers were fine. Here are some of the main problems encountered.
The first is with  the analysis of the question : "popular music is about who we wish we were". That means it is about imagining we are someone else. A typical answer would be first to show some ways in which this is true (the young person who had to work in a rather uninteresting office during the week could be a punk or a mod or a metalhead at weekends), and then to show some ways in which popular music means other things which are not connected with pretending to be someone else.

A commmon mistake was to write an essay about another subject – usually the use of popular music in political protest. This is very interesting, but that was not the question.

Another major mistake was to give French or American examples to illustrate what the student wanted to say. This is an exam about British popular culture since 1945. If you use mostly French or US examples, you are telling the examiner that you know nothing about British examples. 

It is also a good idea to avoid using extremely famous examples. If the only British groups you mention are the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, well these are examples that everyone is aware of whether or not they have followed a course on British popular culture since 1945 : better to avoid them, because they are not impressing the examiner.

Friday, June 26, 2020

La rentrée septembre 2020

Au premier semestre je donnerai des cours

De L3 sur la culture populaire en GB depuis 1945

De M2/agrégation - cours de thème

De M1 recherche/MEEF séminaire sur la Première Guerre

De M1 MEEF civilisation britannique.

D'agrégation sur  la BBC 1922-1995

Du point de vue sanitaire, j'ai de la chance, car j'ai peu de groupes très nombreux. Néanmoins il semble probable que pour certains cours je ferai des cours hybrides (Par exemple un cours à distance sur deux).

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 civilisation britannique tronc commun; La BBC 1922-1995. Post six : drama for young people

A lot of the best-known analysis of media and television concentrates on how the news is presented and how - sometimes subtle - bias is often present. This is important, but television is much more than the news: TV series have become ever more influential over the last seventy years. One example from the BBC which is interesting to examine is Grange Hill, a series which takes place in what is presented as an "ordinary" secondary school. Here is an episode from the 1980s.


Over the next six months or so I will be publishing quite a number of links to videos, articles and websites which will help you explore the history of the BBC. JM

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 civlisation britannique tronc commun la BBC 1922-1995 Post five : theory

Academia.edu is a private website which allows university researchers to share their work free online. If you sign up for a free account, you can download some of the articles shared. For example, this book from 1990, "Understanding Television", which includes in particular an important chapter by Pady Scannell "Public service Broadcasting, the History of a Concept".


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 civilisation britannique tronc commun BBC 1922-1995 Post four : woman's hour

One very influential radio programme was Woman's Hour, which began in 1946. Here is an interview of two of the presenters, from the 1980s:


Over the next six months or so I will be publishing quite a number of links to videos, articles and websites which will help you explore the history of the BBC. JM

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Réunion d'information 1er juillet - préparation à l'agrégation d'anglais à Rouen.

Le 1er juillet à 16h, il y aura une courte réunion par Zoom pour tous ceux et toutes celles intéressé e s par la préparation 2020-2021 à l’agrégation d’anglais à l’Université de Rouen. Certains des enseignants présenteront leur partie du programme, et on pourra poser des questions. Le lien et le mot de passe se trouvent à la fin de ce message.

La réunion concerne à la fois l’agrégation interne et externe. Les inscriptions à l’agrégation interne se font auprès du rectorat entre le 15 et le 30 juin 2020. Les inscriptions à l’externe se font auprès de l’Université en septembre. Nous encourageons fortement les inscrits à l’interne à s’inscrire également à l’externe – premièrement parce qu’il y a davantage de postes disponibles à l’externe, mais aussi pour aider à assurer la pérennité de la préparation à l’agrégation à Rouen.

Vous trouverez l’essentiel des informations, avant et après la réunion, sur le blog de notre préparation : https://agreganglaisrouen.wordpress.com/

John Mullen
Anne-Laure Tissut

John Mullen vous invite à une réunon

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 227 072 8865
Password: 2JR5eK

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Référénts racisme univérsités français

Chers étudiant e s, 
Un de mes amis fait de la recherche concernant le dispositif de référents pour le racisme dans les universités françaises. Pouvez vous prendre 30 secondes pour remplir ce court questionnaire anonyme? 
Merci beaucoup


Captain Cook agrégation 2020 option civilisation britannique post 61: naming

This week's news brings plenty of reflection concerning who names what and why, and whether names should be changed in the interest of justice.

