Salut mes amis!!
The bittersweet moment has come where I passed the halfway mark of my year abroad. While it is exciting, it is more of a good reminder to really cherish every single moment here. I love my Swiss life and never want it to end!!
The main goal of studying abroad, aside from learning a new culture, is to learn a new language. At the beginning I broke my French abilities into these categories so you could see where I see myself and how my French has changed throughout the year.
Speaking: I no longer have to really think when speaking in French! While I still make mistakes all the time, my family and friends are really helping me by correcting me each time I mess up so I can progress. I have given numerous presentations in school, held long conversations, and even dreamt in French. Some of my exchange student friends make fun of me when they hear me talking to myself in French hahahaha!
Writing: This past week I wrote my first big text for French class analyzing a poem we read in class. I decided to write the text without any help so that it would be a true representation of my skills. My main problem is that I have learned a colossal amount of words, but I have no clue how to write them. Since French class mainly focuses about reading and analyzing texts, studying from workbooks is the only way to improve my grammar and writing skills. These next few months are really going to be devoted to writing and practicing the French grammar rules.
Listening: With the exception of scientific names and economy vocabulary, I can understand pretty much everything in all my classes. I now know the accents of my teachers and friends, enabling me to understand a lot easier and more quickly.
Reading: Going back to not knowing the spelling of words, I don’t always understand all of the words, but I can always grasp the topic and main ideas of a passage.
- Pronunciation: There are some words that my American mouth just cannot form. I am really hoping by the end of the year, I can finally say the words culture and future. It is the “u” and “r” that are so difficult for me to pronounce.
- Spelling: Since I normally learn new words from conversations with friends and family, I have no idea how to spell them. Plus, I always mix English and French spellings and create the Sarah-Catherine language. I don’t know why my teachers can’t understand it hahaha.
- Imperfect: I do not know why, but I just cannot grasp the imperfect tense. Everything is just so much easier in the present tense hahaha. Truthfully, I would really like to go back to the workbooks and get a firm grasp on the imperfect tense since I misuse it all the time!
While I am no longer having to speak super slowly or ask everyone to repeat things, there are still a lot of areas I need to work on. I firmly believe that before one can make a change, they must realize and analyze the core issues. Self-evaluation is critical in becoming the best person you can be!
Hopefully by the next language check-up I will have progressed and finding new ways to become even more fluent in the beautiful language that I love, French.