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Normandy Awards

French in Normandy Awards

Over the years the education travel industry has seen various schools grow in terms of both size and popularity amongst agents and direct clients. As in any other industry, hard work should always be rewarded, and the importance of such rewards has been demonstrated through the increasing number of award ceremonies within the education sector. These events bring together like-minded people to celebrate great examples of best practices and inspiring leaders, to name but a few.

Normandy Awards

French in Normandy has been participating and also winning at these events since 2007. So, before we move on to our list or nominations and awards, we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all our business partners, students and staff members who have made French in Normandy’s success, possible.

2007: shortlisted for the Study Travel Magazine awards

2008-2012: winning Study Travel Magazine’s Best French Language School 

2012: winning SUPERSTAR School at the Study Travel Magazine awards

2012: Receiving a Certificate of Excellence from Educationstars

2013-2018: winning UED Best French Language School Award

2013-2017: winning the Best French Language School at Educationstars

2016: winning at iStudy Global Awards

2016-2018: short listed for CSR Champion at the ESL awards

2017: bronze winner at the Lead 5050 Charitable effort

2018: winning at the Lead5050 Women Education Awards – Inspirational Woman of the year, our very own Eleri Maitland

2018: runner up at the Normandie Women in Business (Femmes de l’économie) 

2018/2019: iStudy Teaching Excellence Award in France

To us, all of these nominations and awards are not just another trophy or a certificate that we can place on our shelves. The significance to us lies mainly in the relationships that we have built over the years. If it had not been for the people we connected with and the trust they place in us, French in Normandy, would not have been able to be where it is now. Therefore, once again, THANKS to all of you and we hope to keep building great relationships in the future!

Living in a Host Family

Dos and Don’ts of Living in a Host Family

Choosing to living in a host family is a great decision. Last year 8 out of 10 of our students chose this type of set up for their stay in Rouen. Many students make this decision because a local host family can give you the immersion experience you are looking for through insight into the French lifestyle and culture.

Just like every other experience in life, there are the ups as well as downs of living in a family. Living with others can be difficult especially if they do things differently from you. To make it work, it is best to remember that you should respect the way things are done in your French family and be prepared to enjoy a new experience!

If you generally feel shy or if you find it difficult to start conversations it may be a good idea to bring some photos of your country and the people who are close to you. This gives you a subject to talk about and it helps your host family get to know you. It would also be nice to bring a small gift from your home country or to ask your family if you can cook a typical meal during your stay with them.

Your family will provide you with a single room and bed linen will be changed every week. The bathroom will be shared unless you have requested otherwise, so, please organise a routine with your family and remember that others may be waiting to use it.

Living in a Host Family

A few simple common-sense rules will go a long way to making this stay enjoyable for both you and your host family:

  • Some families have outdoor and indoor shoes. If this is the case, please remember to take off your outside shoes when you come in.
  • Do not smoke indoors.
  • Follow the family routine for things such as meal times and bed times. Even though you paid to stay with this host family, you need to keep in mind that you chose this option over a hotel because you want to connect. The people you’re living with may not be your relatives, but they still worry about you and want you to feel welcome.
  • Please keep your room tidy and do not keep food in it! Rinse the bath after use, leave the WC clean and last, but not least, do not waste electricity or water!
  • Do not use all the hot water.
  • Do not fiddle with the TV, computer or heating settings and please tell your family, the school or both if you are feeling too cold or hot.
  • After 10.30 at night please keep noise to a minimum, including the use of mobile phones. Use headphones if necessary and keep your phone on Vibrate or preferably Silent mode.
  • Arrange with your family ahead of time if you are going to be out late or miss a meal, or if you want to invite someone round. Mealtimes are a great time to connect with the family that’s hosting you. Food is known to bring people together so if you can try to be at home to help set the table or do the dishes. Apart from this being polite it is also a great communication opportunity.
  • Your family is happy to do light washing but please ask them if you can use the machine when you like for other washing.

These points may seem like a lot to follow, however, the gist of them all is that you should respect the people you live with as they are opening their homes, so you can get a better language and cultural experience. Communication is key in this kind of set up so always keep in mind that you can speak to the family or to the school representatives if you have any concerns or doubts.

