Only one full week left of classes before I have final exams. My classes are composed of a language class, an oral comprehension class, a phonetics class, and a socio-cultural studies class. I have to say that at first I was nervous about having so many French classes. At first, it was very overwhelming. Imagine going to all your classes and in each one the teacher spoke in nothing but French. It’s a challenge for sure. Of course, my teachers use small words in even smaller sentences so that we can keep up with their lectures. Even so, it was extremely difficult at the beginning. I described it as trying to ride a bike backward through a minefield.
I think the hardest part is staying one hundred percent focus at all times. You can’t listen and write things down at the same time like you can in a class taught in your maternal language. (Or at least that’s the case for me.) The time you would normally spend on your schoolwork is doubled. You have to not only learn the material, but you also have to learn the material in French.
Now, as with most things, practice has made it easier. I have been listening, writing, speaking, and comprehending the language for four months. Classes have gotten easier and taking them strictly in French seems almost natural to me.
My favorite class is one called “France au Quotidien.” The professor is always dressed from head to toe in black clothes. But his clothes in no way reflect his personality. He is one of the most energetic professors I have ever had. I have learned a lot about the French culture; and better yet I have experienced some of what I have learned throughout my five months in country. With those five months behind me, I only have five days of school left.