Meilleures remerciements à mes enseignants de français

 

Dans mon parcours d’apprentissage de français au fil des ans, il y a beaucoup d’enseignants dont j’aimerais me souvenir et parler.  Chacun très différent, mais très semblable dans sa capacité de rendre l’apprentissage si amusant et captivant. À l’école,  à Bombay, je me rappelle  Jasmine Mistry – je me demande où elle est maintenant, et si je me souviens de son nom correctement. Elle nous a appris une tonne de choses rudimentaires en français, et ce dont  je me souviens très clairement même maintenant, c’est la conjugaison du verbe êtreau présent. Notre classe était énorme; en fait deux classes ont été mélangées. Tous les étudiants qui ont étudié le français et la classe débordait toujours. Bien sur, qui est permis de sécher les cours à l’école ? Mais nous nous sommes éclatés. Donc où que vous soyez madame – Merci.

Et, après cela, l’université- Saint Xavier Bombay. Le professeur dont je me souviens est Anjali Lokur. Dans notre première année de BA nous avons étudié Guy de Maupassant – aucune idée de quel roman mais seulement qu’il était un roman de Guy de Maupassant !  Et ce que je me rappelle de Madame Anjali n’est pas ce qui s’est passé en classe mais dehors – un jour après la fin de quelques examens, beaucoup d’étudiants sont allés au Métro Café,  près de Saint Xavier, pour fêter la fin des examens. Et voilà, Anjali et Eunice (notre prof d’anglais) y sont arrivées; après quelques minutes, quelqu’un a encouragé les serveurs à jouer du  Pink Floyd – « We don’t Need No Education » et nous étions ravis de voir Anjali et Eunice, tous les deux,  chanter gaiement avec nous. Pour nous, voir ces professeurs dehors la classe « rocking » la chanson avec nous était WOW.

Maintenant  l’Alliance Française qui m’a permis de recommencer mon apprentissage à celle de Bombay. Aban était une enseignante fantastique et nous avons toujours pensé qu’elle était  «More French Than The French.» Toujours chic et à la mode. Cette année là, il y avait une pièce de théâtre en français- « Such a Lovely Bastille Day » et je me souviens comment elle en a parlé. A-t-elle également participé ? Il y avait aussi un carnaval sur Marine Drive – d’un point à l’autre. Et son cours était « fun »  – je dis ça maintenant mais je pense que nous étions un peu effrayé d’elle. Mais j’apprécie qu’elle nous ait vraiment poussé à faire un effort.

Et l’Alliance Française de Bangalore – c’était excellent – Laissez-moi commencer par Madhuri – qui est fameuse pour m’avoir toujours pointé du doigt quand elle voudrait expliquer le mot « vieille » et aux jumelles pour «jeune.» Et tu Madhuri ? ☺

Kavitha – qui est tellement passionnée et si organisée –  chaque classe avec elle nous pouvions voir l’effort qu’elle a pris pour le rendre bien pour nous. Madame Vidya – dont l’insistance que notre prononciation soit correcte m’a aidé à prendre l’effort, même si je ne suis plus dans son cours de conversation maintenant.

Finalement en ce moment nous avons Geetanjali – nous l’avons surnommée Madame B2 – qui nous enseigne un niveau difficile et éprouvant et le rend tellement amusant.

Aussi Anuradha qui nous a appris pendant quelques jours. Je suis en admiration devant sa connaissance et sa méthodologie.

Donc, au jour des enseignantes de FLE mes sincères remerciements à toutes et à tous pour faire ce parcours si beau pour moi. Félicitations.

 

To all the teachers who have taught me French – Happy Teacher’s Day and Thank You.

In my journey of learning French over the years, there are many teachers who I would like to remember and acknowledge. Each very different yet very much the same in their ability to make the learning so much fun and engaging.

In school in Bombay, I remember Jasmine Mistry – I wonder where she is now and wonder if I remember her name correctly. She taught us a bunch of the rudimentary foundations of many things French – what I remember clearly even now is the conjugation of the verb être in the present tense. Ours was a large class – in fact two classes merged – all of us who had opted for French and the class was always overflowing – of course it was – who is allowed to bunk in school?? But we had a blast. So wherever you are ma’am – thank you.

