December recap from our friend Alan
Well as you can tell by the date my blog kind of got forgotten, I’m sorry but it has been a little busy. In the last 3 weeks we have had 3 different teachers – Christine of course, Diane and Selma. Each one of these great teachers brought a different complexion to the lessons. It provides great variety and keeps you on your toes. As for subject matter – phew – we have done everything!
We have discussed daily what each of us has been getting up to in the evenings after school or at the week-ends ……Qu’est-ce que tu fait hier soir? Week-end?…..the answers as you may imagine have been hilarious as we each try and explain the bewildering variety of activities in our less than perfect French and with a severely limited vocabulary. I mean what is the French word for chasing after runaway dogs; cooking Korean noodles in your bedsit, or getting lost in the back streets of Rouen?
Once the mornings hilarity subsides we get down to the serious business of learning, you know things like grammaire, dictée, et écrive. In actual fact, even the grammaire is fun although it still pushes ones little grey cells.
We are put into situations using all kinds of media – the internet, Youtube videos and photographs and have to use the lessons of grammar, the new vocabulary, reading, listening and writing to either describe what we are seeing or conduct a little role play. We have each described and presented about our hometowns – describing a haunted house tour in Stratford upon Avon was very funny.
We have all travelled to Paris by train and organised the return journey, even discussing first or second class; we have visited all kinds of shops and discussed minor and major ailments at the doctors – the use of a bad head from over imbibing seemed to be used and remembered a lot!
We have covered a little French and world geography which is interesting as where Canada is depends very much upon where you come from in the first place – from France it is definitely in the l’oest but if you come from Japan its definitely from l’est! The aural difference between the two is miniscule. (On the subject of miniscule, did you know majuscule was french for a capital letter?) I now have a working knowledge of Carcassonne which a very historic town in the south east of France. So much of this geography is useful and role playing being in a tourist office is extremely useful. Regrettably we have not actually visited these places but we have done other things.
One evening we made la carte noel – complete with glitter and glue. We all, yes including me, got roped in to some kind of cabaret dance routine whilst working in the technology room – I still don’t know what that was all about? We learnt each others ‘surnom’ which to my English speaking friends is not the family name when in France but is in fact your nickname. Meg, Essissimo, Arri’ Professeur D’amour and Shep have all been used extensively since.
We said a fond and a sad farewell to Dayze and Arrianne from Sao Paolo, Megumi from Tokyo, Elly from Bonn and Patrick from Gieswil. We shall miss them next week, its strange how quickly you become friends in the face of collective adversity!
Finally to close this week we had a dégustation d’huîtres – oyster tasting – hosted by the ever effervescent Vanessa , Cri-cri (nickname of Christine) and supervised by mini-Christine her beautiful little girl. A great couple of weeks and oddly I do seem to be improving. I have been to the post office, the boulangerie, the supermarche and a restaurant and held successful conversations in each without having to revert to ‘Je suis desolé, je suis Anglais’ at all.
More to follow, keep reading. A bientot mes amis!