It’s nearly 3am and I’m still thinking about my French class. As blogged previously, I meant to start at an easier level but due to a scheduling mistake by Alliance Francaise, I was put in a more difficult class than I wanted to be in.
I managed to hold my own for a few sections, and understood some concepts, but for others I felt lost. I didn’t know as much vocabulary as the rest of the class, so I couldn’t understand the bigger meaning. At one point I got an entire exercise wrong because I forgot one word which put everything in the past tense.
The most embarassing moment was when the professeur looked at me and motioned to the whiteboard while saying something quick and unintelligible (to me) in French. I got up, thinking I had to write down my answers, but it turns out he was referring to something else. We all had a good laugh but I felt sheepish too.
Coming to think of it, it’s been 11 years since I first studied French. At the time, I was waiting for my A-level results and had lots of time to spare, going for classes just once a week. That gave me time to do my homework and re-learn things. It’s very different when you’re working every day and coming home late.
The intensive course I’m currently in, is no joke. So far, homework is given every day and there is a good amount of it. I get some right, some wrong. It is disheartening however when I get certain sections totally wrong. I’m a perfectionist and when something doesn’t make sense, I want to look up the word or phrase or ask someone, “Pourqoi?”
However, the pace of the class does not allow all my questions to be answered, and after a few embarassing moments giving wrong answers or taking a while to understand something, I don’t dare to ask all the questions I want. Every delay I make in grasping a concept, I deny my classmates learning time.
So basically I feel I am not getting the most out of this class, and the class is definitely not getting the most out of me. I really, really wanted to be placed at an easier level but this is all the school can give me at this time. I need to take my exam, and the sooner I pass the better. I asked Alliance Francaise about giving me private tuition but they don’t seem to recommend it as it’s expensive!
So I may try another school offering private tuition. I tend to do pretty well when I get private tuition. I ask more questions, and am given the liberty to go off-tangent once in a while so I can explore every idea I have (which is another tendency of mine).
The tuition fees may also be cheaper than at Alliance Francaise, which I have to go to - as opposed to having the tutor visit me - and only during weekdays and office hours, which is not flexible enough for me with my busy work schedule. We’ll see how it goes with the new school.
So goodbye, Alliance Francaise. I think the classmates were nice, and I was starting to make friends with another newcomer, but that is besides the point. I have to pass, and I have to pass early. Tuition is the fastest way to get me there. La fin!