Friday, January 12, 2007

the unbearable lightness of French class

I had six people in today's 1pm French class, which was a net gain of one person from last week. However, of the five people who attended last week, three were missing. One told me yesterday that she would be dropping because she lives far away, which makes the long commute for a one-hour class more of a pain than it's worth. A second student called this morning to say her stomach was "killing [her]," so I imagine she won't be showing up for this afternoon's English Circle, either.

French class went well, otherwise. We moved beyond the alphabet to simple greetings and basic vocabulary, and class ended with applause, something that's pretty rare for me when teaching. I think the girls are caught up in the novelty of weird pronunciation and spelling; this novelty will wear off once it becomes obvious that French, like any language, requires work to learn.

I'm morbidly curious as to which students will or won't be returning next week.

After class, the main office sent another high school student up to my office to talk with me about the advanced French class. We spoke for about twenty or thirty minutes in French, and I must say, this girl gave me a run for my money. She lived in France for five years, from about age seven to age twelve; she has a fantastic accent, not to mention a very natural, fluent delivery. I was able to speak with her at full speed from the outset, and it was something of a shame to tell her that I had cancelled the mid/advanced class because no one had shown up last week. I'm actually regretting that having said that to her, because the girl wants to maintain her French. That makes her the perfect conversation partner, because I share that goal. Alas. I did tell her, however, that I might consider reopening the French class if she found some French-speaking friends. I think this is for the best; it hardly seems worth it to have a class with only one student.


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