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French 101: My First Step Towards Fluency

Photo via Tourist-Destinations.com

Tomorrow, I take my very first class of French 101.

Up until now the extent of my French knowledge has started and stopped at the movie “Amelie,” so I am excited and more than a little bit nervous to begin my lessons.
Since I have publicly deemed 2012 the year of French Travel, enhancing my French language skills is a must. I don’t just want to see landmarks, I want to experience the culture and be able to talk to the people I meet. Language comprehension is essential.
There’s just one small hitch to my idyllic plan to speak with French villagers about life over baguettes, brie and bottles of Bordeaux… Language classes in general have always been difficult for me.
Having taken a couple years of Spanish and then a few more of Italian, I’m not a complete language-phobe, but to say that I’m walking into the classroom confidently is a bit of an exaggeration. Something about the sheer public-ness of your speaking missteps has always been disconcerting.
But, the awkward in-class conversations about the weather should be well worth it because after 12 weeks of instruction, I’ll head to Montreal and Quebec City and try my newfound skills out in a real life setting. Then, after hopefully being motivated enough to take French 102 over the summer, I’ll head to France and Belgium this fall for the ultimate test.
My goal? To be at least fluent enough to order my café au lait in a quaint café near the Vieux-Montréal or the Champs-Élysées without eliciting any dirty looks from the baristas. Sounds easy enough, right?
Will I giggle when I have to say “oui, oui” in dialogue training? Will I freeze and suddenly blurt out “Grey Poupon” when the teacher asks me to say something in French? Only time will tell.

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3 Responses to French 101: My First Step Towards Fluency

  1. Mandy Kilinskis February 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Good luck, Chris!

    I find that motivation to learn the language is absolutely key in succeeding. When language acts as a requirement (e.g. high school), students that aren't interested generally don't do as well as those passionate about learning it.

    You're gonna be fine!

  2. Packed Suitcase February 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Thanks, Mandy! I'll let you know how it goes 🙂

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  1. French 101: La Fin - July 20, 2013

    […] dieu! My French 101 learning experience recently came to an end. After nearly 3 months of weekly classes, I’ll be the first to admit […]

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