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.

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!)

Linking words (Conseils pour organiser et lier le discours)

If you need to write a discursive essay (an essay where you discuss a subject, give opposite views and conclude with your own opinion) you need to organise your ideas and write in a clear and logical way.

First, you could brainstorm all your ideas - both for and against the subject. This should give you a lot of ideas quickly.
Next, decide which of your ideas are positive and which are negative. Do you have any examples to justify your opinions?
Finally, what do you really think? This will be your conclusion.

It is a good idea to use linking words.

Here is a short list of linking words which should help improve your writing skills. It is not a complete list - but it is enough.

You will see that there are some expressions that you have probably learnt in school, such as "indeed", "moreover", "according to me" which are not actually used very much by English people. Yes - these words exist - but you will not see them used very often. Read a newspaper or a magazine and try to find the word "moreover". You will probably need to read THOUSANDS of words before you find it - so don't use it if you are going to write 150 - 200 words.

Ordonner les idées

First of all ….
Secondly… / also…/ next…
In conclusion…

Etoffer l’argumentation

It is obvious that…
In addition…
What's more....(à eviter:moreover)

Donner des arguments s’opposant à ceux qui sont déjà mentionnés

On the other hand…(à éviter: on the one hand)

Exprimer la consequence

As a result (of this)….

Donner des exemples

For example…
Such as….(à éviter: as)

Insister sur un point particulier

In fact…(à éviter: indeed)
It is common knowledge that…
According to … (recent reports/ the latest statistics/ the Government)

Donner son opinion

Personally, I think that… I don’t think that…
In my opinion (à éviter : according to me)

Pour enrichir le style et le lexique de votre rédaction, évitez les répétitions, structurez le discours grâce aux mots de liaisons et prolonger les phrases simples avec les pronoms relatifs : (which, who, whose, where, that)

Donnez deux ou trois exemples concrets, empruntés à des domaines divers: histoire, actualités, expérience personnelle…

Organiser votre rédaction en quatre paragraphes :

Introduction :
You may paraphrase the question here and you may use rhetorical questions. However you should try to uses synonyms. If you DO copy any part of the question, make sure you do not make any spelling or grammatical mistakes!
Expand your ideas : give examples.
Give an opposing opinon.
Conclusion:Give your personal opinion

Mini Sagas 2

Here are the Mini Sagas which have been written by English Connection students.
As I explained in a previous post, Mini Sagas are a complete story in exactly 50 words.
We hope you enjoy them!

Soulmates by Jeanne

Blind Naina and Officer Toby had been childhood sweethearts before marrying one Christmas Eve.
One day Toby disappeared, leaving Naina shattered.
As years passed by she befriended an old beggar who seemed strangely familiar.
But that Christmas Eve the beggar had left. All that was found was his wedding ring.

A Flat Tyre by Frédérique

I was already late. I started my car and drove fast. Suddenly I lost control and the car ran over something which burst the tyre. I got out of my car and discovered the cause of the puncture. I was extremely angry.
The idiot had a bottle in his pocket!!

The Storm by Alice

The night was rainy and windy but everything was too quiet in my flat. Suddenly I heard a terrible noise. I jumped out of bed and switched on the light. In front of me, everything was on the floor. What’s going on?

Only my cat knocking things from the shelf!

The Storm by Claire

I was walking along a railway track in spite of a terrible storm.
An unbelievable gale uprooted a tree which fell on me. I was nearly unconscious and stuck in the middle of train lines! Suddenly a loud whistle... GOD! The train!

“Cut. That’s it for today”, said The Director.

The Holiday By Anne-Sophie

She was so excited! For her fortieth birthday, her husband offered her a trip to Marrakech with her best friend. A last check to her luggage; is everything ok? She arrived at the airport and joyfully met her friend.
But who is crying? No! Her daughter is having a nightmare…

Bad – Worse – Worst by Sophie

One day a ripe apple looked down and saw some cow dung right under her tree. “I don’t want to fall on you”, she said to the dung, “You are repulsive!” Finally, she fell next to it, but was swallowed by the cow. “See you soon!” the dung said mischievously.

An Unforgettable Holiday (a true story) by Armelle

A couple wanted to see their son in Thailand. They even managed to buy some low cost tickets so they arrived happily at the check-in desk.
“Sorry, these tickets aren’t valid because the plane left yesterday.”
They had got the day wrong and had to buy two full price tickets!

The English Lesson By Bronwen (because I enjoy writing Mini Sagas too!)

The English teacher frowned. Something wasn’t quite right. The students were working in absolute silence; some were reading, some were writing, some were looking in a dictionary. Everyone was occupied, so what was on earth was wrong? She checked her timetable. Yes, she thought so…
This was a CONVERSATION class!

The Holiday By Marie

Today is D-day. We’re going to leave the house for summer with all the family, cat and dog too. Right! Is everybody in the car? Here we are, so let’s go!
At lunch time, after driving 100 kilometres, we stop for a picnic. And that’s when we notice…

No luggage!

