WHY DO FRENCH IMMERSION IN FRANCE ?
So you will be speaking French all the time, all day long!
In a classroom setting, you only have a few, short opportunities to practice French orally. However, with Julie in France, you won't have a choice! You will be obliged to spend 6-7 hours a day speaking only French with Julie.
Even beginners who have never spoken French will be encouraged to take the dive en français with simple phrases. Before you know it, you’ll be making rapid progress and connecting with the locals!
You will gain proficiency, increase your vocabulary, and get rid of bad habits.
Practicing French all day with your teacher, the immersion takes effect : you improve fluency little by little, and increase your vocabulary. And a great “plus” of this program : Julie takes notes during your conversations, so you will keep track of the new vocabulary or important grammar points. If you keep making the same mistakes, Julie will stop you and remind you of the correction until the error finally disappears.
After a while, you will realize that you are actually thinking in French and not relying on the exhausting linguistic gymnastics of constant translation between English and French. Many of Julie’s students even experience dreaming in French during their immersion stay. This is a sign that your immersion experience has succeeded as the French language has found its way into your subconscious mind.
Get off the beaten track and live like a local
You may have heard French people say that "Paris is not France". It is a good thing to leave Paris for your French immersion so you can really see the cultural richness of all the different regions of France. The city of Avignon, with its medieval ramparts, is a must see for history lovers!
Avignon indeed served as the capital of the papacy from 1309 to 1376, and the City was part of the papal States up until the French Revolution. The old papal residence still exists today and is known as the Palais des Papes (Popes' Palace).
The whole region is filled with history. Julie will also tell you about the Huguenots battle with the Dragonnades (Louis XIV's persecution of Protestants) and how the plague hit Marseille and Provence in the XVIIth century, or about Van Gogh’s life in Saint Rémy and Arles.
You will return home with not only a new language skill but lifetime memories of a dream vacation in the South of France!
In this immersion program, we work on the assumption that deep learning is only possible when you are relaxed and kind with yourself. This is the reason why excursions and informal learning are the core of this language immersion. Two excursions / activities are organized per week, one inside the walls of Avignon, the other beyond.
Avignon and Provence are renowned for year-round blue skies and sunshine. People from all over France, Europe and the world come to our region for its climate, its rich history, our laid back lifestyle, gorgeous landscapes, and unparalleled gastronomy. Throughout your immersion experience, your teacher Julie shows you the best of Provence. By the end of your visit, you will suddenly realize that you absorbed the French language and its culture into your very soul.
You will have your very own personal French teacher.
Unlike other language school programs with large classes of foreign students, this unique immersion program offers you a one-on-one experiential education. You will have much more speaking time than in any other language school. Julie is only focusing on you, tailoring the course to your specific level and needs.
If you want to learn French with a friend or in family, Julie can take up to 3 students at a time with similar levels. If possible, a 2 student French immersion experience is ideal. This scenario makes learning dynamic and stimulating.
Julie is an experienced teacher and will quickly anticipate your needs. She comes up with original ways for you to work on weak points, like playing board games, or using flashcards and pictures.
Julie speaks fluent English, German, Portuguese and some Spanish, so she can always resort to using another language which is sometimes necessary in order to prepare your trip, to explain a tricky grammar point, or to translate a word in your language, if charades and all else fails!
As spoken French improves, so do the beautiful smiles!
As you may know, there are lots of differences between school French and the language that is actually spoken in France. Contractions and chopped words make it difficult to understand programs without subtitles or a conversation between French friends. This is why a great part of this immersion program focuses on getting your ear used to spoken French.
You will learn to speak French like the French!
During this immersion program in Avignon, as you experience a French life abroad with your teacher, you use idiomatic expressions in context - rather than learning a list of expressions. At some point of your immersion, you will be at ease spouting out expressions like: “Oh, la vache!”, “On mets les voiles!” and “Les droits dans le nez!”, or possibly “être rond comme un queue de pelle" !. Only learning the language abroad with a native will this level of fluency happen.
You will be staying in a former Hôtel Particulier.
While you learn French in immersion, you will be staying in a mansion (what we call in French a Hôtel Particulier) with original moldings, high ceilings, old fireplaces and authentic tiles. The apartment belonged to Nicolas Mignard, court painter to Louis XIV and a friend of Molière, who performed himself some of his plays in my courtyard from 1655 to 1657. In 1658, Nicolas Mignard painted his famous portrait, which can be found in Musée Carnavalet in Paris.
I decorated the apartment myself - I love to shop for antiques in the nearby brocantes ! I will make sure your French immersion will be a fully unique experience, not only in the language but also in French history and culture.
You will taste local food, cook some French specialties
Do you know la fougasse? It’s a specialty from the region that is just delicious for the "apero time" (l'apéritif) –and one that you won’t find in Paris! While you learn French in immersion in Avignon, you will also taste the best ratatouille, tapenade or aïolade, many tasty cheeses and renowned wines –just for the asking!
Of course, if you have some space in your suitcase, you can buy a bottle or two of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine to enjoy with your friends back home, or, like these immersion students, buy all the salted butter in sight to give to your friends after your return!