This Won’t Help Me In France…

February 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm (French, Rants, School)

Today in French class, we were all paired up randomly and given bingo-esque cards with pictures in half of the boxes. Your partner had pictures in the other half of the boxes. You were supposed to ask each other for the picture in specific boxes (i.e. what is in row 2, column 3), and they had to describe it to you so you could draw it in your blank box, thus eventually filling the whole sheet. Most of the pictures were of things that, while common objects, we didn’t necessarily have the vocab to simply label, thus forcing us to describe them. I think it’s a great exercise. If you have a good partner, that is…

I, of course, was paired with one of the quietest girls in the class, N, who is quiet for a reason: she cannot speak a full sentence in actual French. She apparently took Spanish at some point, but perhaps decided it was too hard or something, and figured French would be easier. So instead of actually speaking French, she speaks a mixture of French, Spanish, and English words spoken with an accent so as to appear French when they are actually far from the actual word. Or she just gives up and shakes her head. Oh, and all of this is spoken in a voice so low that I have to constantly lean towards her to even begin to try to comprehend what she is attempting to mutter at me.

I seriously do not understand how she passed French 121, the beginner’s level here. I would ask her what was in a certain box, and she would totally misunderstand which box I was asking for, and so give me a strange look as if to say, “Why are you asking me for that box, you idiot. I have it blank, so you should know what’s in it” when of course, she can’t understand the words for ‘first,’ ‘second,’ ‘third,’ and ‘fourth’ in French – or differentiate between a row and a column, apparently, even though they were both written, with visual aids, on the board in front of us!

Suffice to say, it was a very long 50 minute class that could have been a good deal of fun, not to mention a good deal of help as it was supposed to be.


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