Liz Cloghessy ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies

cloghessy_elizabethStudying French has given me a great schema for problem solving. Even if my jobs in future don’t specifically call for foreign language skills, the transferable skills I’ve gained from French will serve me my whole life.

My personal favorite of the many skills one gains in learning a foreign language is the ability to work around problems sometimes without the background information necessary to solve them. Studying French sometimes seems like a constant exercise in this particular skill, because there’s quite a lot to learn! Slowly however, I’ve learned to work around what I don’t know—I learned to use context to interpret meanings, study root words to guess definitions, and listen closely for cognates.

Strangely enough, learning how to work out these problems on my own has taught me a lot about working through problems in life. Even though I may not have all the information, skills, or resources I need to solve a problem, I have learned that there are still ways to find a solution.

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