He’s called Francois and he didn’t laugh at me!
In the pursuit of becoming fluent in French, I’ve signed up to the Rosetta Stone course and I have to say that I am very impressed so far. As part of the course, they offer what they call Studio Sessions, which is done via the internet with a native French speaker. You have conversations with the facilitator and fellow students related to the material studied, so everyone is at the same level. So today’s news is, I just participated in one of these sessions, and it was brilliant.
I was quite nervous at first. You are advised to log on to the session about ten minutes before it starts, but I suddenly felt it was essential to make a quick cup of coffee first, to aid the learning process of course, nothing to do with nerves, so I logged on with about six minutes to spare. There I was, having set up my headphones and got to grips with where I was supposed to be, first draught of caffeine beginning to hit, and then I waited. There is a countdown timer in the top corner of the screen, counting down to the start of the session, which was very useful because I was mentally prepared when the session facilitator popped up on the screen with a cheery “Bonjour, Polly”. Good to know how real French people pronounce Polly, at least I will know what to listen out for when we next hop over the Channel. Also, yay! I know what Bonjour Polly means, so this was an instant confidence booster!
So there were three of us on the session, plus the facilitator, and the conversation was at a very basic level, not at all scary. As far as I could make out from the webcam picture, no chalk-board erasers were thrown. The whole session was conducted in French, which is great because I discovered that I can understand way more than I thought, or I can at least get the gist. Very basic jokes were made that we could all understand, which was a bit of a revelation. It was a very confidence-boosting session and I learned a great deal from it. For example, I’ve come to realise that it’s all fine when repeating something I’ve just been taught (even if the words aren’t on the screen to prompt me), but when I have to dredge it up from the corners of my mind and pronounce it so that a native speaker can at least vaguely understand me, it’s quite something else.
I loved it, and found it invaluable and a great motivation booster. In fact I’ve already booked two further sessions for the next couple of weeks.
This is not a sponsored post, I really do like Rosetta Stone.