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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2008, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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I need help from American people

As aiming to become a teacher of French in the USA, I need to prepare a little report about this country...
You can answer the following questions, or just one, or just post one sentence, I need some quotes from USA citizens, just when you post precise of which state you are from, if possible...

1-I would like to know how American see France.
2-I would like you to compare the "real life" of an American citizen compared to the main American sitcoms' heroes life (Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty...)
3-I would like you to talk about the life of the American students, and talk about (as precisely as possible) how the American's education work. I mean, what is the way from the age of 4 to the age of 25 when you are studying (I mean explaining for each age and each stage of the life how things work about studies, for example 'from 8 to 12 we go to the college' (it's just a false example).
4-I would like to have some stories about American universities, how you can enter there, how it works, are they efficient ?
If you have pictures of American universities or stories about them, just post them, they would be very useful.
5-Finally, I would like to know if any of you are indeed studying French, and if you heard about some French lessons in your college or university, or if you know anyone following some French lessons around you...

Thanks to all in advance
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2008, 07:09 AM
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Re: I need help from American people

5-My friend is Slovak; she is married to a French guy, and they are living in the US now. She is about to start taking a French class at the university (but at night) so she can talk to his family and speak his language, and they travel to France maybe once or twice per year. (They now speak to each other in English.) She already has a degree, but is taking these classes now. I know that is not what you asked about, it is just FYI.



My university offered French courses, just as it offered Spanish and many others. (Still does, just saying I've already graduated.) There was a language requirement for my degree - I think I had to take two years of any language. I took Spanish. Actually I tried to take French but couldn't get into the classes so Spanish was my second choice.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Re: I need help from American people

#3

5 years old - Kindergarten
6-10 years old is elementary school
11-13 is Middle School
14-17 is High School
18-21 or 22 is College/University
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2008, 02:23 PM
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Re: I need help from American people

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jean* View Post
As aiming to become a teacher of French in the USA, I need to prepare a little report about this country...
You can answer the following questions, or just one, or just post one sentence, I need some quotes from USA citizens, just when you post precise of which state you are from, if possible...

1-I would like to know how American see France.
2-I would like you to compare the "real life" of an American citizen compared to the main American sitcoms' heroes life (Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty...)
3-I would like you to talk about the life of the American students, and talk about (as precisely as possible) how the American's education work. I mean, what is the way from the age of 4 to the age of 25 when you are studying (I mean explaining for each age and each stage of the life how things work about studies, for example 'from 8 to 12 we go to the college' (it's just a false example).
4-I would like to have some stories about American universities, how you can enter there, how it works, are they efficient ?
If you have pictures of American universities or stories about them, just post them, they would be very useful.
5-Finally, I would like to know if any of you are indeed studying French, and if you heard about some French lessons in your college or university, or if you know anyone following some French lessons around you...

Thanks to all in advance
1. It's seems like people I have talked to have great things to say about France except for Paris. It's like Paris is supposed to be "THE MUST" see place in France and yet at most have said it's outside Paris where people are most down to earth.

My Aunt for instance stayed clear from Paris after a view visits but absolutely loved places like Bordeaux and Marseilles.


2. All those shows are frankly full of fiction. There might be some remnants of American "real life" as you mentioned but not much. And remember most shows are filmed in different cities. Meaning if there is some reality on a show, it is more from the area itself than the nation as a whole.

4. I can only speak for myself. I have said many times that I thought a two-year school here in California taught me more than a four year school did in South Dakota.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Re: I need help from American people

These are vague answers.

1 - France has a lot of fashion in it. It is one of the more populated places people like to go to. Paris is a wonderful city.

2 - "Real Life" - People aren't as nosy in DH. Drama happens but its within months of each other. Most of the time its quite boring.

3 - We have Kindergarten to 5th grade which is elementary school. 6th to 8th is junior high. 9th to 12th is college. and people usually go to college for 4 years. I am from California so it may be different in other states. I went to a Catholic school so its quite different than a public school system.

4 - When I went to college. I took the SATs which is Math and English. Also had to submit 3 SAT IIs score which has to be Math IC/IIC and Writing plus an elective subject like French, Chemistry, etc. Wrote an essay regarding the topic the college gives you. It was pretty standard in California.

5 - They taught French in my high school. I always wanted to take French but there were more people who speak Spanish in California than French. My friend went to a private school in Los Angeles and she was taught French, Chinese, and English at the same time. Different schools have different systems if they are not public.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2008, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I need help from American people

Thanks for all that
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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Re: I need help from American people

1-I would like to know how American see France.

