Dreaming in French
This Student Story includes commentary from a French Academy student who at first found the Language Pledge challenging but quickly began thinking and dreaming in-language.
“During the immersion, you are going to hear people talk about how they are beginning to think in the language they are studying. Eventually, you will get there too. You will go through the same process they went through and discover that you no longer need to translate word-by-word the sentence you are trying to say. It all becomes fluid. This is what I loved about MMLA. Amongst the first days I struggled as I hand-signaled and described words to which I was trying to find the French translation. I sat in class wondering when I would start “thinking in French” as everyone had already seemingly done. It did not take too long however and soon enough I too knew what it felt like to “pense en français.” Thanks to the Language Pledge I abandoned my need for English and was able to develop my thoughts in French. Not only did my speaking skills improve, but a giant boost of confidence came my way as I realized that I had the support of at least 40 other people who were, like me, just discovering their French minds and expanding their capabilities. About two weeks into the program I discovered I had begun to dream in French.
When the Language Pledge had been lifted, speaking English was actually a bit difficult. I kept shifting between English and French, and even Spanish. I suppose that after speaking one language for so long it was truly engraved in my mind. I am glad it was. Speaking languages is one of my passions and after finishing my senior year studying French and Spanish I will go back to MMLA and take the German course. When I left Pomona and the MMLA program last summer I knew that there was no other program like it and anticipated my return. I am thrilled that this summer I have the opportunity to return and embrace a new culture and language and hope that soon I will dream in German as well.”
From Alessandra, German, French, and Spanish student