Bienvenue & Mode d’emploi

Bienvenue au site French2@VCU ! The goal of this blog is to create a set of resources for learning French, geared to students at the intermediate level. Resources included on the blog have been recommended by students currently studying French. The most highly rated sites will be used to create a set of open educational resources (OER), available for free for teaching and learning French.

If you want to contribute to the site, you will need to have a VCU email account. You can register for the site by first creating an account on the VCU WordPress site, Then log on to the french2@VCU site with your username and password. See the “Instructions” below for more information.

INSTRUCTIONS:  Web resource curation project for intermediate language learning

Generic Instructions (all languages)

These instructions will allow you to create a site (if you don’t already have one) and then to be part of the curation project.

For the technical part:

First, let’s deal with getting a site.  Here are the steps. 

  1. If you don’t already have a rampages account:  Go to Input a username (your VCU e-id is probably the easiest to remember). Input your VCU email address (it won’t allow any other email addresses because this is a VCU branded site). Choose either to create a site or just get a username (depends on you). Done! Your temporary password will be sent to you via vcu email. Check there because you’ll need that password (and you should probably change it to something you can remember.) Here’s a screenshot video of the process.
  2. If you’ve already got a rampages account (maybe you just created one from step 1 above, so use that name & password): Sign in with your username and password. Go to your language page ( Visiting the site when logged into rampages will automatically register use as a user. Here are the video instructions, which include how to get PressThis in your navigation bar.
  3. You can use  (but you don’t have to) PressThis to grab cool sites and sounds to share with students in your language classes. If you added the PressThis tool ( Dashboard (under french2atvcu)–>Menu Tools on far left side of the screen–>Choose “Available Tools”–>PressThis and follow instructions–see the end of the video above), surf to any page or off of a Google search for appropriate topics. When you find a great site that you want to curate, click the PressThis button on your navigation bar. A window will pop up. Once you’ve entered any comments, images, videos, etc. that you want to add, go down to the bottom of the window and click the down arrow on the blue Publish button. Choose the Standard Editor: it will allow you to make any changes as well as to mark necessary categories and to tag as needed (the theme, grammar/vocab points, other tags of interest). Then click the Publish button to save it all! (Video here).
  4. Use PressThis to grab the sites you want to curate. See below or you can go to and curate without using PressThis. Video here

Once you are part of the curation site for your language, when you go to the rampages site after signing into rampages (, you’ll see under “My sites” a menu that includes the curation site for your language. 

Click it.

You should now see the name of our site on the top menu. If you click it, it will allow you a “Dashboard”. Click that. On the left there will be a menu. Go down to “Tools”. There is one called PressThis.  Follow the directions to put a bookmarklet on your bookmarks bar.  Here’s a screen capture of how to do it. 

Here’s the important part:

For curating your course input, you will have to:

  1. Search effectively in your language (John Glover of the VCU Libraries helps us); 
    1. first review the topics covered in your textbook this semester
    2. identify the ones you are most interested in / knowledgeable about
    3. search authentic materials related to these topics through search engines ending in .fr, .be, .fx, .fj, .ci, etc. (
    4. you want to explore TV channels, radios, magazines, online music/book sellers, blogs, travel agencies, etc. in French.
  1. Select good assets (cf. models on;
    1. put yourself in the mind of a native speaker of your target language and identify any relevant, interesting, entertaining, worthy material related to these topics — be it in a text, audio, and/or visual form 
    2. assess whether your finding(s) has the potential of being used for cultural/linguistic learning purposes (e.g. can you see your asset(s) being introduced in a classroom setting?)
    3. don’t limit your searches and have fun exploring what your target language has to offer.
  1. Input your asset to as detailed above. 
  1. Annotate and edit your selection(s) using the “Press This” bookmarklet or use the “New post” (see above).
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