French in Normandy

New from French in Normandy: DELF DALF Online

French in Normandy: a pioneer in DELF DALF online flexible learning
Need to improve your DELF DALF skills but don’t have the time or the budget to spend 3 months in France ?
With French in Normandy you can study for the DELF DALF whenever and wherever you choose.
With French in Normandy Online you can get where you want to be.

Our Delf and Dalf online preparation courses focuses on Levels B2, (DELF) C1 and C2 (DALF) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Course Content

Your course will be designed based on the results from your placement test and needs analysis. You will cover all four skills and work on exercises designed to meet the requirements of the Diplomas

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Reading and Use of French
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

How does it work?

Step 1 Fill in the French in Normandy online registration form giving us your availabilities for your flexible learning programme and the date you wish to start

Step 2 Organise your oral test by skype, hangouts, messenger, telephone

Step 3 We will then send you your planning for Week I which will include:

  • WRITTEN EXPRESSION
  • READING COMPREHENSION
  • LISTENING COMPREHENSION
  • A ONE HOUR PRACTICE SESSION FOR THE ORAL EST WITH THIRTY MINUTE ONE TO ONE ORAL
  • A THIRTY MINUTE FEEDBACK SESSION AT THE END OF EVERY WEEK

 

Questions? Download our DELF DALF Online flyer for more details

All Inclusive Pricing Structure

  PREPARATION ONLINE PRICE IMMERSION / WEEK MATERIAL /BOOKING REGISTRATION FEES
Package 1 4 WEEKS 850 EUROS 330 260 EUROS 60 EUROS
Package 2 6 WEEKS 1150 EUROS 330 260 EUROS 60 EUROS
Package 3 8 WEEKS 1300 EUROS 319 260 EUROS 60 EUROS
Package 4 10 WEEKS 1600 EUROS 319 120 EUROS 60 EUROS
Each package includes a telephone test before hand, the materiel required online and in class, the exam fees and all fees relating to the booking of the exam, material and registration.

Dates for the DELF DALF Exam in Rouen

The Exams are taken in our partner centre in Rouen town centre: 13 Boulevard de Verdun, Rouen;

Opening registration: B2, C1/C2

Contact us for exam dates.

Eating Out in French : French restaurant vocabulary

Wherever you are in France, having a meal in a typical French restaurant is a must. Food is an important part of the French culture and being able to experience it will make your trip more complete. In today’s article we are going to identify some of the most common French restaurant vocabulary and expressions that will be useful to you.

Types of eating/drinking places:

Le restaurant Where you go for a big French meal (un grand repas français)
Le bistro(t) Smaller, more casual restaurants
La brasserie A brewery: offers good beer and hearty food.
Le café Here you will find everything: complete meals, snacks and drinks
La crêperie Sells savoury galettes and sweet crêpes
Le bar Here you can have a drink without eating anything
Le bar à vin Wine bar

 

Saying how many people you are:

On est trois (informal) / Nous sommes trois (more formal) – We are three

 

Saying whether you want to eat or drink:

Pour manger To eat
Pour boire To drink
Pour le petit-déjeuner To have breakfast
Pour déjeuner For lunch
Pour dîner For dinner

 

Saying where you prefer to sit:

Je préfère l’extérieur – I prefer the outside.

Je préfère l’intérieur – I prefer the inside.

 

Types of Menus:

La carte The menu
Le menu Set menu
L’ardoise The boards where the specials are written. They’re usually at the entrance of a restaurant or hanging on a wall
La carte des vins Wine menu
Une dégustation / Menu dégustation Tasting menu
à la carte Items that you order off the menu; these would have their own price
Plats du jour Daily special
Assiette Platter

Categories in a la carte menu:

Les entrées Appetizers
Un amuse-bouche/amuse-gueule Small snack
Un apéritif A cocktail / pre-dinner drink
Les plats Main courses
Accompagnement Side dish
Les fromages Cheeses
Les desserts Desserts
Les boissons Drinks
Le café Coffee
Un digestif After-dinner drink

 

Ordering food:

