Author Archives: Juliet O'Brien

The final examination

WHEN & WHERE?

If you are in sections 101-110, your examination is:

  • on Saturday 14 December 2014
  • from 08:30 – 10:30 a.m.
  • in the Student Recreation Centre (the Rec), A&B

If you are in section 901, your examination is:

  • on Friday 13 December 2014
  • from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • in B 215

WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING WITH YOU

  • your UBC student ID
  • a pen (I would recommend bringing three new ones)
  • water, if you wish
  • a spare layer of clothing in case you get cold during the exam (cardigan, hat, etc.)
  • basics such as keys, outerwear, umbrella,…

WHAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO BRING WITH YOU

  • textbooks, notes, revision materials
  • cellphones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, headphones, and other electronic devices

GUIDANCE FOR REVISING FOR THE FINAL EXAMINATION

This is what I usually tell students, in all classes, for exam preparation:

1. Sleep. At least 8 hours/night, every night. Sleep plays an essential role in the consolidation of memory.

2. Electronic visual blackout before sleep. At least an hour with no electronic light-sources (i.e. screens). This should help you to sleep. Listening to music, however: yes. Actively encouraged: especially if it’s in French! Music should also help you be happier and calmer.

3. Eat well and regularly.

4. Exercise. Make sure you’ve at least stretched for 5 minutes every hour. Including during exams. This keeps your core muscles working and your airways open; especially around your upper torso and shoulders. We will remind students of the passing of time during the exam, and one reason for that is to give us a reason to remind students to stretch out a bit.

5. Cramming at the last minute is not advised, for three reasons:

(a) Most of your work is done during term, in the virtuous cycle of teaching-and-learning. This is reinforced by FREN101’s online exercises. There is little material that you can cram at the last minute, without taking drugs of a sort that also risk messing up memory. French is unlike academic areas that depend on learning facts by heart, by rote, in a mechanical robotic way.

(b) French is like most other academic subjects in that, at a university level, in order to do well you will/should also need to show evidence of reflexion, of independent thought. This entails active new thinking during the exam.

(c) French, like any language, requires regular continuous work and practice. The way it is learned is more like music than is is like other Arts/Humanities subjects. An analogy: if you had a piano recital, you wouldn’t do nothing at all and then cram 18 hours’ practice the day before.

6. Some of the best revision you can do before tests and exams is testing yourself. One of the best tests of your knowledge is your capability to explain something to another person. As I always tell me own students / section around week 3 of class: it is worth getting into study-pairs or groups (but keep them small: 2-4 people) as soon as possible, and definitely well before the middle of the term. In my experience, many people do this anyway. Meet regularly over coffee/tea (and maybe cake, du gâteau). Quiz each other. This can be done at any time, and continues to be beneficial in the week before a final exam

7. Make sure you know where your exam is taking place, how to get to it, and how long that will take.

8. Make sure you know where the nearest bathroom is. Pay a visit before the exam.

9. Arrive at your exam early (at least 20 minutes before the start), preferably including at least 10 minutes’ walking in your itinerary to get some oxygen into your brain (but not running).

10. Don’t bring anything with you that you don’t need for the exam itself. Especially no notes, revision guides, last-minute crib-sheets, etc. They rarely help. You’re better off spending those last few minutes before the exam doing deep breathing. Some people meditate. Do whatever works for you, something calm that involves breathing slowly and deeply, good for your heart-rate as well as your blood (and brain) oxygen levels.

REVISION GUIDE: USEFUL DOCUMENTS (PDF)

UBC RULES ABOUT EXAMINATIONS

Your are expected to know these: it is one of your contractual responsibilities and obligations when you registered as a UBC student.

SEE ALSO

typing accents in French UPDATED 2013-10-31

Also known as: diacritical marks, diacritics. French accents matter: they are an integral part of the language, of how words are spelled—like any other letter—and of the meaning of words: not just for decoration (though yes, they can look pretty). See further: this item on About.com about French accents, and the Wikipedia article on the French alphabet (from which you can copy-paste accents too…)

HOW TO TYPE THEM?

1. Windows:
http://french.about.com/od/writing/ss/typeaccents_2.htm
See also: FRENCH ACCENTS USING THE INTERNATIONAL KEYBOARD

2. Apple:
http://french.about.com/od/writing/ss/typeaccents_8.htm

Tip 1: go to SETTINGS, add US (International) keyboard, and ensure the little character palette always appears in the top-right hand corner of your screen in case you need to simply drop in or copy-paste characters.

