19 October, 2011

Drinking Culture

We discussed some questions, in groups, about drinking in general.

How often do you drink per week or per month?
Who in your group drinks the least/the most or not at all?
What is the drink you like the most?
What is the most popular drink in your group?
What country do you think drinks the most as a group, why?
Who was the youngest when you had your first drink, who was the oldest
?Where did you have your first drink, with famiily or with friends?
Where do you prefer to drink and why?
What are some things you don't like about drinking?

We listened to This American Life, a non-profit radio show in the U.S. The episode was no. 396: #1 Party School, and about drinking at a large University located in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. The link to the episode and transcripts can be found here. If you are interested by beer, there is a good documentary on beer called, American Beer. You can see a trailer for it here.

We discussed how U.S. wine consumption surpassed French Wine consumption in March 2011. Americans consume 329 million cases of wine. An example of a successful wine seller in the States is Gary Vaynerchuk, who started his website in 1997 to sell wine. He now sells 60 million dollars of wine a year through his site. He offers video wine reviews through his site as well.

Link to the article with episode and transcript:
Link to Gary's video review of Saumur & Chinon Wines:
Gary's Review of Chateau Clinet in Pomerol, Bordeaux with Owner:

18 October, 2011

Class October 12th & 17th

Wednesday the 12th in levels 4 & 5, we worked on dialogues. After, we watched a small comedic clip on wine tasting in California's Sonoma Wine Valley.

Wednesday the 12th in level 3, we played a game.

For anyone who missed the Quiz on Monday the 17th, please contact me. There will be a retake with a new quiz tomorrow the 19th at 14h30.

10 October, 2011

What went wrong?? Niveau 4 & 5

Products don't always sell well in a new market. Think about these situations, and what went wrong. Often times, the advertisers did not consider the target audience when they created the product of the campaign.

Western companies had problems selling refrigerators in Japan until they
changed the design to make them quieter.

Japanese prefer quiet when in their homes.

In Saudi Arabia, newspaper advertisements for an airline showed an
attractive hostess serving champagne to happy passengers. A lot of passengers
cancelled their flight reservations.

Alcohol is forbidden in Saudi Arabia, and women are to be humble and covered.

An airline company called itself Emu, after the Austrailian bird. But
Austrailians didn't want to use the airline.

The emu is a large, flightless bird.

A TV commercial for a cleaning product showed a little girl cleaning up the
mess her brother made. The commercial caused problems in Canada.

Reaffirms the sexist idea females should clean up after male counterparts. There is a long history of feminism in Canada.

Several European and American firms couldn't sell their products in Dubai
when they ran their advertising campaign in Arabic.

Dubai is an international and multi-lingual city. Besides Arabic, Hindu, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Chinese, and other laguages are spoken.

A laundry detergent ad had a picture of dirty lcothes on the left, a
picture of the product in the center, and clean clothes on the right. The soap
didn't sell well in the Middle East.

In Arabic, you read from right to left, thus making the product appear as though it makes your clothes dirty.

A company had problems when it tried to introduce instant coffee to the
French market.

The French drink short, strong, espresso style coffee which is not possible to have with instant coffee. Also, coffee is drank in cafes and during "pause café" more so than at home where you would make coffee. If you drink coffee at home in France, you usually have a machine than makes good coffee.

A toothpaste manufacturer couldn't sell its product in parts of South-East

In some cultures, people still use natual products like nuts, leaves, and twigs to clean their teeth. In some cultures, these natural items will stain or color your teeth more yellozw. This comes from an old belief that staining your teeth is a sign or welth or importance within the community, and was also used on women after they were married.

An American golf ball manufacturer launched its products in Japan packed in
boxes of four. It had to change the pack size.

Four is an unlucky number in Japan.

Make sure you consider these points when thinking about your target audience
for your presentations.

Describing People - Niveau 3

Everyone loves people watching from the café. There are many ways to remark on someone’s outward appearance, and to describe someone’s style, ethnicity, and clothing.
• Look! He / She is wearing…
• He / She looks like he / she is …They look like they are…
• They have the appearance …
• Those people are … That person is …

Descriptive Words
• tall – grand(e)
• well-built / shapely (f) – bien foutue
• little / short – petit(e)
• buff (m) – bien baraqué
• a midget – un / une nain(e)
• scrawny – un sac d’os
• hunchback – bossu(e)
• tanned – bronze(e)
• pale – pale, palot
• long-haired – chevulu(e)
• hairy – poilu(e)
• chunky / chubby – grassouillet(te)
• fat – gros/grosse
• skinny – maigre; maigrichon(ne)

Attractive People
• handsome (m) – beau
• beautiful (f) – belle
• cute – mignon(ne)
• pretty (f) – jolie
• stylish – à la mode
• really fashionable – glamour
• hip – branché(e)
• trendy – tendance

