Cert French (Open)

My first Open University certificate came through today. I'm now entitled to use the letters Cert French (Open) after my name. I won't be doing this, I don't even use my degree letters as a rule (BSc. Hons, I believe, though there may be some detail difference).

To start using Cert French (Open) would be equivalent to writing my GCSE/O Level/A Level qualifications!

Still, it's nice to have the bit of paper. The next one, assuming that I finish the course, will be Cert Hum (Open).

No, I won't be using it, it may get silly.

Article by Murk, BSc (Hons); Cert French (Open); PGCE; A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science, Physics; City of Guilds Amateur Radio Examination; RoSPA minibus training, GCSEs in English (Lang and Lit), Maths, Technical Drawing, Electronics, French, Geography, Chemistry and Physics; Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, 6th Kyu Ni Judo (from 1981!), yellow belt judo (similar vintage), cycling proficiency, 50m swimming; Milk Monitor.

Non à 2008!

According to the BBC News website, protestors in Nantes spent december 31st protesting against 2007. "Now is better". They "called on governments and the UN to stop time's "mad race" and declare a moratorium on the future"

The tension mounted as the minutes ticked away towards midnight - but the arrival of 2007 did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm.

The protesters began to chant: "No to 2008!"

They vowed to stage a similar protest on 31 December 2007 on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris.

Further details (in English) and in French (1) (2)

Course Results

My course results for L192 and the excellent LXR122 should be out tomorrow. The courses are like driving tests, a straight pass/fail (with the possibility of a distinction). There is a possibility of a distinction for me in L192 given that 85% is needed and that my coursework average is 92.3%. The first end of course assessment should be okay (it's essentially the sames as the TMA, teacher marked assessments). ECA2, the oral, might have let me down a bit... but I do have some safety margin.

L192 Final Marks

The requirements are at least 40% in each of the elements, ECA1, 2 and the coursework, so there is still the possibility of catastrophe. Touch wood, I don't think that'll happen for me as the tutor seemed happy after

LXR122 I'm less worried about as a course as it does not lead to anything, per se. L192 on the other hand leads to LZX120. However I would be disappointed not to do well. The assessment here consisted of an oral and an essay, both in French. The essay was only 300 words, but that was enough. In the oral I had to give a presentation on a topic of my choice for a few minutes, and then I was asked questions about it. Both had to be based on France.

In the oral I discussed how Grandad was captured on his way to Dunkirk and then marched across France to a POW camp in southern Germany. In the essay I wrote about the Eiffel Tower.

L192 a fini!

J'ai fini L192!

La dernier examen etait ce matin. C'etait d'accord, mais n'est jamais formidable!

Il y a les erreurs, j'ai dit "j'habite" quand il faut necessaire dire "j'ai habité", par example.

I have finished L192!

The last exam was this morning. It was okay, but it was never terrific!

There were errors, I said "j'habite" when it was neccesary to say "j'ai habité", for example.

It is a done deal now. Onto the next thing.

LK Forms

For the end of course assessment in my current OU course, I have to fill in something called an LK form. This was due to be posted in august (something that I had to chase the OU to find out about). It is now september.

I have just been told that they've been posted. It's all cut rather fine.... where is the harm in posting out the forms a bit early?


My last TMA is done. Interestingly I am about two thirds of a book (about a month) behind where I should be, and it was not a problem - at least, the written part wasn't. Now there is the ECA to do, which I will do as soon as I get the LK form, the rest of the course to finish (despite probably not needing to for the ECA) and the end of course oral, for the latter I shall be practicing with any French speakers who are willing to help me practice! If there are volunteers, just comment.... ;)

The oral is the 24th September.

L192 - TMA05

I've just completed TMA05, winging it a little as the alternative was to do a lot more catchup and then be tired for the TMA. This now frees me up to have some R&R, do some work for the daytime job, then check and post the TMA.

The next task is to keep working on the French in order to bring myself up to date in my studies in time for the summer school.

I haven't really got my head around when to use the passé composé and when to use the imparfait, I'm sure it'll come, eventually.

