I hope that you had a wonderful and restful summer in spite of the weather! Classes will begin soon and we have a new look to our website which will enable you, and prospective new students, to easily find a class that works for you. We have categorized all adult courses as Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. Within each of the courses, are levels. Each level represents a ten week period of study. Simply find the course in which you are interested, click on it and then you will be given a choice of levels. Each level has a description of what will be covered during that 10 week period. You will now be able to see how that matches your ability. To illustrate this, each of the above sentences is linked to that specific part of the site. Take a look! We would like your feedback on the new design. Please let us know. Our current programs are growing and we are now offering them in Clifton Park, Delmar, and Colonie for your convenience: French and Italian for adults, French for children. We are also now offering English as a Second Language and we are looking forward to opening these classes and private lessons to the community and to those traveling through our area. In May we formed a scholarship fund; over the summer we developed the beginnings of a scholarship program. The Language Learning Institute Scholarship Fund is the not-for-profit leg of the school, so any donation you make is 100% tax deductable. We are in need of donations! The scholarship program is for any adult or child who would like to study a language with us and is in economic need. Our Table Française is growing and we invite you to join us the third Wednesday of every month from 6pm to 8pm for great conversation. For these two hours we speak nothing but French, so this is a great place to come and practice real conversation. This would be a great addition to your language lessons! Bring your friends! We have a great time…and the crêpes are excellent too!
Enjoy the rest of the summer. We are very excited about the new school year. I look forward to seeing all of you in September!
Nancy Scarselletta Owner/Developer The Language Learning Institute 518-346-7096
Just a few weeks ago, I visited Toulouse, France, la ville rose. While there, I was introduced to a friend of a friend who had spent one year studying in Cincinnati, Ohio through a university exchange. During our conversation, Hugo enthusiastically described all his travels in the United States, starting from the east to the west coast. When he mentioned Los Angeles, he anticipated my reaction of displeasure. He agreed Los Angeles wasn’t his favorite city, but the city was near something he loved: the ocean. “I’ve never seen waves of that height!” I could easily understand his excitement. I felt the same when I first visited Biarritz, France. In addition to being known for its famous rugby team, Biarritz Olympique, the city in the southwest region known as Basque Country is also recognized as the surfing capital of Europe. Rightfully named, in my opinion, as the waves were the most intense I’ve ever experienced. On more than one occasion, I found myself being carried away along the coast…without a surfboard. Host to the annual Biarritz Surf Festival, the city has been instrumental in bringing more attention to France as a country of not only surfers, but one of the best situated countries in Europe to enjoy surfing. While the southwest region is the most popular pilgrimage spot for surfers, the northwest coast near Brest, and the southeast Mediterranean coast are also evolving as favorites. So, next time you visit Paris in August and wonder why all the stores are closed and where the French habitants are, take the metro to Gare Montparnasse and ask for a ticket to Biarritz or Nice and ask them.
Settembrini Considering a trip to Italy? Why not go in September, when the weather is perfect and settembrini, or fresh September figs, are in season. The luscious fruit, that most have only eaten dry, should be tried fresh to really enjoy its wonderful flavor and texture. A favorite sandwich is made by placing fresh figs and prosciutto inside a piece of white pizza fresh from the oven – incredible. Settembrini figs are typically the sweetest and most fragrant of the season and are used in both sweet and savory recipes. If you can’t make it to Italy this September, try a locally grown fresh fig and imagine you are in Italy.
Biscotti Settembrini For the dough: 250 grams flour 125 grams butter 125 grams powdered sugar 1 egg yolk and 1 whole egg Rind of 1 lemon
For the filling: 1 golden apple ½ cup fresh ruby red or golden grapes 3 fresh figs ¼ cup pine nuts (pinoli) 1 tbsp sugar
1 egg ¼ cup sugar (for sprinkling)
Preheat the oven to 350° Prepare the dough. Cut butter into flour. Add powdered sugar, egg yolk and whole egg. Combine to form a ball of dough, it should not be too wet. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes, while preparing filling. For the filling, combine all ingredients in a large bowl after preparing as follows: Peel the apple and cut into small pieces. Roast the pine nut in a small pan, chop into medium pieces. Cut grapes into small pieces. Cut figs into small pieces (remove peel if it is tough and then cut into small pieces). Add tablespoon of sugar. Roll the dough out, about ¼ inch thick, and cut out small discs. Fill half of the disc with the fruit filling and fold over into a shape of a half moon. Beat the last egg; use as an egg wash to brush each cookie and sprinkle with some sugar. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. www.cooker.net
We are staying in North Africa this month to learn more about Morocco. Al-Magrib (meaning “The West” in Arabic) is commonly used to refer to this area. Morocco is a country with a population of nearly 32 millions. Its capital is Rabat, and its largest city is Casablanca. Morocco is a member of the Francophonie (OIF) since 1981. The country is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco (King Mohammed VI), with vast executive powers, can dissolve government and deploy military. Morocco is divided into 16 regions. Its official language is Classical Arabic. About 12 millions (40% of the population), mostly in rural areas, speak Berber. French, which remains Morocco’s unofficial second language, is taught universally and still serves as Morocco’s primary language of commerce and economy. Morocco is an ethnically diverse country with a rich culture and civilization. Through Moroccan history; Morocco hosted many people coming from East (Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Jews and Arabs), South (Sub-Saharan Africans) and North (Romans, Vandals, Andalusians). All those civilizations have had an impact on the social structure of Morocco. Culturally speaking, Morocco has always been successful in combining its Berber, Jewish and Arabic cultural heritage with external influences such as the French and the Spanish. Next month, we will head back to the Old Continent and learn more about one of the smallest countries of Europe.
Le Gouvernement et les Nouvelles Françaises d’Amelia
The time at the end of August and the beginning of September evokes a very bittersweet emotion among the French population. Every year, the French are given five weeks of mandatory, paid vacation, which are usually taken during the month of August. These five weeks do not include national holidays or the time taken off around Christmas, so they are meant to be dedicated strictly to relaxation. When families return from this vacation, children return to school and parents return to work in a nation-wide movement called “la rentrée” or the return. Across France, most schools start on the same day. Not only do children and their families return to their year-long responsibilities, but even the French government, broadcast media, and writers go on vacation during this time and come back to work in September. The month of August is a relatively slow month, because as those who remain in the cities discover, many shops are closed because the owners are on vacation.
France has one of the highest lengths of paid vacations among European Union countries, close only in duration to Germany. Although, as Americans, we may find this inefficient, this system works quite well for the French. When employees return to work in September, often times their productivity levels increase and they are able to achieve more. La rentrée is viewed by the French as a time of renewal, coming back refreshed from the summer months, ready to start anew.
http://www.frenchgardening.com/postcard.html?pid=31151737414611 La Géographie de la France by G. Labrune http://www.frenchentree.com/societe-francaise/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=28585 http://www.bonjourparis.com/story/la-rentree-1/