Team Xavier France

Xavier’s News

The sum of money required has been reached, thanks to an anonymous donation of £33,000!

Xavier will have the operation at the Saint Louis Children’s Hospital, USA on 4th June. The flight has been booked.

As there are still lots of fund raising events in the pipeline, “Help Xavier” will change its name to “Team Xavier” and the family will now continue to raise funds for other children who need the same operation.

Team Xavier France (that’s us at English Connection) will hold our final event – “Book Week” and the money raised will be passed on to another child in need.


8th - 12th APRIL

Books, Magazines, DVDs & CDs

No fixed price. Please help yourself, and make a donation.

This will be our last fundraising event.

Thank you all so much for your support.

Hello from The Basque Country

I received a polite little e-mail last week from an English teacher called Sheila.

This is what she wrote:

I'm an English teacher in the Basque Country and I read some of your posts last week. I used your blog in class, so I wanted to thank you for all that information,
I found it really helpful and so did my students.



Thank you, Sheila, for your kind words. I'm very pleased to get feedback about my blog articles.

Any other EFL students or teachers out there, who'd like to say hello? I'll happily publish any letters or photos you send me.

Send to:

How to pass FCE writing …..Part 3 :STORY

( To find FCE Writing Part 1 – General advice /FCE Writing marking system and Part 2 REPORTS - look in the "exam" section of my blog posts - on the right in the purple box.)

If you enjoy writing stories, you have a good imagination and lots of ideas, writing a STORY in part 2 of the FCE writing exam is a good choice for you.

Your story will be better and will get more marks if you include…

1. Three different tenses. You want to show the examiner that you know the story telling tenses, which are:- a) Simple Past b) Past Continuous c) Past Perfect.
Here’s an example: It was raining. (Past continuous) Billy hadn’t eaten for two days. (Past perfect) He saw some apples. He decided to steal them. (Simple past).
Of course, in order to use these tenses you absolutely MUST know all your irregular verbs!

2. Adjectives: It was raining. Billy hadn’t eaten for two days, so he was wet, hungry and miserable. He saw some delicious, red apples. He decided to steal them.

3. Adverbs: It was raining hard. Billy hadn’t eaten for two days, so he was wet, hungry and miserable. He saw some delicious red apples and quickly decided to steal them.

4. Direct speech: “Hey, you!” shouted the shopkeeper, “I know you, Billy Brown! I’ll tell your mum!”

5. Rich vocabulary, good grammar, detail and idiomatic expressions: Examples: Quick as a flash – soaking wet – starving hungry –to grab – to pass away – an idea popped into his head – to go straight (to hospital) (home) – to have a little chat


Write a STORY in an appropriate style. Your story must start or finish with the words: Grandpa Jo would be proud of him.

It was raining hard. Billy hadn’t eaten for two days, so he was soaking wet and very miserable. Passing a greengrocer’s, he noticed some delicious, red apples . He quickly decided to steal them. He grabbed two and started to run.
“Hey, you!” shouted the shopkeeper, “I know you, Billy Brown! I’ll tell your mum!”
Billy ran to the park where he found a dry place to sit and eat. He wasn’t worried about the shopkeeper telling his mum. He didn’t care about his mum, his teachers or the police. He only cared about Grandpa Jo, and Grandpa Jo had passed away last week leaving Billy to face the world alone.
Billy didn’t know what to do. He was 17 and had no money, no qualifications, no family – except his mother who he rarely saw. He closed his eyes and thought about his granddad. Suddenly an idea popped into his head. He walked back into town and went straight into a small office where there was a Union Jack in the window. “Can I help you?” asked the man in uniform at the desk. “Yes”, said Billy, “I want to join the army.”
“I see” replied the officer. “I think you’d better sit down, then. We need to have a little chat.”
Billy sat down and smiled. He knew that, wherever he was, Grandpa Jo would be proud of him.

So – to recap – 3 tenses/adverbs/adjectives/direct speech/idiomatic expressions/rich vocabulary ……and always double check your grammar & spelling.


Comment prononcer la date en anglais

Niveau élémentaire

Back in 2010, there was a debate in the English speaking world on how to pronounce the date.
En 2010, il y avait un dispute dans le monde anglophone sur la prononciation de la date.

