I just want to second Jessica’s comment. Any time I have a positive experience when learning French, the person or group on the other side is either anglophone or lives in an anglophone world. Too many French teachers and examiners seem to walk in with an antagonistic attitude, especially when dealing with anglophones. Setting folks up to fail with a “listen through a tin can” type test seems entirely characteristic of this. I live in France with a delightful French man (he needs English every day for his professional activities) but if I have anything to do involving French authorities, I insist that either he go with me or handle it completely, even when I feel confident that in ordinary circumstances I could handle it myself, entirely in French. I started doing this on the advice of my immigration attorney, who routinely gives this advice to her clients. Not always, fortunately, but too often, it makes the difference between succeeding and failing. Ordinary French people are generally fine, but any serious student should be forewarned regarding these “gatekeepers” who seem to gravitate toward giving language tests, granting residence permits, etc. and seem to delight in creating arbitrary hurdles, arguing — falsely — that one cannot get by just by speaking English ( if she didn’t have a problem with anglophones, why did she make that statement?), reducing Sciences Po students from “hero” to “zero,” etc. You can’t do much about them but at least you can be psychologically prepared.
Reading B2, Language & Education, Listening or Seeing B2, Language & Education
Interesting comments but I am afraid this is a political debate and the Q&A is a language forum for language questions...
Unfortunately it can be the same worldwide. My friend had a similar expreience in Australia and another in Spain. It is hard when one speaks another language, to feel confident to face authorities in any country. I also find it hard speaking french on the phone as I get extremely (more) nervous. I hope it gets better as time goes on. Keep trying, everyone is not the same. Some people are vey helpful!
But it is good to be psychologically prepared.
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