Monday, April 22, 2013

French Course - Day 1 - Nice, France

In August i started my first travel blog, it did not last long, i gave up after two weeks. But i did keep pretty good account of the french course and it is still pretty relevant, so i have decided to re-post the first 5 days of the course. 

3rd August 2012

So i am in France learning French.

The following is extracts from my diary about my french course, that i am doing for the next two weeks at Alpha B school in Nice, France.


Arrived on time, yay I found it quite easily. It’s only a short walk from the tram stop.

I was placed into a group of about 9 students. But only about half had arrived by the beginning of the class. The teacher started the class by going over some basics, introductions, dates and numbers. We were then tested on our basic oral and written French and placed into two groups those who knew something, and those who knew nothing.

I was placed in the group of students who knew nothing. I admittedly felt very bad about that as I had done 5 years at school, one years of evening classes and have been teaching myself on and off for years.

The class then started properly, and it was very clear to me that I was going to know all the content already. Others who had never done French before were struggling with the very basics; trying to remember how to say Je m’appelle xxxx. And I really wanted to be pushed. So I told the teacher at the end of the day that I though the class might be too easy for me and I was put into the upper group. Time will tell if this was a wise decision.

Lunch time I went to a local restaurant and tried to order in French. All the French I knew came out in gobbledygook English. The waiter promptly told me where to sit and handed me the English menu. So a fail for day 1 then.

In the afternoon the school organised a tour of Nice, which I joined. The tour was in French. So I tagged along hoping that listening might improve my listening skills. The tour guild Aurelia, was great. She speaks such clear French even I managed to understand some of it, and was happy to answer my stupid questions about shade and sunlight. I got to speak to other students on the tour. Most of them have been learning French for much longer than me and were doing more advanced classes, so kept asking me really complex questions in French, which I answered with a staggered silence.

After the tour my head was overloaded with French, so I headed back to my hostel for a nap, pizza and to talk some English with the other backpackers. The English came out in broken English and people have been asking me all night where I am from? Expecting answers like Finland or or Argentina or something. This is an unexpected side effect of French lesson I hope it passes soon.

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