Last weekend I attended the foire (fair) in the town near our village where children and adults signup for extracurricular activities.
I sat at a long table with the woman responsible for the class registrations waiting for my old (and hopefully a few new) students to choose between my English conversation courses on Tuesday or Friday mornings. It’s almost a cliché tin this country hat those of us who speak English, even though we’re not trained teachers, find ourselves in this position.
My-Reason-For-Living-In-France doesn’t understand why I continue to teach these classes. I try to explain to him that I absolutely love the time I spend with my “students” who in many cases have become friends. They are also the perfect subjects for the non-scientific studies that I share with you here, like: What do they eat for breakfast; how important is it to be thin; what do they eat when they’re really, really hungry mid-afternoon; what’s their favorite moisturizer, how much water do they really drink in a day, and so on.
Please let me know if you have any questions you would like me to pose for one of my polls. Classes start next month.
Students in my classes range in age from their 40s to their 70s and the majority want to practice their English because they travel extensively. One woman in her mid-70s says she signs up every year because she thinks it’s good for her brain. She never fails to do her homework. She also takes yoga and T’ai Chi classes to be strong in body and mind. To see her loping to market with a basket slung over her arm one would think she was a young woman.
Although I know my grammar instinctively, I can no longer explain it beyond subject, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, objects. . .you get the idea. The French really know their grammar, no matter their age. That’s why I teach conversation and not a full-on English course. There are trained teachers for those responsibilities. I have an American friend who has a degree in English as a foreign language and she has been teaching children and adults for decades. That’s an entirely different skill set as you can imagine.
|I’ve been told that the latest technique for teaching children English is to immediately use contractions without explaining how they are constructed. Seems very strange and ultimately counter intuitive to me, but what do I know?|
There are two other reasons why I continue: It helps my French and it’s fun. It’s a win-win.
While I was at the foire I signed up for aqua gym classes. With my new knee I can once again try to be strong physically.