I said on this blog that the English preferred to say "twenty-ten", rather than "two thousand and ten".
J'ai dit ici que les anglais allaient dire " twenty-ten" au lieu de " two thousand and ten"

So, we have had twenty-ten, twenty-eleven, the twenty-twelve olympic games, and now here we are in twenty-thirteen.

Voilà - les années sont passées comme ci-dessus.

So you see, I was right!
Alors, vous voyez, j'avais raison!

Just to make sure you know how to say the date in English, here is a quick lesson:
Voici une petite révision de la prononciation des dates en anglais:

1066 - ten sixty-six
1401 - fourteen "o" one (yes, the zero is pronounced like the letter "o")
1815 - eighteen fifteen
1907 - nineteen "o" seven
1945 - nineteen forty-five
1999 - nineteen ninety-nine

Now it changes... et maintenant ça change...

2000 - two thousand
2001 - two thousand and one
2009 - two thousand and nine

Now it changes back... et maintenant c'est le retour de la première structure.. et voici la cause de la dispute. Certains voudraient garder la structure "two thousand and..."

2010 - twenty-ten
2012 - twenty-twelve
2013 - twenty- thirteen

What's the date today?

In British English we write: Tuesday, 8th January 2013 or 8/1/13 (à l'écrit)
And we say: It's Tuesday the eighth of January, twenty-thirteen.
(à l'orale)

But the Americans put the month before the day, so today is: January 8th and it is written 1/8/13.
(Les américains n'écrivent pas la date de la même manière, donc attention! Ils mettent le mois avant le jour.)

We do not say: "the three May", we say "the third of May"
Aussi, on ne dit pas "le trois mai" on dit (littéralement) "le troisième de mai"

First - 1st ******21st twenty-first******31st thirty-first
second - 2nd******22nd twenty-second
third - 3rd******23rd twenty-third
fourth - 4th******24th twenty-fourth
fifth - 5th
twentieth -20th

So, 23/5/75 is: the twenty-third of May, nineteen seventy-five

Tomorrow will be : 9/1/2013 : the ninth of January, twenty-thirteen

P.S Don't forget that the first letter of months and days is always a CAPITAL LETTER.

Monday / Wednesday (not monday / wednesday)

February / September (not february / september)

Fortunately, Unfortunately

Classe: 3ème

Objectif: écrire une histoire courte en anglais, employant les adverbes: Fortunately et Unfortunately

Written by Julie & Juliette

It was my birthday last week..

Unfortunately, my family forgot it

Fortunately, my friends remembered

Unfortunately, they didn't say anything

Fortunately, they arranged a surprise party

Unfortunately, I didn't see my boyfriend

Fortunately, he was making a cake

Unfortunately, his cake was disgusting!

By Arthur, Arnould, François

There was a really good film on TV last night...

Unfortunately, the TV was broken

Fortunately, I had a computer

Unfortunately, it had a virus

Fortunately, a friend invited me to see the film at his house

Unfortunately, I didn't have a car

Fortunately, I had a bike

Unfortunately, my brother had taken the bike

Fortunately, my friend came to get me.

Cours en images

"Comment se déroulent les cours?" est une question souvent posée par les parents des nouveaux élèves.

Nous proposons les cours aux enfants à partir de la classe de CP jusqu'au Terminale. Chaque niveau comprend 30 heures de cours. Nous avons, donc, plus de 300 heures de cours à préparer. C'est difficile à expliquer la déroulement des cours puisque nous faisons beaucoup d'activités différentes, selon le niveau et l'aptitude de la classe...chansons, poésies, filmes, jeux de rôles, échanges d'information, projets, bricolages : masques, horloges, jeux de société, grammaire, vocabulaire, prononciation, lecture, exercices d'écoute, culture, expositions...

