27 avril 2015

Voulé à Musicale Plage

                   I was invited to a company voulé the other day, a barbecue on the beach with the company I work with giving English lessons to adults. The rainy season is reaching its end now, but there are still some strong bursts of rain occasionally, and I was caught in one of these on the way to the barbecue. Not too promising, but it brightened up as I got closer to the beach in the south of the island. It was a chance to talk to some of the guys in the training company... [Lire la suite]
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29 décembre 2014

A Family Christmas

               This year, the Cooper Christmas commenced, continued and ceased in a rather categorical fashion.              We had moments of present-giving and new clothes...                                Smiles and silly hats...                           Moments of intense concentration... ... [Lire la suite]
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13 octobre 2014

The United Gingdom, a guided tour. From the Palace of Wismmister to Wenstre Game.

        I've been working on the British monuments and flags with my kids. The test was at the end of last week, just before the holidays which have just started. The moment of truth, when I get to see what they've remembered from my naturally scintillating lesson.   The British flags have been rebaptized. We now have the Sans Gorge ("no throat" - St George), the Simpatic ("nice" - St Patrick) and the Onion Jack. 10, Downing Street has become 10 Darling Street, 10 Well Street, 10 Dunrens Home or 10,... [Lire la suite]
07 avril 2014

Look at the makis!

      I teach kids in school, but I also teach adults in a training centre about half an hour away. My current groups belong to a local construction society, so we spend hours talking about excavators, compactors, bulldozers, the difference between a Manitou and a Fenwick, where a site manager comes in the company hierarchy and how to work one's way up from pushing soil to wearing a tie and having one's own office. Very interesting, actually. There are groups of trainees in there every day, with lessons ranging... [Lire la suite]
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20 janvier 2014

Thank You For A Lovely Christmas Holiday.

        Family photos. A lovely Christmas was had by all. Lots of people, lots of presents, lots of games, lots of tablet computers. At one point, there were seven of us playing silly games on our various tablets while watching a film. Lots of food, too. A month's holiday, almost completely spent away from Mayotte. As had obviously done a good number of my colleagues: it seemed as though half the school, including the head, was in the same plane on the way back. It gave us all someone to talk to while waiting... [Lire la suite]
25 novembre 2013


             I'm working on crime at the moment with my students. In the first lesson, they came up with crime vocabulary in French and looked up the English words in the dictionary. Experience must have spoken because the first words they said were "rape" and "pedophile". What a start. Unfortunately, these are real problems here. They studied "newspaper articles" about hypothetical burglaries at "10, Upping Street, London" and filled in the above "Help Catch A Thief" page describing the guy... [Lire la suite]

16 septembre 2013

A European In Mayotte

         In my opinion, healthy food is the best. I don't think junk food is better, because it's too fatty and unhealthy.Personally, I like healthy food because it's full of vitamins, it's more natural.I wouldn't say it's the cheapest or quickest but nevertheless, it's important for our health.           Several - if not most - middle and high schools in France have what's known as a European section. In middle school, this means five hours of English per week instead of three,... [Lire la suite]
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09 septembre 2013

Scientific Minds

        I've been teaching English to an adult student for about a year and a half now. He's the director of the local branch of an international building and public works company. He has individual lessons twice a week with me, so he's been teaching me all about potholes, soil excavation and the composition of bitumen. Thing is, the other engineers in that company are jealous. Indeed, the director was getting English lessons and they weren't. They all stand the same chance of being transferred to an... [Lire la suite]
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24 juin 2013


       For the last six months, three colleagues and I have been doing a drama workshop with the kids at school. I filed it as a "school project" at the end of last year, so the Vice-Rectorate (high education authority) gave the school a grant of seven hundred euros to "promote culture in schools". Only one rule: the theme was to be "Culture and History of Mayotte". We therefore asked the kids to produce scenes of their own invention, as they were necessarily going to act scenes of their everyday life, which is... [Lire la suite]
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21 janvier 2013

Right. Where do I start?

                      I am frequently asked what my students' level of English is like. It is, after all, their third language after Shimaorese and French... and it's not as though they speak the first two properly. English is very difficult for most of the kids. Their fluency falls into several categories. Underneath, you will find examples from a test on both, neither and whereas where they had to compare two singers and from a test on food where they had to compare healthy... [Lire la suite]
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