So after a hard day of French class and language lab, what do two French students do when they get home? Well, speak more French, of course.
It’s been a big advantage that both of us can speak to each other while we’re at home. It probably doubles the amount of time I spend actually speaking French each day. The drawback, though, is that sometimes enough is enough. My language consultant made it a point to tell me that one or two hours after class was sufficient. If I worked any harder, he said, my brain would explode. Ok, he used words like “inefficient” and “overuse” but you get the idea.
And so we invented a game. It’s one in which we take a short break after class, then we only speak French for an hour. Then we take another break followed by our final hour of French for the day. Since she wasn’t sticking to the rules, I implemented a new one – every time she accidentally broke into French during our designated English time, we delayed French time by five minutes. On Friday I got out of a solid 15 minutes of French because she couldn’t stop herself from saying “merci” or “avez-vous les cles?” or “ou est Abbey?”
As tough as it is to come home and speak French, I’m glad we have the opportunity. It’s been invaluable. Of course the fact that sometimes we can’t help but to speak French is also a sign of just how intense this program can be, and how important taking a break can be.
After all, the last thing we want around here is for any brains to explode. I mean, to be inefficient with our studies.