(The lunch or dinner table is a great place to converse with native speakers. Photo by: www.somethingtosnackon.com)
Monday through Friday, I have the best French lesson on the planet- I eat lunch with native French speakers. I learn more in 1 hour with them than I have in any classroom. Just the other day, I found out about the aggressive French redneck- this was something that was never taught in any level French class that I’ve ever taken. Le rouge gorge or literally the Red throat (ok it’s not redneck exactly but it’s pretty close!) is a small little bird native to Europe and is quite territorial, hence, it’s aggressive nature.
(He might not look like much but keep out of this little guy’s way!)
(photo by: my.englishclub.com)
The French nature lesson didn’t stop there. I also found out that une cigale is not a grasshopper but rather a cicada. All this time I thought that the hard working ant was being bothered by a lazy grasshopper who liked to make music and not a cicada (this is a reference from the famous French fable La cigale et la formi).
I cannot stress enough that the best way to really learn a foreign language is to speak with native speakers. This does not mean to say that speaking with native speakers should completely replace taking classes- unless you are able to speak with someone everyday for at least 1 hour and even then, I still recommend taking classes. Studying abroad is a great way to really take your foreign language skills to the next level and beyond as well as help you immerse into the host culture as you’ll be put in the situation to interact with native speakers. Countries like France love their language and that’s why it’s really important to beef up your language skills. Most of your language lessons occur outside the classroom and not in it – so dive in and talk with a native!
Are you getting ready to pack for your up-coming study abroad? Watch this video on how to pack your checked bag- this video is for both gentlemen and ladies. Stay tuned for the 3rd installment of the How to Pack for Studying Abroad Series which covers beauty essentials.