Moving five years forward... High school done and dusted...au revoir to french and a big bonjour to adult land..
Moving another 18 years forward....married...two children..now what was it I used to like doing when I was just ....me?? Oh yes, studying french! From this point on I surrounded myself with my beloved language in sorts of wonderful ways..
I then promoted myself to Alliance Francaise, an international organization that promotes french culture and language around the world, so if you are lucky enough to have one in your city, I highly recommend it, the teachers are normally native speakers, and different levels are on offer... I go on a Thursday afternoon for 2 hours of conversation..just love it! Margaret Ambrose, an australian, wrote a book called How to be french, which touches on some Alliance classes. Fun read :)
At one point I got very serious about my language skills...I decided I needed a 'bit of paper' to 'prove' I could speak french! Never having gone to university before... I felt quite brave looking into courses etc. Three and a half years of elation and frustration later, I was armed with my 'bit of paper'. I had done it! Yay! Not only that, but I did it via correspondence, so those of you who have thought about taking on the challenge and using the fact that you dont live near a city that offers this.... SORRY...you will have to think of another excuse :)
These days I make sure I keep up the skills by attending a weekly class, watching the french news every morrning at 10.15 am on SBS (Im fibbing about the 'every morning' bit ) watching french films I hire from Quickflix (great range of world films), and sometimes I play a game on Yabla, a fabulous site that helps with reading, listening and grammatical skills in french. I should use it more, as I have taken out a yearly subscription, which is very reasonable...about $10 per month..not bad! Here is an example: http://french.yabla.com/player_cdn.php?id=106&tlang_id=en
I hope I have encouraged those of you who think about learning this beautiful language, to 'just do it!'...its a wonderful and ongoing journey, one I'm sure you won't regret :)