Starting at Glendon, I was coming from Grade 12 core French which, for me, meant that I was kind of comfortable with grammar. Not to brag but now, in my third year, I work three different bilingual jobs, have emceed a full French conference, and am working on my 5th course taught fully in French.
As a result of my blog, I’m lucky to have actual proof of the progress I’ve made with my French in the time I’ve been at Glendon.
Exhibit A, the video Francette and I made back when I was in first year:
Exhibit B, the video I made a month ago for the Ma Francité video contest:
First off, check out my flowing locks from first year.
Secondly, I like to think that my French has improved greatly.
How did I do it?
I found some magic beans and sold them to a wizard for the ability to speak French.
Participating in the Explore program, and spending 5 weeks speaking French in Trois Pistoles, Quebec helped improve my confidence in my French abilities.
Taking courses in French, and working on my written French, and forcing myself to participate in class makes sure that I learn vocabulary and I learn how to express myself in an intelligent way.
Making bilingualism a priority for myself in student government, participating in FrancoOntarian activities like RÉFO’s AGM last year and emceeing Le Français Pour L’Avenir earlier in 2013 with Francette have given me chances to step outside my comfort zone and really force myself to use French.
In short, learning a language has to happen outside of a classroom. While those three-ish hours a week help in learning grammar, finding opportunities to apply the rest of the week are what count.
Language learning never ends. The other day I had to look up the word “attrition” in the English dictionary because I had never heard of it. I’ve been speaking English for 20 years.
Moving forward, I plan on taking more courses in French. Next semester, my Molière class is presenting La Jalousie de Barbouillé and I will be playing the title character Barbouillé, completely in French.
With some work, taking advantage of opportunities and self-discipline, learning a new language doesn’t have to be too difficult.
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