With French à La Carte French lessons in Paris while having fun and discovering various neighbourhoods are a great way to combine an effective learning process with enjoying the city. Anni Rowland Cambell, one of our French learners share her experience with us.
Do you think Paris is a great city to learn French « outdoors »?
Anni RC : Absolutely ! In fact from my point of view learning French by « wandering around », visiting patisseries, shops, galleries and markets, is the ONLY way to learn French ! The French culture is about the sensations – tastes, textures, smells, and feel. You can only do this by immersing yourself in it, not sitting in an air-conditioned classroom. Paris offers everything that you need to experience French culture and the language – all within easy reach of the Metro or by walking.
Why learning outside a classroom while conversing can be effective ?
ARC : For me learning through conversation in a real-world environment – a patisserie, market or garden – made the lessons relevant and gave them context. Without context a language is just a bunch of lessons that have to be progressed through. Learning a language by being in the environment makes it come alive. As a student you are forced to search for the words and express yourself – not always correctly but that doesn’t matter. As Florence says the most important thing when speaking French is just to get over your fears and speak it. Doing this in the real world is both much more powerful and effective, at least for me.
Can you describe your experience with French à La Carte ?
ARC : I found French à La Carte via a Web search. I was looking for something that was not the traditional »sitting in the classroom » type of way to learn French. I wanted to explore the city with someone who lives there, and to absorb both the language and culture simultaneously. From the outset French à La Carte delievered on this. The initial contact with Florence via email was very professional, and she clearly articulated her understanding of what I wanted, and made sure that I had every opportunity to revise and revisit that along the way. She set up an environment which had a very clear « learning contract » where we both did our bit, and she was always prompt, well prepared, and focused on each lesson. She had done her research, she measured the amount of content versus the learning, and she made sure it was fun !
How in terms of learning process, digital ressources can mixed to non virtual Resources ?
ARC : Florence gave me a grammar book at the outset and our lessons utilised both this, YouTube videos, as well as other digital resources. But there are also other things – such as online translators and phrase suggestions which can powerfully enhance the learing experience. The most important thing though is to be « present » and not let the tools distract you. When you are learning a language you are learning to communicate with someone, not the screen !