I think the average American is a little bit schitzo on France. On the one hand, we recognize its incredible cultural legacy, from its arts and politics to it architecture and its cuisine. At the same time, many Americans see it as a sort of "worst of Europe" with a large, active federal government and vaguely socialist leanings. Some of the Iraq invasion period stereoptyping of cowardice and ingratitude for '44 (although apparently we're allowed to forget that French intervention made our Revolutionary success possible) has died down, but you'll still find pockets of it here, especially the South and the West exclusive of California. I will say this--even most 'mericans who are suspicious of "the French" accept you genuinely and warmly.

2-I would like you to compare the "real life" of an American citizen compared to the main American sitcoms' heroes life (Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty...)

We Americans love to pretend we're a classless society. (No jokes, please). In that we don't have an aristocracy, that's true. We like to think we are divided along the lines of "upper middle class," "middle class" and "lower middle class."

Realistically, upper middle class (where most TV shows are set) means rich to very rich. Middle class probably matches up with a European's idea of middle class. Lower middle class is more or less the working class. We try to lump the poor in with the lower middle class, but they're really not. We have a lot of working poor--people who work, or work when they can--but still live at or near poverty level.

3-I would like you to talk about the life of the American students, and talk about (as precisely as possible) how the American's education work. I mean, what is the way from the age of 4 to the age of 25 when you are studying (I mean explaining for each age and each stage of the life how things work about studies, for example 'from 8 to 12 we go to the college' (it's just a false example).

Most students go to a grammar school from kindergarten through the 5th grade (ages 4 or 5 to 10 or 11). Next is either middle school or junio high school, or from 6th to 8th or sometimes 9th grade (ages 11/12-14/15.

Then comes high school. For many Americans, this is the end of their formal education. When they graduate at age 18, they will go on to trade school, the military, work etc. A substantial number will go on to college.

Obtaining a bachelor's degree usually takes an additional 4 years; an Associate's degree takes 2 years. I've heard that an American with an Associate's degree is about equally educated as a European with a high school degree, but I don't really know if that's true or not.

4-I would like to have some stories about American universities, how you can enter there, how it works, are they efficient ?
If you have pictures of American universities or stories about them, just post them, they would be very useful.

I think it's still a consensus that the US has some of the best universities in the world and a very efficient system. The college and university system here is split up. There are:

County or community colleges--most offer 2-year associates degrees that can be transferred to another institution if the student chooses to pursue a BA. They also often offer education in the trades and are largely funded by the communities they serve. They are communter schools--students come from the surrounding area for classes. Many classes are held late in the day or at night because students are often working while pursuing their degrees. These schools have incredible diversity in terms of age and accomplishments. Usually they have "open admissions" which means if you have a high school diploma and live in the county, you can enroll in classes. Many people look down on them because they are very inexpensive and don't offer any degrees beyond the Associates, but they make education possible for a large number of people for whom college would otherwise be impossible. I went on a lot about them because I used to teach at one.

State schools.

Most big universities are sponsored by their state, e.g. The University of Illinois or the University of Maryland. These large universities are often part of a system of state universities. However, they are united only at the very highest levels. For example, the University of California at Berkely and the University of California at Los Angeles function as virtually seperate institutions. In many states, these universities are considered "flagship" universities which means they get the lion's share of state support, usually have big "names" on their faculty and are home to major research instiutions and libraries. Some, like Texas and Ohio State are huge, with as many as 60,000 students.

Other state schools are a notch down--which is not to say you can't get a very good education at one of them. They tend to be smaller than the flagship schools and have fewer research and library facilities, although most are more than adequate for a typical student's needs. They also tend to have larger commuter populations and more part-time students. The tuition to these schools is typically less. While they usually are not as prestigious as the big state schools, many of them are exceptional in certain areas. For example, the University of North Texas not far from where I live is one of the best jazz music schools in the world.

Finally, there are the private schools. Many of these are affliated with a religious denomination. Others used to be, but after a certain point got rich enough to become independent of whatever group started them. Some are more or less four year country club, where rich kids go to get degrees without overly taxing their minds or having to mingle with the masses. However, this group also includes some of the best universities in the nation and the world--Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Standford, Duke, Chicago, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Pennsylvannia, Dartmouth etc.

There are also lots of small liberal arts colleges in the US with as few as 1,000 students. Many of these are very good schools, but don't offer degrees beyond the bachelors.

