Alliance Francaise

by spaghettipirate

I should have been in another class.

Today was the first class day and despite my best attempts, it turns out I am un-luckier then I thought.

Aside from spending three hours going over the same “Je m’appelle, je suis…” “Elle s’appelle, elle est…” until I wonder why after an hour and a half some of the people still just don’t get it, I am ready to call it quits.

It probably also doesn’t help that there is a woman from Santo Domingo whispering Spanish in my ear and an American woman on my other side speaking to me in English until I am three ways from speaking French. My attention then is diverted between the two women because I am one of three people in the classroom who actually understands what the Professor is asking us to do. And that I get it the first or second time around furthers my belief that I think I should be moving at a more rapid pace. It’s a full immersion classroom setting, where she mostly refuses to speak to any of us in English, but there is a Portuguese couple, a Chilean, an Indonesian, a Pakistani, and a Chinese to name a few.

There then is the matter of all of the people in my small classroom – 15 people at most – all being at least seven plus years older than I am. Clearly I am the youngest one in the classroom. I’m not sure what I was expecting, really, but I figured that there would have been more kids at or around my age instead of middle-aged people recently moved to France.

Perhaps they are all in the morning sessions or in the higher levels of French. If they’re in the morning 10 o’clock class then I fear myself to really be SOL, for since my arrival to Paris my early morning tendencies have all but flown out the window.

Learning new languages have always come relatively easy to me, and so spending three of my precious nine hours a week going over introductions is a little mind numbing. Since spending some ten odd days in a Parisian suburb where no one speaks English fluently, one quickly learns to become somewhat conversational, as it is a sink or swim situation. At any rate, if they speak slowly I can understand what they are getting at without too much difficulty. So you can imagine my frustration at wanting to move at a faster pace. The full immersion, no English, aspect of this school then scares me because I’m not quite sure what the next level would entail.

Clearly I am not fluent yet but having grown up in a multi-lingual environment and speaking fluent Spanish I feel places on a little sturdier footing for French classes then simply being thrown into the deep end with no floaties on. But maybe I think more highly of my language skills than perhaps I actually have, yet I can confidently tell you that I cannot spend another three hours going over the alphabet, numbers, and more of “Comment ça c’écrit? “Se écrit N-A-T-H-A-L-I-E”