So, its Friday today in Montpellier and the end of another good week at the Easy French Language School. It was my first week at C1 level for my intensive French immersion course and……… I’m still alive! Not only that but I’m feeling great, the class is dynamic and fun and I’m feeling encouraged to take the DALF exam later in the year. I thought I’d share a bit about what’s put me in such an optimistic mood this week.
What put me in such high spirits was a little sign that they are really on tops of things at the Easy French Language School in France. Unfortunately, I missed my last couple of days in B2 as I was sick and missed my last few conversations with my teacher Laure. She had been extremely helpful to me over the previous 6 weeks and really helped me smash through certain areas that were challenging me. Something I really like about how she taught our intensive French class was that she never showed the slightest sign of frustration and if I was her I would have had steam coming out of my ears.
There was a lot of stuff that I seemed to understand quickly and easily and other areas where I really struggled. I didn’t mind that, I mean it’s always frustrating when you just can’t seem to wrap your head around something and everyone else is just getting on with it breezily but eventually the penny drops and it’s a great feeling. What is more annoying is when you keep getting stuff wrong you know. For me this took the form of the irregular verbs for the passé composé. I knew the rules, I knew them! Yet, particularly when speaking I would automatically use the verb ‘avoir’ instead of ‘être’. It drove me mad and I try not to get annoyed at myself when learning French in France because I don’t want to dishearten myself but each time ‘j’ai allé’ slipped out my mouth it was like a serrated knife into the heart of my confidence. Still Laure would just gently signal to me that I’d made an error without telling me what it was and she patiently let me figure it out for myself; I had told her previously this is how I learn better as if I’m spoon fed it doesn’t stick.
The Secret Meeting Between Two Great French Teachers at the Easy French School
So, with her being as good a teacher as she was and her having a deep knowledge of how I learn best I was sad to move on from this connection. She had also been helping me with some extra writing on the side that I never got back from her as I was off sick. However, my first day of my C1 French intensive course at the Easy French Immersion School with my new teacher Claire and guess what was waiting for me? My extra writing! Not only with notes from Laure but from Claire as well, it was fully of useful corrections; to be honest the thing was covered in red ink and I don’t think I’d actually done a very good job but still I was really pleased. The two teachers had clearly got together and gone over my work in a thorough way.
In my subsequent conversations with Claire it became clear she already knew a lot about me from Laure and how I work best in the French immersion environment. We talked about my desires to go on to the DALF exam which she was aware and she echoed what Laure had said about that requiring a slightly different approach, she also gave me a good dose of encouragement too.
So now after a great first week with Claire in C1 at the Easy French Immersion School I feel more confident than ever to go on to the DALF exam preparation course later this year. That’s way down the line though and I’m going to enjoy the new format for a while first and get into the swing of things at C1, I’ve got a whole new class of French students and so a whole extra bunch of friends here in Montpellier so all in all I’m feeling great about the move.