December 29, 2013, by Guest blog

Living in an apartment full of sticky labels

Living alone in an apartment in a very small town in France has undoubtedly left me with a lot of time on my hands! Although at times I feel very lonely, this has allowed me to use my time and the resources around me efficiently. I quickly came to realise how hard it would be to meet people and make friends, so at first I spent a lot of time in my flat studying and learning more vocabulary through various means. Just by walking around my flat, I realised I didn’t know the words for important things such as kettle, remote control, sink etc and so sticky labels were hastily made and now everywhere I look there is a label to help me to remember the names of things in French. When I wake up in the morning I stick the TV or the radio on whilst I’m getting ready.  Sometimes I don’t consciously listen but I’ve heard it’s good to have it on in the background to get your ear in. I’ve enjoyed getting in to ‘La France A Un Incroyable Talent’ and ‘Le Meilleur Pâtissier’ !

Upon receiving my library card, I thought I would start off simply by borrowing Disney films and films that I had already seen before. Thanks to the pause button, I was able to look up words and phrases and write them down. I’ve realised, the great thing about films is that you can visualise the scenes where such words/phrases were spoken and I, personally remember them a lot better. After having watched every Disney film in the small library’s collection, I began to notice the difference between a good and a bad case of dubbing. All of my colleagues at work encouraged me to only watch French films and some very kindly lent me some to watch. They also lent me some French books to read and one teacher even gave me some for Christmas! It’s been nice to read and be able to understand the majority of things and I only have to look up a few words per page.  I’ve been able to underline words I don’t understand, look them up and write their meaning above.  One of my colleagues and I also have set up tandem learning  – for one hour  a week we chat in French and the next week in English. We are both very critical of each other and correct any mistakes in grammar/pronunciation. This has helped me a lot!

Posted in Language acquisition