Tip 2: if you are on iPhone or iPad: if you go into “settings” you can add a French keyboard, and switch as needed between different language-setting keyboards. This does switch your keyboard from QWERTY to AZERTY, though: but becoming keyboard-multi-gestural is not always that hard!

3. Linux, others, and general information:
http://french.about.com/od/writing/ss/typeaccents_11.htm
http://french.about.com/od/writing/ss/typeaccents.htm

See also: FRENCH ACCENTS USING THE INTERNATIONAL KEYBOARD

Tip 1: if you are on an Android phone
(I haven’t tried this with Windows and other smartphones and smaller devices): if you go into “settings” you can add a French keyboard, and switch as needed between different language-setting keyboards. This does switch your keyboard from QWERTY to AZERTY, though: but becoming keyboard-multi-gestural is not always that hard!

Tip 2: Chrome / Chromebooks:
The free extension utf-8 provides a character palette, from which you can select accents to drop in or copy-paste.

Tip 3: Chromebooks:
Go to SETTINGS > keyboard settings > Language & input.
Change your keyboard to US International (you may find it also helps to add US Extended).
When the International option is on, you’ll see INTL in the bottom right-hand corner. If you don’t, click SHIFT-ALT to switch keyboards. You will find that when you use keys also used for accented characters (ex. ‘), if you need to use that key for its usual purpose (ex ‘= single quotation marks, or for the possessive in English), you need to type a space after hitting that key.
Keyboard-adding and -switching can be done with as many keyboards as you want: ex. adding in Chinese, Arabic, etc. and switching between them as needed.

FRENCH ACCENTS USING THE INTERNATIONAL KEYBOARD:

I’ve tested this on a Windows desktop and a Chromebook. On a Chromebook, some other key combinations are also possible, but involve either exactly as many finger-movements or more, and may be harder to remember and learn.

First, ensure you are using the international keyboard.

ACCENT AIGU [ex. é]:
á = single-quote ´ + a
é = ‘ + e
í = ‘ + i
ó = ‘ + o
ú = ‘ + u

Á = ‘ + shift-a (held down together)
É = ‘ + shift-e
etc…

ACCENT GRAVE
à = ` + a (`= top left-hand corner, same key as the ~)
è = ` + e
etc…
À = ` + shift-a
etc…

ACCENT CIRCONFLEXE
â = shift-^+ a (^ = on the same key as 6)
ê = shift-6 + e
 = shift-6 + shift-a
etc…

CÉDILLE
ç = ‘ + c

TRÉMA
ä = shift-‘ + a
ë = shift-‘ + e
Ä = shift-‘ + shift-a
etc…

LIGATURES
æ = ctrl-shift-& + a (& = on the same key as 7)
(Chromebook) alt gr + z (alt gr = right-hand alt key)
œ = ctrl-shift-& + o
(Chromebook) alt gr + k
 

The Rules

AIMS, OBJECTIVES, EXPECTATIONS, RESPONSIBILITIES, GRADING CRITERIA

I. AIMS & OBJECTIVES

See specific description for this course.

It/we also hope to provide you with, as a bonus,

  • a love for learning
  • some enjoyment and pleasure
  • an awareness of the potential of language and literature to open up other worlds to you, and to provide an infinite resource of comfort and consolation: through “geeking out” with French words, turns of phrase, seeing how the languge is constructed… leading you to different ways of thinking about the world, seeing it from a different perspective.
  • = useful life skills, whatever life you choose to lead and wherever life takes you after this course

II. EXPECTATIONS

What you should expect from this course:

  • an interactive format, that will include some short lectures
  • discussion, work in groups and individually, intensive writing in a workshop style
  • reading, in the full sense: reading, rereading, and thinking while reading, making notes
  • writing, every week: most of this will be short, and it is intended to be non-traumatic but intensive
  • to learn: through a combination of lectures, discussion with peers, and your own independent initiative
  • to learn to enjoy and maybe even love learning, especially via linguistic geekery: this is a major step towards becoming a philologist and/or philosopher
  • to have–it is seriously and strongly hoped–some fun

III. RESPONSIBILITIES

(In proper 18th-century social-contract style.)

