French Language Learning Regret

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What did M. Hamel emphasize as the most beautiful language in the world?


Why did M. Hamel say it was important to guard the French language?

To have the key to their prison

What regret does M. Hamel express about the students not knowing their own language?

They will be mocked by others for not knowing French

Why did the parents in Alsace prefer their children to work on farms or at mills?

To earn more money

What did M. Hamel admit he had done instead of helping the students learn?

Sent them to water his flowers

Why was Franz not considered the worst among the students by M. Hamel?

He had potential for learning

Why was the narrator in great dread that morning?

Because he didn't know anything about participles

What did the narrator consider doing instead of going to school that morning?

Running away and spending the day outdoors

Why were the Prussian soldiers mentioned in the text?

To create a contrast in the peaceful setting

What was the effect of Prussia's victory in the Franco-Prussian War on Alsace and Lorraine?

They became part of Prussia

What did M. Hamel plan to question his students on?


Why did the narrator feel tempted to spend the day outdoors?

Because it was a warm and bright day

Why did M. Hamel tell Franz to go to his place quickly?

Because he was late to the French lesson.

What item of clothing did M. Hamel wear that surprised Franz?

A black silk cap

Why did the village people come to sit in on the French lesson?

To show respect for M. Hamel.

What news did M. Hamel deliver to the students?

They were going to switch to learning only German.

Why was Franz so shocked by M. Hamel's announcement?

He hardly knew how to write in French.

What was the significance of the empty back benches being filled with village people?

To showcase the support of the village for education.

Study Notes

Importance of the French Language

  • M. Hamel emphasized that French is the most beautiful language in the world.
  • He believed it's essential to guard the French language because it's a vital part of their heritage and identity.

M. Hamel's Regret

  • M. Hamel regretted that the students didn't know their own language, implying they were not adequately educated in French.

The Parents' Priorities

  • The parents in Alsace preferred their children to work on farms or at mills instead of focusing on education.

M. Hamel's Admission

  • M. Hamel admitted that he had failed to help the students learn and instead focused on other tasks.

Franz's Abilities

  • Franz was not considered the worst among the students by M. Hamel, implying he had some knowledge of French.

The Narrator's Apprehension

  • The narrator felt great dread that morning, possibly due to the importance of the day or the presence of the Prussian soldiers.

The Alternative

  • The narrator considered playing truant instead of attending school that morning.

The Prussian Soldiers

  • The Prussian soldiers were mentioned in the context of the Franco-Prussian War, which had a significant impact on Alsace and Lorraine.

The Consequences of the War

  • Prussia's victory in the Franco-Prussian War led to the occupation of Alsace and Lorraine, which would change the region's language and culture.

The French Lesson

  • M. Hamel planned to question his students on their French language skills, emphasizing its importance.

The Temptation

  • The narrator felt tempted to spend the day outdoors, possibly due to the pleasant weather or the excitement of the villagers.

M. Hamel's Instruction

  • M. Hamel told Franz to quickly take his place, possibly to maintain discipline in the classroom.

M. Hamel's Appearance

  • M. Hamel wore a unusual item of clothing, a black silk hat, which surprised Franz.

The Village People's Interest

  • The village people came to sit in on the French lesson, showing their interest in preserving the French language and culture.

The Announcement

  • M. Hamel delivered the news that it would be the last French lesson, shocking Franz and the students.

The Significance

  • The empty back benches being filled with village people highlighted the importance of the occasion and the community's desire to learn and preserve their language.

Read a text reflecting on the regret of not learning the French language earlier. Explore the consequences of procrastination when it comes to language acquisition.

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