samedi 3 avril 2010
I have started taking French lessons again.

When I first arrived in France, I couldn't say much more than "bonjour" and "No, I don't want to give you private English lessons in some smoky bar. Find someone else to hit on." in French.

We weren't married, and so I couldn't really work, so I signed up for 20 hours a week at a private school in Marseille (that has since gone out of business- I heard that an employee ran off with all the money, but I don't know if that is true.)

Anyway, I had since forgotten some of the basics and my written French was never terrific to begin with, so I looked around Aix for lessons. I was hoping for a few hours a week, either during lunch or after work, small groups.

Of the several places I contact, only one bothered to respond to my emails. It seems that most French classes were aimed at "one week intensive French in Beautiful South of France!" for tourists, which was not what I need.

I started my French classes in November, one hour a week, one on one.

I have a fairly good level, at least as far as understanding is concerned, but I often get mixed up whether it is "le" or "la".

These past months have been spent reviewing the different tenses, when do you have to put an extra 'e' on the end of a conjugated verb, conditionnal, subjunctive, and all the rest.

There are two French teachers, and they mainly do small groups or private lessons. They also organize one or two outings per month, a chance for everyone to get together. I haven't been able to go to any, as they were either while I was away in Strasbourg, or at night. (after a long day of work, I don't want to hang around any longer).

However, last month it was during the day and not far from my office, so I was able to go. It was at the restaurant "Alsace en Provence", near the Cathedral with a few tables. Very typical Alsatian decoration.

There were about ten students and the two teachers there when I arrived, a wide mix of Australians, Irish, Dutch, and German. I think I was the only American, but didn't get to speak to the people on the other end of the table. The French levels varied widely, as well as the reasons for being in France- French spouses, work.

The menu was very much Strasbourgoise, and I ordered the plat du jour- sauerkraut, which is not something I am usually fond of, but why not? It was pretty good, as well as the soft pretzels with mustard and white wine. Left at 2 to head back to work.

Definitely a different atmosphere than my French classes in Marseille- spent almost 10 months with the same students, many of whom were close to my age (filles au pair), and we went on a lot of different organized outings- to museums, to visit parts of Marseille such as L'Estaque, different group meals depending on the time of year (crepes, 13 deserts, etc.)

I don't really miss those days though. Time moves on I guess.

4 commentaires:

Mwa a dit…

Nice idea! Funny that you have all that lovely food over there, and then people elect to eat Alsatian stodge. (Which is lovely, I know, but really, in the South of France and not in the middle of winter?)

screamish a dit…

hey- it wasnt The English Institute by any chance was it? if so I can give you gossip

Anonyme a dit…

That's a great initiative! I often think that I should do brush-up French classes from time to time. My writing is awful too. It's so hard.
Good luck!

Starman a dit…

I'm surprised you're not fluent.

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