My French Phobia

As a teacher I probably shouldn’t be as worried about as many subjects as I am. Maths, French, English… However, in French I have always had a big phobia. I remember missing my first few lessons of French in primary six and forever feeling permanently behind since then. I have never really known the French alphabet or the basic numbers confidently. French has always been one of the few subjects whilst studying that I haven’t enjoyed. A subject I have had to force myself to do any work for. At the same time being one of two subjects that I had to study for almost daily to even attempt to pass my standard grade credit exam for.

All of this fear and anxiety was transported back into my body the second I walked through the door of my first French workshop at university. I was immediately greeted by a cheerful Carrie saying “Bonjour!” as I entered the room and there I was fear struck and transported back to second year at academy. I wanted to turn round and run straight back out of that room.

Carrie had set out the room to be in small groups. I had managed to sit in a group with someone confident in French. I began to slouch in my chair and try to avoid eye contact with anyone. I felt although I did not belong. I hadn’t spoke, read, written or even thought about French since passing my standard grade and I was no longer obligated to do it.

However, even though there were a few things I did not know in the lesson, I felt the workshop went quite well. At first I was very reluctant to join in with saying things or doing the actions that Carrie had prepared for the words. I would sit quietly saying the words I knew and avoid saying anything I didn’t until it came to the point Carrie would watch to make sure we were all joining in. I began getting more and more involved in the workshop when we were all one big group.

The minute we were spilt into five and more eyes were on me, I felt uncomfortable and anxious again. I felt people were actually listening to me and probably judging how bad I was. However, listening to people saying they were uncomfortable and also had the same experiences as me again made me relax a tiny bit more. Then once again, Carrie then changed it to focus more and more on the individual – in a group of twenty five. I was panicked. This was the worst. However, once I had over exaggerated this. No one told me I was wrong. No one embarrassed me. Carrie handle the class perfectly.

Even if I was completely rubbish at the French, I came out of the workshop feeling more comfortable, confident and ready to go back next time. Carrie had not only taught me some French, she taught me how to teach French in a fantastic way without even saying it. I compared the workshop to my primary and secondary education: I automatically knew what kind of teacher I wanted and did not want to be when it comes to my turn to teach French which is always a successful outcome in a education degree.

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