David Sedaris Analysis

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With the rise of globalization

It has become popular for many people to cross borders in search of better opportunities. This has resulted in an increase in the number of foreign students flocking to educational institutions with little or no experience of a country's lingua franca.

David Sedaris' perspective

From the view of David Sedaris, there are many explanations why this situation might not be suitable for migrants. This paper attempts to support the argument that governments all over the world should emphasize providing students with a better introduction to their learning method.

The flaws in the education system in France

From the text, it is clear that the education system in France has many flaws. We see David Sedaris arriving to a French school and then getting a torturous adventure trying to learn their language. Ordinarily, he is supposed to understand everything that the teacher teaches which is predictably hard for a complete beginner. As it were, David is not alone; there are a host of other international students that cannot reconcile the tenets of French grammar and intonations as well. In this text, we get to see the hardships of international students in adapting foreign culture and more so the languages. The author admits that "somewhere along the way, I was sure I had lost my way". This is proof of the first tenet of this thesis exposing the many unnecessary difficulties that the education system in France has.

Apathy in the teaching fraternity

Apart from the obvious flaws, we see a general apathy in the teaching fraternity further complicating the learning process. The author begins by describing his predicament, and in the process introduces himself as a 41-year-old who had to go to school. In his own words, the classroom was "a place one had to be wary of flying chalk, balancing verbs as well as bodily harm". The teacher seems extremely hostile, not just to the author but to the entire student body. This could possibly be everything that is wrong with the French education system.

Insensitive behavior towards race

Thirdly, we get to see a sharp insensitivity to race from the educators. While the methods seem to work, this can be termed as an unfortunate happening that must not be present in any institution. The Alliance Française represents a convergence of cultures that allows the students to share not just their strengths but their weaknesses. In the writer's assertion, he had come specifically to the French capital to acquaint himself with the language as well as the culture. The teacher went ahead to insult Germans, Polish as well as Koreans. Such hostility is not just primitive but an example of what no institution should be.

Correcting the ills

In conclusion, this narrative can be used as an example of the hostility meted against foreign scholars not just in France, but all over the world as well. Most importantly, it can be used as a tool for correcting the ills. In line with the thematic thesis of this essay, indeed, governments must ensure a smoother transition of foreign students to their respective academic systems. This can be done by firstly admitting that there is a problem, getting the staff members to treat students well, and finally by counseling the school handlers against any racial discrimination. The author here represents minority groups in France whose intellect and mental ability, the world tries to measure by asking them to speak a foreign language. By addressing all the blind spots in the system, foreign students will stand a chance for happier lives across the world.


Sedaris, D. (2010). Me talk pretty one day. Hachette UK.

October 25, 2022

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