Avez-vous choisi? / Vous avez choisi? Have you chosen?
Qu’est-ce que vous voulez comme boisson? What would you like to drink?
Qu’est-ce que vous buvez? What will you have to drink?
Je vais prendre… I’m going to take…

 

Ending your meal:

Terminé? / Vous avez terminé? / Avez-vous terminé? Have you finished?
Oui, merci Yes, thanks
Ça a été? / Ça vous a plu? Did you enjoy your meal?
Oui, c’était bon / Oui, c’était vraiment délicieux Yes, it was good / Yes, it was delicious
Vous désirez un dessert ou un café? Would you like dessert or coffee?
Je voudrais la carte des desserts, s’il vous plaît I would like the dessert menu, please
Rien pour moi Nothing for me
S’il vous plaît This expression is used to grab the waiter’s attention. Once you have his/her attention all you need to say is l’addition (the bill)

 

We hope this French restaurant vocabulary will help you to enjoy your meals in France as much as we do!


If you’re considering studying French in France, let us know and we’ll be happy to help you!

Restaurants in Rouen

Best Student Restaurants in Rouen

Having a huge variety of places where to eat is great. However, it can also be confusing as the options are vast and can be very different from one another. Therefore, to help make your stay in Rouen a little bit easier, we have singled out 6 restaurants in Rouen which are usually popular amongst students:

Restaurants in Rouen
  1. Café Dessiné: Found in the historic centre and within the famous rue Damiette, the Café Dessiné is a café and tea room where a large collection of comics is available for viewing free of charge. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, you will definitely find something delicious to have for breakfast, brunch or even a late lunch or early dinner.
  2. Le Mont Saint-Michel: A traditional creperie which will surely give you a taste of the French cuisine. Various types of pancakes are available in this restaurant and you can visit it from Monday to Saturday. Make sure you check the opening hours before you go.
  3. L’Oritano: Whether you’re an Italian who is visiting France and wants a taste of home or coming from any other country and would like some typical Italian food, this restaurant may be the right spot in Rouen. All the dishes are homemade, even the mozzarella and the menu changes regularly. Students can either go for lunch or in the evening to taste the antipasti during Aperitivo time.
  4. Nachos Mexican Grill: More from the international cuisine that one can find in Rouen, this restaurant offers a large choice of fajitas, tacos and salad. All food is freshly made right in front of the customer as this aspect is very important to the restaurant owners. Here you can have healthy meals at reasonable prices and the restaurant is open every day from late morning till the evening.
  5. The Novick’s Stadium: The Novick’s Stadium is a concept sports bar that gives guests the possibility to experience sports from all around the world. This place is also the spot that brings together players and supporters of sports in Rouen. This restaurant is modern and hip, and it is a great spot to meet people, watch sports and relax.
  6. La Fabrik: Directly on the quay near the Seine, this restaurant offers quality meat as well as other dishes and tapas. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and you can go for lunch or dinner all week, whereas Sundays it is open for brunch.

If you are looking for other types of restaurants or even different cuisines, here at French in Normandy, we are always happy to give you suggestions on our personal favourites. So, contact us or speak to one of our staff members when you arrive at the school, and we’ll be happy to give you directions to get to the restaurants mentioned above, as well.

Le français- cette langue qui nous réunit

French in Normandy sponsors 4th annual Congress for French teachers across the Arab World (CMA) in Agadir, Morocco

This regional congress of the FIPF (International Federation of French Language Teachers) brings together teachers from North Africa and the Middle East but of course is open to teachers of French worldwide. The opening speeches and the fascinating paper presented by Jean Louis Calvet all gave different perspectives on the role and importance of the French language.

 


French is the official language of 36 countries with over 64 million French speakers second only to English which is the official language of 63 nations worldwide.

The statistics presented by J.L. Calvet on the different languages across the globe left us in no doubt as to the importance of the French language, not just today but also in tomorrow’s world as well as underlining the necessity for people to be able to speak more than one language.

The role of the teacher and their importance is at the heart of President Macron’s project for the promotion of the French language and France. The French language is a motor for a real plurilingualism which will facilitate integration, further study and open doors for millions of young people around the world.

