Name: Jennifer Flanagan
Location of Study: Tours, France
Program of Study: L’Institut de Touraine
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Nanovic Institute for European Studies
Blog URL: http://blogs.nd.edu/sla2016/author/jflanag2/
A brief personal bio:
My name is Jennifer Flanagan and I am a sophomore from Great Falls, Virginia, pursuing a major in International Economics with the French concentration and a minor in Peace Studies. The interaction of cultures and nations has always interested me, and I hope to be in a position post graduation to pursue a career that will include some aspect of my international study. In my free time I love to play lacrosse, run, read, travel and spend time with family and friends.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
An SLA award to study abroad in Tours, France will provide the opportunity of total immersion within French language and culture which will bring me closer to gaining fluency in the language, a personal and professional goal of mine. The award will provide me with the chance to focus my academics solely on French through a six-week long intensive French language study that should significantly advance my language proficiency. After studying French for more than fifteen years in school, I have finally begun to effectively think and speak in French during my French courses and am beyond excited to finally have the experience of total immersion. In short, an SLA award will provide me with me an extraordinary and unparalleled opportunity to experience and study another language and culture that I have come to love.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
I hope my summer study abroad experience will better prepare me for my remaining French studies and for a potential career focused on international studies. The school I will attend, L’Institut de Touraine, has an intensive linguistic and cultural study of French that will complement my language education upon return, as I plan to take at least two more French courses at the 40000-level as well as produce my senior research project that will be based on a country or countries where French is spoken. I will also be studying abroad Angers, France next fall and a prior six-week immersion in France will position me to take harder courses and thus maximize my French studies. Furthermore, as an internationally ranked language school, L’Institut de Touraine also attracts students from all across the globe. Studying French and interacting with students among diverse backgrounds of cultures will provide valuable insight into a future career founded on the interaction of cultures.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- By the end of the summer, I will have the confidence to speak colloquial French without hesitation or uncertainty.
- By the end of the summer, I will gain a cultural understanding of France by first-hand experiences of living in a in an indigenousness French setting with a host family.
- By the end of the summer, I will be able to understand French news sources such as French newspapers as well as be familiar with the political and social issues mentioned by them.
- By the end of the summer, I will be able to speak, read and write at the equivalent of two semesters of language study at Notre Dame, which will allow me to place in higher levels for my courses next fall in Angers, France which are taught in French.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
French language program will maximize my language study. The program offers constant moderation of my progress to ensure I am placed in the highest level of my ability and to challenge me in a setting most fit for me. I will spend hours each week learning general spoken and written French, perfecting my pronunciation and oral comprehension in a phonetics lab as well as a few elective courses. The intensity of the program coupled with the sole academic focus of French is an exceptional chance to achieve proficiency. The language program at L’Institut also provides an inter-cultural perspective that deepens my understanding of French. The program includes cultural excursions to complement my academic study of French through a summer event coordinator who organizes daily activities to facilitate interactions with the local French community. Furthermore, through the program’s connection with a host family, I will become familiar with how French is used in daily lives. Living with a host family means learning French does not stop at the end of the school day, another characteristic of the L’Institut’s language program that maximizes learning potential.