If you have just started your French immersion course in France you may be feeling a bit apprehensive about a few things. From talking to the other French students at the language school in Montpellier there are a lot of common experiences and feelings that sometimes inhibit people from engaging fully in the French class environment. It also seems that there are common observations about effective mind-set at breaking through these barriers. If any of these resonate with you I hope you will find it useful and it will encourage you to enhance your learning at the Easy French Immersion School. After all we have all paid to be here and this might be for some of us a once in a lifetime experience so you really want to make the most of it.
We are All in the Same Bumbling Boat Here at the French School in France
I found that even though I knew that all the other students here at the French immersion school in Montpellier were once at my level when I actually came to speaking to the class I still had a shell which it I stayed safely inside. It felt like when it actually came time to perform my French language skills I would tend to take the simplest route, which I knew to be correct, rather than attempting to take a gamble on a more sophisticated phrase or even the same phrase said in an alternative way. After sharing these feelings to the other students of my French class the consensus was that almost everyone felt the same way. One of my Swiss classmates at the French language school said that she was particularly guilty of this. She found that because of this tendency when she met local people she felt that even if they strayed slightly from the strict barriers she operated within things got confusing.
The comforting thing to remember is that every French student has their comfort zones and if a student seems completely confident with everything they attempt they probably aren’t trying to push the boundaries of that zone.
‘The Other Students in My French Lesson are Better’
Have you found yourself saying this to yourself? I know a lot of people, including myself who have. Leading on from my last point about pushing your boundaries an important thing to remember is that all skills follow a development curve; the more advanced you become at learning French the more work is required to go onto the next level. So a student just finishing their first couple of hours of their French immersion course is able to communicate a huge amount more than before. In order for a very advanced student to progress the same amount they would probably have to continuously revise the theory of a concept, repeat exercise after exercise and experiment with it in order to feel out the exceptions to the rule etc. Needless to say this is a lot more time consuming. So new students have an advantage in that they will progress quicker. So if you are feeling this way you have the ability to catch up quick as long as you are pushing yourself.
Team Mentality Within the Easy French Language School
More advanced students are not your competitors they are your teammates. They probably have useful wisdom to share because they have already been in your position and probably experienced the same snagging points. I certainly have experienced the situation where I can see a French student confused by something that I myself spent a bit of time facing down before the penny dropped. Normally in that situation you can help by sharing things you realised that made the concept seem simpler or any little tips that make it a bit more digestible. I also found the more I did this for other French students the less shy I was at asking others if they could help me understand something. Don’t feel like a burden if you don’t understand straight away, it is super beneficial to a student to describe and explain concepts. There is a saying that you don’t really understand something until you have to teach it to someone else so you are helping their French learning too. Partaking in a French immersion course in France is a communal task with each of us pushing and pulling each other along and making us stronger linguists.