• a lean face – un visage fin
• a friendly / likeable face – une bonne piffe
• a good “mug” – une bonne gueule
• a round face – la tête arrondie
• a square jaw – un visage carré
• beady eyes – des petits yeux
• good measurements – de bonne mensurations
• a nasty mop of hair – une sale tignasse
• a bad figure – un physique désagréable
• a tiny head – une petit tête
• a big head – une grosse tête
• homely – un / une laideron(ne)
• slimy – un gros porc
• dirty – sale
• a fat sausage – un boudin

• kids – les enfants
• teens – les ados
• wino – le pochetron ; le poivrot
• bum – le / la clochard(e)
• a thug – un voyou
• spoiled rich kid – un fils / une fille à papa
• ladies’ man – un tombeur
• good ol’ boy – un bon bougre
• redneck – un pequenot
• hick – un plouc
• jock – le sportif / la sportive

• White trash – les beaufs
• The rich folk – Les costume-cravate
• Bible-Thumpers – les culs bénis
• The commuters – Les métros-boulet-dodo
• Hippies – les babas cools
• The bohemians / yuppies – Les bobos

Put in Practice You now have a choice of several photos. With a partner, I want you to imagine what type of life the person in the photo has. Describe their physical appearance, but also what you think they might act like. Tell me things you think they are interested in and like to do. Make fun of them a little if you would like.

09 October, 2011

Niveau 3 Grammar Review

Here is a revision of simple present and present continuous.

Vegetarians are people who don't eat meat.
Look out! My husband is coming.
Some people still think the sun goes round the earth.
I play tennis every weekend.
Who is sitting in my chair?
What happens in golf if you lose the ball?
An alcoholic is a person who drinks too much.
Look! She's wearing the same shoes as me.
What are you looking at?
I am staying with John for a few weeks.
We usually stay with Peg when we are in Chicago.
Can you explain why water always runs downhill?
The refridgerator is running.
What are you doing with my coat?
Not many passenger planes fly faster than sound.
We are flying today.
How long was your flight?

I think he's away.
You know what I mean.
She is always complaining.
We always start at nine.
While the butter is melting, you take three eggs and break them into a bowl.
I am thinking about your father.
Scientists believe the weather is changing.
I don't see what the problem is.
Why are you looking at me like that?
Now I understand what she wants.

Where were your shoes made?
Did you go out last night?
What were you doing at 10:30?
Where was your mother born?
Has Barbara gone home?
What time did she go?
When were these houses built?
Did Jim arrive yet?
Why did you go home early?
How long have they been married?

Joe has lost his passport.
This bridge was built ten years ago.
Have you finished your work yet?
This town is very clean. The streets are cleaned every day.
Where were you born?
Where are you from?
I have just made coffee, would you like some?
Glass is made from sand.
This is a very old photograph. It was taken a long time ago.
Joe has bought a new car.

06 October, 2011

Web Vocabulary & Questions

The internet will only continue to be used more and more in the future. If you plan on having a career in tourism, or any career at all, it is not only important to be able to speak some English, but to familiarize yourself with the language used when discussing websites and web marketing. This lesson aims to help you discuss websites better. All vocabulary you are expected to know is in green.


Web Browser – (navigateur) There are four common browsers, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, & Apple Safari.

The Web Browser is a software with a window composed of a Title Bar, Address Bar (Lien), Search Bar (Recherer), Favorites (Favoris), Tool Bars (bar des utils), a Scroll Bar (défilement de dialogue) and RSS Feeds (flux). Can you locate these in your browser? There is also, the Back (retour) and Forward (suivant) buttons, Refresh/ Reload (actualiser), Stop (arrêter), and Home (acceuil) buttons. Click that arrow and a menu will drop down, this is a drop-down menu, which there are many kinds. Hit the stop button to stop the process of loading a web page.

The link provided here is an in-depth look at the parts and pieces of a browser. It is a good reference for more English regarding surfing the web.


Before building a website, you have to have content that you want to publish to the internet. What you read, look at, or watch on the site is known as the main content. It is the subject matter of the website. You can have some websites that are concerned with a variety of content, and it is usually separated and organized within the navigation or menus.

There is usually a Main Header – or usually the top of the site, that has the name of the website inside it. For example, Google has one of the most famous headers which doubles as its logo (even if it is freauently changing on certain days). Also, even though it appears as though it is floating, it is still a header. After that you will sometimes have a search bar, like with Google or Youtube, but with other sites you will have a Main Navigation, Menu or Links, and sometimes Secondary Navigation, Menu or Links. At the bottom of most pages you will also find a footer, which acts as an index and another set of navigational links for the site.

