That’s right, I’m writing a blog post about being forced to speak English!
- Franglish – I went with my friend Megan to an event in paris put on by an organization called Franglish. It is a way for people who speak English and French to improve on their language skills. We signed up online and they were full for native french speakers but had a few spots left for native English speakers… Perfect! The organization facilitates one-on-one conversations with a native speaker. So, I was set up with a partner who was a native French speaker. We spoke French for 7 minutes, then we spoke English for 7 minutes, then we changed partners. This went on for almost two hours. Overall Megan and I had a great time. Most of the people were in their late twenties, early thirties. There was one VERY FRENCH woman in her fifties who wasn’t very nice (err she was just the epitome of french rudeness), but other than that I really enjoyed all the conversations I had! There were a couple people who had poorer English skills, and I had to concentrate to understand them and they even had to ask me to slow down.
- Breakfast in America – This is a restaurant in Paris!! Megan and I have been craving pancakes so we went for a late snack after Franglish. I had a triple stack of chocolate chip pancakes and boy was it good! Megan had Deuces Wild with two eggs, two bacon strips, and two pancakes. Again, here we were forced to speak English because the waitresses preferred it. It was appalling to watch French people eat a hamburger (this place is a diner btw). So the hamburger is served “open” so there’s one side of the bun with the meat on it and another side of the bun with the lettuce/tomato/etc. The idea is you add the sauce (ketchup, mayo, etc) and then fold it together and eat it with your hands right…? WRONG. The french ignore the bun with the lettuce, and they attach the meat bun with a fork and knife!!! Oh gosh, I was shocked. Not to mention they used mayo with their fries…
- English Tutoring – EDUCO sent out an ad asking for an English tutor. I volunteered because I love children and thought it’d be a fun experience. I have tons of tutoring experience in math and science so I figured this can’t be much different…. I was wrong. Nonetheless I arranged to meet the family at their apartment, I arrive and they are very kind. The family is Korean and they ask me to take my shoes off. Normally this isn’t an issue, but there isn’t anywhere to sit, I have boots on (it was raining) and I’m wearing a skirt, and they’re trying to introduce me to the entire family… it was beyond awkward. The mother set me up with the daughter. She told me the daughter is in her second year at a French/English bilingual school and needs some help with reading comprehension and vocabulary. Then the mother leaves me with some books and attends her own business. So the daughter picks a book and starts reading it… I pretty much had free reign to do whatever I wanted. As she was reading out loud, whenever she mispronounced a word or hesitated with a word I would help her learn the proper pronunciation and definition. Then I would ask “why did he do that? Why does he need that? … etc” along the way to make sure she was understanding. I ran into a few difficulties: How to define “else”, how to define “both”, how to define “evaporation”. Boy the last one was a fun one… she got a science lesson too. I enjoyed the experience and I think it’s something nice I can do with my native tongue!