You will be expected to:

  • attend class: regular attendance is expected of all students. Unexcused absences and late arrivals will drastically affect your final grade
  • do so in an attentive manner
  • participate and contribute: this contributes to part of your final grade
  • prepare for class: have the requisite texts, and have read (and in most cases reread) them in advance
  • be courteous, respectful, and tolerant of other students
  • think
  • ask questions
  • complete the required assignments in a timely manner, and do so without cheating or other low, disreputable, underhand, unethical, or illegal means; late work will be penalized, and will not be accepted once it is a week late (unless covered by medical or other acceptable official certification)
  • check your email frequently, and check this site regularly; and keep your email contact information up to date with UBC IT.
    NB: that’s also one of your obligations as a UBC student, as per Student Declaration and Responsibility
  • communicate in a timely fashion with O’Brien if you are absent, ill, suffer a mishap, and/or–especially–if this will impact on the due handing in of work or sitting of examinations (midterm, final project, final exam).
    NB: PLEASE INCLUDE THE COURSE NUMBER IN YOUR EMAIL SUBJECT LINE (otherwise your email will go into a general inbox and be read later; it may even land and malinger in spam)
  • bear in mind that there are some times when your instructor will not be accessible and available: instructors are humans and need to rest, the better to work with you
  • try very hard to have a generally positive and sunny outlook, and to be of a cheerful disposition
  • (O’Brien: in multi-section courses such as FREN 101 & 102, policies may differ for other instructors)
    O’Brien will read email regularly and frequently Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (unless teaching, in office hours, or marking).
    She will read email regularly but less frequently between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
    She will respond to your emails within 24 hours during the week.

AND IN RETURN…
Your instructor promises to

  • attend, participate, be prepared
  • be courteous, respectful, and tolerant; but also fair, patient, non-judgmental, encouraging, kind, and sympathetic
  • comment on, mark, grade, and return your work in a timely manner (usually within a week of work’s submission); this should include useful and constructive comments
  • make time to go through corrected work with students, in office hours or by appointment
  • hold weekly office hours
  • be open to questions and requests for further explanations
  • listen
  • communicate with you in a timely fashion on any matters pertaining to the course
  • reply to emails efficiently and promptly, within 24 hours during the week (other than when assessments are due, and during the examination period, when email-checking hours will be extended)
  • try very hard to have a generally positive and sunny outlook, and to be of a cheerful disposition

IV. GRADING CRITERIA

(all sections and all instructors)

  • FHIS Grading and Distribution of Marks Guidelines (Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies, UBC)
  • Your final grade may be scaled / curved / adjusted to comply with FHIS and Faculty of Arts grading guidelines.
  • Please don’t cheat. It’s not good, it’s not nice, and it’s no fun for anyone.

This next bit won’t necessarily be relevant for the specifics of all courses, but it may be useful for your other courses and it’s part of my general “Rules” statement. I’m leaving it in here, just in case.

This next bit IS IMPORTANT AND APPLIES TO ALL FRENCH AND INDEED ALL UBC COURSES!

V. ON PLAGIARISM: IMPORTANT:

(all sections and all instructors)

Plagiarism robs you of what you think and what you can learn. Avoid it. Please be reminded that your education includes academic integrity. Unattributed use of someone’s else work (book, journal article, newspaper clip, online material, etc) and other demonstrated incidences of plagiarism will result in penalties ranging from an F course grade to expulsion from the university when the incident is reported to the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline.

This is a part of your formal relationship with the University. See further:

VI. LATE WORK POLICY

(O’Brien: in multi-section courses such as FREN 101 & 102, policies may differ for other instructors)

Late work WILL BE penalized:

  • -20% for the 1st day or part thereof, counting from when I open my email the morning after your homework is due in. Warning: I usually get up early!
  • plus another -10% per day thereafter
  • so:
    -20% if it’s 1 day late,
    -30% for 2 days late,
    -40% for 3 days late,
    etc.
  • no late work will be accepted after 1 week after the deadline

VII. EXTENSIONS & MAKING UP FOR MISSED WORK

(O’Brien: in multi-section courses such as FREN 101 & 102, policies may differ for other instructors)

  • subject to negotiation, and not guaranteed or to be taken for granted
  • ONLY if asked for in advance, in writing (email me), and with supporting documentation (following University guidelines on what counts). I usually liaise with Arts Academic Advising (or other Academic Advising office, if you are in a different Faculty): this saves you some time and trouble seeing every prof for every course…
  • In advance, when possible: except for exceptional circumstances such as accidents, of course!

VIII. EXAMINATIONS

(all sections and all instructors)

On the midterm (if applicable) and final examinations:

  • see exam policies and accommodations
  • in certain circumstances (medically-certified illness, etc.) a make-up version can be arranged: this will be a different test (or exam, etc.) from the one sat by the rest of the class
  • ONLY by arrangement, and with supporting documentation

Supporting documentation: what counts?

These rights, rules, and responsibilities are in addition to, not instead of, all policies and guidelines as supplied by the University, Faculty of Arts, and Department of FHIS. Some rules may change along the way; this should always be for good reason and be done in a reasonable way.

