Meet Gwen, one of our French teachers and our director.
Where were you born?
I was born in France, in a small village in the Beaujolais region, near Lyon.
In which countries have you lived?
France, USA and Australia
Which countries have you visited?
Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, England, Wales, Italy, USA, New-Zealand, Vietnam, Sweden
What languages do you speak?
I used to speak Russian, I am learning Arabic and I understand a few words and can get around with a few other languages.
Was it hard to learn new languages?
It's never been hard, but it requires a lot of effort and personal work. It's not so much the difficulty of the task but the intensity that makes it hard to learn new languages.
Did you learn all the languages you speak the same way?
More or less, yes. I may of point of learning to read and write as well, if I have enough time, as this allows one to become self sufficient in their learning journey.
Are you still learning a language, which one, why?
Yes, Arabic, to be able to travel in more countries in the world. I also learn basics of the languages of the countries I travel to, to be able to be independent and be polite.
Why have you learnt a new language?
At first it was part of the French curriculum, we have to learn 2 foreign languages. Then I realised that it allowed me to meet people, travel and changed my experiences and outlook on life completely, so I kept going.
How has it impacted in your life?
It has allowed me to live in foreign countries, open businesses in foreign countries, travel easily, understand people better, etc.
What is the best part about living in a foreign country?
Calling several places home.
What has been challenging?
Understanding strong accents and local expressions.
Which part of your birth country do you recommend to visitors? Why do you like it?
I definitely recommend Lyon, but I am buying, of course. It is a good mix of culture, history, city life, yet laid back and of course, the food is amazing.