Right from primary school to Junior High School, most of the French teachers I encountered were unfriendly, so I assumed all French teachers in Ghanaian schools are not pleasant people.
To be sure I was not making the wrong judgement, I quizzed some friends about their personal experiences with French teachers. Apparently, my experiences were not peculiar to me and my classmates from my Junior High School.
My friends confirmed that they met some really scary French teachers; though some of them could barely recall their experiences, while a few recall having nice teachers.
From most people I spoke to, who admitted that they had difficult French teachers, I came to a sad conclusion; most French teachers are unfriendly.
Growing up, I heard all over the news and in school that it was necessary for us to learn and speak French because Ghana is surrounded by French-speaking countries, namely Cote D’Ivoire to the West, Togo to the East and Burkina Faso to the North. So, the argument was (and has been) that French is compulsory in basic schools because Ghanaians need to learn the language to promote communication with our neighbours.
Now let’s talk about my experience. Back in Junior High School, one of my French teachers, whom we used to call Monsieur Aabi was a headache. The mere sight of Monsieur Aabi made use panic. Monsieur Abi, who never smiled (I wish I could liken his facial expression to ice block) slapped a student in class during a French class because she could not recall what he had just taught use some minutes before. On days we were not lucky, Monsieur would lash anybody his cane could find, with the slightest provocation. Bottom line, we dreaded French!
Admittedly, French was not a subject people like me loved. Why? I did not understand why I had to learn how to speak the French language; a language which I thought was difficult to learn but useless to me. If I understood why I needed to learn the language, I probably would have taken it seriously.
Today, I regret my inability to speak French. I wish I had taken my French lessons seriously; most importantly, I wish I met friendly French teachers who would make me appreciate the beauty in the language and desire to learn it to the end. Who knows, I could become Ghana’s next ambassador to France.
What are/ were your experiences with your French teachers? Did you have friendly French teachers? Let me know in the comments section below.