This article from New Zealand for example.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation post 60: the statue

Captain Cook is in the news again . After antiracist demonstrators in Bristol, UK, took down a statue of a wealthy slave trader which had stood in the town for some time, authorities in Sydney are worried about the statue of a triumphant Cook which has pride of place in the city's main park. This photo was taken on the 12th June 2020.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Monday, June 01, 2020

Captain James Coook agrégation 2020 option civilisation post 59: Tupaia and his map

One of the questions opened up by the first expedition is the role of various loclas who travelled for a time on Cook's ship. There were quite a few of these - some of them just joining the ship as far as the nex island, some intending to go to England with the ship. One of the best known is Tupaia, and surviving  drawings and maps have given historians plenty to work on. Here is an important article: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00223344.2018.1512369

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Political crisis

The Prime Minister’s chief adviser, Mr Cummings, was caught breaking lockdown rules. Johnson is defending him, but all the newspapers appear to be angry, and half a million people have signed a petition to have him sacked.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

In the UK newspapers today

One of Boris Johnson's key advisors has been caught  breaking the lockdown rules. People are wondering whether summer holidays will be possible. Workers unable to work durign the crisis are worried, and the question of who should pay for the crisis is present.

Friday, May 22, 2020


Les nouvelles dates du Capes d'anglais sont les suivantes :


    - Composition : mercredi 1er juillet 2020 de 9 heures à 14 heures.
    - Traduction (traduction en français d’un texte en anglais et/ou traduction en anglais d’un texte en français, au choix du jury) : jeudi 2 juillet 2020 de 9 heures à 14 heures.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Captain James Cook - third expedition - video lecture three

You will find here a third lecture on  the third voyage. It is about half an hour long.


M2 seminar, the 1970s

I assume I have now received all the assignments I am going to receive.
If your work should fail to pass, either you will be lucky enough to balance that out with a high mark in another subject, or you will be asked, for the retake session, to rework your assignment based on my comments. If you are in this case, please contact me quickly after the first session jury is over and the marks are announced.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2020 Captain James Cook, option civilisation post 58 The mystery of Cook's lost journal

The last pages of Cook's journal, covering the days before he died, went missing. We are not sure why but this very good article from the BBC history magazine explains the circumstances surrounding this mystery.


Thursday, May 14, 2020

James Cook, the third expedition, video lecture 2

You will find here a second video lecture on the third expedition: 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Captain Cook, agrégation 2020 option civilisation post 56: fish traps

When on his third voyage, Cook is in what is today Tasmania, he expressesin his journals surprise that the locals "do not know the use of fishhooks". This article show some of what we now know (but Cook did not) of Aboriginal fishing technology [I do not have any specific knowledge about the situation in Tasmania at Cook's time].


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Captain James Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation post 55: The third voyage: video class one

Here is your first video lecture on the third expedition

High tech recording studio


Captain James Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation post 54: Georg Forster and his book

The question of the money that could be made by writing and publishing an account of Cook's expeditions, and the image of Cook that might be put forward in such publications has been the subject of considerable scholarly work. This brief account of Georg Forster's book, published when he arrived back from accompanying Cook on the second expedition is very useful 


Monday, May 04, 2020

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Saturday, May 02, 2020

2 May the front pages

Friday, May 01, 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020

agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation James Cook. Post 49: the Australian Prime Minister

Exactly 250 years ago this week, James Cook and his ship arrived in Australia. Understandably, the commemoration is politically controversial. This is what the Australian Prime Minister said this week.

Agrégation 2021 civilisation britannique la BBC et l’audiovisuel public 122-1995 Post three : Popular Music (1)

Agrégation 2021 civilisation britannique la BBC et l’audiovisuel public 122-1995 Post three : Popular Music (1)

Much university work on television has been about news and documentary, political bias, agenda setting and so on, which are indeed important subjects. Yet television transformed public views of many other aspects of culture, and the BBC’s very gradual move away from rigid elitism can be seen in many of the changes brought about in broadcasting. Let us take the case of popular music. This television programme from October 1960 – Juke Box Jury – shows a series of prejudices against popular music, and indeed against working class people in general,  I think.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2020 Option civilisation James Cook post 48: video lecture on the second expedition, part one.

You will find here the first video class connected with the second expedition of James Cook. It lasts half an hour, and there will be several more half-hour videos over the next few days.


The two articles from the journal Astrolabe which I mention  in this video are available free online. This one is by Dr Massiani and it is about Hawkesworth's book about the first voyage, a book which was not to the liking of James Cook:


And this is my own piece on recent museum exhibitions :

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation britannique post 47 publication of journal on the voyages of James Cook

I am delighted to announce the publication (free online) of the journal Astrolabe. Its latest issue is about the travels of James Cook, and how he is viewed 250 years afterwards. My own article, on "Shared history" and "the performance of privilege" around the 250th anniversary, is one of the items. Just click here 


Monday, April 27, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 tronc commun civilisation britannique la BBC 1922-1995 post two

I am beginning to prepare the question of the BBC. As people who have followed me on other agrégation questions will know, I tend to post a large number of posts as I slowly discover different aspects of the question. Frequently I give links to videos or articles which you will find useful. So subscribe to the blog if you wish, or come back often.

