French language tipsLearn French
Tuesday December 3rd, 2019

18 smart Christmas gifts🎄 for someone who is learning French (or for yourself 🤩)

Ideal Christmas gifts for someone who is learning French I hate Christmas and Christmas shopping but… I’m not anti-social and I still have a family and friends, so as long as I’m still interacting with people I love, I won’t be able to avoid the Christmas season.  I hate Christmas for many reasons and one of them is that it’s very hard for me to find useful and great gifts. I always want to be original and I don’t want to fall into the trap of giving the trendiest item. I always take it very personally when, for example, I offer a book and the person doesn’t read it. I know I shouldn’t, but I’m like this.  I know finding useful gifts is challenging and we never have enough time to prepare our Christmas shopping. In this article, I will help you find useful, fun and interesting gifts related to…
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Learning French in Brussels
Wednesday October 30th, 2019

15 reasons why you should learn French while in Brussels

15 reasons to learn French while being relocated in Brussels - even if you stay for a short time! Brussels is so international that you don’t need to learn or speak French. This is because you can easily survive in Brussels, and in Belgium generally, without speaking a single word of French. Brussels is also a cosmopolitan city. As a cosmopolitan city, it probably provides you with the opportunity to either practice any language or choose not to practice them at all. It’s up to you! If you are reading this article, you’ve probably just arrived in Brussels or about to come and you’re still contemplating whether to take a French course or not. Do you wonder if learning French would make the difference or would worth the effort and the investment? Those are legitimate questions to ask. I can strongly assure you that learning French as a second language…
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Learn French
Wednesday October 30th, 2019

French course options: Intensive course or long-term course?

"I am a very busy person, but my dream is to learn and speak French" Does this sentence sound familiar to you? Before even starting a French course, it is important for you to know if an intensive or a long term course will finally help you reach your goals in speaking French. In this article, I’ll share my experience as a language learner in order to help you make a decision on which one will suit you better. Intensive and long-term French courses are both amazing and with either of them, you’ll enjoy beautiful results. My experience with intensive language classes I have taken several intensive language courses - the last one I took was 4 years ago when I studied Hebrew. Yes, Hebrew! Am I Jewish? No! Is my husband Jewish? Neither! I wanted to challenge myself as an adult and study a beautiful and challenging language. I…
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read french on your social media
French language tips
Friday September 13th, 2019

Simple tips to progress beyond Level B2 in French

So you’ve reached level B2 French and think you can’t progress further or attend any new courses? This is absolutely false! There are many ways to improve and maintain your French skills even if you have reached the upper intermediate or advanced level. When I finish a course with a student, in addition to having my heart broken by saying goodbye, I give tons of resources to help them continue improving their skills, even without attending private French classes. The real challenge once we’ve reached either level B2 French or level C1 French is to continue learning and practising without a formal frame. Many students are left without any solid tips towards practising and maintaining their level. Some reasons why it can be difficult to continue practising French after reaching level B2 French: Working in an international environment where French is not mandatory Not being located in a francophone country…
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you can speak french
Learn French
Thursday September 5th, 2019

Is learning French for me, or not?

Answer these 27 questions to find out whether learning French is for you The other day, I was invited to a conference at the American Library in Paris to discuss bilingualism and the challenges of learning a second language. It was a very nice evening with around 40 people interested in this topic. A question that came often from the audience was “why can some people learn French quickly while others still can't speak French after a certain amount of time”. I think it’s a very interesting question. In this article, I would like to share with you my expertise about teaching French as a second language for a decade and also my own expertise as a language student. I can’t even tell you how many students I have helped to improve their French since 2009. Within this last decade, I have developed a good database of students and witnessed…
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best things to do in Paris, cafes, restaurants, bars
Paris
Monday June 17th, 2019

Things to do in Paris

What are some of the best things to do in Paris? Eating great food and enjoying good bars, are at the top of my list of priorities! Paris is such a beautiful city with dozens of nice restaurants and cafes. Actually, in 2014, almost 14 000 restaurants and bars were registered in Paris alone. The arrondissement with the highest density of bars and restaurants is the 11th. In French, it’s called le débit de boisson. So, as you can imagine, if you are looking for things to do in Paris, you will always find something to suit your tastes. However, like in any great city, there are also a lot of tourist traps, and those are the places where you’ll possibly eat the most disgusting croissant or pizza in your life. Yes, bad croissants also exist in Paris, trust me. As a private French teacher, I often meet students who…
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nice french teacher
Learn French
Tuesday May 7th, 2019

The trauma of learning French with a terrible teacher

Have you ever you had an awful teacher that made you hate learning French? I am a professional, but fun and happy French teacher, and whenever I start training a new student, one of my first questions is usually about their background with the French language. Did you learn French before? What is your background? What is your experience with the French language? Why would you like to learn French? You couldn’t imagine how many people that studied French when they were younger, hated it mostly due to their awful teacher. I have been teaching French for a decade and I can certify that almost 50% of my students have had a traumatic experience with a French teacher in the past. This is terrible. This is way too much. French is such a beautiful language and it’s a crime to allow mean and unfriendly ambassadors to leave their students traumatised.…
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Yasmine Lesire by Rachel Calvo Photo
Learn French
Thursday March 28th, 2019

Reasons why you still can’t speak French : The honest facts

Yasmine Lesire, photo by Photographer in Paris, Rachel Calvo Learning a language is not easy - fact! I have learned a total of seven languages. But, watch out - don’t let yourself be too impressed! I’m far from fluent in seven languages - I wish! I speak three languages fluently and, on and off through the years, I have learned four others. My last challenge was learning Portuguese because I was dreaming of spending three months in Brazil. As I’m fluent in Spanish, I began with a lot of preconceived notions in mind such as: I won’t have to study that much to improve my Portuguese because it’s very similar to Spanish. Well, hell no! After only a few private Portuguese classes, I was off on the plane for five weeks (not a few months - I’m an adult with responsibilities now) to Brazil. I can confirm with you, that…
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learn to speak French
French language tips
Monday March 18th, 2019

What to do when you try to speak French and they respond in English

We have all experienced this before and this is maybe the story of your life with the French language. You are taking French classes, either private French classes or group French classes, and you suddenly feel that you get the déclic, this sparkle that will make you speak French. You feel that French is no longer a secret. Congratulations, you’ve unlocked level three. Today, you can manage more situations in French. Your confidence is back on track. Parlez-vous... francais? Let’s picture the typical situation together. You decide to order your lunch or dinner in French from arriving to the restaurant until you leave. If the waiter follows you in your project, you’ll even consider tipping him generously. Of course, on your way to the restaurant, you repeat in your mind the key sentences you’re gonna say and it is going to be amazing. You arrive at the restaurant, you check…
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Belgium why learn French in Brussels
Learning French in Brussels
Monday March 11th, 2019

Do I need to learn French in Brussels?

Welcome to Brussels ! If you are reading this article you are probably already in our beautiful city, or about to arrive. Brussels is an amazing city. It’s an international city within Europe and the most cosmopolitan city in the world after Dubai according to the very serious World Atlas. People are often (wrongly) scared about moving to, and living in, Belgium. Possibly because of the three official languages: French, Dutch and German. And also because Brussels has the false reputation of being a boring city. Which is not true, even the well known The Telegraph said so in their article Why Belgium is not as boring as you think. Moving to Brussels raises a few questions: Will I meet people? Will I be bored? Should I learn a language while being located in Brussels? If yes, which one? Do I need to learn French in Brussels, or Dutch? Both?…
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