Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Foreign policy : The Tony Blair Interview. Pt3

YouTube - MSNBC Brian Williams Reports: The Tony Blair Interview. Pt3

On youtube you can find a series of interviews with Tony Blair - follow the link above for one where he talks of his foreign policy, and why he supported Bush in Iraq.

Tony Blair's foreign policy provoked a lot of opposition : follow this link to hear a speech by Lindsey German from the "Stop the War Campaign".

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

L2 Civilization revision

I recommend the history books in French by Roland Marx or by Monica Charlot, and the books in English by Kenneth Morgan or Andrew Marr. Many of the books you can get on amazon.fr for four or five euros, second hand.

There are many useful videos on youtube - in particular programmes made by Andrew Marr. Some of them are here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

L2 Civilization - research paper

If you can be in Paris, the Bibliothèque publique d'information at Beaubourg is full of excellent books. What's more, you can search the catalogue by internet before you go, so you are sure there are useful books for you.

You can't borrow the books, you have to use them at the centre.

Here is the link for the online catalogue.

You might find some useful information here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

L2 British Civilization

We have two classes left - on Friday we will be looking at the transformation of the Labour party in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Blair governments from 1997.
On the 8th January we will be looking at Britain today under Gordon Brown.
So we will have done 12 weeks classes, as planned, since the exam will be in week fourteen.

To be precise, the contrôle final will be on Friday 15th January at 9 O'clock.

For students in the régime général, the exam will only cover events since 1945.

BBC Learning English | Grammar Challenge

BBC Learning English | Grammar Challenge

Revise your grammar by listening to the Mp3s on this site from the BBC.

These are fairly basic grammar points, but you might need revision.

Le travail à l'université

Rappelez- vous de la règle générale : se contenter de répéter, lors des examens, ce que l'enseignant dit dans ses cours, sans ajouter d'autres exemples ou analyses, vaut 8/20 en première année, et 6/20 en deuxième année...

L1 Bloc 2 Identités et conflits sociaux et ethniques...

Information importante;
Je suis en train de corriger vos DST. Je vous rappelle que la note finale pour cette UE sera composée de trois élements.

Pour 25% le DST que vous avez passé
Pour 25% un devoir à la maison que vous rendrez immédiatement après les vacances
Pour 50% un contrôle final qui aura lieu vendredi 8 janvier à 11h, salle 237, et qui durera 2 heures.

Le DST que vous avez passé début décembre comportait deux questions que voici :

1. Quels sont les points communs et les différences entre le sentiment national écossais et le sentiment national gallois? Quels ont été les effets politiques de chacun?

2 Décrivez les plus importantes périodes de conflit social au Royaume Uni depuis 1918, et leurs effets principaux.

Pour votre devoir à la maison, vous allez tout simplement répondre à la question que vous n'avez pas traitée lors du DST. Vous écrirez entre 700 et 900 mots, de préférence tapés à l'ordinateur (mais vous ne pouvez pas rendre votre devoir par mail).

Bien évidemment, vous pourrez consulter des documents à la bibliothèque et sur internet. Citez vos sources. Je rappelle pourtant que si vous utilisez une seule phrase copiée directement d'une autre source, sans guillemets ou sans une bonne raison d'utiliser cette source, c'est du plagiat et devient une question disciplinaire à traiter par les autorités compétentes (en plus d'avoir droit à un zéro).

Les étudiants qui ne réussissent pas à avoir la moyenne dans l'UE auront le droit, bien sûr, de repasser un examen lors de la deuxième session, en juin.

A vendredi!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Classes as usual

I am much better, and my classes on Thursday and Friday will take place as normal.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

L2 Phonetics

I managed to get as far as my computer. You can find here the correct answers to the first part of your phonetics test. Study them carefully.

A description of rituals in the Nacirema tribe

Professor Linton[2] first brought the ritual of the Nacirema to the attention of anthropologists twenty years ago, but the culture of this people is still very poorly understood. They are a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. Little is known of their origin, although tradition states that they came from the east. According to Nacirema mythology, their nation was originated by a culture hero, Notgnihsaw, who is otherwise known for two great feats of strength—the throwing of a piece of wampum across the river Pa-To-Mac and the chopping down of a cherry tree in which the Spirit of Truth resided.

Nacirema culture is characterized by a highly developed market economy which has evolved in a rich natural habitat. While much of the people's time is devoted to economic pursuits, a large part of the fruits of these labors and a considerable portion of the day are spent in ritual activity. The focus of this activity is the human body, the appearance and health of which loom as a dominant concern in the ethos of the people. While such a concern is certainly not unusual, its ceremonial aspects and associated philosophy are unique.

The fundamental belief underlying the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease. Incarcerated in such a body, man's only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of ritual and ceremony. Every household has one or more shrines devoted to this purpose. The more powerful individuals in the society have several shrines in their houses and, in fact, the opulence of a house is often referred to in terms of the number of such ritual centers it possesses. Most houses are of wattle and daub construction, but the shrine rooms of the more wealthy are walled with stone. Poorer families imitate the rich by applying pottery plaques to their shrine walls.

While each family has at least one such shrine, the rituals associated with it are not family ceremonies but are private and secret. The rites are normally only discussed with children, and then only during the period when they are being initiated into these mysteries. I was able, however, to establish sufficient rapport with the natives to examine these shrines and to have the rituals described to me.

The focal point of the shrine is a box or chest which is built into the wall. In this chest are kept the many charms and magical potions without which no native believes he could live. These preparations are secured from a variety of specialized practitioners. The most powerful of these are the medicine men, whose assistance must be rewarded with substantial gifts. However, the medicine men do not provide the curative potions for their clients, but decide what the ingredients should be and then write them down in an ancient and secret language. This writing is understood only by the medicine men and by the herbalists who, for another gift, provide the required charm.

