Enrichment Award Update: Successes and Setbacks of Learning French

Since my last update, I have made progress in my journey to French fluency. I have continued to work with Rosetta Stone and speak with Hana, my pen pal. Through my primary learning aid, Rosetta Stone, I have completed three units out of twenty. During June, I mainly refreshed on what I learned in high school, but am starting to learn new vocabulary and verbs as the units progress. Using the software is becoming more comfortable, and I am also able to move faster through it as I use it more. The most surprising aspect of Rosetta Stone is how much my accent has advanced. In high school, I was embarrassed to talk in class; my accent was so bad that my teacher deemed it “Californian French.” I am really happy that I am now confident about my accent, but there’s always room for improvement!

In addition, talking to Hana is more natural. Unfortunately, we do not talk as frequently as I would like too, but when we do talk, we use less and less English. Also, I do not have to use an online translator as often. Besides the fact that Hana is helping me with French, she is a really cool person, and I am lucky to have met her!

Even though I have had much success I have also had some setbacks. I attempted to begin reading Le Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry. Both Hana and my friend from high school, Gabby Puma, read this book and thought I would have no problem with it. The first problem I had was that Le Petit Prince is in the verb tense, passé simple. This verb tense is difficult to understand because I did not learn it in high school or with Rosetta Stone yet. Additionally, there is difficult vocabulary that I have not covered either. I plan on studying some of the book’s vocabulary on Quizlet and taking another shot at reading it in August.

I am having fun with my journey to French fluency and look forward to what will come next!

Mary Funderlich

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