French is the second most taught and used language in international universities (74% compared to 97% for English) and the excellence of French higher education is well known globally.

French in Normandy has several partners for further study in France encouraging students to come to Rouen to learn or perfect their level of French before starting on a course of higher education with local engineering schools such as the ECSI, INSA or ESIGELEC. We also provide an option for vocational excellence with the INBP (Institut Français de la Boulangerie et de la Pâtisserie), not forgetting the local university and business schools.

Learning to speak French changed the life of French in Normandy Director, Eleri Maitland, and so by definition changed the life of  her husband and children’s experience. Speaking another language has given her an inestimable chance and has opened so many windows to the world. Passing those same opportunities onto young people, whatever their nationality or age, and transmitting the pleasure of a multilingual and multicultural life is French in Normandy’s ultimate goal.

French in Normandy is a convinced that learning languages is the way to bring peoples together, a force for tolerance and respect and a solid building block in the construction of a better, more equitable world.

Le français c’est une chance……

French Vocabulary Illnesses and Ailments

French Vocabulary for Illnesses and Ailments

Learn how to talk about illnesses in French and prepare for a doctor’s visit in France.

French Vocabulary Illnesses and AilmentsGetting sick is never fun, but being in a foreign country and not being able to communicate when you need medical help can definitely ruin your stay abroad. These resources will help you learn some important French vocabulary for illnesses and ailments so that you can communicate with French-speaking doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists.

This blog post including sound bites will teach you the simple words and phrases along with the pronunciation you will need when asking for medical help.

Some basic French vocabulary to keep in mind can be seen below. 

health
la santé

good health
en bonne santé

bad health
en mauvaise santé

an infection
une infection

a chill
un frisson

the flu
la grippe

a cold
un rhume

a throat infection
une angine

a sinus infection
une sinusite aiguë

an allergy
une allergie

a handkerchief
un mouchoir

a kleenex
un kleenex

to feel well
se sentir bien

to have a cold
être enrhumé

to cough
tousser

to sneeze
éternuer

to have a head ache
avoir mal à la tête

to have an ear ache
avoir mal aux oreilles

to have a stomach ache
avoir mal au ventre

to have a throat ache
avoir mal à la gorge

to have a fever
avoir de la fièvre

a runny nose
le nez qui coule

itchy eyes
les yeux qui piquent

to have a scratchy throat
la gorge qui gratte

sick
malade

viral
viral

bacterial
bactérien

allergic
allergique

le médecin
the doctor

the patient
le malade

a diagnosis
un diagnostic

a prescription
une ordonnance

to suffer
souffrir

to open
ouvrir

to examine
examiner

to listen to the stethoscope
ausculter

to breath
respirer

to prescribe
prescrire

a pharmacist
un pharmacien

a pharmacy
une pharmacie

a medicine
un medicament

a pill
un comprimé

a antibiotic
un antibiotique

a syrup
un sirop

penicillin
de la pénicilline

aspirin
de l’aspirine

to swallow
avaler


Watch the video below to understand what a doctor’s visit is like in France and what you may be asked if you need to go to the doctor in France.

 

Some questions include:

1: Quel est votre problème?

2: C’est la 1ère fois que ça vous arrive?

3: Avez-vous eu un traitement?

4: Vous ne prenez pas d’aspirine?

5: un traitement local pendant 3 ou 4 jours.

6: la ordonnance (the prescription for the medicine you must get)

7: la feuille de soins (paper for your insurance)

8: la consultation est à 8 euros

9: vous pouvez régler par carte ou en liquide


French Vocabulary Illnesses and Ailments


Learn more French with a French language course at French in Normandy!

learn french quickly

How to learn French quickly and with ease

Everything you need to know to learn French quickly and efficiently


Would you like to speak French fluently ? Do you feel ready to start learning the language of Moliere? I am sure you are ! But maybe you are not sure about how to go about it… No panic ! In this article I am going to give you some tips and explain step by step how to learn French quickly and with ease.

learn french quickly


To learn a foreign language, there are mainly two possibilities :

  • Studying by yourself, with a private teacher if possible.
  • Going to the country where the language is spoken and preferably taking courses in an accredited school.

