Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Le Petit Bac

My attempts at a thank you poem for my French hosts, which I performed the afternoon I left. It is based on a French game, called 'Le Petit Bac', that adults play with children to help develop vocabulary and identify homophones & rhyme,  Getting the cadence & the rhyme took some doing, so no grammatical comments...
I will never be a writer in French, but it was written at midnight after five days immersion and sounded great verbally.
After all the trip was with 'Let's Speak'

Le petit, petit poème,
Merci le bon séjour,
Du vin et éducation,
Fromage et bonheur.
La langue c’set très confusion,
Monette la patience bonne.
Je parle verbes, et Louis
Cultural à Francophone.
La grammaire et des erreurs
Les ‘tu’ & ‘du’ & ‘eu’.
J’ais apprendre toute les heures.
Merci pour 'tu' et 'tu'.
Tristement je départe
Pert être rendez-vous.
Ma maison a Carelles.
Vous avez bien venue 

Sejour a Evron...

 Sometimes you forget what it’s like to be a student. You move so far from being a learner that you can’t remember how it feels to be uncertain and not understand.. Having watched our English immersion students struggle, comprehend and live the learning experience, I decided it was time I followed their example and immersed myself in French.
Since qualifying as a teacher inthe early seventies I have always been driven to improve and to learn more. Through London University externals, the Open University & numerous accredited courses,  to a Masters degree at Manchester I have striven in,  my own time,to learn more.

Now was my time to apply all that knowledge and all those forty experiential years. With some trepidation I set off for my sejour with my French hosts Monette & Louis. What a wonderful time, eight hours plus daily in French. Beautiful  house  ,excellent French cuisine, fine wines and cultural education; I ate, drank and yes, even dreamt ,in French.

And what did I learn? Well in addition to consolidating my grammar and improving my conjugations I learnt the pleasure and confidence that being relaxed into a language gives. All my early childhood memories of learning and writing, all that excitement came flooding back. Like then I was eager to learn more, practise and apply. Hungry to communicate at my level of cognition it was a rewarding & truly amazing experience.

I learnt too, the skill of a good teacher; who can make confusion & sadness into comprehension & pleasure. So this is a thank you to all those past teachers who inspired me and who may never know.
And to my newest teachers and now friends ~ to Monett for her patience and creativity and Louis for his humour and oenology, I say “ Merci mes amis”.
What did I learn? Well I relearnt the excitement of learning!

(With special thanks to Sarah & Beatrice of ‘Let’s Speak’ who were so encouraging).