Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Signed Up for French Class

There comes a time when you realize that you're not really making progress on your French, and you need to buck up and take an actual class.  That time, for me, is now.

I have enrolled in a Beginning French class at the Institut National Des Langues, a 15-minute walk from our apartment.  From what I've heard, INSL is the cheapest place in Luxembourg to learn a language fast.  As you can see above, my class is four days a week for 100 minutes per class, and the term runs from mid-February to mid-July.  Cost: 230€.  Something like 2€ an hour, I believe.  Not bad.

INSL was once the European School building
The website is a bit tricky to navigate if you don't speak/read French already, and automatic translation through a browser only works on parts of the site.  After about an hour mulling over the site with my intermediate/advanced French-speaking friend, we finally sorted it all out and paid the 10€ to get the ball rolling.  And, buried down in an unlikely spot, we even found a link to a 16-page PDF document in English explaining the multistep enrollment process.  We were only mildly relieved at this discovery.

I won't describe the whole enrollment process in detail here, but we're guessing the fact that it's a little tricky to figure out is an intentional piece of the weeding-out process.  They're practically giving away the lessons, so naturally they'd want to make sure you're somewhat serious and motivated before they let you in.

Part of the process is a scheduled oral and written multiple choice test, followed by an extremely brief "interview" to assess your level.  Level A1.1 is absolute beginner, followed by A1.2 and then A2 and so forth.  Although I tested in the A1.2/A2 range, the woman who was registering me suggested I just start at A1.1, since I haven't taken a French class since I was 15, and then move up if I find it's too easy.  Maybe she was just unimpressed with my conversation skills, but I agreed it was a good idea.  After all, five months of four-day-a-week immersion French at an hour-forty a pop is a lot of A1.1-level-French-knowledge to just skip over, right?  I tell myself that to make me feel better about it.

Post-test, waiting for my interview
The morning of my test, the INSL building was bustling with activity, but quite well-organized with plenty of staff to shepherd us all around.  There were also several security guards on patrol, which made it difficult to take pictures.  I did take these while waiting in line:

the line for French and English
The line for all the rest.  Much shorter, actually
My registration lady informed me I could actually take the class for 10€ total if I had applied for the reduced rate at what sounds like the Luxembourg unemployment office.  I did see something about a reduced rate on the registration form, but I assumed it was for low-income folks.  However, the registration lady (there's a word for that, but it's escaping me so I'm sticking with "registration lady") said that anyone who isn't working qualifies.  I'm skeptical, but I'll definitely look into it for the Fall term.

Anyhow, I start the 21st of February.  I'd be lying if I said I was excited about it, but I know it must be done and that it will be good for me.

Wish me bonne chance, s'il vous plaît.  Merci.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A fifteen minute walk from your apartment - and so inexpensive, too. I envy you, Rosie! Good for you!