When in the process of designing a cite, there are four main things that are considered. General Layout, Colors, Text Hierarchy (how big is each title, or the text you read, or the text of links and buttons), and Imagery – background images, moving or static, photographs or drawings.

Websites are like houses. You can build them out of different Web Languages, for example: HTML, XHTML, CSS, Java, Flash, XML, jQuery, PHP, Sql, and some others. Each language works differently to achieve different things. All websites use the basic HTML language. Once you have the basic building materials, you can construct many different parts of the website, and not every website has exactly the same things.


After the basic and standard website, there are many things you can add to a website for advertising purposes. A basic type of advertising is banner ads, which can appear horizontally or vertically anywhere in the site. Another type is known as rich media. It is advertising such as videos or moving parts which react to the user’s cursor or mouse movements.

Multimedia campaigns or cross-media campaigns are when advertising firms decide to use more than one area of the web for the campaign, or choose to incoporate printed ads, like in magazines. This includes launching a website, with a Youtube video, and a corresponding Facebook page, and even Twitter pages. Frequently, firms will release one of the pieces of the campaign in advance of the others in order to build hype, or excitement leading up to the launch of the full (finished, complete) campaign.


What do you use the internet for mostly aside from e-mail, social networking, and media (such as music, movies, and television)?

How many hours a day do you honestly use the internet, including listening to music, watching streaming or downloaded videos, and using the internet from your phone?

How many hours per day/week do you spend on the internet?

Could any of you live without the internet and would you want to?

Do you think we spend too much time on the internet? Why?

What is the best/worst thing about the internet,? Be specific, ex. favorite site or pop-ups;

Is the internet dangerous? Why?

Do you ever meet people from the internet? Is this dangerous?

What sites do you use to plan trips or vacations?

What parts of your vacation do you use the internet to plan? Do you plan just the flights, or accomodations as well?

How do you plan your trips meals? Do you search for stores online, on your phone, or do you wander around?

Do you plan restaurants online? Do you often look for the menu to a place online?

There are many free sites for creating blogs, which could be useful for your presentations, including:

Sites regarding tourism:
For transportation and/or places to stay-

For organizing things to do on your trip: - general site for travel planning - Strange and urious travel desitinations - Not For Tourists, a website providing reviews to many frequently visitied cities. - an American site that allows users to review restaurants, bars, and more and give ratings, similar to la fute & routard

04 October, 2011

Université d'Angers Webmail Problems

For those of you whom are trying to contact me, please direct any e-mails to my GMAIL account, as the University Webmail is currently down. I have no news on when it will be operational, and I have not been able to access it since Sunday.

Thank you in advance.

03 October, 2011

Travel Advertising Campaign

The finished product will be a 2 - 3 page paper, in complete sentences on your process. Explaining why you choose to market a tour or destination in the way that you chose. You will present on October 24th for 5-10 minutes. I will stop people after 10 minutes. You will have access to the computer and projector, as well as internet.

Select one of the following topics to choose as the subject of your media campaign by the end of the week (7th October): (If you are feeling motivated, create a product of your own. Be sure to verify with me first.)

  • The Island of Dolls, near Mexico City, Mexico

  • Chernobyl, Ukraine

  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

  • North Korea

  • Death Valley, California

  • Nebraska or Kansas
The job of advertisers, no matter what the product, is to make the product look attractive. You must know the target audience of your product, who you are trying to sell to; and think of the types of things they are going to be interested in. You want to capture their interest, and convince them the new tour is cool and worth their money.

Imagine you are in charge of developing these aspects of the advertising campaign for a travel package. Imagine I am the head of your agency; you will be "pitching" (giving) your ideas to me in a presentation format.

Your presentation must address these area of the advertsing campaign.

SLOGAN - catchphrase, motto, or tagline of your product. It is something memorable.

BUZZWORDS - developed from your brainstorm of what the product should be, these words generate interest and describe your product

TARGET AUDIENCE - this is exactly who you are selling to; you should know their age, where they are from, what kind of interests they have

MEDIA - Viral/Internet or Multimedia/Multiplatform Campaigns with Print. There are many different ways to get information out to your audience. Based on your choice of a website, facebook page, twitter account, or other types of internet and printed media, will change how your audience will interact with your brand. I want you at the very least, describe the look of your advertisments. You can choose to support your description with photographs or other visual support. The sky is the limit, you can make facebook pages, a powerpoint presentation, whatever you would like to do. Keep in mind, its still an English project, and your use of English is being graded.

SUMMARY - Conclusion; it is a presentation, so remember its important to have a few short closing remarks.

Here are links to the travel campaigns we looked at in class and others.

Montana, There's Nothing Here : : The Roaming Gnome : Griswold Hotel Hell Vacation :

Chicago's the Field Museum, Sue Escapes :

This is My Milwaukee :

Post any questions to the comments section.