French is truly one of the most difficult languages in the world. Despite its exquisiteness, the rules of the language are quite complicated—just a rather practical reality for those who wants to learn it or even for a newbie.
I live in the midst of Manila where majority of the population can only speak and understand Filipino (Tagalog) or English. So I urged myself to search for a small French community nearby. Fortunately, I found Alliance Française de Manille in Makati City,a cultural NGO that offers French language programs and promotes French culture in various dimensions. It’s like a small French community within the city.
So I decided to check it out and the place felt very… Well, French.
The campus’ atmosphere is very delighting and cozy. You can practically call it “HOME” since you could simply come over and chill out at the médiathèque (Media Center), modernly furnished relaxation areas, Le Coude Rouge (The restaurant) and reader’s nook.
A staff member entertained me once I graced my way across the lobby and I was quite uneasy that time coz someone might approach me in French and all I could have responded was “Je ne sais pa!”
I could’ve died….
But before I went elsewhere, I had to make sure that I wasn’t doing this just to show off—or else I would totally look like a “Pasosyal,” a Filipino slang for Social Climber. In able to learn, one must understand that it requires pure dedication, time, love and effort.
Learning a language is a very gradual process and I’ve been studying French for quite a long time now. And I can honestly say that I still have a long way to go before I could actually interact with French speakers.
*Alliance Française de Manille offers various French programs as per which level a learner would qualify. The programs offered are based on the “Common European Framework” (CEF), a European guideline used internationally to describe the level of fluency achieved by a foreign language learner.
The best thing about Alliance Française is that you can obtain internationally-recognized diplomas known as the *Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française (DELF) and the Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française. DELF and DALF are official qualifications awarded by the French Minister of Education to certify the competency of candidates from outside France in the French Language.
Anyway, Fast-forward, blah, blah, blah…. I enrolled right away!
Merci to my almighty piggy bank!
First day of class was beyond amazing! I met a bunch of wonderful people and of course, our lovely professeur, Ms. Leah! Who brought LIFE throughout the module!
We caught ourselves tongue-tied at first since we were’nt allowed to speak any languages except French. Why ? coz it’s an effective yet gradual way to learn a language. To hear and speak it PURELY. And that’s one of the many wonderful reasons why we love our instructor—she makes sure that each and every one of us is well polished before we proceed to another lesson.
We’re also encouraged to watch french films each Wednesday evening at their state-of-the-art auditorium—and what I really love about Alliance is that they have a whole year line up of cultural events exposing each student to experience the culture, meet new friends and to engage with other learners/speakers.
Indeed, our first module in AFM left us longing for more modules! and hopefully get our Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française soon !
Until next time !