Student Spotlight: Emma, Mastering French to Achieve Academic Goals

Emma came to BridgeLanguages in Denver to learn the language of her childhood so she could achieve her academic goals. She recently sat down with us and discussed how the intensive group French classes she took at Bridge were customized to fit her needs and, ultimately, helped her pass an important French proficiency exam.

Emma, where are you from?

I grew up in the South Bay Area, California (San Jose), but I spent my early childhood in Toronto, Canada.

What made you decide to study French?

I decided to study French because it was the language I most often heard spoken in my childhood. I spent eight years in Canada during elementary school, and many of my friends were bilingual. I always thought it was a beautiful-sounding language.

What is your background and how does learning a new language relate to your studies or work?

I received bachelor’s degrees in music and sociology. I then went on to pursue music part-time as a freelance musician while holding positions in marketing and sales. I also had the opportunity to spend a year in Paris, France, which allowed me to explore Europe and work on my French skills.

Last year, I started a master’s program in International Administration at the Korbel School of International Studies (at the University of Denver). After completion of the program, I hope to pursue a career in social enterprise with an international focus.

What were your learning goals? What did you hope to achieve?

My learning goals were to become more fluent and comfortable speaking in French. A few years ago, I lived in France and worked as an au pair, caring for children that didn’t speak any English. Back home, it’s much harder to find people to practice speaking with. I also needed to pass the B1 DELF exam (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française, a French proficiency exam) as a requirement for my master’s program.

Being able to speak a second language is crucial in the international development field, and I’m grateful for Bridge Language’s help this summer in getting me back on track and helping me pass the DELF exam.

Describe the classroom environment at BridgeLangauges.

At Bridge, I had the benefit of a small class which gave me many opportunities to practice speaking, reading, and writing. The course content and level were customized to my level in French, so we didn’t waste any time going over anything I’d already learned. Classes went by quickly!

What were some of your favorite activities in class?

I enjoyed the listening and comprehension because that activity really forces you to actively listen. I also liked the open-ended questions (for example – ‘tell me a little bit about yourself’) because I was able to hone my ‘elevator pitch’ in a different language, which will definitely come in handy.

What is your biggest challenge in learning a new language?

My biggest challenge in learning a new language is finding opportunities to practice speaking with native speakers. That’s why my intensive class was perfect, as I had three opportunities per week to practice in class.

For you, what is the biggest advantage of learning a new language?

Learning a new language opens doors to new connections and friendships, job opportunities, different cultures, and simply the pleasures of learning a new way to express yourself.

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