Of course you can do both ! For example you could add one or two weeks of French courses in France to your personal training. In any case, to learn a foreign language efficiently, be prepared to be consistent with regular learning sessions. There are some habits you will need to acquire.

Habits you need to get into :

  • Be disciplined, probably the most important one, it could be difficult to master in the long term but if you want to progress, you have no choice ! Certainly you are motivated to learn French right now, but like sporting activities, it is a temporary feeling. After several weeks of training, it is highly likely that you will feel discouraged, when that happens only self-discipline will give you the strength to continue ! You will just have to bite the bullet. Tell yourself : « Every day, I will study French for thirty minutes, period ». Moreover, you new found ability to stick to your guns will be very useful in other parts of your life ! Several scientific studies say that the human brain needs 21 days acquire a new habit, so beginning will be the most difficult time but after three weeks i twill become part of your routine!
  • Be clear about your goals, plan step by step your progress. For example : « I have four months to reach A2 level. »
  • Be consistent, you will learn much better by studying thirty minutes everyday that four hours once a week. That is how human brain works ! Of course you have to be disciplined to be regular.

To sum up, bear in mind these rules : Regularity, organization and self-discipline. Now that you have understood the importance of these rules, let’s start learning French ! Here I tell you how to proceed step by step.

First step : Learn the basics. (A1-A2 level)

As I told you before, you have two possibilities to learn French quickly : you can study in a French school in France or you can study on your own. Obviously the first option is the most efficient, but also the more expensive. If you can afford this, do not hesitate ! Another solution is to buy a short course (one or two weeks). Even a short trip to France is ideal to put your language to good use and practice. This will also help you keep motivated.

I will talk about it at the end of this article. First let’s see how to organise your training. Here are my suggestions :

  • Learn the French alphabet. This is the first thing you have to do ! Try to pronounce each letter out loud. Repeat several times.
  • Study minimum thirty minutes every day, find a method which is not focus only on grammar, it is better to start by learning whole sentences. By doing this you will memorize vocabulary and you will be able to talk about simple topics. I would suggest the Assimil method, Teach yourself, books and online material…
  • Learn the common, everyday words.
  • Try to listen to the French language every day, a huge amount of content is available on the internet : songs, tv channels, audiobooks… Try them all ! Little by little you ear will get tuned. The BBC has several excellent programmes too.

Learning the basics alone requires several months. If you follow my suggestions, you should progress fast !

Step Two : Strengthening. (B1-B2 level)

You can be proud of yourself ! You have been learning French for several months and now you can talk generally about a few of your favourite subjects! For the following period, proceed like this :

  • It is time to study grammar ! You have learned a lot of words but now you need to understand the logic of the French language. Find a good method that focus on grammar and a dictionary of verbs and how to conjugate them (there is a good one called Bescherelle).
  • Keep listening to French ! Try a website such as Lyrics Training. You will have to listen and complete the lyrics of French songs, that is a fun way to improve your comprehension skills.
  • Sign up to a website like italki where you can find a teacher or a native pen pal. This is a way to keep motivated. Just one class a week would be very effective !
  • Start to watch French movies or series with subtitles.

Step Three : Advanced training. (C1-C2 level)

Congratulations ! Now your French is really getting good ! Let’s continue studying at an advanced level ! There is much to do now:

  • Read books, press articles, websites… You will learn more and more vocabulary and you will master the syntax. Do not translate words, only those which stop you from getting the gist. Read topics that you are interested in.
  • Watch television, movies and French series. It is quite easy to find content online. For example Netflix is available in several languages.
  • Continue keeping some classes on Skype if possible.
  • Travel to France ! It is time to put your language into practice ! You should really try to do this, you deserve it !

learn french in france

To conclude…

I would like to stress that nowadays the best way to learn a language is to go abroad. When you experience full immersion, you learn very quickly and it is always interesting to discover a new culture. If you can afford to do this, you will also understand how important is to choose the right language school. To progress quickly, choose a French school that has the French government quality label. I would strongly recommend French in Normandy in Rouen because it offers : quality courses, a super cosy, friendly atmosphere, it is easy to get to Paris and Rouen is a very beautiful French city… This article will help you to know how to choose the best French language school.

