This past semester at Longwood University I had French 102 three times a week, with an hour-long lab every Wednesday afternoon. This French class also happened to be the only class that I had on Friday. Thus, each Friday morning I would lay in bed contemplating all of the reasons why I thought it wasn’t necessary to have any class more than two times a week. However, during the last two weeks of French class here in La Rochelle, I have come to realize that three classes a week plus lab was barely enough time to learn a language!
Here at La Rochelle University we start class at 9am, take a short break around 10:30am and then resume class until 12pm at which point we head over to the university café. Following lunch we return to class for another one and a half to two hours of class. If someone had told me last semester that I would have been sitting in French class for roughly six hours a day I would not have believed them!
Also, I would like to mention that these six hours of class are taught by three fantastic professors, Corinne, Maïte and Laurence, who don’t speak any English. And what I mean by “don’t speak any English” is that all three have studied English and speak it very well but just refuse to speak it to us!
While it was difficult for me the first few days, I soon gained the confidence to speak up in class and let myself make mistakes. The more mistakes I make, the more I learn. And in the short time that I have been in La Rochelle, I personally think that my French has improved by leaps and bounds. Most noticeable for me is the improvement in my comprehension of the language. What once sounded like a jumble of sounds is slowly becoming coherent sentences for me!
I now look back at my last two semesters of French 101 and 102 and see how amazing it is that my wonderful French professors at Longwood University were able to teach me so much in during such short class periods only three times a week. This fall when I start French 202 I won’t lay in bed Friday mornings, again my only Friday class, coming up with reasons why I should stay in bed, but rather take advantage of each minute I get in class! And besides, what is fifty minutes of class compared to six hours of class!
–Claire Turck ’11