You will find here a TV programme from some time ago, made for the BBC, about racism on UK television. Many of the programmes mentioned are BBC programmes. This documentary was broadcast rather late at night.


Long live the BBC!

Lockdown can be a chance to discover new things online. The BBC podcasts collection has thousands of extremely varied programmes to listen to when you wish. Here is a tiny selection – if you like one, try the rest of the series from that same programme ! Cinéma https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hgj1

Celebrities, their lives and their favourite music https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gc48

The mathematics of everyday life https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08bf1kd

Woman’s hour https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hmzg

Some of the best topical comedy in the world https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0896ybq

Inside science https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b036f7w2/episodes/downloads

History through objects https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v73z9

Biography https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hfyp

Direct from british hospitals today https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hfy2

Issues of faith and religion https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000ckvz

Discussing history https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000d8rv

Discussing poetry https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000cc0r

Popular history https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dy5z

Discussing popular music https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dgxx

More discussing popular music https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03jznqt

Friday, April 24, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 tronc commun civilisation, la BBC 1922-1995, post one

Those who are planning on taking the agrégation in 2021 will perhaps have noticed that the new question on "civilisation britannique" is out, and concerns the history of the BBC. The framework document (texte de cadrage) is here:


I will be posting here regularly links and information concerning this question - most frequently links to videos, but also to other useful elements as publications and academic conferences and seminars take up the challenge of exploring the history of this very impressive institution, a history which is multiform and includes the institutional, the political, the economic, the social and the cultural. Here are some initial ideas for reading, and a few videos. this list was put together by myself and a colleague from Toulon.

La BBC et le service public de l’audiovisuel, 1922-1995
Premiers repères bibliographiques
Nous avons surtout privilégié ce qui est facilement disponible en ligne, confinement oblige.
John Mullen, Frédéric Armao

Appia Henri et Cassen, Bernard, Presse, Radio et Télévision en Grande-Bretagne, Paris, Armand Collin, 1969.
Bignell, J., « The spaces of the Wednesday Play (BBC TV 1964–1970): production, technology and style », Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 34 (3), 2014, pp. 369-389.  Disponible en ligne.
Briggs Asa, The Birth of Broadcasting, 1961. (Vol 1)  Disponible en ligne  https://www.americanradiohistory.com/UK/BBC-Books/Birth-of-Broadcasting-Briggs-Vol-1-1961.pdf
Briggs, Asa, « The Culture of the BBC: A Personal Appreciation », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal, http://journals.openedition.org/lisa/662
Briggs, Asa, – The BBC – the First Fifty Years – (Condensed version of the five-volume history by the same author), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985. 
Cottle, Simon, « Making ethnic minority programmes inside the BBC: professional pragmatics and cultural containment », Media, Culture and Society, April 1, 1998.
*Crisell, Andrew, An Introductory History of British Broadcasting, London, Routledge 1997 ou 2002 (ou éditions ultérieures)
Elstein, David, The political structure of UK broadcasting 1949-1999, Lüneburg: Meson press 2015. Livre disponible en ligne : https://mediarep.org/bitstream/handle/doc/1129/Elstein_2015_The_Political_Structure_of_UK_Broadcasting_1949-1999.pdf?sequence=1
Hendy, David, Life on air: a History of Radio Four, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007.

Murphy, Kate, « From Women’s Hour to Other Women’s Lives: BBC talks for women and the women who made them, 1923-1939 » in Andrews, Maggie and McNamara, Sallie, Women and the Media: Feminism and Femininity in Britain, 1900 to the Present, Londres : Routledge, 2014. Disponible en ligne. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/33052/3/Femininity%20and%20Feminism%20-%20final%20edit%203.pdf

