Congratulations to Emily G. from Ontario for winning first place in our April Go, Discover, Inspire Student Storytelling Contest! Read on to see how Emily would practice her language (and eating) skills on a one-of-a-kind trip to Paris, France.
Our Go, Discover, Inspire Student Storytelling Contest is in full swing, and we couldn't be more excited to read the incredible entries we've received!
Congratulations to our April contest winner, Emily G.!
I’ve wanted to go to Paris ever since I started learning French. I wanted to be able to be a translator for my family. When I was younger I thought it would be funny if I was the translator because I would be telling the hotel clerk everything while I couldn’t see over the counter!
The life of a student can sometimes feel like a predictable cycle of memorize, recite, repeat. But learning like that isn’t much fun. Without a tangible memory—some kind of authentic engagement—you end up forgetting every conjugated verb. However, when you’re learning a new language, you want the information to stick. You want to be able to say things that you’ll need to know. You don’t need to learn how to say, "The cat is yellow,” because when you have to use the washrooms no one needs to hear about the colour of the cat you saw earlier. You want to be able to ask “Where are the restrooms?” and understand where they are.
In French class, we learned the basics such as, “How much is that?” or “I’d like a water/juice/tea to drink” or “I’d like to buy one _______”, and we learned how to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak English. I’ve always felt confident in my abilities to speak French, but I’ll never know how strong my abilities are until I put them to the test.
They say experience is the best teacher. I believe it. Imagine being put on the spot while someone says something to you in a different language at what seems like ten words per second. It would be scary, but you’d learn from it. Your brain would say, "That’s scary, let's avoid doing that again,” and then you’d remember that the person told you, "The restrooms are near the back door.” So, the next time you talk to someone about the same topic, they’ll respond and you’ll be able to say, “Oh, they said at the back!”
If I had the chance to go to Paris, the first thing I’d do is eat. It sounds silly, but I feel like French culture revolves around food, so I’d like to see the difference between their food and our food. Then I could practice asking, “How much is that baguette? I’d like one please.” More life skills. I would also like to go to museums so I can learn more about their culture and some of their history. If I was given the opportunity, Paris would definitely be somewhere I’d like to visit. Until that glorious day, I will sit in my living room listening to Duolingo podcasts and eating store bought croissants and baguettes. Au revoir et bonne journée.
Don’t forget: there are two more opportunities to win a $250 Amazon.ca Gift Card or Apple AirPods (with charging case), see the winning entry posted right here on our blog, and earn a $1,000 bursary for your school! Click here to learn more and submit your work by June 30, 2021.