December 26, 2013, by Guest blog
Singing in a choir helps my French pronunciation
Over the last 3 months I would l like to think that living in France has improved my level of language in many ways. Initially the integration process into the small town that I am based in meant that I needed to research lots of new vocabulary in order to successfully find accommodation, furnish and insure said accommodation, open a bank account and settle into my 3 school societies. After the initial organisation role I began to settle into a routine and start to focus and recognise aspects of my language acquisition.
In general my vocabulary range has expanded both in comprehension of new words and being able to say them. Most of this has come from listening to how other people interact. For example as I am doing the assistantship listening to how the teachers discipline the children has taught me key words to encourage children to concentrate as well as learning the tones and register used that is considered culturally appropriate. As I tutor some children during my free time this has been very beneficial as although I normally do not have to discipline children during my working hours when I am tutoring sometimes I can use some of the disciplinary techniques and vocabulary that I have seen at school.
In addition to what I have learnt at school I have joined a choir which has helped me greatly in pronunciation singing in French as well as teaching me the musical terms involved in rehearsal and performance. Going to choir every week has also helped my general conversation in French and helped me to get an insight into French culture through their humour and interactions.
Another society I have got involved in has been the French British Association. This has helped my French greatly with many members actively correcting my French and helping me with any grammatically questions I have come up against during my day to day life. The members of the association every year go out of their way to welcome the language assistants of the area into the association and the community in general. This therefore encourages assistants who could otherwise speak English to each other to get involved with French natives and not only broaden their knowledge of the language but also the culture.
Overall the last three months have linguistically taught me a lot however I know that there is still a long way to go. I feel I am happy with my level of comprehension of the French language now due to being immersed, however I feel work still needs to be done on improving my confidence to speak and I also need to look at a few pages in my grammar book!
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