Voici donc, des photos, sans ordre particulier, prises pendant les cours l'année dernière. Je suis désolée que je n'ai pas actuellement les moyens de vous faire entendre les cours, car, bien sûr, la langue parlée est le point primordial de tous nos cours.


anglais à Vannes


cours d'anglais enfants et jeunes chez English Connection, Vannes

cours d'anglais English Connection Vannes

cours d'anglais Bretagne

cours d'anglais avec des anglais Vannes 56

anglais à Vannes

cours d'anglais les mercredis à Vannes




DSCN1950 (640x480).jpg





DSCN1914 (640x480).jpg

anglais et arts plastiques

Voici un petit aperçu du stage: "English and Art"

MONDAY : Archimboldo

DSCN2215 (640x480).jpg

DSCN2218 (640x480).jpg

DSCN2220 (480x640).jpg


arts plastiques chez English Connection Vannes


WEDNESDAY: Kandinsky



THURSDAY: Mondrian


anglais et arts plastiques vannes

FRIDAY: Andy Warhol

warhol jersey cow.jpg

Bronwen Custance, English Connection Vannes

....... and this is the teacher!

Team GB in Vannes!

Every day this week, as I have been driving to work, I’ve noticed some vans with the words “Great Britain Cycling Team” parked outside the Hotel Escale Oceania (near the Palais des Arts roundabout) in Vannes. I decided to try and find out what they were doing in Vannes. (Yes, I know, I am very nosey!)

Team GB vehicles

In fact, it turned out to be the British under 23 cycling team, consisting of 6 cyclists, 4 personnel and 3 vehicles.

Hmmm, that’s quite an impressive (and expensive) show to put on the road, so who’s paying for it all, I wondered?

I spoke to Jack Kershaw, one of the assistants with the team, and he gave me the lowdown:


The team is funded partly by the UK tax payer, partly by the UK lottery and partly from sponsorship by Sky. The cyclists are the future stars of British cycling, and they are expected to become professional sportsmen, join top cycling teams, and (hopefully) represent Great Britain in the 2016 Olympics.

cycling team jersey

They are here in Vannes to compete in the 46th Tour de Bretagne,which is taking place from 25th April to 1st May.

tourdebretagne 2012 course

I asked Mr kershaw, how they were doing: “Unfortunately, not great”, was the answer. Four of the team have been flown home as there had been some nasty crashes caused by really terrible weather conditions. Two riders have been seriously injured and another two have minor injuries, so there are only two members left in the race.

There are two more days of racing to go and Team GB have now moved on to Quimper.

We wish the young cyclists and their Manager, Keith Lambert, good luck for the remaining circuits and hope the weather improves for them. It was great to see the British team in Vannes. Let’s hope they come back again next year!

For more information about the race go to:



to be nosey = to be curious
it turned out to be = it became evident
to give (someone) the lowdown = to give information

Mini-Sagas (lycée)

It's time for some more Mini-Sagas, I think.

This year's Mini-Sagas have been written by students in the Lycée First Certificate group. The students are all in Terminale.

For your information, a Mini-Saga is a complete story in exactly 50 words.

We hope you enjoy them!

1. My Geeky Brother by Salomé

My brother is a geek. A real one. He has all the symptoms : Glasses. Spots. Braces. The computer as a passion . My mother knows it. She locks the computer hardware into a room and keeps the key on her.
My brother doesn’t mind: he’s made a copy of the key.

2. Drunk Once Again by Jocelyn

I must have been completely pissed because I saw an angel walking towards me. I immediately fell in love with her. Suddenly, she yelled at me.
‘Hey dickhead, what the hell are you doing? We’re shooting the last scene’
I’d forgotten that Spielberg was making his latest movie near here.

3. The Diver by Thibault

He went scuba diving every Saturday in the ocean. He was falling in love with mermaids.
One day, he dived with his friend in the darkness of the sea at 60 feet underwater. His friend didn't look at him for just 20 seconds and lost him.

He never came back.

4. The Schizophrenic by Romain

I had a friend who was so good. We liked to do the same things. I met him at the end of a party. I was drunk. The last time I saw him was when I wanted to give him an apple. It fell. He told me I was schizophrenic.

(Weird stuff,Romain. I love it!)

Diplômes de Cambridge

Cambridge ESOL certificates

University of Cambridge ESOL certificates

étudiantes avec les diplômes de Cambridge

étudiants de l'école English Connection Vannes et leurs diplômes de Cambridge

English Connection students receive their University of Cambridge KET & PET certificates.