Tuesday Tunes

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!

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March 5, 2013 / Tuesday Tunes / LEAVE A COMMENT / 17

17 comments

  • There’s an ALLIANCE FRANCAISE in Singapore too, near the major holidays and festivals I used to see their free postcards with the french words for mooncakes (for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in September) or whatever’s associated with the current celebration.

    • That’s so neat!! I wonder if the curriculum is the same country to country, I never even thought about that. Your AF seems to have better marketing than the one in Philadelphia; I’d never heard of them before I looked up classes on Google! xo

  • Your degree is never useless! Hell my Art degree got me a visa in the US! And photo journalism sounds a LOT more useful and practical than a lot of the art subjects i took… it certainly helps for your beautiful blog ;)

    • Fair point, and I guess I was being more hyperbolic than I intended! What was your concentration in your major? I always thought art majors had all the fun ;) And I didn’t know you weren’t from here! I learn something new every day. Thank you for your kind words! xoxo

  • You could always join the military with a degree in photo journalism.

    Anyway. Best use for a french degree? Move to france & teach english.

    • Ain’t no way I could even pass the physical to get into the military. I can barely run for the bus. But I love your suggestion of moving to France!! Don’t think that hasn’t crossed my mind on more than one occasion ;) xoxo

  • i would so love to learn french. i think i have a little inclination to it (undoubtedly from all the french movies i have been watching for the last 20 years) but i think my experience in school with taking french scared me away from it. i just need to give it another go though, i am not 13 anymore. i’m not a baby! i could do it. i can’t believe you only have 2 days, so exciting!! xoxo

    • You already have an ear for it (and a passion for it!) if you’re into French films. That’s half the battle, and if you really wanted to, you could definitely learn it! Ooh, idea! Enroll M+L in kid French classes and then make them teach YOU when they get home! Brilliant, n’est pas? xoxo

      • Oui! I am actually thinking about applying to get them into the french immersion school here when they start school. It’s a public charter so it’s free, big bonus! That would probably force me to learn because having twins that speak a language you don’t could potentially be dangerous for me, non? xoxo

  • I think if I ever get the chance again to take language classes for that price, I’m going to jump at it.

    • Yeah, the price was just the icing on the cake! xoxo

  • “Move to France and teach English.” ;)
    When I lived in Boston, I hung out with a bunch of people that spoke French and the boy I was dating at the time was fluent. I could sit and listen to them speak all day long. It really is a beautiful language. Maybe one day I can hear you speak French; That be c’est magnifque! (<Did I get that right?)

    • You really were living my dream, then! Boston, French friends, French boyfriend (shh, don’t tell J!). It’s one of the most beautiful languages, I too could just listen to people speak it all day and never tire of it. My problem is that I can understand what they’re saying for the most part, but there’s a roadblock in responding. Trying to get over that hurdle. I bet it would be easier if I just lived there ;) You got it right! But since you used “it would be” you’d have to use the conditional tense, so “ce serait magnifique” or “that would be magnificent!” And that’s your little French lesson for the day! xoxo

  • You make learning a language sound like fun, I never was good at it. Maybe I should take a refresher course in French or start from the beginning again. High school is just too long ago and I can only remember some odd words. Weirdly enough I remember the chapter in our French book about le terrain de camping. Btw. one of the records I got at the last estate sale is La Mer, playing it on repeat right now…
    PS. Learning and getting a degree is never useless!

    • You speak German natively and you were able to learn English! That’s no easy feat, most people can barely get one language down (apparently English is open for interpretation when I hear things like “YOLO” haha). I giggled at “terrain de camping.” I love all the words the French have adapted from English. My favorite is “le walkman” haha. This record is so pretty! I’m listening to it now, too. How delightful :) xoxo
      (And you’re right, I wouldn’t trade my degree for anything!)

  • I love the fact that you are learning another language (I feel quite inspired by it). I am fluent in Afrikaans but since living in London, I don’t use it at all so I wake up in a panic because I can’t remember the Afrikaans word for carpet or curtains. So I have started to read the Afrikaans papers and listening to the radio back home (it really helps). I have always wanted to learn French but I just can’t seem to get my head around it – I do know how to say harricot beans though! 2 DAYS!!!

  • Yes you totally need to live in Paris. You have to go move there! J is always jetting of India so it’s only fair ;) although I’m sure he’d want to go with you. And then we can all come visit :) xx