Last but not least, do not forget that you now have everything you need to succeed ! Good luck ! Bon continuation !

séjour linguistique en France

5 raisons de faire un séjour linguistique en France

Vous apprenez le français ? Vous envisagez de faire un séjour linguistique en France ? Vous hésitez à franchir le pas ?

Dans cet article je vous donne 5 bonnes raisons de réaliser un séjour linguistique en France ! Embarquez, l’aventure vous attend !

séjour linguistique en France


Premier avantage : L’immersion linguistique.

Eh oui, une fois en France vous serez plongé dans un monde totalement francophone, ce qui aura un effet particulièrement positif sur votre cerveau. En effet, le fait de perdre ses repères va forcer ce dernier à s’adapter, l’apprentissage de la langue se fera donc beaucoup plus rapidement. C’est pourquoi plusieurs professeurs de langue conseillent de se créer une « bulle » dans laquelle vous pouvez simuler cette immersion linguistique. Par exemple vous pouvez mettre votre téléphone en français, écouter la radio et la télévision française sur internet, etc. Tout ceci contribue à forcer le cerveau à enregistrer avec une plus grande efficacité la langue. Ainsi, lors d’un séjour linguistique, vous serez entièrement plongé dans un monde francophone, ce qui aura pour effet un apprentissage beaucoup plus rapide.

Conseil : ne soyez pas tenté de vous tourner vers vos compatriotes, sinon votre cerveau aura beaucoup plus de mal à s’adapter !

Deuxième avantage : L’immersion culturelle.

Apprendre une langue, c’est aussi s’intéresser à la culture locale ! Durant vos cours, de nombreux thèmes seront abordés afin d’enrichir vos connaissances en civilisation française. Le fait d’étudier certaines périodes historiques, le cinéma, la gastronomie, la littérature, les célébrités et même plusieurs coutumes et traditions vous aidera réellement à penser comme les français. Chaque langue est unique et transmet une vision du monde différente, vous avez donc l’occasion d’apprendre à réfléchir autrement. Certaines études démontrent même que les langues influencent l’humeur et la personnalité !

Conseil : Il est quasiment toujours possible de choisir un hébergement en famille d’accueil, optez pour cette formule afin d’en apprendre plus sur la manière de vivre des français !

Troisième avantage : Partez à la rencontre des natifs !

Vous aurez bien évidemment l’occasion de faire connaissance avec des français. Le fait de développer un réseau social est excellent pour vous faire progresser considérablement dans votre apprentissage. Vous apprendrez le vocabulaire de la vie courante ainsi que de nombreuses expressions ! Si possible, sortez et participez à un maximum d’activités (sport, musées, bars…). Ainsi, vous allez rencontrer des gens avec qui vous partagez des passions communes, ce sera donc plus facile de nouer des liens d’amitié !

Bonus : si vous êtes célibataire, qui sait, peut-être allez-vous rencontrer un(e) petit(e)-ami(e) français(e) ! Idéal pour pratiquer, non ?

Quatrième avantage : Vivez une expérience incroyable !

Lorsque vous choisissez une école de langue réputée, vous avez la garantie de passer un séjour inoubliable ! Pourquoi cela ? Plusieurs raisons :

  • Vous allez bénéficier d’une excellente qualité de cours, vous apprendrez donc plus vite.
  • L’ambiance est toujours très agréable, c’est un endroit idéal pour faire connaissance avec des apprenants du monde entier.
  • Des activités sont quasiment toujours proposées, vous aurez donc l’occasion de découvrir les plus beaux endroits à proximité de la ville. Veillez à choisir une école qui propose ce genre d’excursions !
  • Le tourisme ! La France est le pays le plus visité du monde, vous aurez l’occasion de parcourir ce beau pays !