The Storm by Brigitte

She sat down on a paradise beach. The sun was shining, the landscape was marvelous. Suddenly the wind got up. It was raining cats and dogs and the sea was raging. She stood up, but a huge wave knocked her over. She shouted and….woke up!
It was just a nightmare.

Science Teacher’s Revenge by Bronwen (For Gilles – who I hope will enjoy his retirement!)

It was his last day. He had worked in the same dusty old place for 30 years and the most galling thing of all was that his replacement was going to walk in to a new, shiny, cutting edge laboratory.
Suddenly, a thunderous “BOOOOOOMMM!!!”

He’d always wanted to do that!

Now here come two really good ones......

The Star By Sabrina

I filmed myself singing in my bubble bath:
“I’m much sexier than Carla Bruni / I’d put Sarkozy in my hot Jacuzzi”

I put this music video on You Tube. A few days later I became an Internet Star!

And Nicolas Sarkozy personally phoned me…..and asked when we could meet.

And the winner is.....

Till Death Do Us Part By Aurore

Her husband was very sick. She sat by him and he said: “You were there to support me through everything; when I got fired, when my business failed, when I got shot, when we lost the house, and when I got sick...... You know what?......

You bring me bad luck!”

Aurore, who is in "seconde", wins a FABULOUS English Connection prize! (She laughed when she saw it - I wonder what that can mean??!!)

Thank you to everyone who participated in this exercise. I look forward to Mini Sagas 3 this time next year.

Mini Sagas Part 1

A Mini Saga is a complete story, often with a twist in the tail which is composed of EXACTLY 50 words. Contractions count as one word. The English must be grammatically correct.

Here’s an example:

Revenge by Bronwen

Maria had wanted her husband dead for years. She smiled wickedly as he poured out the tea she had poisoned.
Neither of them spoke. “Go on”, she thought, “Drink it!”
She finished her own cup of coffee, which tasted strangely bitter.
For Stephano had wanted her dead for years too!

Last year, English Connection students studying at B2 wrote some excellent Mini sagas. Here are two examples:

Never Again is by Gilles:

Outstanding wines were maturing in Charles’ cellar. Unfortunately, some bottles had a sour taste. Charles was disappointed. Suddenly, a brilliant idea came to his mind. He’ll give them to John!
Later, Charles was invited to John’s party. Coming back home, Charles was frantic.
John had served the wine he’d given...

And A Holiday Romance is by Frédérique

I was alone on a heavenly beach. Suddenly, a beautiful man came towards me. I immediately fell in love at first sight. We started a friendly conversation and we became, in the course of the holiday, extremely close.
Naturally we exchanged phone numbers.
Back home, I called him.
Wrong number!

It’s time for a new collection of Mini Sagas. Send them to me at and I’ll publish the best in Part 2 of MINI SAGAS.

PS: A story with a "Twist in the tail" is a story which has an unexpected or surprising end.

A postcard from Miami

Student article by Jean-Michel studying at B1

Hello from Miami...

During the Easter holidays, we went to Florida. Why Miami? Several reasons: First, I have an old friend who has lived there since 2000, he works in Fort Lauderdale just near Miami, and I haven’t seen him for 10 years.
Second: after this cold and very long winter all the family wanted to be warm and have sun and beaches ... and the last reason is because we have another friend (American) who lives in Sarasota on the Gulf Coast.

Fort Lauderdale beach

Florida is a pleasant place, because the landscapes are very different between the cities, the Everglades, the Keys, the Gulf Coast. The distances are very great and we travelled many miles.
Miami is a dynamic city. It's a holiday destination, for many people in USA and also in the world. There are a lot of cafés, restaurants, beautiful hotels, clubs etc. The nightlife is very intense!


A traditional “Baywatch” on the Miami beach;


Key West, the town where Ernest Hemingway lived.

Our car (a beautiful Ford Mustang ...) near two trucks on the Everglades road between Miami and Naples on the Gulf Coast

Ocean Blvd, Miami's historical district

From our appartment in South Beach

As you can see we went to Miami to have sun and we got clouds and rain ... but happily not all the time.

Next destination San Francisco ...

Best regards,


La Cirque du Soleil

La Cirque du Soleil - Une nouvelle forme d’art du cirque et une nouvelle expression artistique.
by Alexander studying at level B1

The “Cirque du Soleil” is a new form of circus art that was invented in Canada in 1982. Since the beginning the artists have looked for a new circus art form and a new expression.
Last week, they were in Nantes in the Zenith Metropolitan for three days only. The “Circus of the Sun” thinks up special shows which resembles a piece of theatre with special wardrobe, sets, choreography and numbers.
They have 12 pieces in their repertoire and they perform around the world with great success.

In Nantes, they decided to show the “piece” called “Saltimbinco” which was created in 1992. The event was absolutely riveting.

