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Anonymous asked in Education & ReferencePrimary & Secondary Education · 2 months ago

My foreign language teacher is awful...what do I do?

She’s my high school French teacher. She’s an American with no French ancestry (she says so) and has never been to a French speaking place. She pronounces everything with a heavy American accent, like “jour” as “chore” when it’s supposed to be like “shoo” and “parce” as “pARS.” She says “tengo” in Spanish as “ten” with the English t sound. Her American accent is really heavy. Stop saying “chore!!”


I'm not gonna sound like her, but my classmates will since most of them don't practice/study in their free time outside of school.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You'll come across a lot of speakers with weird accents, no matter the language. 

    I once had a social studies teacher with a stroooong Polish accent. She spoke what she was teaching so confidently, but MAN was her accent a distraction. At times, it was hard to understand her, but it kind of made the class more interesting just cause we were all actively trying to catch what she was saying. I'm sure she pronounced some names and things wrong, but it was cool cause we understand what she was trying to say. I also didn't fall behind in the class or anything cause I did the assignments and read the texts accordingly. In high school, teachers are mainly there to help guide and answer questions. It'll be pretty much up to the student for any additional help they may need or want to seek.

    Listening to different accents also helps your language listening skills as well, since there's really no 1 accent in any major language. I once worked at a restaurant and had Spanish customers trying to speak English. My co-workers assumed they were just speaking Spanish, but because I find myself around many different people with different accents, I easily picked up what they were trying to say, without saying "um... what?!" and getting frustrated like some of my co-workers did.

    My suggestion would be to try your best to tolerate it. The more accents you listen to and understand, the better listener you become and the easier it'll be for you to pick up other languages as well. But if her accent really does bother you, all I can really say is don't pay too much attention to it. Do the worksheets & read the texts that she provides to pass the class. If you would like to listen to a true French speaker, perhaps listen to YT videos, make some friends online, or pay for a quality tutor (cause, of course, a free/public school would hire an American accent French teacher).

    Also, if the classmates are going to sound like someone based solely off what they're provided in class, then they're probably not interested in the language anyway and are going to forget over 99.9% of the things they learned. A true language learner would listen to many different sources (particularly natives) and try to adapt to whatever they hear most frequently.

  • 2 months ago

    It's very difficult for US schools to find native speakers of French to teach. Her pronunciation really doesn't matter- you're not going to end up sounding like her anyway. Listen to native speakers of French- online or podcasts- and practice on your own. 

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