Je m’appelle Elizabeth et je sais un peu du français….
My journey with learning French
I live in Canada where English and French are the official languages. We learn French as kids in school and have one year of mandatory French in high school.
I’ve never gotten beyond a basic level in French although I’ve had the goal of being fluent in French for as long as I remember.
I took one year of it in University and took another year of it in College night courses after work hours.
My struggles with learning French
Those classes helped but I learned more words and how to create sentences but yet I never felt confident speaking it. That didn’t stop me, though.
Whenever we travelled to Montreal, Quebec, I would try to speak it and understand French by talking to the sales clerks when shopping.
I wouldn’t remember too much at this point but I was surprised at how much I could read when we visited Paris. It made me feel more comfortable to be able to buy the subway tickets there as well as the Paris St. Germain Soccer match online tickets without having to pull out the French/English dictionary.
Unfortunately, that’s about as far as I got though. I couldn’t understand barely anything that was spoken to me.
Thank goodness we found a guy who spoke Spanish outside of the grocery store when we were trying to figure out something on the map.
I then took more lessons in an online module based course which was a refresher for me and I got to learn some more vocabulary. Although I got to practise the words, it didn’t make much of a difference for me when speaking French or understanding it.
When I began teaching Spanish and now again as I begin to teach it online, I thought about my experience with learning French and started to think back to why I hadn’t reached my goal of becoming fluent.
Two main reasons for my struggles
The first one is that I put effort into it but not consistently. I would take a course and then stop for awhile.
The second one is that I didn’t have anyone to practise with on a regular basis.
I assume these are common reasons why people haven’t learned to speak the language that they have always wanted to.
I want this blog and my classes to be the beginning of getting to that goal so that no one has to wait any longer to learn and feel comfortable to speak Spanish.
What has your experience been so far with learning Spanish?
What about other languages?