>>And does French have a progressive aspect (at all)? The teacher says 'I eat' and 'I am eating' are the same thing.<<
Not really knowing what progressive aspect is (I can wager a guess, though... "I am eating" is it, at least...), I can at least tell you that in French, "I eat" and "I am eating" (je mange) are the same thing. In my 3+ years of studying French (and I'm fairly competent in it...), I've never encountered a correctly French way to express "I am eating" that differentiates itself from "I eat". It may be confusing, mais c'est la vie.