Friday, November 26, 2010

French for Dummies: Part 1

On Monday afternoons, you will find me walking up the hill to this building, the Mairie. It's the town hall and in the back is the village library. That's where le professor, Greg, holds language class. Greg is a retired British physician who is quite French-fluent. He's volunteered to help anyone in the village who is interested learn and improve their English. The regular attendees are: Christiane, Patricia, Jean-Pierre, and Evelyne. I've been invited to come and hopefully improve my French. Class begins with each person reading a story they've written in English using 10 vocabulary words from the previous week's lesson. With words like beets, grumble and scatter you can imagine how funny some of the stories are! I read my story first in English...s-l-o-w-l-y, so they get to hear English spoken, then I read what I've written in my pitiful French. We usually do a grammar exercise, something fun like 'name the body parts' which they do in English and I attempt in French. Greg asks someone to speak about their English, and we close with a vocabulary test. From those words, we pick 10 to use in our homework story. We spend an hour and a half to two hours; it is tres difficile pour moi! If you've followed my blog in the past, you know that I am totally self taught...I've learned my French from language CD's that focus almost exclusively on spoken French with very little grammar and virtually no reading or writing. Language class is definitely a challenge for me. I can tell by the puzzled and very concentrated looks on everyone's faces that even my spoken French fails miserably a lot of the time. I've been rescued, tho. Part 2 of French for Dummies will tell you the rest of the story!


  1. Hi Evelyn .. How amazing that you can get lessons .. you are there quite a while, I am sure your French will come on Leaps and Bounds .. :-)

  2. What a great opportunity for you!