A Special Case of Language Anxiety?

By Wai In Chan

In one of our last classes, Lauren Godfrey-Smith gave an amazing lecture on language anxiety and the experiences of people who went through language anxiety. It was a really emotional experience for me because I felt that the study was acknowledging and validating my feelings about speaking and learning French in Montreal. Over 25 years of my life I have been learning French as a second language in English as a first language schools, and I STILL feel so much anxiety using the language that I avoid it at all costs even until today.

Continue reading “A Special Case of Language Anxiety?”

Grammatical Gender in French

Yu-Ting, Liu

“What if I used a masculine word when I speak in French, what would people think about me?” That was a question I asked my roommate, a francophone Quebecois. She laughed and then replied: “people are going to think you’re not good in French, that’s all.”

As a French language beginner, I have some questions about grammatical gender and pronoun in French language. In my first language, Chinese, there is no grammatical gender. Gender only needs to be specified in written form, such as 他 (he) and 她 (she), but both of them pronounce in the same way “ta”. Therefore, Chinese speakers never have to think about “gender” when they speak, and certainly there is no verb conjugation either! You will find that some Chinese speakers still have the problem when starting a sentence with “he” or “she” in conversations. (At least I do!) However, later when I started to learn English and Korean, there is no grammatical gender rules either. Thus, I was oblivious of this issue until this September I began to learn French.

Continue reading “Grammatical Gender in French”

No French in English class!

Miss Education says:

As an undergrad studying to become an ESL teacher, I was constantly told that there was no room for French in English class (except if there was a severe problem that needed to be addressed). Five years after finishing my bachelor’s degree, I have had the opportunity to work with other ESL teachers and discuss about this issue. Some teachers did not use French at all, while others found it difficult not to speak it during their teaching. Clearly, ESL specialist go about this in different ways. What we largely have in common, though, is that we believe there should be very minimal to no use of the students’ L1 in the L2 classroom. This suggests that ESL teachers believe that the best way to learn an L2 is to be fully soaking in a tub of the second language in question.

Continue reading “No French in English class!”