So I decided it was time to try and learn French. Having been presented with a Master’s research trip and project based on alternative tourism in France I knew I would be frustrated if I didn’t understand what was going on, if I wasn’t able to communicate and make myself understood. I knew I had to try and learn, and quickly. But as always, learning a language is a daunting process. We are faced with hours of grammatical study, with the frustration of listening exercises, and with the shyness behind ‘getting it wrong’, ‘making a fool out of ourselves’.
But I knew there must be a more fun way of going about it, that learning French could be different. I knew there had to be a way to learn a language in a more vibrant, confidence building way. I just needed someone there to guide me, to help me in moments of doubt. I thought to myself, ‘what if I were able to apply what I learned directly in context? What if I was able to put what I had learned instantly to the test? What if I could cut out the boring filling in the gaps and annoying CD voices and experience real French in real France?’ There was a solution. Teacher, blogger and Languedocian expert Jennifer had the solution, and what an amazing solution it was!
Based in the beautiful city of Béziers in the south of France bubbly Jennifer has been teaching French for over 15 years and truly seems to love her subject. You can really feel as she speaks the sense of passion she holds towards the language, the culture and everything associated with French life. The variety of French courses that she offers really seem tailor made for the client. I was looking for a lively way to learn a bit of the language and put it to use right away, and her French Immersion course suited me to the tee, and seemed perfectly put together especially for me.
Jennifer’s Immersion Courses consist of spending the morning/afternoon or even whole day with her visiting different places. During this time only French is spoken (but she will of course help you if needed) and the idea is to fully immerse yourself in the language, whatever your level. The aim is to try at all costs to communicate, and there is no need to feel embarrassed or shy, as Jennifer’s lovely and encouraging personality make you feel at ease at all times. During the meetings you pick up new vocabulary, learn new structures and phrases, and can really feel yourself being pushed and the difference that is being made to your language skills.
It is such a refreshing experience learning a language like this in such a lively an exciting way. Tasting local produce in the market, visiting historical monuments, meeting local people and sipping coffee in the square, these are all features of the Immersion Course, and ones that really give you a boost. It really made me think… ‘What’s the point in just learning how to order a coffee in French… why not go and order a coffee in French?!’ And this is just what Jennifer’s courses allow you to do. With a little guidance she can set you little personal challenges that upon completion will leave you with a beaming sense of achievement.
Even if you don’t quite feel ready for an Immersion course yet, fear not, for Jennifer offers numerous options suited for a variety of different learner profiles and levels. You could simply begin by following her language blog http://learnfrenchwithjennifer.com and picking up some tips there with her ‘Word of the Day’ and handy language guide videos. Alternatively she offers Skype courses for those not able to spend time in the South of France. But given Jennifer’s warm, enthusiastic nature, I would really recommend trying to make the time to take one of her courses with her in Béziers for it is a wonderfully fulfilling experience giving you the confidence you need to take on a language. You could even take your family or friends with you and all have a go together in her special group classes, the prices of which are a bargain considering how much you get out of the course. It really would make for a holiday in France with a difference!
For more information about Jennifer’s French courses visit her website http://www.learnenglishandfrench.com, blog http://living-in-languedoc.com or her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LoveLearningFrench?fref=ts.