Crunch weekend for L192

This is a bit of a crunch weekend of me. Various deadlines coinciding, both work related and OU course related. The work deadline is slightly later than OU, so I'm doing the OU one first. I have been having a bit of a blitz.

A week ago I was about two months behind on my french course. As of now I'm about two weeks behind. Today accounts for about a third of that catchup.

Tomorrow, I need to get a little further, and then have a go at the TMA.

Actually I think I could probably do it now, with a little bit of bookwork for one or two bits. So the plan is to start it tomorrow morning when I'm fresh, then work on the course a bit more and then finally check the TMA before posting on monday.

If all is well, I can then slow up a bit and progress at a more sane pace, perhaps actually taking some time to internalise things. Crazy plan.

My next target is to get a little ahead of myself before LXR122, so that I can take full advantage of the experience, then to use the majority of the time following LXR122 prior to the conclusion of L192 to consolidate things in time for the oral examination.

So tomorrow, will be a busy day, but I'm now reasonably confident that I'll be getting a score for TMA05 - a few days ago I was considering passing on it as I've already got the score I need to 'get by'.

However much it might be true that I could have left it, I was never going to allow this to happen. I don't want to just pass, I want to pass well.

Encore de français!

Je fait le français pour L192 aujourd'hui, et j'ai mal à la tête! La question est Les gens que vous n'aimez pas ont quel genre de personnalité?

En réponse, j'ai dit:

D'abord, je n'aime pas les gens malhônettes, avant tout je n'aime pas les gens qui sont racistes. Enfin, je n'aime pas les gens qui ne sont pas intéressants.
(L192, Unit 7, Session 5, Activity 26)

Je voudrais écouter si vous avez les corriges! Merci!

Edit: Updated to reflect the feedback to date

French Catchup

I've been doing a lot of French today, still hardly scraped the surface of what I need to do before the assessed piece next weekend, but it is progress. Just written a small piece, any corrections gratefully received. It's not Victor Hugo, but it is my own.

Je porte un tee-shirt brun et un short bleu. Je ne porte pas le pantalon parce-que il fait trop chaud aujourd'hui!
(L192, Unit 7, Session 3, Activity 17)

L192 lack of progress

An update on my Open University Course, L192. There is a complete lack of progress. Other things keep getting in the way, and at the moment I'm at least five weeks behind with about three weeks to the next TMA.

This weekend there is a day-school tutorial, which I will attend, but it is likely to be a little embarrassing. In addition, at the weekend I need to do some prep work for my summer school.

I need to bit the bullet and get on with things, but when I'm in the mood, other things have priority, and when I have the time I'm shattered.

Long term, it's not a big deal - I've passed the coursework part, I know that I will be able to put some time aside in the coming months, but I want to spend much of that time consolidating and getting good rather than playing catchup.

L192 End of Course Assessment

I've had a date change through for my End of Course Assessment in the Open University French course which I'm taking. I was unable to attend on the day originally slated for the assessment. The fatal day will now by Saturday 24th September, 2005. It's with a different tutor, but that can't really be avoided.

I'm quite behind with the course at the moment - and did intend to try and get back up to date this week, but that hasn't happened. It seems that the further I am behind, the less I can get motivated to do something about it.

This is terrible, I never used to do this. I never used to get behind at all. I'm not happy about this situation, and yet... I'm still behind.

The difference is that I used to only have to concentrate on my studies. Now I have to be a responsible adult too.

Long term, I don't think it will be a problem, I always get things done in the end - I am just rather annoyed with myself at letting things fall away and making life more difficult than it need be later on.

The major reason I'm annoyed is that I'm doing a short course in the summer, and I have to do some prep work for that mid June. I wanted to get as far ahead with the current course as I could before the prep work.

What is really annoying? All this sounds incredibly pathetic and I hate sounding that way.

I just need to pull things together... but all the other things I could be doing seem so much more distracinteresting.

Generally, I feel as if I'm letting myself down. Can you tell?

