The results of my final exams in Language and Civilization were 15,1/20 and 15,6/20. If those sound like bad results percentage-wise, the good news is that by the French grading system those grades should be equivalent to A’s in the U.S.
So here’s the interesting part: My prof took me aside to tell me how well I write. He told me (all in French, of course, but I’ll just say it in English) that “You write very well. You understood the texts (that we analyzed) and you express yourself very well in writing, better than most of the other students. In fact you write much better in French than you speak, but with most students it is the other way around. How can you explain that?”
I guess that would be because I pretty much learned French in books. I have spent much more time reading it and studying grammar in workbooks than I have actually speaking it. On the placement tests that we took at the beginning of the semester I placed at the Advancé level because the test was written rather than oral. On the other hand, my Erasmus classmates are mostly Europeans who have picked up some French from hearing it, but haven’t necessarily studied it. Their speaking skills surpass their writing skills and I am the opposite.
There remains another class in which I haven’t yet gotten a grade which was based on a group presentation in which each of us had to speak for 10 minutes. Our speaking abilities in that class ranged from native speakers to those who can barely construct a sentence in French – I am somewhere in the lower half of that spectrum. So we’ll see…