La vie est belle !

A to Z 2016 — My Language Exchange

Bonjour mes chers lecteurs ! Bienvenue sur le site “Forty, C’est Fantastique.” Qu’est-ce que c’est ? De quoi s’agit-il ? Alors, c’est mon voyage vers la langue française. Un voyage sans fin. Je l’ai commencé il y a trois ans et demi. De temps en temps, il y a des gens qui me demandent : “Comment as-tu appris la langue française ?” Je leur réponds : “Je n’ai pas appris la langue française. Je suis toujours en train de l’apprendre.”

Parlez Français !

Parlez Français !

 


La Partie en anglais et The Part in French, all mélange-ed up ! 

There is absolutely no question about it, if you want to improve in a foreign language, you must speak it. You know, I took a year of French in high school, and I learned nothing. Because we only learned grammar and vocabulary out of a book, and not much of that. In fact, I think I had the worst French teacher ever. My memory of the class is just this: There was a French exchange student at the school that year, named Vincent. The French teacher would tell Vincent to teach us some French, and then leave to go to the teacher’s lounge or something. Évidemment, Vincent n’était pas là pour enseigner le français ! He wanted to practice his English. And make friends. So…il nous a donné les réponses aux examens ! So I learned exactly no French sauf “Je voudrais un coca-cola s’il vous plaît” et “Le crayon est sur la table.” Pas très utile. And at the end of the year, we had un boum (which I guess was French teenager-speak for “party.”) In fact, in cleaning out some stuff, I found the invite for said “boum.” We made it on an Apple IIc with a program called “Printshop” which we thought was pretty cool. Regardez :

Un boum

Anyway….!  So, speaking your target language. How can you find someone to speak French with if you are in the middle of the U.S.?  Sure, there are probably  classes, maybe you are even lucky enough to live near an “Alliance Française”  but to have a regular exchange with a native speaker? Is it possible? Yes! I found a site called “My Language Exchange” and there are loads of people on there looking for the same thing: Un échange linguistique.” 

 

I started out on this site almost right away, because it’s really for any level! And best of all, I found some real friends there with whom I share many interests, but primarily the interest in sharing one’s language and culture. Most of the time I spend an hour with my Skype partners, 30 min in French and 30 min in English, wherein we chat about this and that, newspaper articles, stuff we saw on the internet, etc, and we gently correct one another in our native languages. It’s a great way to see how “real” French people speak, learn some current expressions, and things like that.


 

So I asked three questions of a few of my correspondants:

Question 1: What are your main goals in finding language partners? Has MLE helped you achieve your goals?
Question 2: Is there anything you would change about the program, or have you had any problems with it?
Question 3: What would you say is the most rewarding thing about the language exchange program?

Here are some of their responses, which I have left in the original French or English that they responded in:

A. says:

1- the main goal: améliorer mon anglais pour que je puisse participer aux conversations de mon compagnon et me débrouiller à l’étranger
2- ne rien changer car ML E offre une grande liberté pour le choix des correspondants, la façon d’apprendre, la liberté de s’organiser comme on le veut
3- the most rewarding: avoir eu la chance de vous voir” en chair et en os” , de passer du temps avec vous et d’être devenue votre amie pour la vie.  (elle est vraiment gentille, n’est-ce pas? 🙂 C’était la même chose pour moi!! )

D. says:

1 – Mon premier but en m’inscrivant à M.L.E. était de créer une immersion linguistique afin d’apprendre à penser et à parler dans une langue seconde . Ce programme m’a aidé à atteindre mon objectif en mettant à ma disposition une liste de personnes intéressées à échanger des conversations par chat vocal.

2. – Je ne changerais rien à ce programme tellement nous y trouvons tous les outils nécessaire à l’apprentissage d’une langue .Nous pouvons nous inspirer de la méthode Cormier et profiter des conseils et suggestions appropriés au bon  déroulement des discussions.

