I think teachers are among the most patient people on the planet. At least the good ones are. For my entire time in Switzerland, I have had a French tutor. At the beginning, I met with her pretty frequently, but over time it settled into a once a week rendezvous…depending on my travel schedule. At the beginning, we were very focused on lessons…reviewing grammar rules, learning new vocabulary, etc. But, over time, it became an outlet to tell her most of the stories I’ve told you only in French! She even had me present one of my business presentations to her…again, in French! I brought her flowers today to say both “merci” and “au revoir.” She’s been one of the constants in my world, and I will miss having a built-in outlet that encourages me to use my language skills. Plus, it has to be so painful to listen to me tell outrageous stories in French, so flowers were the least I could do.
Becoming more proficient in French was one of my goals when I moved to Europe, and after being evaluated earlier this week, my tutor confirmed that I moved from level “B1” (Intermediate) to level “B2” (Advanced Intermediate) during my time here. My oral / comprehension skills are more developed than my reading and writing, but in the end, that’s what I used most while here, so I can’t complain. She also said that at this level of proficiency, my French may get rusty, but I’ll never lose it. (Check back with me in a few years to see if this proves to be true.)