Our French Speaking Experience
Have you ever gone to a foreign country where the primary language is not your own and tried to live like a local? This is exactly what Mikhaila and I did as part of our language exchange, and it is not as easy as you might think.
The idea behind our exchange was so that Mikhaila and I could practice our French, and Zoe and Juline could practice their English. Mikhaila and I were in the extended French progamme at our old school so we knew how to conjugate verbs and speak basic French. We wanted to test our skills in the real world.
Since we wanted to get to know one another better, we all agreed to create videos to share about our daily lives and hobbies. We sent one video every week to each other for four months. Mikhaila and I sent our videos in French, and Zoe and Juline sent us videos in English. The videos helped Mikhaila and I get to know the girls better and also got us into the habit of speaking French.
Here are a few examples:
Mikhaila talks about her Greek dance recital she did in Montreal, Canada:
Here is a video of my best friend and I showing what we do in dance class: PS. It isn’t perfect
For the first week in France, Mikhaila and I did not talk very much because we were jet lagged and very tired. We focused on understanding what everyone else was saying because they spoke really quickly which made it harder for us to understand.
By the second week, Mikhaila and I knew the family a lot better, got over our jet lag and we were having full conversations in French with the family. We were able to speak more, and we could understand whenever someone spoke at 100 words per second!
Here are some things we did with the Lenoble family to practice our French:
Watched a Movie
We went to the local movie theater and watched Despicable Me 3 in French. It was easy to understand and very funny!
Listened to French Music
Throughout our stay, the girls played their favorite French songs such as Sur Ma Route by Black M, French Kiss by Black M, and Papaoutai by Stromae. We also went to a park where there was a live concert playing French music that we could listen and dance to.
Lived With The Lenoble Family
Living with the Lenoble family really helped improve our French. We played games like Headbands and Charades, as well as some new ones we learned. We also talked with the family as much as we could which really helped us with our conversational skills. They taught us some French tongue twisters to practice such as:
-Mure Usee, trou s’y fait, rat s’y met
-trois tortues sur un toit tordue
It was not easy to speak French as it is our second language. The Lenoble family didn’t mind if we mixed up our conjugations or said the wrong word. They were very supportive towards Mikhaila and I which gave us confidence to talk with them.
Overall, this exchange was an incredible experience. Mikhaila and I really improved our French speaking and understanding skills. I hope to do another exchange some day because I would like to get better at speaking French, or maybe even learn a new language!