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Vanessa Szalapski '10

Vanessa Szalapski '10

Major: French and English

Current Work and Impact of French Major: At end of September following my graduation in June of 2010, I moved to the French island of Corsica in the Mediterranean to teach English at a French public high school and middle school, and boy have the French language skills I learned at Dartmouth come in handy! My French and English double major has been indispensable during my time here. As an English teaching assistant I teach 12-16 different classes a week, and my main purpose is to encourage the students’ speaking skills. My knowledge of French has made me a much better English teacher because you have to understand the differences between the two languages as well as be able to translate in order to get your ideas across. It’s also useful that I know what they are saying when they don’t think I’m listening! Of course living in a French speaking country requires the use of all the French I possess in order to execute some of life’s simplest tasks, from going to the grocery store or the market, to setting up my phone lines and internet. If I didn’t speak French well I would certainly be lost. I am often complimented on my French, and I have to thank my Dartmouth professors and my FSP in Paris for that! Now if only the Ajaccians could speak with a Parisian accent instead of a Corsican one, I’d be set!

My French contract ends at the end of April at which point I will return to the United States. Next fall I will be attending Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, IL, and I hope to study international law and make use of my French language skills. Northwestern has several programs including one with the French University Science Po in Paris that may make it possible for me to make active use of my French language skills. If not, I will certainly keep up with the French club of Chicago and continue to speak with the large number of French speakers in there.



Last Updated: 4/20/11