The charm is not disposed of after it has served its purpose, but is placed in the charmbox of the household shrine. As these magical materials are specific for certain ills, and the real or imagined maladies of the people are many, the charm-box is usually full to overflowing. The magical packets are so numerous that people forget what their purposes were and fear to use them again. While the natives are very vague on this point, we can only assume that the idea in retaining all the old magical materials is that their presence in the charm-box, before which the body rituals are conducted, will in some way protect the worshiper.

Beneath the charm-box is a small font. Each day every member of the family, in succession, enters the shrine room, bows his head before the charm-box, mingles different sorts of holy water in the font, and proceeds with a brief rite of ablution[3]. The holy waters are secured from the Water Temple of the community, where the priests conduct elaborate ceremonies to make the liquid ritually pure.

In the hierarchy of magical practitioners, and below the medicine men in prestige, are specialists whose designation is best translated as "holy-mouth-men." The Nacirema have an almost pathological horror of and fascination with the mouth, the condition of which is believed to have a supernatural influence on all social relationships. Were it not for the rituals of the mouth, they believe that their teeth would fall out, their gums bleed, their jaws shrink, their friends desert them, and their lovers reject them. They also believe that a strong relationship exists between oral and moral characteristics. For example, there is a ritual ablution of the mouth for children which is supposed to improve their moral fiber.

The daily body ritual performed by everyone includes a mouth-rite. Despite the fact that these people are so punctilious[4] about care of the mouth, this rite involves a practice which strikes the uninitiated stranger as revolting. It was reported to me that the ritual consists of inserting a small bundle of hog hairs into the mouth, along with certain magical powders, and then moving the bundle in a highly formalized series of gestures[5].

In addition to the private mouth-rite, the people seek out a holy-mouth-man once or twice a year. These practitioners have an impressive set of paraphernalia, consisting of a variety of augers, awls, probes, and prods. The use of these items in the exorcism of the evils of the mouth involves almost unbelievable ritual torture of the client. The holy-mouth-man opens the client's mouth and, using the above mentioned tools, enlarges any holes which decay may have created in the teeth. Magical materials are put into these holes. If there are no naturally occurring holes in the teeth, large sections of one or more teeth are gouged out so that the supernatural substance can be applied. In the client's view, the purpose of these ministrations[6] is to arrest decay and to draw friends. The extremely sacred and traditional character of the rite is evident in the fact that the natives return to the holy-mouth-men year after year, despite the fact that their teeth continue to decay.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

L2 civilisation : YouTube - Queen's speech unveils Government's final law package

YouTube - Queen's speech unveils Government's final law package

The government programme in 2009.

L2 Thème - revision of tenses

Future Perfect

L2 phonétique anglaise

phonétique anglaise

L2 civilisation : L'éducation syndicale John Mullen (CIMOS, Paris VIII)

L'éducation syndicale John Mullen (CIMOS, Paris VIII)

L2 Civilization : The Citizens Charter fifteen years later

The Citizens Charter fifteen years later

An article about John Major and Tony Blair's approach to public services.

L1 Bloc 2 Identités : Musique ethnique et identité culturelle

Musique ethnique et identité culturelle

Bonjour, étudiants du CM Identités et conflits sociaux et etnhiques.
J'ai attrapé un virus et je serai absent ce vendredi.
Je vous demande de lire l'article sur la musique ethnique et l'identité immigrée, que vous trouverez en cliquant sur le titre ci-dessus.

Si possible, lisez aussi cet article, concernant les réactions sur le lieu de travail au multiculturalisme.


J'ai attrapé un virus, et je serai absent jeudi 10 et vendredi 11 décembre. Je mettrai ici sur ce blog dans les jours à venir des pistes de travail pour les différents groupes.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

BBC - Podcasts - A Short History of Ireland

BBC - Podcasts - A Short History of Ireland

Follow the history of Ireland by listening to this documentary from BBC radio - every episode is only five minutes, and there is a new episode every day.

Used To or To Be Used To Exercise at Auto-English

Used To or To Be Used To Exercise at Auto-English

A very useful exercise for L2.

BBC - History - British History in depth: Women's Rights Quiz

BBC - History - British History in depth: Women's Rights Quiz

Try this short quiz about the history of women's rights in Britain.

YouTube - Une chanson populaire - Claude François

YouTube - Une chanson populaire - Claude François

To compare, here is Claude François from the 1970s in France.

L2 Thème



The grammatical structure “used to do” is used to talk about past, finished habits
We have a special expression to talk about habits we we have stopped.

I used to smoke too much.
My hobby used to be horse-riding.
When I was younger I used to love playing football.
There used to be a first and a second class on the metro.
French people used to smoke more than they do now.

Notice that this form means that the activity is now definitively finished.


This is a completely different structure which we normally use to express the idea that something is not difficult for us.

I’m used to strong cigarettes.

She’s used to hard work.

Notice in these sentences “Be used to” is followed by a noun. It can also be followed by a form in -ING

I’m used to getting up early.

I’m used to walking for hours.
She’s used to driving at night.

IMPORTANT : this does NOT simply mean that it is something which happens often; it means that it happens often AND THEREFORE IS NOT DIFFICULT FOR ME;

If you want to say in English “J’ai l’habitude de travailler à la maison”, you do NOT need USED TO OR BE USED TO.

Use something else like

“I usually work at home.”

“English people usually drink a lot of tea.”

“My friends usually call me Dédé.”

You can find some exercises, which will only take a few minutes, on