And then it was college – at St Xavier’s Bombay. The teacher I remember is Anjali Lokur. In our 1st year of BA we studied Guy de Maupassant – no idea which book but remember it was a Guy de Maupassant. And what I remember about Anjali ma’am is not what happened in the classroom but outside- one day after the end of some exams  many of us had gone to Metro Cafe near Xavier’s to celebrate the end of the exams; and lo and behold Anjali and Eunice – our English Prof walked in ; after a few minutes someone encouraged the cafe guys to play Pink Floyd – “We don’t Need no Education” and we were overjoyed to see both Anjali and Eunice singing along happily with all of us. For us to see these teachers outside of class rocking the song with the rest of us was wow!

Now onto Alliance Française- let me start with the one in Bombay- Aban was a fantastic teacher and we used to think her to be “more french than the french”. Always very chic in her dressing style. During that year there was a french play – Such a lovely Bastille day and I remember her talking about it – was she also a part of it? We also had some french carnival like event on Marine Drive – one end to another. And her classes were fun – I say fun now but I think we were all a little scared of her then and she pushed us to really make an effort.

And the Alliance Française in Bangalore – it has been so good- starting with Madhuri – she of the dubious fame of always pointing to me when she wanted to help us understand the word “vieille” (which means old!) and then once pointing to me for vieille and to a pair of twins for jeune ( meaning young)…Et tu Madhuri? 🙂 ; Kavitha – who is so passionate and is so organised and each class with her we could see how much effort she put in to make it good for us. Vidya – whose insistence for us to get our pronunciation right helps me to make that effort even though I am not in her conversation class right now (and yes it doesn’t always land right) ;  Finally now there is Geetanjali – Madame B2 as we have nicknamed her- teaching us in a tough and challenging level and making it so much fun. Also Anuradha who taught us for a few classes – in awe of her knowledge and her methodology.

So on Teacher’s Day here is a big thank you to all of them for making this journey such a lovely one for me. Happy Teacher’s Day!

Joyeux Noël and the French Saga continues……

Another year getting over and another starting soon! What continues is the French journey. This year I sat for the DELF A 2 and was very happy indeed with the results. I also continued the B1 course in Alliance Française, Bangalore. And it’s no longer a walk in the park!.

Along with full time work, and various other life things, the weekends are busy in the French Class..and how does one find time for studying in between classes? This dilemma many of us are struggling through.

We are on a Christmas break right now and return to class in Jan with an exam on the first day! Happy studying to all of us!

I am trying a italki session today and will post an update on my experience soon.

Till then…Joyeux Noël!

Easy French Stories

So a friend and class mate asked a question last week,  “Are there any easy french stories available online? ”

In my web crawls the last couple of months – I came upon some sites…some seemed easy – children’s stories mostly. And then there were some websites like  Fluentu  or Duolingo  which gave either a link or names of stories-  short stories by well known authors like Guy de Maupassant. I haven’t checked the reading level of those and hence can’t comment on whether someone in A2 level can read them easily.

This is one website – The French Experiment that I did check – This website has children’s stories like Three Little Pigs which in French is Les Trois Petits Cochons ; Goldilocks and The Three Bears, in French – Boucles d’Or et les trois Ours. And can you guess which these are: Le Petit Chaperon Rouge and Le Vilain Caneton?  The nice part of this website?   There is a text and also an accompanying audio – so one gets listening practice also!  And of course as most of us will have heard these stories before, the lay of the land is clear and therefore one feels good and successful at the end of that particular endeavour!

This was another story I read Saint Nick in French – a short story about St. Nick; available with English translation. There is also a link to a French only version, which I think is a better way of reading it – trying to understand and then reading the English translation once you have figured it all out.

And finally, I just came across this : Short Stories and Novels. Just did a quick look – see and it seemed like an interesting site. All kinds of genres mentioned; and some stories are nice and short – a para or two. Of course, I am not sure of the level of reading difficulty as I am yet to browse deep.

In the non cloud world, I have often physical borrowed books from the Alliance Française Library – they have them marked according to the DELF levels! Which Helps! But sometimes as adults, we find that some of the books are “babyish”  (how we forget we are babies in this journey 🙂 ); but what helps I think is to look at the babyish stuff and then slowly once we get confident start picking up books meant for  other levels. I had a fun time reading some children’s  books and some books for adults/adolescents marked – en française facile. It feels good when there are not too many pages to read and one can understand!