L192 - TMA04 results

My Open University Scores to dateA few days back I got my results for TMA04 on my Open University French course, L192. This is a landmark point for me, as to pass the coursework component 40% is needed, as of TMA03 only 40 marks were available. I had just under 40. This TMA would put me 'over the top'.

As of now there are 60 marks available and I've got 55.5 of them! In order to pass the course, I have to get the end of course assessment done. This consists of some written work and an oral. Unfortunately the oral date I've been given is simply impossible for me, but hopefully they'll be able to make arrangements.

L192 - TMA04

I've now done the Fourth TMA for my OU course. It's in draft form at the moment, I'm going to go off and do something else for a while and then recheck - but I think everything is fundamentally okay (subject to the odd slip). It felt pretty easy, and I am concerned that the TMAs are easier than they should be... perhaps I'm just setting myself a high standard?

I'll get this in the post as soon as I can. The limiting factor there is that I want to get a proof of posting, and this may be tricky given that it is a bank holiday weekend.

I've booked travel for the summer school in Caen today, that should really help my oral skills.

Une Maison

I have to write a small piece describing a house. Comments and corrections welcome, apologies to non-Francophiles.

This is not part of a TMA (that I know of) it is an exercise in the book, (Unit 6, Activité 15)

Quand on entre dans ma maison, tout de suite à gauche il y a le cuisine et la salon est en face de la porte.

Sur le premier étage il y a trois salles. La salle de bain, la chambre et un bureau. La salle de bain entre la chambre et la bureau.

La Bureau est en face de la chambre.

Open University L192 Course Materials

If you're reading this via an RSS feed, you may lose a lot of the links. Just click through to the site to see the post as intended.

I've put this together to help people who may be considering taking the Open University French L192 Course next year. It's a little early, but that is what google is for!

For the L192 Course, the following books are recommended (as of 2005).

Firstly, a good dictionary:

Personally, I have a large collins hardback dictionary and two of the Collins 'Pocket' dictionaries. I keep one at work and the other at home. The 'pocket' dictionaries are good enough most of the time.

They also recommend a Harrap's study aid for French Grammar. Personally I don't really get on with this book, I could have gone without! I find the Collins Gem book more approachable, but that is just me. These books are cheap enough that you can see for yourself.

The final OU recommended book is Hurd's 'Success with languages', but this was not available for the first presentation of the course, and so I have no experience with this.

Finally, a book I would not be without is the following:

This book is not on the OU booklist, but I find it very well laid out, and it is easy to see how a verb is conjugated.

Another, beefier, book that does the same job is 501 French Verbs. Some people really like La Grammaire en Clair

These may look like a lot of books, but you don't need them all. However, they will last you throughout your French studies.

In addition, you will also need a cassette recorder. These should record to a standard cassette. This is essential for recording your assessments. I would recommend one with the option to use an external microphone (get one with a headset, you can also use it with your computer when using Lyceum). In addition a tape counter is very handy. If you can half 'half speed' (in effect you get double the tape length) be sure that this is not selected when you record your TMA!

Do double check that the headphones have a jack socket suitable for your tape player, and not a USB connection (which will render them as computer only devices). Your soundcard should have a jack socket to allow you to use non-USB microphones.

Be aware that for use with the OU you need standard cassettes, micro cassettes are not suitable - some of the following links are for micro cassettes.

In addition, there is the OUSA L192 conference which you will find in 'First Class'. First class is a piece of software which the OU provide for free. In the first class client, click on 'Open University' and look for the green 'OU Students association' folder, from there look for the OUSA signpost. You can right click on the name of the group and 'add it to desktop' so that it is right there when you log in.

There is also the (currently small) L192 Livejournal group, which is here. You can get a Livejournal account here.

Finally, for a bit of fun, Gnomz is a French blogging site. Though many instructions were in English, the only way I could find to actually get a blog was to switch to French. The comic creation side is geared up for English speakers. All the blogging instructions are in French (at the moment), un blog français, c'est bon, non?