Please Start Now

A quick extra note on the theme of language. We are very pleased that we started refreshing our French language knowledge as soon as we knew God was calling us to France. Although the effectiveness of the various things we did over those two years varied quite a bit, we have certainly benefited a lot from what we’ve done.

We have met some fellow-students who were told by their mission not to do any French language preparation before they came to France. I have to say I personally believe that to be bad advice, which leads to unnecessary difficulty. If we’d followed advice like that then we’d be really struggling now. Part of the reason for this is that the school is intended to be a total immersion experience: everything is done exclusively in French.

If you believe God is calling you to country X, my advice would be to start learning or refreshing the language just as soon as you can. From our experience, the most effective way may well be to work with a personal tutor who is a native speaker of the language.

Professional language teachers are welcome to contribute their thoughts, I could be wrong!

2 thoughts on “Please Start Now”

  1. Hi Chris and Joanna,
    Hope Joanna’s neck/arm/shoulder problem has eased a bit as a result of writing less.
    I couldn’t agree more regarding your views on learning/refreshing language skills if answering God’s call to a foreign mission field. Pat and I thought we would only be in France for a couple of years to renovate the house and barn; we never thought it would be full-time, much less what God had (and probably still has!) planned for us. As a result, we have been running hard to keep up, although French friends at our informal weekly Franglais class say we do very well (I think they are kind!) I have been immensely grateful to a dear Christian lady who has patiently coached me with my efforts at preaching in French. Without her guidance, I’m sure I would have made many faux-pas!
    Though I know it must be tough having to learn a language in that language, as you are, I’m sure it is the best way, as you then really get an insight into the French way of thinking as well as speaking.


    1. Thanks Jim, Joanna’s neck, shoulders and arms are a bit better over the last couple of days or so. She is going to try some limited writing this week. God does indeed keep springing surprises on us! Keep up the French preaching, great to have a coach. I do agree that immersion is best for language learning, painful as it can sometimes be.


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