Parlez-vous français?

As Dr. S reminds me every time I am in his office, I need to learn French. I was going to take it this semester, but on the advice of my adviser (why do I listen to him?) I did not. I would really like to take it this summer and get all of the basic stuff out of the way. Rice University offers language courses in the summer and anyone can enroll. I’ve more or less decided to do that, but I have to figure out which to take.

Option 1 is to take it over 8 weeks. It’s 3 hours of class per week (2 classes) spread out over 8 weeks.

Option 2 is to take it over 8 days. It’s 3 hours of classes per day for 8 days. (Plus another 2-3 hours of studying.)

Option 2 sounds a bit daunting, but everyone says you can learn a lot more when it is more intense. I took Spanish in summer school and feel that I retained more of what I took during the summer session than what I took during regular classes. I’m leaning towards option 2. Not only does it take less time (I’ll be done by June 12th!), I really think that I will learn more. Plus, I know this will sound elitist, but it’s at Rice and I have to assume that their language program might have an edge over Houston Community College (UH isn’t offering French this summer as they are going to France to study instead -lucky bastards).

Which brings me to option 3, which would be to take it over 10 weeks there. Option 4 would be to take the summer off and just take something in the fall.

Any opinions?

About SP

Recovering pharmacy technician, History BA, wife to a workaholic, mommy to one pup and two boys, epileptic, vegetarian. I've got a mouth like a sailor & find myself becoming more cynical & more liberal all the time.
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4 Responses to Parlez-vous français?

  1. Eric says:

    Probably not practical (and maybe too late for this summer), but a friend of mine from college learned a lot of German at the Middlebury school:

  2. Season says:

    That sounds really neat. You’re right, it’s not really practical, but would be cool. I considered trying to talk Misha into moving to Paris for the summer, but doubt Alert Logic would be cool with that.

    He wants to go to Spain for our EuroTrip this year, but I’m trying to convince him to go back to Paris for 1/2 of it. I would love to actually be able to read things and speak to people when I go back.

    I hope to spend some research time there when I do my PhD. I found a grant specifically for revolutionary studies.

  3. amyb says:

    I seriously would not want to cram French in like in number 2. But what do I know? I took French for 10 years and have about a 60% retention rate of it. =( 2 years of that was an immersion program, which did not work for me at all.

    Then again, since you already have a background in Spanish, number 2 might not be that bad after all.

    There is a French prof at UH who I really loved. I forget his name, but he’s a small man with a very thick Southern accent. His French accent is gorgeous.

    • Season says:

      I basically need to learn it well enough to get into grad school. Once I’m in I can take French classes @ UH for credit hours. I would like to spend all of my time off learning it well enough to be able to read and have reasonably coherent conversations. I’m going to talk to Dr. Stone about it on Wednesday to see what he thinks.

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