From Continuing Education in Auckland to the Sorbonne in Paris

10 February 2012

Sidney Smith pictured at the Sorbonne, Paris

You just never know where a Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) course can lead. In 2008, not long retired, Sidney Smith enrolled with CCE in a French Level 4 course to see if she could revive any of the French she had studied 40 years earlier.

‘The evening course was fun (and one of my classmates was my high school French teacher from the 60s, brushing up his language) and my excellent tutor, Marie Jordan, encouraged me to consider enrolling for a qualification at The University of Auckland. So I did, and finished a Diploma of Languages in French at the end of 2010 with pleasing grades. I am now halfway through post-graduate work for BA Honours.’

Last year Sidney went further afield and did one of her Honours papers in the hallowed and demanding halls of the Paris- Sorbonne University, attending classes for five hours a day, followed by four hours homework. Sidney told Jo Davies, CCE’s language programme manager, that she is now beginning work on her dissertation (all in French!) and ‘I regularly chante les louanges de Marie (sing her praises) for having got me kick-started.’

Interestingly getting to graduate level has not ruled out attending a CCE course for Sidney. ‘Since my first semester at University this year will be focussed on research and writing, I need something to keep my spoken French going. So I’ve signed up for another CCE course, this time for Une classe de conversation tout en français with – yes – Marie Jordan.”

If you’re interested in learning French or any of the other 15 languages on offer at the Centre for Continuing Education check out of language courses on our website.

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