5-Finally, I would like to know if any of you are indeed studying French, and if you heard about some French lessons in your college or university, or if you know anyone following some French lessons around you...

I took French in jr. high and high school. I'm afraid it didn't go very well. I think French is the second most popular foreign language to study in the US after Spanish, but I'm nor sure.

Just be prepared. When I was in jr. high school, our French teacher was a very attractive young French woman. The first day of class, she nearly burst into tears listening to a roomful of Texas kids drawling "Parley vooooooo frahnsay?"

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2008, 10:05 PM
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Re: I need help from American people

Hello there! I would love to help you out with some answers, but first, let me explain a bit about the person you are getting these answers from. (me).

I am 23, Male, and I was born and raised in Orlando FL. I have family that has been in the AirForce, family who works for NASA, and Family who work at Disney World. I currently work in the Medical Industry. Feel free to send me anymore questions if it will help you out. Here it goes,

I would like to know how American see France.

Growing up, I was always tought about the wonderful history America has had with France. France helped the United States gain its independance from Briton in our Revolution. We are tought that our Statue of Liberty has a twin that lives in france . Generally in school, everything we learned about France was about our strong alliance, and how many people here in America today, had family come from France, or other parts of Europe at some point. We also learned alot about World War II in school, and the beach we stormed in France to help take it back from the German army.

-- The way I personally see France, is as a beautiful country, with breath taking landscapes foriegn to what I can see here in Florida. Not better, or worse, but definatly a different landscape. I think the culture is wonderful! I think the people are smart, and witty- however they do not have the best sportsmanship. I say this only because of the way the crowds will react, alot of the way I see people react during the french open would be Taboo in my family growing up. I grew up as a swimmer down here however, and did not get into tennis until I was 20. All in all though, I would expect to have a wonderful experiance if I traveled to France, and I would say that in the global community I give France more respect the 95% of the world. I also enjoyed the riots during the torch cerimony, it was nice to see other countries around the world standing up for Human Rights, something I think France is very strong for.

***** Compare real American's to shows like Gossip girl*****

Now- I am sure that if you look, you could meet people who believe they live in that kind of reality, but to be honest with you- I am 23, and its not like that. I even feel like I live in a very "happening" part of the world. People come to Orlando from all over the globe, and I am 2 blocks walking distance from the front gates of Universal Studios Orlando. Its just not that way however. Different people are into different things, and maybe under different financial circumstances it could be like that more easily for other people. Life is pretty normal for myself however. I work hard Monday- Friday, 9:30 - 6. I enjoy my work, and my job, which I think puts me a step above alot of people. I come home to my boyfriend, and my dog, and I spend time with them at home before going to sleep and starting the day over again. I will play tennis because it is free. =)I will watch tv, but outside of that, its nothing near as crazy as those scripted drama shows. Its more about making sure we have money for bills now a days.

*******American Education System********

You go Kindergarden- 5th grade in a primary school. This is how we teach kids to read and write, they begin to learn to write in script, and learn basic educational materials. Some basic history, and geography.

Then- 6-8th grade. This is in a secondary school, it is when you first have the oppertunity to have multiple teachers during the day. You definatly begin to learn more about the world, and culture, more about the english language, the orgin of our country, science. You take English, Math, Science and History as manditory classes, filled in with Gym for sports, and art or music.

9th- 12th.- This happens at your last public school. You are basically learning the rest of your essentials here. You have 4 years of English, I took 4 years of Math, but you only need to take 3, I took 4 years of History/ American Government and Economics/ World Geography and then 3 years of Science. This is a pretty good detail of that whole process, which seems like forever going through it, but now that I am done- I wrapped it up pretty quickly in this statement. =P

I have to go, I will continue this later. hope this much helps so far.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2008, 12:20 AM
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Re: I need help from American people

Many Americans see France as "weak" or "gay" or self-involved. I am not one of them, and I live in a state with a deep French heritage, so most of the people around me--despite haveing other ridiculous notions--do not look down on France.

One thing you should know is that 70% of American students--college and otherwise--cheat. There is little attempt to stop the cheating. I'm sure that is true in the colleges because of money. In other schools--elementary, high school, etc.--I don't know why cheating is allowed--probably pressure from parents.

Education is not valued in the U.S. There is a belief that everyone--no matter how stupid or ill-prepared "deserves" a college education. Also, many Americans make fun of people who are well-educated. This trend has become much worse in the last ten years or so. Rational thinking is not taught in the schools and is generally not respected at all.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2008, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I need help from American people

Thanks for all these amazing informations!
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