My love affair/on and off relationship with French began 8 years ago. I was 10 and a half years old; landed in Toronto from the Philippines with my family on a Tuesday, and by Monday of the following week I was in school.
Prior to that first encounter with French in class, I didn’t know anything about the language. Heck, I’m not even sure if I even knew what it looked/sounded like. I’m pretty sure the first French phrase I saw was Bienvenue au Canada at the airport. My school had a French immersion program and my mother kept insisting that I sign up but I vehemently refused. Yup, that’s how stubborn I was (am). I’m not really sure why I was so opposed to it but I think it’s because of how intimidated I was by the whole thing. I mean we just moved to a foreign country where we didn’t really know anyone, had to pretty much start from scratch, adapt to the school system, and understand the culture. I mean, milk bags, really? Just kidding! I have come to appreciate the concept.
As you can see, learning French was the last thing on my mind. At that time, all I cared about was making friends so I didn’t have to sit in the playground by myself anymore and seeing snow for the first time!
From then on, I was in Core French until Grade 9 and stopped taking it because it was no longer mandatory after that. In other words, I broke up with French. It just wasn’t working out between us so I let go…
All jokes aside, I saw French class as a subject that I had to just get it over and done with. I wasn’t bad at it, I just didn’t have the passion to keep learning. Maybe it’s because I didn’t see it as particularly relevant seeing as how I didn’t know any French speakers to practice with and I couldn’t see myself reaching a level that allowed me to be comfortable speaking it. I didn’t have anything against French by the way if I sound like I’m bashing it. I promise I’m not! It just wasn’t something that was absolutely necessary in my life so I didn’t keep pursuing it.
Years later, I found myself receiving admission letters from Glendon. “Oh crap! Did I apply to the wrong campus???” Yup. That’s another story. Long story short, I ended up falling in love with Glendon and the prospect of rekindling my romance (see what I did there?) with French didn’t sound so bad…au contraire, I really liked the idea of giving it another chance. This time, I was taking French because I wanted to, not because my mother did (You were right mom, you got the last laugh. I deserve a “I told you so” talk), and not because anyone else told me to. I did it out of my own interest and I’m so glad I was open-minded about it!
You might be wondering how I did in FSL seeing as how the last time I took French was in Grade 9. I was put in FSL 1100 (the second level) and suddenly that feeling of fear and intimidation crept up once again. “How am I not in the beginner level? They must’ve made a mistake”, I thought. I tried dropping a level down but eventually decided against it. I didn’t wanna risk messing with my schedule and this time I wasn’t gonna be that 10 year old kid who let fear stop her from challenging herself. I ended up staying in the class, did my homework, participated, and finished the course with an A!
If you’re thinking of coming to Glendon but you’re a little iffy about the French requirement , coming from someone who totally gets it, I’m here to tell you that you have nothing to fear. You don’t need to know any French to be admitted to Glendon, you just have to be willing to learn! My friends all have varying levels of French, so don’t you worry. We have many resources on campus such as the Salon Francophone, where you can come for homework help, or if you need to practice your oral skills. You could also say hi to someone in the hallway and ask if you can practice speaking French with them…great way to make friends and learn French at the same time if you ask me!
I guess I’ll conclude this post with this song: