April 23, 2014, by Guest blog

My year abroad would not have been anywhere near as enjoyable without them

I can’t believe that I have now finished my teaching placement, these last 7 months have absolutely whizzed by. I have definitely made many connections here in France my only regret being that more of them weren’t with French people! I really hope to stay in touch with the people I’ve met whilst being out in France and don’t think my year abroad would have been anywhere near as enjoyable without them. It has been so nice to be able to moan about the ridiculous French bureaucracy system and the rude Parisian people but also to share new experiences with them.

I was really lucky with the teachers I ended up with at my college as the majority of them were really young because my school was in a ZEP zone. They were very friendly and quite good at including me and I really hope that at some point I will get a chance to go back and visit them. I will also miss some of the children I taught, hopefully they’ll remember at least some of the things I taught them. I feel I have gained so much from my assistantship in particular my confidence has increased enormously as you cannot be shy standing up in front of 15 rowdy college kids who don’t want to be there! Even though I believe I’ve come to the definite decision not to go into teaching later on I don’t regret my choice and think it has given me many life skills and a great experience.

Having been at home the last few days for most people one of the first questions they tend to ask is are you fluent now? I personally think that it would take me living in the country in almost full immersion for between 5 to 10 years for me to become fluent. So in short, no I’m not fluent. However I do think my French has improved a lot over the last 7 months, particularly my listening and reading and I think my fluency in conversation is slowly starting to get there. I’m also hoping that what I’m doing over the next 2 months in France will really bring my ability to converse freely in French up to a much higher standard. Personally when I think back to when I first arrived in France 7 months ago I think the transformation in my French and in myself is immense.

Posted in Making connections