Learn French through writing with Selma by joining one of her French Writing Workshops!
French Creative Writing: A Passion for Writing
For writer Selma Guettaf, travel is a way of life on and off the page. Selma spent her childhood in Algeria, first in a small village in the east and then later, in a northern port city, before moving to Paris as an adult. She first started reading authors like Dostoïevski and Victor Hugo at age ten and by the age of thirteen, she was writing her own stories.
Selma would go on to write her first novel at the age of twenty-two while working as a journalist. As when she was a child, the written word has continued to play an important role in Selma’s life. So far, she’s published three novels!
In conversation with Selma GUETTAF
Tell us about your relationship with the French language.
I had an atypical French teacher in high school. Whenever I write, or prepare for a lesson or speaking engagement, I think of her. She taught her lessons in such a fun way. She told stories, prepared role plays, made us aware of poetry and made us want to use the language of Molière! I believe that the French language has something romantic about it. It’s particularly adapted to expressing one’s passion.
Your French Poetry Workshop helps learners learn French through poetry. Is there a particular word, expression or quote in the French language that you particularly like?
“Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches
Et voici mon coeur qui ne bat que pour vous
Ne le déchirez pas avec vos deux mains blanches
Et qu’à vos yeux si beaux l’humble présent soit doux”.
Romances sans paroles, Aquarelles de Paul Verlaine
What is the most difficult aspect of learning French and what tips can you offer for language learners?
French grammar rules can be a barrier. This is where the teacher comes in. We have to find a way to provide the historical, cultural, poetic and other context during a lesson. Instead of focusing on the strict rules of the language, a teacher should pair each grammar rule with practical examples, reading and role plays to make it easier to understand.