IX. SOME QUICK LINKS FOR UBC RULES, POLICIES, & PROCEDURES

(all sections and all instructors)

 

WELCOME – BIENVENUE

(LAST UPDATED: 2013-09-17)

Welcome to FREN 101 (and, in term 2, 102). On this site, you will find the basic documentation for the course:

FAQ:

  • what information is needed for iLrn registration?
  • what’s my course code?
  • what’s the language lab?
  • where is the language lab?
  • when is the language lab?

FAnswers:

  • if you haven’t yet registered on iLrn, see here on setting up an account:
    —READ THIS GUIDE FIRST AND KEEP IT OPEN IN ANOTHER TAB ON YOUR COMPUTER WHILE YOU ARE REGISTERING AT ILRN—
    Course materials: introduction to iLrn
  • course = FREN 101
  • course code = DGDCTM366
  • and then join the right class (ex. Section 101)
  • About the language lab: what it is, where, when, and what you should bring with you
  • Labs start in week 3 (16-20 September) for “A” groups, in week 4 (23-27 September) for “B” groups
  • The language lab schedule (for “A” groups and for “B” groups)
  • What you’ll do in your first lab (the others will follow a similar pattern):
    “A” groups (week of 16-20 September)
    “B” groups (week of 23-27 September)

Continue reading

WEEKS 1-2: 4-13 SEPTEMBER, 2013

(O’Brien, sections 103 & 107)

Slides:

description & syllabus

The description and syllabus (PDF) includes:

  • content & objectives
  • eligibility
  • required course materials / textbook
  • modes of assessment & distribution of marks
  • UBC admin information (warnings about the final examination, dates for withdrawal from the course without / with a W on one’s transcript)
  • co-ordinator contact information

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

FREN 101-102 is a beginners’ French course, of a “blended” and “enriched” approach. The objective of the course is the acquisition of basic comprehension, communication, and writing skills. It aims to provide students with a solid grounding in French grammar and the development of an awareness of the language’s structures, and to act as a useful introduction to French and Francophone culture. The course involves three hours a week of classroom work, plus five one-hour sessions of oral comprehension practice in the Multimedia Language Centre (the evening section, FREN 101_901, has an online alternative).

PLEASE NOTE:

  • You will NOT be graded on French pronunciation: this is a beginners’ class!
  • See also: The Rules

course materials UPDATED: 2013-09-17

Manley, Smith, McMinn, Prévost
Horizons (5th edition): textbook & iLrn online exercises
Nelson/Heinle/CENGAGE 2012

OR

OR

  • ISBN 9780840048738
    = iLrn package, includes ebook (but no printed book):
    same as previous item, but a different ISBN for the one available from the UBC Bookstore

VISUAL VERSION Continue reading

iLrn: the online exercises and extra practice UPDATED: 2013-11-04

QUICK LINKS:

Continue reading

the language lab UPDATED: 2013-09-16

Language lab work (or, for FREN 101-901, the alternative exercises c/o your instructor) = 10% of your final grade.

The lab sessions start in week 3 of term for half the groups, week 4 for the other half. You will have five (5) lab sessions, one every two weeks. Remember: there are no labs (or other UBC classes) on Wednesday 18 September, Monday 14 October, and Monday 11 November. For this reason, only your best three labs (not all five) count.

Further information is in the attached PDFs:

UBC resources & useful links

UBC FRENCH

UBC FACULTY OF ARTS

  • Academic advising: Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Arts grading guidelines: your final grade may be scaled / curved / adjusted to comply with these guidelines. For a version of these guidelines used by FHIS, see: Grading Guidelines for Content-Based Courses (Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies, UBC)

UBC GENERAL RESOURCES

UBC POLICIES & PROCEDURES & RULES & REGULATIONS

“I hereby accept and submit myself to the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) of The University of British Columbia, and of the faculty or faculties in which I am registered, and to any amendments thereto which may be made while I am a student of the University, and I promise to observe the same.”

[…] Students are required to inform themselves of the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) and to any amendments thereto applicable at the University. For policies and procedures issued by the Board of Governors, see the University of British Columbia Policy and Procedure Handbook or the Office of the University Counsel for the official text. For policies issued by the Vancouver Senate, see the Senate for up-to-date copies.

The University authorities do not assume responsibilities for others that naturally rest with adults themselves. This being so, the University relies on the good sense and on the home training of students for the preservation of good moral standards and for appropriate modes of behaviour […]

The University and University authorities are not obligated to enforce any statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances (including bylaws, codes or policies) if discretionarily enforceable by law or made under its, or their, power or authority.