L’apprentissage de la Langue française
Today is a sad day for me.
After enrolling in two semesters of French Classes at a nearby school, and culminating with a score of (très bien!) 18 out of 20 in the A1 Level, you can imagine my eagerness to move on to the next step. So, after the summer holidays, my friend and I walked into our next-level-french-class — all excited to begin another challenging, tongue-twisting, throat-groaning experience with the French Language.
After the first hour of this next level french class, I was literally stopping myself from doing something very un-french: Staging a walk-out. (Or — maybe it could have been so french, in fact? Like a strike? Or a protest?). Our teacher was a young french guy who sat on his chair, behind the teacher’s desk, from the first minute to the last (of a 2 hour/15 minute class). He just talked, and talked, and talked (en français, bien sûr!). Not a single word did he write on the board. In fact, now that I think about it, he never even introduced himself! Not exactly the best way to start your first day at school, oui?
Having come from a family of educators, where teaching runs in our blood, this was very painful for me. How can you teach a language, actually — how can you teach ANYTHING — if there are no visuals? No words written down on the board, at the very least? I am a very visual person — and I believe in involving the most senses possible when trying to learn something. I needed a structure, a semblance of organization, rules clearly written on the board, word spells … the works! I knew, by the end of the class, that this was going to be the end of My End.
375 Euros down the drain.
Today, I made the resolution to not put that money to waste because I will use the same hours more wisely by home-schooling myself in French. And that way, I know I will not be wasting my time by being annoyed at some person who lacks any dedication in his so-called profession. (I mean, even when we were doing the exercises on the book, it seemed that it was the first time he was seeing those questions!??! Like, do you think he just schemed over the book in the metro, on his way to his first teaching assignment?)
Perhaps it doesn’t help that our teacher in the first 2 semesters was such a great one — that anyone else fails in comparison. Perhaps, but I doubt it.
When I started learning french 4 months after we moved here, it gave me some kind of confidence because I could now read and understand all the french signs around. (Mind you, in a city which is rated as “the most visited city in the world over recent years” — you would think it would be tourist-friendly — i.e., signs in english?) I could confidently go to the boulangerie, or to the grocery — and actually understand the labels! Learning french also opened up new friendships for me (met some nice ladies in our class — who continue to be my “buddies” till now!). And most of all, I am hoping, that it has inspired my 2 children to learn such a beautiful language.
So yes. It is a sad day. But I will overcome this wasted money, and I will spend the hours for the class, up to December 18, learning French by myself, in the comfort of my own home (yay! no walking to french class in the cold dark winter mornings!).
It’s a promise. And hey, I might even share some things with you! :)
Here’s something that at least brightened up my otherwise sad day.
Bonne nuit! = Good night!