There’s a lot that comes with learning a new language. It isn’t just verbs and being able to read your shampoo bottle’s additional instructions. It’s opening up your world to discover an entirely different universe of culture. French is often called “the language of love” but honestly, it’s no surprise that it’s the language I (and so many others) love, too!
I took my summer session of classes at the Alliance Française de Chicago and it was a wonderful experience. Having been pretty rusty in my college French, I was nervous. So let me break down what it was like in case anyone else is wondering… what’s it like going back to school!?
I STILL have nightmares about not knowing my class schedule, and showing up late to my classroom on the first day of school. But as busy adults, we often forget to set time aside for ourselves to do something strictly for ourselves. Taking a bath, reading in a quiet space, heck—even taking a nap can seem like a gift. However, having a set class schedule allowed me to dedicate time and energy to my French studies and it was a great way to hold myself accountable to treating myself to something I adore. We all need more of this in our lives, I guarantee it.
Hear me out. Ever have one of those days that you drive to the office and then realize you don’t even remember doing it? Yep. Me too. Routines can make us numb to our surroundings and in all the hustle and bustle of juggling work and life during another pandemic season, we’re all just doing what we can to get by.
I’ve found that working through conjugations and searching for adjectives stimulates my brain. And when so much of our lives is steeped in routine, the idea that we are still gaining skills and building a way to connect you to the rest of the world, I feel like other parts of my mind benefit from the old muscles being flexed.
Already, as a member of the Alliance, I’ve made new friends. That includes people who weren’t even in my class! The French community in Chicago is special and I’m so excited to be counted among other people who treasure the French language and culture.
Not to mention you find support. My classmates and I were learning together. Passé composé? L’imparfait? Ce qui vs ce que? We were all figuring it out as one. Of course, some had a better grasp of the rules than others, but our class and our instructor were all patient and kind during the learning (and re-learning) every session.
As I gear up for my next class, I look forward to learning alongside my classmates and hope to see some familiar faces in the fall session!
Well… almost. ha! I’m still bashful in speaking, but I can genuinely say I’m significantly more comfortable speaking French in front of a group (even though it was virtual, I still get nervous!). But speak I did, and I can’t wait to try and take that confidence with me when I venture to France in October!
Who knows, maybe I’ll be brave enough to venture over to the Alliance Française in Paris!
The fall session begins September 13th, and if you’re still unsure about joining, send me a message, I’m happy to give you any insight! Just in case, here are a few key dates and links if you’re ready to take the leap for the language of l’amour!
For so many reasons (Paris included, obviously!) I can’t wait for this next season to begin. I genuinely look forward to taking my French skills to the next level with the Alliance Française de Chicago, and hope that if any of you out there are on-the-fence about indulging your desire to learn a new language, that this is the time you go for it! See you at the Alliance!
This content is shared in partnership with the Alliance Française de Chicago, but of course all opinions are, bien sûr, my own.