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
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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how long does it take to learn french?
Private French Classes
Sunday March 3rd, 2019

Private French classes : How long does it take to learn and speak French?

Private French Classes - the reality: When I start learning a language, I always wonder how long will it take to improve and actually speak the language. Learning a foreign language and finally being able to speak it is so rewarding. If you are reading this article, perhaps you too are wondering when you will appreciate progress. You probably already know that by choosing private French classes, you will learn faster and more efficiently as you will be the unique actor in your training. However, after searching, benchmarking and finally choosing the private French teacher of your dreams, it’s still hard to know how many hours you will need to progress. We all know that either you choose a private French course or a group class, and that both courses are an investment in terms of money and time. When we decide to finally make a change in our life…
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learning french with an app
French language tips
Tuesday January 29th, 2019

The truth about learning French with an app

What are the benefits of learning French, or any foreign language, with an app? Nowadays, with the booming tech industry, thousands of new apps are launched every day and there is an app for absolutely everything. It was obvious that apps would include learning languages soon or later. Working as a private French teacher, many of my students were or are using French language apps to improve their skills in French. I love learning languages myself and I have tried a few of them. A recent article in the German newspaper Frankfurt Allegemeine mentioned a study on the benefits of learning French or any foreign language with an app. According to the study, success can only be reached under certain conditions such as: regularity, motivation, knowing all the functionalities of the app and by having a long term vision. In my opinion, if you are starting from scratch and looking…
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your accent your friend
French language tips
Wednesday January 23rd, 2019

Do you speak French with an accent? Your accent is your friend!

Let’s talk about why your accent is actually your partner in crime when you speak French. Did you know that, in Paris and all throughout France, even native French speakers from other French regions or countries are asked ALL THE TIME "Where do you come from?” Stop self-bashing yourself because you speak French with an accent After around 20 hours of private Portuguese classes (coucou Virginia), I arrived in Rio and I was pretty confident. Once in the taxi, the driver directly asked me "De onde é você?" (Where are you from). Damn, my accent is back again. How many times has it happened to you: You are somewhere in France, you speak in French, only to be asked "where do you come from?" - in English? First, if you talk in French, why the h*** would the person reply to you in English? Secondly, what's the point of talking about…
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Learn French before and after Brexit
Learn French
Monday January 7th, 2019

7 good reasons to learn French before and after Brexit

Why Brexit is a good time for you to learn French There isn’t a single day that goes by in Europe without hearing something about Brexit. So far, we have heard absolutely everything including fake news, conspiracy theories… Brexit here, Brexit there, Brexit with chocolate, Brexit gluten free.... All the news and our conversations with our colleagues and friends include at least a comment about Brexit. At the moment while I am writing this article (December 2018), we still don’t know what is going on. Nobody, including European deputies know what is going to happen, when and how. By the time they finally get over their break up, let’s not waste time waiting until the last episode, let’s take the Brexit as an opportunity for us - not for them. An opportunity to see our future differently and create or include a plan B, C, D in our lives. Let's…
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