I took my first French class! I want to use this blog to reflect on the experience of being a language teacher in a foreign language class. I’m hoping it will deepen my learning and lead to more empathy for my ESL students. At the end of each post, I will upload an audio file where I practice my French pronunciation. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how I’m doing!
We started the class by sitting around a long table and learning how to introduce ourselves. The teacher modeled the correct pronunciation, and we went around the room taking turns. It was amazing to me how nervous I got when it was my turn! I had butterflies in my belly and everything.
If I were the teacher, I would have started a ‘train-game.’ Each student could have introduced themselves to the next. It could have gone around and around the table getting a little faster and faster. To me, this kind of simple activity would have added some comic relief and helped the students laugh a little as we got to know one another.
Next, we learned how to ask a simple question with the verb Être (to be). Again, the teacher modeled pronunciation and asked each student the question.
The tricky part for me to remember is vous êtes is linked and the final s is not pronounced, so it sounds like “vouzete.”
The other part I struggled with here is the different pronunciation between masculine and feminine. For example, américain & américaine are slightly different. (caine = ken) I’m not exactly sure how to pronounce the difference, so I need to practice this point more.
We then moved onto asking each other about our professions. We broke into pairs and asked, “Vous êtes Pascal Rigo? Non, je m’appelle Heyward. Vous êtes dentiste? Non, je suis enseignant d’anglais. Vous êtes suisse? Non, je suis américain.” We did this repeatedly to get as much practice as possible.
We continued alternating between the teacher asking questions us questions and pair work with other students. We did slight variations on each question, but it was mostly about introducing ourselves, where we’re from, and our professions.
I need to practice the pronunciation of qui, que, and faites.
Finally, we went the French alphabet and spelling our names, as well as a few basic numbers. Before I knew it, two hours had gone by and it was time to wrap up for the day.