the sorry state of my french skills

About a month and a half ago I took my end-of-training exam, and then afterwards I gave myself a much needed break. It was the holidays. And focusing on French for six months is tiring. And then I started ConGen. But now… well, it’s been a month and a half. It’s time.

I was counting on getting back into the swing of things in a structured way, through free classes offered by the Global Language Network. Unfortunately free language classes must have sounded like a great idea to a lot of other people too; neither Andy nor I won a spot in the lottery.

What now?

I keep meaning to go to the French-speaking meet up groups that I used to attend fairly regularly, but so far it hasn’t happened. (There’s one tonight, for example, but there’s also a going away shin-dig hosted by one of my last remaining A-100 colleagues.) I keep promising myself that I’ll read several French articles a day, but after a frustrating first day that plan fell away. (I could understand mostly everything, but my brain translated to English much more than before, which really slowed me down.) So then I decided at the very least I could listen to the news in French every morning while I was getting ready. I’ve been doing a decent job of that, but 10 minutes of listening comprehension isn’t really enough to maintain my skills, let alone improve them.

By the time I get to Cotonou I’m going to have been done with French classes for longer than I was ever in French classes. If I feel like I’ve lost a lot now, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in July. So, yes, I need to try harder to find time for French. And I will. I promise. Starting… tomorrow?

What have you done to maintain your language skills after training?

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3 Responses to the sorry state of my french skills

  1. Natalia says:

    Have you considered, once the baby arrives, a mommy and me group of french speakers? i am doing the same with Japanese.

  2. Holly says:

    Hi!

    My name is Holly- shoot me an email. I stumbled across your blog and would very much like to talk! I am headed to Benin as well.

    Holly

  3. Dale says:

    Le probleme est vraiment evident. Vous devez continuer d’utiliser le français n’importe quel circonstance. En parlant toujours en français. En ecrivant toujours en français. En lisant toujours en français. Je viens de juste terminer mes études en français. Dès debut, j’ai decidé de se plonger dans la langue afin de la maintenir. C’était le seul choix disponible à ce moment là et ce serait le seul choix disponible que vous devriez choisir.

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