Tis the Season

I am really not sure how it is already December but I am excited. The decorations are finally lit in town and last night I saw a house with blinking lights which put me in a bit of a holiday mood. The strange thing is that it really does not feel like December because the weather here is very mild and some days it is still getting close to 60 degres. I think it’s going to be a balmy Christmas around here. Apparently snow is a rare occurrence in my region. I have been told that it only falls about once a year and  does not last very long. Since I can’t have real snow yet, I added some to my blog which you have  probably noticed if you are reading this 🙂

Last Wednesday afternoon I went bowling with my friend Kim, who is on exchange from Germany, and her friends who are here as well but go to Saint Louis, another school. The girls told me that all in all there are 15 germans at Saint Louis and I don’t know how many others from different countries… but I have been told that in general there are about 50 foreign exchange students there and that is exactly the reason why I don’t go there (like my host siblings in all three families do). They found last year that there were so many exchange students that the Rotary Student really only hung out with them and not the French Students. I can totally understand that because when you are an exchange student you just gravitate towards other ones because you know that they can understand the ups and downs of exchange better than anyone else. BUT the problem with that is that exchange students have a tendency to speak english or their maternal language with someone who shares it when they are all together. With this there are multiple issues: 1: if you speak english or any other language more than you speak your host language you are going to make it even harder for yourself to become fluent. The second problem is that when you speak your maternal language you are excluding the people around you who don’t understand… and I know from experience that it is incredibly annoying (when I went bowling, the girls spoke French so that I could understand, which I really appreciated). At my high school there are only a few exchange students, and I love them all,  but the problem is that they all speak english very well, even though two of them are not anglophones. And thus is the problem with speaking english as a first language… almost every exchange student knows how to speak it and so it is really hard to find a balance because I don’t want to speak english. I have my whole life to speak it and my number one goal for this year is to become fluent in french. I have found a small solution : with anyone who doesn’t speak english as their first language I speak french and with people who do speak english as their first language, I make an effort to speak french as much as much as possible… especially if there are non-anglophones around. In conclusion, I know that in the scheme of things, being fluent in english is a really handy tool but on the other hand, it is a handicap when trying to learn a foreign language.

Have a fantastic second half of the week everyone!

-Emma

P.S. sorry I don’t have more pictures to share… I promise there will be more next time.

Mon amie Kim ❤

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