3. – Selon moi la plus grande utilité de ce site  réside évidemment dans l’accessibilité aux échanges langagiers et culturels de par le monde sans avoir à se déplacer ni à débourser des frais déraisonnables . Plus d’accès à l’apprentissage de langues étrangères contribuent très certainement à  une meilleure communication des peuples.


 

F. says:

1 – To practice English and meet nice people. Yes, I have been able to maintain my English speaking and meet my correspondant.

2 – The profiles are not up to date and many people on the website are not connected anymore.

3 – To meet Jetgirl and her husband, without the website this would never happened ! (For me too! We had so much fun meeting you guys too! ❤ )


F.  says:

1. Learn how to speak as a native and learn common expression.
2. I didn’t have any problem except some are there for another reason than to learn new language.
3. Improve the skills and make really good friends.

M. says:

1-The starting point was the necessity of speaking ! after a training session, a regular practice was necessary to maintain and to improve my English level.It’s awesome : after two years, I have 10 correspondents with whom I regularly exchange by emails or by chat. My goals are going to be reached : first of all, I’m able to speak in a class and I am going to validate the level B1 is Business English and I’ve passed the Bulat exam with a level B2. Second element : I’m more and more interesting in learning the language !

2 – The search engine could be better with more criteria or with more categories.The only problem I got was weird requests but not a lot.

3 – The website gave me the opportunity to meet people !


 

P. says: (and I did transcribe this from a webchat, so forgive me if it isn’t exactly right… 🙂 )

1 Pour moi, c’est la possibilité de pouvoir dialoguer avec des personnes qui essaient d’apprendre le français ou qui sont attiré par la langue française et la culture française, et donc, c’est une relation d’échange pour moi parce que nous aimons échanger et j’aime par exemple, votre pays, vous aimez mon pays, c’est une symbiose entre deux cultures. C’est grâce à la technologie…

Donc, le “goal” l’objectif, pour moi c’est la possibilité d’améliorer un peu la langue…to be active in the langauge because if you don’t speak a language, you can’t improve or make headway. It is important not only to be passive, but to be active. So has MLE helped you achieve your goals? I think so. And I think if you pay a little bit (ed. to have a “gold membership” on MLE) it’s more serious.

2. No problem for me. La plupart des gens sont sérieux.

3. I think to be friends with somebody, that’s the reward. To share, and maybe to meet somebody in the future. To have a longer relationship with somebody that exchanges with you.


 

 

Et…voilà ! Qu’en pensez-vous, mes chers lecteurs ? N’avez-vous jamais eu un échange linguistique? Comment ça s’est passé ? Et si vous en avez envie, voilà le lien encore une fois: http://www.mylanguageexchange.com

Bonne courage ! Parlez avec quelqu’un de nouveau !

 


Le mot du jour from Larousse.fr : (you can click on the word to go to their site, which includes a pronunciation of the word)

Mémoire:

  • Activité biologique et psychique qui permet d’emmagasiner, de conserver et de restituer des informations.
  • Cette fonction, considérée comme un lieu abstrait où viennent s’inscrire les notions, les faits : Ce détail s’est gravé dans ma mémoire.
  • Aptitude à se souvenir en particulier de certaines choses dans un domaine donné

mémoire. Larousse.fr Retrieved March 15, 2016, from http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/mémoire/50401?q=mémoire#50292

In English: Memory

Ex:

“Si ma mémoire est bonne, c’était ton idée d’aller au supermarché à pied même s’il pleut.”

“If I remember correctly, it was your idea to walk to the store, even though it is raining.”

M

 

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3 Responses to “A to Z 2016 — My Language Exchange”

  1. evelyneholingue

    You’re so right about the necessity of speaking to improve our skills in a foreign language. One thing is sure: the more we speak the more we gain confidence and vocabulary. It’s great to listen, too, and reading has helped me a lot with the writing part. The accent will stay but everyone seems to like this part, so…
    I’m sure I’d love your American accent if we met. Best to you with the second half of the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • jetgirlcos

      Merci Evelyne…alors vous pouvez me dire demain comment vous trouvez mon accent américain ! (you’ll see 🙂 ) And you are right…most American people adore a French accent !

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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