Well we are both another two months on and we are progressing with our quest to learn french. How quick that we are progressing though is the $64,000 question!!
I quickly decided that one lesson a week wasn’t enough so I now have two one-hour lessons a week. We both still get out to our language club on Thursday evenings but it’s more of a social occasion than the intense hour of one to one lessons we have, although I have learnt that sitting with the french members of our group is far more productive!!
Our vocabulary and general understanding is becoming much better. My french accent and pronunciation is improving slowly but surely (much to Evie & Isabelle’s amusement, who now speak with a perfect french accent) and I generally make myself understood with my improved confidence and knowledge.
I do panic a bit when asked questions but I’m learning to cope with that by asking for people to repeat what they are saying. We also spend a few minutes a day talking in just french with the girls, usually about what they’ve done at school. Their french is coming on leaps and bounds with my son recently commenting that if he didn’t know them he’d think they were french!!
However maybe the best sign of progress is in understanding the conversations on the radio, I can generally get the gist of what is being said and I’m getting used to the speed of the conversations.
I’ve also started attending an additional class in Chalais, this is slightly different in that its a group lesson, usually 6-8 people, so there is a lot of chatter around the table. For some reason the teacher thinks my french is good enough to go straight into the intermediate group. Again I understand the conversations but struggle to speak as I am still at the stage where I have to think in English then translate to French then speak it, usually very badly!!! (Think of the English policeman, Officer Crabtree in ‘Allo ‘Allo!!). It’s a very intense two hours but its just what I need to push myself.
Lauren is going at her own pace too, with one lesson a week, but she also does all the translation of Isabelle’s homework and the letters we get from school as well replying to them in french. I think Lauren knows a lot more than she lets on!!!
I’ve got a real test coming up on Friday when I have volunteered to go on a school trip with Evie’s class. Her teacher speaks little english so its going to be an interesting day. Its a trip to a Gastronomic fair in Angoulême and I will hopefully do a blog on this later in the week.
Donc au revoir et bonne journée