Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Forty-Eight Hours.

Hello! Nice to meet you!

Thanks for stumbling by my blog. My name's Edward, and as my 'about' section says, I'm a third-year student, studying Modern and Medieval Languages (MML) at the University of Cambridge. As part of my course, I'm taking a Year Abroad, which I've chosen to spend working as an English language assistant in a French school. Specifically, I'll be in a lycée, teaching mostly 16- to 18-year-olds.

And yes, I am aware that my blog title is ... weird. On the bright side, that means it was easy to get the domain name, since Reims and Repeat is not exactly an address in demand. As for what it means ... well, I thought I'd do a drawing.

Anyway, enough of that ... I leave for France in two days. Forty-eight hours. (525,600 minutes.) My friends who are already abroad tell me that you do get used to it, but still it's slightly scary to think that I'll be living on my own in a different country. I'm fully anticipating cultural shock, but apart from that there's the question of actually understanding: I haven't even left yet, and the sheer amount of technical terminology included in the bureaucracy is somewhat unnerving. On the bright side, I've landed on my feet somewhat with the accommodation: I'll be staying in the lycée itself, which means that I really have no excuse for failing to make it to lessons.

Teaching teenagers will doubtless be fun too. I'm hoping that, since foreign languages are obligatory up to age 18 in French schools, that people will feel that there's a reason for studying them; if not, I may find myself in trouble. Unlike my sister, who thrives on finger-painting and seems to have 'the gift' when it comes to looking after four-year-olds, I much prefer older students. That said, there will of course be a fair bit of 'classroom management' to take care of. Going back into my old school for a few days really helped me to think about language learning as a process, and what people find easy and difficult; hopefully this will give me a boost when it comes to engaging students.

I'll try to post again tomorrow, since I'll probably need a break from the madness of packing. Before I go, though, I'd like to introduce you to what will hopefully be a regular feature: my open question. (I take no credit for the idea!) Basically, I'll have a question to ask my (hopefully many) loyal readers, and answers on a postcard (or, perhaps more productively, in the comments) would be very much appreciated. Today's question is:

À bientôt!


  1. A kettle. You will remember tea-bags, milk, a mug, a saucer, a tea-spoon and sugar even though you don't take it, but the kettle will not cross your mind until it is too late...

    Bon voyage! I await your extended monologues enthusiastically...

  2. Replies
    1. Erm ... thanks, Anonymous? Mind if I ask what you'd recommend I do to make it less tragic?

    2. This is in no way tragic, but actually a really nice description of what you're up to... probably also quite reassuring for other people who will be heading off for a year out!