An exciting couple of hours lie ahead of you. You’re taking your first steps towards a bright new future full of new possibilities, new pleasures and new people. The first few days at the French immersion school are an important period as it is a chance for you to get acquainted with your fellow students, teachers and the French school as a whole. Your first French lessons in Montpellier will be quite a journey and by the end of it you’ll be surprised by how into the flow you already are.
Who are my Fellow French Students?
To begin with most French teachers will start with going around the class and having a little discussion with each of the students, in French obviously, about yourself. So here you will learn the names, nationalities and a bit about each of your fellow students as well as your teacher. I always love this part of any new class. It’s so cool too find out all the different parts of the world that people have come to the ILA French school in Montpellier from to do the same thing as you. I get this feeling like I’m part of a huge international network of people with tentacles stretching to the suburbs of Barcelona, the Swiss alps, downtown Tokyo and even to Calverton, a typical little English village where I’m from. This is one of the best environments to experience the feeling of living in an international age. If you’re feeling a bit rusty on your French or if you haven’t learnt French any before don’t worry you don’t have perform a huge monologue, just your name and maybe your nationality is enough to get the ball rolling. If you’re feeling confident however give those French muscles a flex as the more the teacher knows about what you can and can’t do the better they can help you learn.
Have a Little Play with your French
A lot of French students who come to the ILA French language school feel naturally a little shy at first with some hoping not to get into any muddles. So they play it very safe and stick to sure ground. I implore you to just cut loose and go for it because the teachers are doing something very important during the first bit of the lesson. They are trying to get a feel for the extent of your French. Now this is not to be misconstrued as them testing you, it’s not like if you make one too many incorrect conjugations you’ll be demoted to a lower level. The initial test you have to do before arriving is quite comprehensive.
Assuming you haven’t been cheating, is very adept at detecting the subtle differences in abilities across the components of the language. So it’s most likely you are where you should be. The teachers want to figure out your strengths so they can challenge you and they want to figure out your weaknesses so they know where concentrating more of their time is going to be most useful for you. The more you talk the more data they have to accurately assess this ying and yang dynamic and they can adapt their own approach and rapidly smash some of the barriers that may have been holding you back. You never know the penny might drop on a couple of things that completely open your eyes to things that have been hiding in plain sight.
My First French Lesson in Montpellier
The above was particularly true for me. I first came to the French school in Montpellier with just a year of formal French at school when I was 11 and a bit of practice with an audio pack that was entirely conversational. So I had some aspects of my French that were slightly more advanced, my vocabulary for example, and other aspects which were beyond terrible; like my knowledge of prepositions. So when I saw a piece of French text I might be able to understand the things involved in a situation but there were so many confusing little two or one letter words scattered amongst them all I had no idea how those things related to each other. Enter Joelle, my wonderful first teacher. She pinpointed exactly where my difficulty was, told me a few simple rules and before I knew it a huge chunk of confusion evaporated. It was a great feeling and one I wouldn’t have experienced if I had stayed in my comfortable shell. It is important during French language stays in Montpellier to be open. You will learn French in France quickly and have a great time with other people from all over the world studying French in France.