Sunday, July 29, 2018


A "Bonjour" is all it takes....

We arrived at Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle early in the morning. We were tired, but so was everybody else, and, hey, nous sommes en France!

I studied enough French to get by, but in Paris I used little French--a few syllables into butchering their native tongue, and even the most insouciant Parisien perked right up and helped us out--France was on its way to the World Cup, and just about everyone was friendly.

Honfleur, by Leslie

The first moments in France, however, we saw an American ask a tourist information guide in loud English" "DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?"

The young man, Nicholas, admitted he spoke a tiny bit, and a very long conversation followed without a whole lot of information shared.

I was next.

"Bonjour!" (I knew enough to start with that.) Before I got halfway through the next sentence, Nicholas spoke to me kindly, and more important, fluently. In English.

My butchered French proved useful in the countryside, but in Paris, just about everyone quickly turned to English once I uttered "Bonjour."

Do your students hear the equivalent of "Bonjour!" when they walk in your classroom door?

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