French Debutants

Convenor:   Phil Cheesman   Phone: 07850 555307

Meetings:   Wednesdays, 2.15 - 3.45
Text book:   Easy French Reader, second edition & Façon de Parler 4th Edition

Les Debutants

Regrettably, our beloved Barbara was taken ill over Christmas and is unable to continue as convenor for the time being. After a group discussion during the first meeting in January, we all expressed a wish to carry on with the meetings so we had to find a stand-in convenor. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that everyone was looking at me! On the understanding that it might be a case of the blind being led by the partially sighted, I agreed to step up to the plate until the end of the summer term.

At that meeting, some members hankered after the Façon de Parler book which was replaced by the Easy French Reader. In the true spirit of British compromise, we are currently splitting each lesson between the two books and it seems to be working well.

With the Easy French Reader, we have started on figures from French history, e.g. Vercingétorix, who could have been the model for "Asterix the Gaul", Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu - if you've read The Three Musketeers you will have come across these two characters, and of course Joan of Arc and the French Revolution. Not to mention Napoleon, General de Gaulle and myriad other French Presidents ... it is going to be an interesting few months, covering French history and culture in both books.

We took part in the end-of-year Concert to round out our 25th Anniversary Year and had a hilarious time rehearsing a highly truncated version of the last episode of "'Allo 'Allo". We made our own costumes and wrote our own script which seemed to go down well with the audience - not least when a 90-year old Yvette "'snogged" a 70-year old Rene!

As you can see, we have lots of fun while learning some basic French so, if you did French in school but not since, then why not come along and sit in? There's no pressure to do homework (well, to be honest, not much) but it does help if you have at least looked at the text beforehand. It is not essential however, and we all help each other. Don't worry if you can't lay hands on one or both of the books; I can help out there. We are a friendly, social group who love going out to lunch on any occasion - the most recent times were the 90th birthday for one of the group and a Christmas Curry at Vanilla Spice which is just down the road.

Phil Cheesman
March 2019

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