Last night was my last night of French class for this session, but classes begin for the next 10-week-round next Monday. I will be in Paris (have I mentioned that yet??) but Rachel, our teacher, told me to schedule a make-up class, meaning I can take a lower level class one night to make sure I get the full 10 classes worth. I realized that I never really explained where I was taking French classes before, and after finding out yesterday that the school turns 110 years old this month, I figured it was worth pointing out that I’m going to a reputable school, not a back alley establishment.
The Alliance Francaise was founded in Paris in 1883, by a group of men including Jules Verne and Louis Pasteur, and now has over 1,000 locations in 135 countries. The schools are all independent franchises, but all have the same mission: teaching French as a second language. There are Alliances in Madagascar, Lesotho, Mongolia, Colombia (there are 20 there!), and of course, here in Philadelphia. My school was founded in 1903, and I only found out about it from Yelp. The school is a small, cozy office downtown, with bookshelves lining the room and lots of comfy couches, and about 5 small classrooms. I ADORE it. They offer classes for kids and adults, cultural outings, movie viewings and dinner parties.
I took a full-day Immersion Class back in November to test the waters, and then signed up for a full roster of their 10-week, 2-hours-a-week sessions. Thanks to a bunch of holidays that all fell on Monday nights, our last class wasn’t until last night. The classes are small, only a maximum of seven or eight students per level, which means it’s intimate, but not too intimate where anyone feels embarrassed giving an answer. I just found out that the teacher moves up through the levels with us, so Rachel will teach level 104, on the same night, at the same time, in the same room, with the same group of students. How great is that? And the best part, it breaks down to about $13 an hour for the classes, which is an insane steal. Part of wanting to learn a new language is that you have to really want it, and I really want it, regardless of the cost.
If after this round, I sign up for the summer and winter sessions, I’ll complete levels 105 and 106 before 2014, meaning I could move on to the 200 level courses. How exciting would that be? My ultimate goal is to become fluent. I actually looked into going back to college to get a second bachelor’s in French (some schools offer them without having to take all the gen ed courses and only take the classes in whatever major you’d be getting), but I have no idea what to do with the one useless degree I have, let alone a second.
I’ll ferme ma bouche and let you listen to today’s Tuesday Tunes:
Oui, Coralie Clement again. She’s just too amazing.
PS. TWO MORE DAYS!