It’s all about the culture! Well, and love.

This has been delayed, but the time lapse won’t make too much difference. A couple weeks ago, I asked the group of first-year French majors in my class about why they chose to become French majors, and here it is.

A couple of points to keep in mind:

  • Quite a few of these errors are really keyboarding skills. Many of them are not yet used to typing on a computer instead of a phone. This is interfering with some of their output.
  • I didn’t give as much time to edit as they needed. Still getting to know this group, and so much to do!
  • I expect many of them would give richer answers in Japanese (of course) rather than in their second language. But it’s an English course.

So, for your edification and mine, some basic motivations for young people in Japan taking the less obvious and less travelled route, and choosing to study French in university. Images are my addition, but I should ask them to gather some for another lesson.

“Why I become a French Major? Because in the future,I will become Flight atendant in France. Why I become it in France? Because I love Camiile Lacourt who is French swimmer. If I become Flight atendant, He might ride airplane my riding. I want to meet him someday, and talk with him in French.”

camille

“Because, I am interesiting culture of french, and to learn cultures, I want to grow up in my knowlegde about it.”

“My dream is to work in international company. To come true this dream, I study hard in this university.”

“Because I have studied French in high school. I was interested in French and France. I want to continue studying French more deep.”

“I want to go to France someday and want to visit to Disney land Paris.”

“I used to studied French for 2 years in my high school life. However, I couldn’t take French lesson in 12th grader, but I wanted to study more. This is the reason why I decided to become French major. I don’t have dream in my feature yet but want to get a job that I can make good use of French.”

“I want to visit France,and then I want to speak a franch person
I think Franch is difficult. But now, I’m Franch class,so someday I want to speak franch fluentry.”

“I want to be a flight attendant. My couson is a fight attendant.She is very cool.
So I have to study hard.”

air france

“I want to study French. Because I want to go to Frsnce. And I am interested in French culture. So I want to learn a lot about France.”

“I want to learn the connection between France and Olynpic. I love sports ! (especially figure skating). I want to suport people playing sports. So I want to work at tokyo-tochou.”

“I wont to sutady about french and stage art. Becouse when I watos three years old, I start ballet. I like ballet ,dorama,opera,and so on. Some day I wont to go to France to see the drama stage. In the future, I will work in French.
Thank you.”

“Because i want to speak french.I am interesting in france’s town and food.I like building like the Eiffel Tower. And,i have a friend who is french.His father is sooooooo cool.I want to speak with he.”

“I think that we should spread good point of French culture. Because France has great culture,for example,sweet and movie and picture. If everybody know them, everybody like France!!! And I am sure that everybody like France so that everybody want to study french.”

“Because I want to speak French. And I interested in France. Because My grandmother and grandfather like overseas trip and I have been saw many Franch photos. When I saw French photo first time,I was impressed and I want to go there someday!”

“If I speak French,I want to go to Paris. Because I like museum and art museum,there atomosphere like for some reason or other. One of my hobbies is visiting museum and art museum. So I want to vist Louvre Art Museum. Some famous work of art and others look with my own eyes.”

“in the future, i will speak french better than now. i like the fantom of the opera so if i can speak french , i want to go to france and watch opera musical. and i like french dishes ,so i want to eat french dishes in france. and i want to go to the famous french places.”

“If I learn French, I want to visit France and comunicate with french people.
Another reason is I love the book of “”Le petit prince””. And I want to eat French food.”

“I want to study French and to read French books. If I learn French I will speak French people and I want to eat delicious food in french!”

“I interested in French culture,such as building, art, music, fashon,food, and so on. French culture is very beautiful for me. So I think that I would like to live in French sometime for long time. This is why I become a French major. I have dream that talking with French peaple when I visit French. So I have to study about French very hard in Gakushuin Univercity!
Thank you!”

“I will want to study French very hard to communicate with people who use French. It is natural to learn French for me, but, in addition , I want to learn about cultures of France because I am interested in them. For example, movies, literatures, foods,and so on. I want to study French because I hope I will work at foreign countries.
Thank you.”

“I think If I can understand French,I can study in France for my dream.My dream is becoming a patissier.There are many great patissiers in France.So I want to study about cooking sweets in France someday.”

“Why I majored French? Because I want to learn about french culture. Particurar friench art! Paris is sometime called “”geijutunomiyako”” I know there are vearious art culture. So, I want to go Paris and sutudy about art! To learn about french art… I need sutudy french. HARD!”

rodin

“Because I instesd in French culture. I learn classic ballet. All the ballet terms are french. I want to understand french words. And I like to eat French food. Especially I love sweets. French sweets are very good. In the future,I want to visit France and eat french sweet.”

“Ⅰ think universities force students to lrearn Franch the secand additional language class, or study franch caluture. For exsample , food,fashion,sports.
For free,do franch enngeki tickets.
thank you,”

“I should think that every contry studies French.
French culture spread all over the world.
For example,French food is delicious.
I think that I should make French restraun in japan.
so.many people know French culture.
thank you.”

“I like eating. I want to study French food and that culture.”

“I want to study abroad for France. My dream is speaking with French person in French. So,I will be hardest studying French ! English too!”

“French people are studing another language. I think studying French.
Majoring in French is culture. I want to visit to French. I acquire the ability to speak French. French is love because beautiful.”

i heart paris

There you have it.

I started to comment about each of their responses, but I think they actually speak for themselves. But what did I learn from this?

  • I think I like these people. They are interesting. Art, culture, and gourmet food. My kind of people. I have to find a way to tap into that (without stepping into the territory of the French department).
  • We are in a computer room. Ugh. But I have to resist the temptation to do all writing work on the PC. Or, should I? They need to develop these skills, and typing in English is different from typing in Japanese.
  • Many of them have high aspirations. A few of them could clearly articulate a future L2 self with vision, as Dornyei would call it.
  • For many of them, it’s all about people. No surprise there, but it needs more investigation. Some of those people are abstract, but in other cases they are very specific individuals to meet or emulate.
  • What does this attraction to culture, and French culture in particular, say about their images of themselves? I must say, they are a pretty stylish bunch by and large. This class actually looks different from my other classes. They are signalling something about themselves.
  • In my next feedback exercise, I encouraged at least some response in English, but allowed them to use Japanese as well. I needed some more abstract and complex information from them. More on that next…
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