School in France
Miranda moved to France at the age of 10 when she went to the local primary school in the village where they lived. She is now 11 and has just started at secondary school, known as a collège, which she gets to by school bus leaving at 7.25am each day.
How did you feel when you first found out you were moving to France, and why did your family move there?I felt excited and sad. Excited because I think France is cool and I love the food! Sad to leave England and my friends.
In what ways was the primary school you went to different from your old primary school in England?It was very different to my previous school because it was much smaller and there were only five people in year 6. There was one teacher for a class of 27 children that had children from years 3, 4, 5 and 6. All of us were in the same classroom.
Learning the lingo
How much French did you know when you first arrived?
When I first arrived in France I only knew the basics from my mother. At first it was very difficult learning French, but then I got the hang of it.
What helped you to get the hang of it?
My mum got a big red English to French dictionary with pictures to help understand.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to improve their language ability?
Do an exchange trip in which you are forced to speak the language, as I found out when I had to speak it all day at school!
A typical day...
When you were at primary school what was your typical day - from when you left home in the morning to when you returned?
I started school at 9am and finished at 4:45pm. My lunch break was from mid-day to 2pm. I had two breaks in the day each one was 20 minutes.
I notice you have two hours for lunch, which is longer than in the UK. Other than eating lunch, what do you do during this time?
In secondary school here we only have one and a half hours but yes, there are clubs such as football, rugby club, choir club, recorder club, and English club. I do recorder club.
School in France
How does the style of teaching differ and what do they teach better?
They're not really different, it's just that they're in French. They do teach la géométrie (geometry) better in France.
Are there any big differences between English and French teens, and the types of things they are interested in?
I'm not a teenager yet, but girls of my age like collecting things.
Do you think you will live in France when you grow up?
I really have no idea whether I will live in France; we shall have to see!
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