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Paris: Students / Language Schools
If you're going to spend any time in Paris, it's really essential that you learn at least some of the basics of the French language if you're going to enjoy yourself.
There are an incredible number of language schools in Paris (the French Consulate issues a list of 149 pages for all of France). All of us have different preferences, and are of differing levels of knowledge, but there are some questions you should ask to check out the school is right for you. And preferably you should actually visit them before choosing.
Choosing a Language School
Schools offer a variety of programs and teaching methods for students at different levels of understanding French. The most hard-core and effective tend to be the residential complete immersion style but they're also the most expensive. The InTransit website suggest you ask these questions before deciding:
- What is the average number of students per class? - Higher numbers will allow you to meet more people but will limit the amount of one-on-one time with your tutor.
- Cost of the programs - programs run for varing periods and you should find out if you are able to test a class before you commit to spending your money - few offer refunds. Good language schools will offer a free trial.
- Do they have an assessment exam? - Most schools should test your ability to ensure they place you in a class at the right level. You don't want to be wasting your time and money!
- What is the timetable? Make sure you can attend the classes - there are intense programs, evening classes, weekend classes at the better schools. Get the right level of intensity - can you really cope with 7 hours a day of solid French?
Here are three articles written by people who have studied in France about their experiences:
Studying French in France
Study French at L’Atelier 9 in Paris In November of 2005 Diana Saluri Russo attended a small language school in Paris for two weeks
No Age Limits for Study Abroad in France a 29 year old American woman from Los Angeles discovers that age is no barrier to learning French in Paris
Language Schools Links:
Helen studied at the Alliance Francaise in her younger days, it's huge though:
101 Bd Raspail
Tel : 33 (0)188.8.131.52.00
Fax : 33 (0)184.108.40.206.00
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
SprachCaffé has a very helpful website and a good reputation.
But rather than give you long lists of French Language Schools here, we will refer you to source pages which will provide you with details:
Language Schools Paris, Learning French in Paris (InTransit)
Study French in France (Transitions Abroad)
Finally, if you want to do a bit of learning online before you go, this site is a winner:
Learn French online for free!
This is a great site, you choose the phrase you want to hear and listen to the pronunciation (you can learn French in 7 different languages!).
- Greetings and Courtesies
- Alphabet, Numbers, Days, Months and Seasons
- Question Words, Quantities, Weather, and Time
- Asking for Help, Emergencies
- Banks, Taxis, and Restaurants
- Transportation and Finding Your Way
- Touring, Socializing, and Famous Expressions
- Love and Romance