I am glad to report that I have now progressed to reading Famous Five by Enid Blyton in French…and I am enjoying them once again!

Do you know of any websites that you have looked at?

Learning French in French – OH NO! The Alliance Française Method.

I was a student at the Alliance Française de Bombay many years ago and I am a student at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore now. A lot is the same and a lot different…

I remember the Alliance Française de Bombay – –back when Bombay was still called Bombay; I studied at the Alliance at Colaba at a place called Dhanraj Mahal – I remember it being a small place – small classrooms; but outside we used to get fresh sugarcane juice and get 50% off on the virtue of us being students! After class we used to queue up and have a tall glass and gossip – about the class I presume! I enjoyed my classes there. I still remember some of my classmates and of course the teachers.

The Alliance Française de Bangalore campus is very very different. Much more spacious – lots of trees; a very nice place to spend one’s weekends for sure. While I enjoy the ambience and the fun we have between sessions; the class itself is also great fun. It’s been a little more than 6 months and it’s still wonderful to go there.

Though the venues are completely different, some things remain the same – –

The teaching methodology – they teach only in french! then and now! And if you are someone who wants to be taught in English (or whichever is your primary language) – well – you will need to train your mind and your heart to learn in French or find someplace else.

I guess the philosophy is, that one needs to immerse oneself and start surrounding oneself with the language —- slowly the words start to make sense and you find that there is a method that you see in this particular madness. Having learnt French earlier with this methodology helped me pick up bits and pieces of another language too – “Don’t search for meaning of each word! Don’t try to translate to understand. Understand the context and work with that”. These phrases rang again and again in my mind and it helped me when  I  moved to Bangalore – I picked up a smattering of the local language Kannada.

But,  I have seen people struggle and I have seen people expecting the teacher to “give in”and explain in English well folks, it’s nothing against you and it’s not cruelty, it’s a method which works. Of course, it takes effort – effort to unlearn an earlier way of learning, an effort to be patient with the language and oneself, a patience to accept this way of teaching and learning. This effort helped me  and I must confess I think I learnt more in Alliance than in school and college. Of course the teachers are not ogres – they will revert to English if majority of the class doesn’t get it…but they will try their best to explain in various ways in French or through gestures etc etc. They will also not encourage your wanting to know the meaning of every word “JUST NOW”. They will try to tell you to figure out the context and if you understand 60% than its ok!

And if you haven’t experienced it – talk to the course coordinators, talk to the teachers, talk to other students –  try to understand it and then try your best to accept it and if it is not for you, find a different method. But if you do choose the Alliance Française, know what you will get here, don’t expect something else.

 

the return

So what is this blog about…….

I would like it to be a journal I think- a journal about my “apprendre le française” journey. A journal which will chronicle my understanding, my struggles and my success…and also the fun I am having with this whole thing.

And why am I calling it ” and its le française once more? ” mainly because this is not my first attempt. I am returning to the language and relearning the language after a gap of almost 20+ years. Oh My God! Did I give my age away?? :).

I may or may not during the course of this blog talk about my first attempt – it was successful then –  but not being in touch and other things getting in the way – choices, life etc etc, made me forget a lot of it. I kept thinking  over the years of getting back to it…had kept some of my books, notebooks and exercise books in the loft- till my sister threatened to throw them away…I got them back to my residence and again kept them on another loft. At times, I would get them down, gaze at them and look at them as you would look fondly at old photographs–and actually tell myself I will re-remember the language..but one day two or three years ago–whilst clearing some other things, I cleared them away..out of the house .:( .

Sometime, last December the thought visited me again- didn’t I say many years ago, I will choose my Psychology specialisation over more in-depth french and that I can always get back to French? And so what are you waiting for was the question! The thought finally turned into action- I decided to go and register at the Alliance Francaise and started the journey – ONCE AGAIN!.

Some of it – what I had learnt comes back and some of it seems oh so new..but it is fun..energising and fun. I look forward to my weekend classes and look forward to my study…

I think I will share my stories, I shall share some concepts I learn, I will share my confusions, I shall share my triumphs and I will share what is helping me in the journey. I hope it will be a chronicle for me to review and it may help create conversations with others about their own journeys in learning french, and maybe guide them to clear some confusions and maybe discover some other their very own confusions.

So lets see where this log/journal of this journey takes me…