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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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:

Alliance Francaise ParisAlliance Française

101 Bd Raspail
Paris 75006
Tel : 33 (0)1.42.84.90.00
Fax : 33 (0)1.42.84.91.00
Email : info@alliancefr.org

 

SprachCaffeSprachCaffé 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)


Learn online

Finally, if you want to do a bit of learning online before you go, this site is a winner:

Bonjour logoBonjour!
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!).

 

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