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22 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Were A Language Assistant In France

Every language assistant’s experience of teaching in France is different. But there are some things that everyone understands.

1. You arrive on your first day worried that you definitely don’t speak enough French to do this.

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via thehoya.com

2. And feeling genuinely concerned that they won’t know who you are or why you’re there.

Not helped by the blank look on the school receptionist’s face when you finally pluck up the courage to introduce yourself.

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wikia.com

3. For the first couple of weeks you are a kind of celebrity within the school.

A real life, actual English-speaking person just like in the movies.

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via tumblr.com

4. And you’re frequently asked whether you personally know the queen or David Beckham.

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via giphy,com

5. You stand in front of your first class and only then realise that you’re not a qualified teacher.

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via popsugar.com

6. So you just have to pretend.

You are now an actor as well as a language assistant.

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via tumblr.com

7. The classrooms themselves are stuck in a time warp.

8. And there’s a lot of confusion surrounding whether your pupils should call you by a title or by your first name.

And you are also unsure about how you feel either way.

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via giphy.com

9. You are advised to only speak in English during your classes.

But when you do, nobody understands what you’re saying.

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via buzzfeed.com

10. You are both impressed and slightly scared by the fact that everyone drinks wine in the staff room every single day.

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via rebloggy.com

11. You made the mistake of asking what English words your pupils already know.

Many of them know more English swear words than you do.

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via culturewarreporters.com

12. You use the promise of playing ‘pendu’ as a bribe for good behaviour.

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via buzzfeed.com

13. But quickly learn that if you let the game get too exciting all hell will break loose.

When you imagined teaching in France, you didn’t imagine breaking up full-blown arguments over who won the last round of hangman.

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via wikia.com

14. You will undoubtedly be asked to make the heaviest of topics as fun as possible.

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15. You will also regularly be asked questions about English grammar for which you have no answer.

Because apparently you don’t speak English all that fluently either…

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via theprospect.net

16. You thought only working 12 hours per week would mean that you could visit a lot of places.

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via teamtsd.com

17. And you thought that earning money would mean you could afford things.

Until you realised how much tax you would be paying.

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via tumblr.com

18. You avoid answering the inevitable inappropriate questions your pupils ask you by telling them you won’t answer unless they ask in English.

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via giphy.com

19. And whenever you see them outside of school you just pretend you’re not who they think you are.

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via moviepilot.com

20. You are invited to many awkward meals with the other teachers.

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via giphy.com

21. On your last day, your pupils are surprisingly more emotional than you expected them to be.

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via pinterest.com

22. And you leave not quite believing what you’ve just accomplished.

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via pinterest.com

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