Learning a language is always a roller-coaster!



Joey trying to speak French : video

No I am not learning a new language but encourage people practicing their English

When I moved to the UK in 2010, I spoke the “lingua franca”, an international version of English very popular in big companies.

I didn’t have too much plans, at this time, outside starting a new life, improving my English and potentially getting a new job. I had in mind that after a few years abroad I could return to France and be some sort of consultant teaching in English about project and program management in a business school – a nice way to finish a busy career.

So during my first year in Scotland, I enrolled at the local college to pass my higher English. Once a week I was attending the evening class with other students far younger than me and not very much interested in English literature

At the end of the year I went to the exam and I got my higher English. But between my enrollment in September and the result, my life was not quite the same : I was now a Christian and my plans very different. Few months later following the advice of a member of my church, I called the Scottish Baptist college asking if I could attend the module “encountering the Bible”. I explained to the person on the phone, that I just became Christian, I was not yet baptized – after few months as a Christian I had already understood that they were few rules and processes not in my bible but well-known to long term church goers. The man on the phone asked me only one question : “what is your level in English ( my French accent…) ? I have to ask you this question because the college is part of the University of West of Scotland”. “Oh I have my higher English”, was my answer. “In this case, just come and see”, answered the man who is now the principal of the Scottish baptist college. Three years and a half later, I left the college with a degree in Theology.

Learning a new language can indeed lead you on new and unknown paths. Not sure what might happen to the people who have started to join our English club but for sure they seem to enjoy the fun and the friendship.

We shared the courses preparation and the workload between Kathy and myself. Our theme is about traveling ( not a bad theme…). We use some funny videos, games, and ask questions, all that in a very informal and encouraging atmosphere. We do hope it will help for building friendship and trust and see “church people” from a new perspective. We also do hope that through “word to mouth” more students might join to the next session in September (yes  I have already started to think about the next session)

This week we will speak about the American culture and the following week I will speak about the Scottish culture, and say few words about the English culture. Scottish friends if you have some ideas of videos, recipes, music, pictures etc please send over to me by email. It will be much appreciated.

Otherwise the big event of this week is the music festival on the 21st of June – a French tradition. Our choir sings as part of the official program of the town. Please pray for a good audience and opportunities to connect with people