Magic place to ‘live’ French

It’s done! This is what it was like …

In Noumea, every day is ‘the same but different’. We have a schedule which starts early in the morning, so we don’t waste a moment. French is the focus and the whole country is our teacher. We learn from reading signs, asking for bus tickets, ordering food (French!), talking to strangers (why not?).

The French lessons are great – a 3-hour opportunity every day to learn intensively in a stimulating environment. We interact in fun but relevant, applicable ways. Most wonderful of all, we study grammar in finer detail so our French skills progress to the next level. Our French teacher spent last week listening to our mistakes, and this week she is addressing them. We have also listened to a range of ‘lectures’ on various aspects of New Caledonia, and watched an award-winning documentary as well.

For me this is ‘real’ travel – we are part of the daily life of this place, which includes a 5.30am walk to the local boulangerie to buy unbelievable baguettes and croissants. (Sorry, there is nothing to match it in Australia.) We take buses that fill up with locals, wind around the streets and do U-turns, to music that slips you straight into the rhythm of the city.

No doubt about it, this is immersion – we are surrounded by the language we are learning, how good is that?! My French has taken a big leap towards fluency so I will return home happy.

And in retrospect … my French has improved more than I thought, both spoken and written. It’s the magic of immersion. So now I know – the best way to learn French is to have fun in a tropical paradise!

Andrea (Lee) Rankin, Bachelor of Letters (French) (Graduate Entry) student participated in the program “Understanding New Caledonia: New perspectives and traditions” in November- December 2019. The program was funded by the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant (short term).

  • Read Andrea’s 1st blog here


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