Conseil : si je devais recommander une école en particulier, je choisirais French in Normandy à Rouen, la capitale de la Normandie. Outre le fait qu’il s’agisse d’une école de haute qualité, garantissant un apprentissage rapide, elle est très bien située géographiquement. Vous y aurez l’occasion de découvrir Paris, le Mont Saint-Michel, les falaises normandes ainsi que le centre-ville de Rouen ! De plus, la Normandie est l’une des régions les plus célèbres de France !

Mont-Saint Michel

Cinquième avantage : Une occasion de passer les examens officiels, le DELF ou le DALF !

Il vous sera beaucoup plus facile de passer un examen officiel reconnaissant mondialement votre niveau de langue. Les écoles de langues sont des endroits où il est possible de passer ce type d’épreuve. Décrocher un tel certificat apporterait un sérieux atout à votre CV !

De plus, si vous validez un niveau B2 ou C1, vous aurez même l’occasion de pouvoir faire vos études en France. Les écoles de langues étant souvent partenaires avec des établissements d’enseignement supérieur, vous n’aurez aucun mal à vous insérer dans le cursus universitaire français. Plusieurs écoles et universités sont très bien réputées internationalement.

En conclusion…

Désormais, vous n’avez plus aucune excuse pour ne pas faire un séjour linguistique en France ! Ce projet peut s’avérer couteux mais c’est vraiment un achat utile ! Vous investirez ainsi sur vous-même et le fait de parler français vous servira durant toute votre vie. Réaliser un séjour linguistique dans une bonne école, c’est avoir la garantie de progresser rapidement et de vivre une expérience enrichissante et inoubliable ! N’attendez plus, commencez dès maintenant à planifier votre séjour !

You are learning because you want to learn | Student Blog

Let’s see how Alan is getting on at French in Normandy with this latest update…


Well its getting a little tougher now! We have begun to look at ‘au present simple’ and ‘passe compose’ – in other words present and past tense! When they start discussing ‘conjugasion’ and reflexive verbs, I struggle. I never learnt this in English let alone in French! However, I’m not feeling too bad about it as although it is taking some concentration it is beginning to register slowly in my very small and very old brain!

The other interesting change is the way that within only two weeks this small international fraternity of students begin to mould into small friendships. Mind you, every now and then someone new appears – a new starter, and someone disappears – either finished and off home, or worse for one’s self-esteem they have been moved to a different group, presumably because they are too good for us beginners. At first, you feel a little piqued and then as Eleri, our seat of all wisdom, remarked “Well, how long did it take you to learn your first language?”. You then realise it’s not a competition here. You are learning because you want to learn, and you learn at whatever pace is right for you. It relaxes you when you accept this.

Every morning there is a little congregation outside the entrance to the school that greet each other warmly with little smiles of embarrassment in their new-found French. Each day there are new phrases added to the vocabulary that we all try out on each other, and if you happen to say something not quite correct to someone who is a couple of groups ahead of you, they gently smile and educate you in the correct way – regardless of age by the way, the other day a 17-year-old Japanese girl corrected my pronunciation, thank you Mina! Its all done with the best intentions and a far cry from the bullying aggressive attitude of my inner-city school gate; oh so, so, so long ago!

Beautiful Normandy Countryside

It’s quite sweet and makes you feel part of one big, probably slightly, dysfunctional family.

As for life ‘en France’, is it becoming easier and more familiar? Peut-être (perhaps). I visited Fontainebleau, south-west of Paris last week-end. It’s worth a visit for the palace alone. Anyway, I was quite confident as I checked in to my hotel, announcing in a strong voice in French that they should have a reservation for me? Trouble is, one should also remember that the quicker and more confident one sounds the quicker and more complex they respond. C’est une problem. This left me feeling a little awkward and embarrassed as I had to ask them to repeat their question ‘lentements, s’il vous plait!’. They then glance slightly despairingly at the heavens and respond with near perfect English, which of course does not help me improve my French one little bit. I have to say, in a mild defence of the majority of my countrymen, it is quite difficult to learn a foreign language when you are British because a) which one do you choose? And b) everyone by now speaks near perfect English and cannot be bothered to help educate us. I don’t blame them, but it does sometimes get a little frustrating, but then the whole of the French nation is not here to teach me French. Damn my arrogance!

So another week over. I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Alan