Welcome to my first “Things I Learned in College” blog for the year! Now on to the post! 🙂
Throughout a good part of my college career, I have dedicated myself to the French language. So you could say that I have, literally, learned French in college. Literally. 😛
Before then, I had taken French in high school (and first dabbling in it during middle school), and so I had a foundation for the language, even if it had been tenuous. It wasn’t until I started taking the classes again that my knowledge for French increased by two, three-fold. In other words, much more so than in high school.
From the start, I loved it. I started French 3 during my second year of college (after having taken a diagnostic test to place out of French 1 and 2), and since then have taken at least one French class each term.
As I went through these courses, I fell in love with the language, the culture, the food. At times, my professors would bring it some sort of French cuisine for us to immerse our taste buds in: clafoutis, macarons, crepes, you name it. Even further, my understanding of the language and writing skills have increased tremendously; now, I have an easier time expressing myself through my essays and listening in class.
Yet…I wish I could say the same about my speaking. I am normally a timid person, even in English, and so speaking in a foreign language makes me even more nervous. I’m afraid of messing up (which I know is part of the learning process, but still…), and although I’ve made some headway in improving, it hasn’t been as big as my reading and writing. I’m making efforts to break out and speak more, attending French club on campus, weekly meetings at the French Language Circle, and talking to actual French natives who I know consistently. In this way, I hope to make some progress in my orale in this new year.
My studying abroad program in Paris this past summer did help polish my French a bit, though. And the experience was amazing. I can’t say how many times that I love, love, love the city. Exploring, admiring, eating, and drinking in the sights and sounds of a culture far removed from my own was not only refreshing, but also life-changing. I kid you not; because of this experience, I aspire to live in France one day. And one day very soon…I hope. 🙂
Currently, I am taking one French class this school term. And sadly, it will be my last class to fulfill the requirements for French studies. 😦 I will not need to take any of the courses in the term afterwards. I will try to enjoy myself while it lasts, but still continue to find opportunities, other venues to keep up and master the French language.
That being said, taking French in college has been (and still is) one of the best things that I’ve ever did. It’s la langue de l’amour, and I’m so glad to have fallen in love it. ❤
– The Finicky Cynic