Learning a language without a teacher can be extremely difficult; now I don’t doubt that there are people who can do it but not everyone is autodidact and that’s alright. While I can teach myself many things through the internet I do feel a teacher has helped me improve my French and force me to memorize and learn stuff that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I will start my next semester of French next week so I thought I’d take a look back at my previous experiences with teachers.
Having a good teacher is extremely important and that goes in a lot of ways. You don’t only need a teacher that knows their stuff but that also knows how to teach and likes doing what she is doing. No matter how excited you are to learn a language a teacher with a bad attitude can take all of that joy away until you no longer want to continue. In the same way if the teacher is good at their job they will get you excited to learn more even if they’re a very strict.
Since I didn’t ask for permission to use their names I’ll use fictional names. My first French Teacher Mlle. Pline gave me class in High School. I didn’t want to learn French but of the two available languages it was the only one I was interested in. I took 3 years and she was the only one who gave the class, I was really good the first year but by the second I started slipping and by the third I don’t even know how I passed but I learned very little. I didn’t do the fourth and final year since most people didn’t and I didn’t feel I had the level to continue. My teacher was really good, she always had many different activities for us to partake in. This was excellent since it made some things memorable and made us remember vocabulary through her odd ways of teaching it. I should’ve taken more advantage of the classes but oh well. Most of the downsides were that she talked to us way too much in English and she was a little too emotional in her classes from time to time. 3 Years = French 1, 2, 3.
After that it was a few years until I re-started French, by then I had forgotten almost everything so I decided to start from Zero. I signed up for a University semester of French and had Mr. Mas. He was very friendly and taught us well. He might’ve been a little too lenient which didn’t help in some of the learning process but I had a good time and passed without a problem.
For the next two semesters I had Mrs. Rice and here is where the teacher makes a difference. She would tell us how much she knew and what a great teacher she was. Both times she taught us all the topics of the semester in the first day of class in a quick abrupt way only to tell us it would be taught to us slowly over the course. Every time she taught something new, we wouldn’t really practice it enough because “we had already seen it the first day, remember?”. Besides that she was extremely lazy, always letting us out extremely early or giving us sentences to translate and she would just sit and do nothing the whole class. My classmates liked her because she would make plenty of jokes and try to relate but a good teacher she was not. I passed my first time with her but on my second time with her I stopped going to class near the end of the semester and stopped studying French for another long while. 1 1/2 years = French 1,2, 3.
This next time I didn’t want to start from 0 so I made a placement test and sadly I got sent back to second semester of the French course but I was fine with that. My teacher Ms. Green was a bit young and because of that a bit irresponsible with her course but overall she wasn’t a bad teacher and gave us the information we needed and a huge improvement over Mrs. Rice. Last semester I had one of the teachers in charge of the whole French team at the University and all her experience showed. She tried to show us how strict she was but deep inside she was very friendly. I learnt a lot with her and even though she also had her flaws she was easily the best teacher I had had since my High School teacher Mlle. Pline. 1 year = French 2 & 3.
So now I start French 4 which is a semester long and I’ll see how my new teacher will be.