Bonjour tout le monde! This is the first official week of the blog where I will be telling you about all of the exciting tools available to Willamette students of French. My name is Jessa, and I am a senior French major working in the Language Learning Center. If you haven’t been to visit us yet, please come! Okay, this week I have three awesome tools to tell you about.
First, you can change you Webmail to French!
This is easy and allows you to use the language on an everyday basis.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Open you Webmail
2. Select Options from the menu at the top of the page
3. Select Display Preferences
4. Under general display options, select French as the language.
5. Don’t forget to select Submit.
(You may have to refresh the page for it to take effect)
Second, if you have ever wanted a french penpal but don’t have time to write, this new tool is for you. Mixxer is a Skype program that will help you find a partner to practice your language with online. There are more than 12,000 people looking for partners, so its easy to find someone to converse in French with! One recent LLC student spoke with a French teen for an hour and a half! If you don’t have Skype, it is free to download, and you can come to the LLC is you need a headset.
Here’s what to do:
1. Go to the LLC website and click on New Resources for Students, or go to http://www.language-exchanges.org/login.aspx
2. Click on the link to Create a New Profile and fill in your information
3. Follow the directions to find a partner!
This is easy and a great no-pressure way to practice your French. Let the LLC know how your experience goes!
Third, and probably the tool that I use the most often, is the online French dictionary.
On the French LLC page (http://willamette.edu/wits/llc/french/index.htm), you will find links various French dictionaries online. Wordreference.com is my personal favorite when I need to look up a word in one of my readings for class. It is quick, gives multiple definitions, gender, and has common (slang) usages as well. It also goes from English to French when you are writing papers. However, if you are advanced, this is not replacement for Le Petit Robert, which gives you the context for the word. Use Le Petit Robert if you want to make sure you are using the word correctly.