New York to Geneva


My name is Haseena, and I am a teacher and writer from New York. I started this blog, because I enjoy writing and I wanted to contribute to language learning. When I moved to Geneva in 2015, I had an intermediate level of French, but it was all "book learning." At first even asking a question at the grocery store or the minimal exchanges at the cash register made me nervous. I continued trying to make French my "daily life," setting my phone and computer in French and watching Netflix only in French.  If I had writer's block, I would read blogs in French or watch YouTube videos in French. Both of these are in a conversational style that directly addresses the reader/viewer and thus very helpful for language learners. Newspapers are a lot more formal than blogs, and in television shows the talking is a lot faster than in YouTube videos. The pace can pick up and the conversation then becomes too hard to follow.

I thought writing about my experiences in moving from New York to Geneva would be a fun way to provide a similar resource to French learners of English. There's the comfort of familiarity - descriptions of Geneva and other parts of Switzerland/neighboring France, as well as some passages and dialogues in French where it seemed natural for me to do so. But on the whole, the text requires a good level of conversational English. I also hope that this site could be useful for speakers of other languages who are learners of both French and English -- or perhaps anyone looking to read for pleasure :)

*** New posts should be up soon... Stay tuned! ***

My background:

I did my graduate studies in literature, teaching, writing, and composition, with an emphasis on creative writing. I'm also a trained Writing Center tutor and a former assistant director of the Writing Center at Stony Brook University. Currently based in Geneva, I give in-person and online courses in English at all levels to French speakers and at intermediate and advanced levels to native speakers of other languages. I'm also a consultant/editor/translator for writing projects of all sizes and at any stage of development.

Contact me with any comments or questions. I look forward to hearing from you!