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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You have completed your A1 or still attending the mandatory A1 classes -- I would just love to know your experience.

I have been assigned 200 hours of obligatoire A1 Formation Linguistique which will start next month (July 2022, Creteil). I was told my teacher wouldn't speak English, which I was disappointed but understandable! (I think my department doesn't have enough bilingual teachers.)

I have a friend who I met through Formation Civique, she's going to Creteil for French classes (but in a different building) and she doesn't really like her classes nor does she like her Teacher. She told me that sometimes when students ask her to translate something into English - she snaps at them. I would like to think, it's just this one teacher and I can't get anxious over just one student's experience.

Hope you have a great day/night! Please do comment below on your experience~
Merci!
 

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I don't think expérience of this, but the OFii teachers are qualified to teach French as a foreign language because they have to teach people from many language backgrounds. You should not expect them to give some kind of preference to native English speakers, which would be discriminatory. If you don't understand something, you either need to try to express that in French or by some other means such as clear body language.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
disappointed but understandable
Yes! which is why I mentioned that it was completely understandable - I am currently privately learning French and the teacher doesn't speak any English - in fact, this in a way helps me to push myself to better understand French!
But alas, not everyone sees it that way, and now in my friend's class, no one dares to speak up if they have doubts, which is really sad since, in the end, they do have to pass a test to renew their visas.
I am still hopeful & hope I get better with the classes!
 

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Perhaps your friend should consider topping up the OFii classes with something else. There are all sorts of things available online and a recent thread on this forum about learning French onl9. Some of the online stuff is free. But really the requirements to pass A1 French are very low, so low as to mean with a little effort pretty much everyone should be successful after all those hours with the OFii program. Which is not to say that a few people will have difficulty for a variety of reasons, including stressing about it. Still, in most instances if they attend all of the classes they will get a second chance during the following year.

Sadly it seems your friend has impacted many others in his/her class.
 

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The other thing to note is that, of course, you are relying on your friend's word. But none of us is in your friend's class, and that includes you. I would say your friend is having problems, but I can only speculate about why.

Still, the classes are free, which may not be the case in the second year, and it is well worth making the effort. Not everyone coming to France as an expat has access to these free classes, and even where they are not required for certain categories of expats, those people have to get by as best they can
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The other thing to note is that, of course, you are relying on your friend's word. But none of us is in your friend's class, and that includes you. I would say your friend is having problems, but I can only speculate about why.

Still, the classes are free, which may not be the case in the second year, and it is well worth making the effort. Not everyone coming to France as an expat has access to these free classes, and even where they are not required for certain categories of expats, those people have to get by as best they can
YESSS! exactly why I reached out on this forum because I don't want to take my friend's word for it! Since I have met her, she has only shared with me her negative experiences in France - maybe she if frustrated to be away from her family & friends but i definitely never take her word for it, until she showed me her WhatsApp class group chat.
BUT -- then again, it's probably just 'one teacher' who behaves in such a way!

I am definitely keeping an open mind which is why I was hoping more people share their French classes experience!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Perhaps your friend should consider topping up the OFii classes with something else. There are all sorts of things available online and a recent thread on this forum about learning French onl9. Some of the online stuff is free. But really the requirements to pass A1 French are very low, so low as to mean with a little effort pretty much everyone should be successful after all those hours with the OFii program. Which is not to say that a few people will have difficulty for a variety of reasons, including stressing about it. Still, in most instances if they attend all of the classes they will get a second chance during the following year.

Sadly it seems your friend has impacted many others in his/her class.
I think my friend is using other resources. Well, I am glad to know that the requirements to pass A1 French are very low -- hopefully, my private classes+ OFII ones make me hopeful that I'll ace A1 --- but then again I have an over stressing problem - hahaha
 

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I too am hoping that someone else will jump in here with their experience. AFAIK there are free online tests you can take to check your level of proficiency, though I am not sure they go as low as A1.
 

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I don't have any experience of the free classes, and we've had only limited reports back here on the forum since the language class requirement has been implemented. Unfortunately, the bulk of the feedback here on the forum has not been great - then again, the Internet is better known for complaints than for complements.

Take a look at the Wikipedia article on the Common European Framework of Reference for Language and you'll see what the A1 level is all about:
  • Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
  • Can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know and things they have.
  • Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
As far as any written test is concerned, they are looking for things like being able to fill in a form. It doesn't require much, if any, real understanding of grammar. They're mostly looking for basic phrases that you will need in day to day usage. Actually, at that basic a level, it's probably something of an advantage if the teacher doesn't speak English (or doesn't admit to speaking any English). That's how you're going to encounter French out in the street, or in the shops, or when you go to the doctor for the first time.

Just for the record, that's how I learned French at first - in an experimental program in school when I was about 8 or 9 years old. We learned phrases more or less by rote and they wouldn't allow us to see any written French for the first couple of years. (Yeah, our in person teacher swore she didn't speak any English - at least for the first few months - but we got her eventually to admit she did. The power of being pesky little kids, I think.) It's more or less how you learned your own native language (hearing it and repeating it back - sometimes correctly, sometimes not).
 
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