Jeanette’s education in French started when she was just 7. However, the cookie cutter approach to foreign language education meant that the syllabus was often too difficult for her. What’s worse is that she was often in classes where the students’ skill levels did not align. This led to much confusion, and loss of motivation and interest, and she eventually dropped out. When she was 13, the chance to learn French presented itself again. When Jeanette entered secondary school, the Ministry of Education Language Centre (MOELC) offered third language lessons to selected students who wanted to learn a foreign language. Not long after applying for French, she found herself in a class and hasn’t looked back since.
Although her typical classes were manageable, Jeanette aspired to attain international accreditation via the DELF examinations. However, she found it difficult to study for the DELF B2 exam independently. The DELF examination tests not only grammar and writing skills but also a very specific skill set applied to a specific set of themes. She initially tried to get by with the wealth of tips she found online. However, self-study remained a chore. In particular, Jeanette felt unfocused and aimless. “I didn’t know which sites to trust, and was spending way too much time sifting through all the information.”
That’s when she came across Agape School of Education (ASE). Their teachers and syllabus provided the resources and guidance she needed to find her way through the DELF requirements and excel in the exams. “ASE taught me to appreciate French more deeply – not just as an academic subject but as a language, and an entire culture of its own.”
While it’s arguable that study guides and online courses could have helped her improve her technical skills, Jeanette believes that it lacks the cultural touch. This is probably the most important aspect. “There is a whole people, a whole nation, and a whole history behind the new tongue you’re learning, and I think being guided by someone who has really lived and breathed the French culture makes a difference in how you come to perceive the language.”
Jeanette’s teacher was extremely patient and dedicated. This was important for her because learning French (or any other new language) was no walk in the park. It was tough and required hard work. However, with his encouragement, she found the motivation and inspiration within her to push herself out of her comfort zone and gain confidence to speak the new language within one lesson! “Not only was my teacher fine with my stammering and stuttering, but he always told me there was so much more in me, so much more I could give – and that really encouraged me throughout my journey.” Jeanette was recently recognised as the 3rd best student for her JC2 level at the MOELC and has achieved her DELF B2 certification with credit.
To anyone looking to or considering taking up a new language, “I’d say go for it!” At ASE, class sizes are kept small and this really allows our teachers to interact more with weaker students and give them one-to-one attention, even in a group setting. More than that, ASE staff are warm and approachable, “from your own teacher to other teachers in the school, to even the administrative staff”!
We aim to create a supportive atmosphere so that all students, old or new, are made to feel comfortable and confident.