Murphy, Kate, « A Marriage Bar of Convenience?  The BBC and Married Women’s Work 1923-1939 », Twentieth Century British History, 25, 2014. Disponible en ligne. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/33051/3/BBC%20Marriage%20Bar%20-%20second%20revision%20-%20final.pdf
O’Malley, Tom, Closedown? The BBC and Government Broadcasting Policy, 1979-1992, Londres, Pluto Press, 1992.
Ruff, Daniel « Margaret Thatcher et la BBC : régulation ou manipulation ? », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [En ligne], Vol. IV - n°3, 2006. https://journals.openedition.org/lisa/2047
Schaffer, Gavin « Till Death Us Do Part" and the BBC: Racial Politics and the British Working Classes 1965-75 », Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 45, No. 2, April 2010).
Schwyter Jürg R., Dictating to the Mob, the History of the BBC Advisory Committee on Spoken English, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016.
Skoog, Kristin, « Neither worker nor housewife but citizen: BBC's Woman's Hour 1946–1955 », Women's History Review, 2017. Disponible en ligne. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/27408/1/Skoog-WHR-Neither%20worker%20nor%20housewife-Dec-2016-v1.pdf
Street, Sean, Crossing the Ether: Pre-War Public Service Radio and Commercial Competition in the UK, London, John Libbey, 2006. (La thèse doctorale sur laquelle cet ouvrage est basée est disponible gratuitement en ligne ici http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/393/1/Street,_Sean_Ph.D._2003.pdf)
Vallée, Cécile, « La propagande cachée sur les ondes de la BBC pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale : vers une héroïsation nationale », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal vol. IV - n°3, 2006. https://journals.openedition.org/lisa/2025
Viera, J.D. « Terrorism At The BBC: The IRA On British Television », Journal of Film and Video, Fall 1988.
Waymark, Peter Astley Grosvenor, Television and the Cultural Revolution: the BBC under Hugh Carleton Greene, 1960-1969, PhD thesis, The Open University, 2006. Disponible en ligne ici : https://oro.open.ac.uk/59754/1/424650.pdf

Documentaires en ligne
Manchester: the Early Days of Radio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wxMGlQZ8No
Racism on TV in Great Britain (BBC2, 1979) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy57O9ZMENA
Forty years of BBC Local Radio (BBC 4, 2017) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLQPIslTfAc
BBC TV News – the First Thirty Years (BBC2 1984) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Og6bNzGnQ
The Story of Pop Radio (BBC Radio 1, 1983)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Saint George's Day

It is Saint George's Day. The patron saint of England. The English do not generally make much of a fuss about the day (except occasionally the far right), but it did give rise to a fine folk song from Richard Thompson, one of the best folk singers in England.


The time has come for action
Leave your satisfaction
Can't you hear St. George's tune
When George's tune is calling you on?
Freedom was your mother
Fight for one another
Leave the factory, leave the forge
And dance to the new St. George
Don't believe pretenders
Who say they would defend us
While they flash their teeth and wave
The other hand is being paid
They choke the air and bleed us
These noble men who lead us
Leave the factory, leave the forge
And dance to the new St. George
The fish and fowl are ailing
The farmer's life is failing
Where are all the back room boys?
The back room boys can save us now
We're poisoned by the greedy
Who plunder on the needy
Leave the factory, leave the forge
And dance to the new St. George

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Industrial revolution

One of my colleagues pointed ou that you can watch free online now part one of "le temps des ouvriers", which speaks a lot about 18th and 19th century Britain. Click here


Biggest news in UK today

British comedy

In general this is rather an anxious and depressing time. But comedy is important, and some of the best in British comedy can be found in this podcast, The Now Show, from the BBC:


Monday, April 20, 2020

20 April: what the papers say

You can learn a lot about Britain from today's front pages. You will need a dictionary.

Sunday, April 19, 2020


I am sure you have followed more closely than I have, but this is what I understood.

Agrégation externe: the orals will take place before the summer holidays.

(So my remaining classes on James Cook will go ahead, beginning on 29th April as planned).

Agrégation interne: the orals will take place after the summer holidays.

(So concerning Home Rule, I am doing a few mock exams with individuals in April and May, but I will also try to schedule a class or two at the beginning of September.
Similarly I will try to schedule two or three more classes of compréhension orale then).

Thursday, April 16, 2020

M2 seminar 1970s mini-dossier

Tout le monde a des difficultés actuellement d'une sorte ou d'une autre.

La date limite pour le travail est repoussé au 20 mai 2020.

John Mullen

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Banque alimentaire

A destination des étudiants, notamment étrangers, confinés en Cité Universitaire et qui ne bénéficient plus du Restaurant Universitaire :

La Banque alimentaire assure chaque semaine 2 dépôts de nourriture à destination des étudiants :
- au Madrillet (Technopôle) devant la faculté des Sciences le mardi de 17h30 à 18h30.
- à Mont Saint Aignan, dans le local CCU (Spiritus) le mardi à partir de 17h30 et peut-être le jeudi en plus  (la semaine prochaine).