This show was entirely dancing and every number was choreographed. The set was decorated in such a way that the audience had the impression of watching a never-ending show. The movement was continuous and the wardrobe matched the decoration for every number.

There were traditional numbers that reminded me of a street circus. For example: juggling, trapezes, acrobats, clowns… but one difference was there also was a singer and a rock band that played throughout the show. A second difference is that there are no animals in the numbers, no dogs, cats, horses and naturally no lions or tigers.

It was a very exciting experience to see this new form of circus and the night was very nice.

Where to eat in Lyon

Restaurant review by Igor (studying at level B2)


Those two words are truly right because "La Divina" is divine. Indeed, you can find it in the ninth "arrondissement" of the city.

I was in Lyon last June to listen to pupils from the CNSM (conservatoire national supérieur de musique).

It is an Italian restaurant and obviously, you'll find pizzas, but unique pizzas.
Why unique? Perhaps it’s because the cook is Italian.

Unfortunately, when I was over there, the street was a building site, so the atmosphere was not as good as it could be. However, we feel a very nice atmosphere of the south as the decoration, which is typical Italian, is like a small Italian village with green plants and a false orange wall.

Well, I was with my mum and I went twice actually due to such delicious food. We can eat outside or inside, everybody can afford a "Divina" dinner.

I made a special order as usual because I'm vegetarian. I ordered a complete salad with their lovely olive oil from Italia, a pizza (anchovies) and a Tiramisu combined with a very fine fizzy Italian wine (shared with my mother of course ;-)).

To be honest, I can't recommend a menu which is better than another because everything is wonderful!
I think we paid 20 Euros more or less for each person.

It is not necessary to book for, just maybe only the week-end, it could be busy. Animals are allowed, there is an access for disabled people and children's menus as well.

So, don't forget this restaurant if you go to Lyon, it is the best restaurant I've ever eaten in!

They don't have website but have a look on the following link:

Restaurant La Divina, 21 Rue Fraternelle - 69009 Lyon 9th

Where to eat in Rennes

A restaurant review by A.L studying at level C1


When Bronwen asked us to do a review on a restaurant, I knew exactly and directly which restaurant I was going to describe: Laëtitia and Stéphane’s restaurant, my friends who run an excellent fusion restaurant in Rennes.

They have called it “l’eau à la bouche”, you know what it means…when you smell or hear about a nice meal and that makes you hungry. That’s what I might do with this review….

As I said they merge food and especially the European and Asian cuisine. It’s Stéphane who cooks and Laëtitia who welcomes you with her natural big smile. It’s quite a small room, 20 tables, but very charming and calm with a fireplace, white beams and with these original tables which are tear shaped.

It’s a restaurant where the cuisine is truly honoured. Each dish is cooked precisely to give full flavour and mix well with the other dishes.

Also, the products come from the market or bio distributors, which add a lot to the taste sensations. Stéphane knows, just right, the mix of quality ingredients for innovative flavours! The pan fried duck breast is delicious and the home-made foie gras makes you ask for more and more of it! Plus, the menu is constantly renewed … “L’eau à la bouche” is creativity with no limits!! You can indulge in the chef's surprise, Stéphane chooses for you!

Moreover, the presentations of the dishes are original and neat.

You will understand the whole concept is of wellbeing ... even the CDs are specially selected for you to escape.

This is also valid for their dessert will melt for them, I’m sure you will sell your soul for this excellent “forêt noire, half cooked with Tanzanian chocolate.

I can recommend it a thousand times! Feel free to go there; you will leave it a changed person!

A word of advice: book your table before going!!!

And have a look at their website!

L'eau à la Bouche, 12 rue de l'Arsenal, 35000 Rennes tel: 02 23 40 27 95

Where to eat in Spain

A restaurant review by DR JJ, studying at level C1


If you ever go for a holiday in Spain on the Mediterranean coast near Valencia make sure you go to the restaurant called El Establiment.

It is located on the edge of a natural lagoon, La Albufera, which is about 30 ha large. La Albufera takes its name from the Arabic Al-Buhayra meaning « the little sea ». It’s a natural park dedicated to the cultivation of rice.

L’Establiment is about 10 km south of Valencia.To get there you must leave the bustling city and travel south through orange-groves and rice plantations. Here you will find some old « Baraquettas » (typical little houses with white walls and thatched roofs and a cross on the top).

The restaurant clientele is mostly represented by couples, families or business groups and you’d better book in advance.

It offers a large choice of typical Valencian food. First of all you can taste
« Tapas »: fried squid or cod, home-made bread with olive oil, mixed salad, but don’t eat too much of it! Later you can order all kind of rice preparations; of course « paella valenciana » but if you don’t like shell-fish you can order « arroz a banda », a sort of paella without fish.

The rice has a special flavour because it is cooked with local salt water. And don’t miss the delicious « cortados », coffee and milk served in a tiny glass.

If you can spend a few more hours of your time you must afterwards rent a little boat and row over the channels along La Albufera. You will not regret it!