Skip to main content

The new Cité du Vin in Bordeaux

A magnificent new tourist attraction has just opened in Bordeaux, a UNESCO heritage city. It's called the Cité du Vin and is a state-of-the-art visitor centre/museum right by the Garonne, close to the city centre. Here is a text I wrote about it for frenchteacher. The worksheet has attached exercises.

Image: XTU Architects/Wikimedia Commons


Bordeaux vise à devenir la capitale mondiale du vin avec sa nouvelle attraction touristique, la très futuriste Cité du Vin qui a ouvert ses portes en juin 2016. Surnommé le « Guggenheim du vin », l'attraction qui a coûté €83 millions n’est pas seulement un panneau publicitaire colossal pour l'industrie du vin de Bordeaux, qui a une valeur de 4 milliards d'euros par an et qui fait travailler
50 000 employés.

Elle célèbre le vin à travers le monde et 6000 ans de vinification. Le bâtiment de huit étages à côté du pont Chaban-Delmas sur la Garonne est censé ressembler à du vin clapotant autour d'un verre et a été conçu par l'architecte parisien X-Tu. Le bâtiment aux formes arrondies est surmonté d’une tour de 55 mètres recouverte de panneaux de verre et d'aluminium doré pour créer des reflets sur le fleuve.

A l'intérieur, on trouve 3000 mètres carrés d'expositions permanentes créées par une agence de Londres, CassonMann. Les expositions sont sous forme de créations multimédia, avec pratiquement pas d'objets. C’est un genre d’espace que les visiteurs n’auront jamais connu auparavant, selon le concepteur Gary Shelley.

Chaque visiteur dispose d'un guide numérique avec un casque qui traduit beaucoup d'informations audio-visuelles - même les Français en auront besoin car tout n’est pas en français. L'exposition utilise des images en 3D pour une visite du vignoble mondial, des écrans tactiles pour montrer les méthodes vinicoles, la diffusion d'arômes pour décrire les éléments sensoriels du vin et même une « chaise de la gueule de bois » où les auteurs parlent de l'excès!

Sur le fleuve, un ponton permet un accès pour les passagers de navires de croisière et les bateaux partiront de ce même ponton pour faire des visites du vignoble bordelais. La tour, elle, a un restaurant panoramique et le haut, le Belvédère, offre une vue sur la ville de Bordeaux (site Unesco). Le bar est éclairé par le plus grand chandelier du monde, fabriqué à partir de plusieurs milliers de bouteilles. Ceci est la dernière étape de la visite et c’est l'occasion, enfin, de déguster du vin.

Des sponsors ont réuni 19% des fonds et des investisseurs américains ont financé l’auditorium Thomas Jefferson €1 million, nommé d'après le président américain qui a introduit le vin aux Etats-Unis alors qu'il était ambassadeur en France.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The latest research on teaching vocabulary

I've been dipping into The Routledge Handbook of Instructed Second Language Acquisition (2017) edited by Loewen and Sato. This blog is a succinct summary of Chapter 16 by Beatriz González-Fernández and Norbert Schmitt on the topic of teaching vocabulary. I hope you find it useful.

1.  Background

The authors begin by outlining the clear importance of vocabulary knowledge in language acquisition, stating that it's a key predictor of overall language proficiency (e.g. Alderson, 2007). Students often say that their lack of vocabulary is the main reason for their difficulty understanding and using the language (e.g. Nation, 2012). Historically vocabulary has been neglected when compared to grammar, notably in the grammar-translation and audio-lingual traditions as well as  communicative language teaching.

(My note: this is also true, to an extent, of the oral-situational approach which I was trained in where most vocabulary is learned incidentally as part of question-answer sequence…

Dissecting a lesson: using a set of PowerPoint slides

I was prompted to write this just having produced for frenchteacher.net three separate PowerPoint presentations using the same set of 20 pictures (sports). A very good way for you to save time is to reuse the same resource in a number of different ways.

I chose 20 clear, simple, clear and copyright-free images from pixabay.com to produce three presentations on present tense (beginners), near future (post beginner) and perfect tense (post-beginner/low intermediate). Here is one of them:





Below is how I would have taught using this presentation - it won't be everyone's cup of tea, especially of you are not big on choral repetition and PPP (Presentation-Practice-Production), but I'll justify my choice in the plan at each stage. For some readers this will be standard practice.

1. Explain in English that you are going to teach the class how to talk about and understand people talking about sport. By the end of the lesson they will be able to say and understand 20 different sport…

Delayed dictation

What is “delayed dictation”?

Instead of getting students to transcribe immediately what you say, or what a partner says, you can enforce a 10 second delay so that students have to keep running over in their heads what they have heard. Some teachers have even used the delay time to try to distract students with music.

It’s an added challenge for students but has significant value, I think. It reminds me of a phenomenon in music called audiation. I use it frequently as a singer and I bet you do too.

Audiation is thought to be the foundation of musicianship. It takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present. You can audiate when listening to music, performing from notation, playing “by ear,” improvising, composing, or notating music. When we have a song going round in our mind we are audiating. When we are deliberately learning a song we are audiating.

In our language teaching case, though, the earworm is a word, chunk of l…

Designing a plan to improve listening skills

Read many books and articles about listening and you’ll see it described as the forgotten skill. It certainly seems to be the one which causes anxiety for both teachers and students. The reasons are clear: you only get a very few chances to hear the material, exercises feel like tests and listening is, well, hard. Just think of the complex processes involved: segmenting the sound stream, knowing lots of words and phrases, using grammatical knowledge to make meaning, coping with a new sound system and more. Add to this the fact that in England they have recently decided to make listening tests harder (too hard) and many teachers are wondering what else they can do to help their classes.

For students to become good listeners takes lots of time and practice, so there are no quick fixes. However, I’m going to suggest, very concisely, what principles could be the basis of an overall plan of action. These could be the basis of a useful departmental discussion or day-to-day chats about meth…

GCSE and IGCSE revision links 2018

It's coming up to that time of year again. In England and Wales. Here is a handy list of some good interactive revision links for this level. These links are also good for intermediate exams in Scotland, Ireland and other English-speaking countries. You could copy and paste this to print off for students.

Don't forget the GCSE revision material on frenchteacher.net of course! How could you?

As far as apps for students are concerned, I would suggest the Cramit one, Memrise and Learn French which is pretty good for vocabulary. For Android devices try the Learn French Vocabulary Free. For listening, you could suggest Coffee Break French from Radio Lingua Network (iTunes podcasts).

Listening
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/french/ (Foundation/Higher) http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/ (Foundation/Higher)
http://www.audio-lingua.eu/spip.php?rubrique1&lang=fr (Foundation/Higher) http://www.ashcombe.surrey.sch.uk/07-langcoll/MFL-resources/french/fr-video-index.shtml