Actuellement sur le site de Mont-Saint Aignan 100 panier-repas (3-5 kg) sont distribués chaque semaine aux étudiants inscrits en début d'année ou en cours d'année.
La responsable de l'épicerie itinérante de la Banque alimentaire
ne sait pas encore si l'équipe va prendre de nouvelles inscriptions. Une centaine de repas distribués leur paraît un maximum pour le cubage de leur camionnette.

N'hésitez pas à faire suivre ce message aux étudiants concernés qui sont confinés en Cité Universitaire sans Restaurant Universitaire et qui ont perdu leur job étudiant.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

What the papers say on Saturday 10th April

Hope you are keeping well after more than three weeks confined. Today's British papers

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Etudiants de Rouen

Je souhaite à nouveau souhaiter bon courage à tous et à toutes. 

L'université a procédé à une enquête. On a trouvé que 850 sur les 6630 étudiant e s qui ont répondu sont confiné e s seul e s (et généralement dans un tout petit logement). 

Si vous trouvez un moment pour contacter des camarades  que vous pensez vivre seul e s, ce serait un super geste, même si vous ne les connaissez pas bien.

Il existe également des étudiants dans des situations dramatiques, sans revenu aucun. L'adresse mail 


permet de contacter le service social de l'université, qui peut vous aider. Ils ont déjà aidé beaucoup d'étudiants (bons supermarchés, prêts informatiques etc).

N'hésitez pas à faire circuler cette information.

Listening exercise

A very fine singer, John Prine, has just died. One of my colleagues, Dr Sowells, sent this message

"I have just discovered John Prine, who's now in heaven smoking his "9 mile cigarette". I hope you like it:


I've tried to make a listening exercise out of it for students, which you can find here:

https://cours.univ-paris1.fr/course/view.php?id=16037#section-2   "

National Health Service

The NHS is extremely popular in Britain. But what do you know about it? Here is a piece from Libération, in French 

Friday, April 03, 2020


In many places in France (in my building, for example), people clap every evening in support of the health workers. Here is something similar, but also different, in the UK


Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Agrégation, CAPES

Un message de la SAES

Chères et chers collègues,
Le président du jury de l'agrégation externe nous adresse ce message, ce dont nous le remercions vivement :

Le ministère a annoncé que « les concours nationaux initialement programmés pendant les mois d’avril et de mai de cette année 2020 sont reportés et seront réorganisés à partir de la fin du mois de mai. Les concours de recrutement de l'Éducation nationale devraient avoir lieu, sous réserve de l’évolution de la situation sanitaire, entre juin et juillet ».

Il est à noter que les épreuves d’admissibilité de l’agrégation externe se sont déroulées au mois de mars, avant la mise en place des mesures de confinement, et que les travaux de correction ont débuté.

L’objectif est de respecter dans la mesure du possible le calendrier prévu, même si de toute évidence aucune garantie ne peut être apportée à ce stade. La prudence voudrait que les candidats continuent à suivre les préparations aux épreuves d’admission, afin d’être prêts au cas où les oraux commenceraient bien le 8 juin 2020.

Bien à vous,
Emily Eells, pour le bureau de la SAES

April the first - what the papers say

I hope you and your families are safe and well.

Traditionally in Britain, the media print false stories as a joke on April the first. These can be quite sophisticated. Famously, in 1977, The Guardian printed a seven page supplement to celebrate the anniversary of the independence of San Seriffe. But in fact they had invented the existence of the country. Read the details here.

Previously, no doubt the most well-known example was the BBC news report on the Spaghetti harvest. You can watch it here


Today, with the crisis in progress, extravagant jokes might seem to be in bad taste. Nevertheless it may be that some stories in the news are untrue. Sadly, the ones we wish were not true are not jokes. Today's newspapers see the conservative Daily Mail (normally not a critic of Johnson) criticizing the government, and The Sun praising the role of the army in dealing with the crisis. We also see the light-hearted tradition of British tabloids, with a front page about seagulls.

Ressources pour étudiants en anglais

Un grand merci à mon collègue Nicholas Sowels qui a rassemblé ces ressources.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Compréhension agrégation interne

Il est possible d'organiser des examens blancs par Skype - il suffit de m'envoyer un mail.


If your exams have been put off till later because of the crisis, and you have not already listened to this six hour revision of British history, now is a good time:


Saturday, March 28, 2020

M1 LEA Homework assignment

I hope you are all adapting as well as possible to this strange new world, and that you and your families are safe and well.

I have received homework from the following people. If your name is not here and should be, just send me an email - your work is no doubt somewhere in my spam folder. Bon courage!

Le Dallour
Le Mer