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What I learned in French class this week

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Bonjour from Provence, where I have been studying (encore!) French at Millefeuille*Provence, just northeast of Avignon in tiny, don*t blink-your-eyes village called St. Genies de Comolas. I am using a French keyboard, so this may be brief! My learning curve with the keyboard is on a par with my French!

It*s hard not to compare this experience to that of last summer when I studied with my daughter in a similar but smaller program called Parlons en Provence in nearby Noves.I don*t want to rate one over the other, however, as both have their charm. I will try to simply describe this program on its face value.

MP accepts perhaps 15 students at a time; they can take students (over age 20 I am told) at a range of levels and coordinate programs for them in subgroups. One takes an exam and then is placed in a group. They also consider your interest in studying French and adapt the curriculum somewhat to your stated needs. My discussion classes were never more than 3 students; we met as a group with three different teachers over the course of the day. One can pay more (a bit steep I thought) for individual instruction within the daily schedule. My immediate study group, as well as the larger group of students was very congenial and the teachers and directors were lovely.

The setting is an old chateau in reasonably good repair; there is a pool and one can borrow one of two velos (my daily outing!) to peruse the countryside. The environs are mixed; one notices the mining and related industry in the panorama. They are literally cutting a mountain down to size...sort of sad to see but one needs rocks I guess! I did manage to find many tiny chemins through vineyards and along the edges of fields of turnesols that made for pleasant biking. It was kind of fun to bike across an old bridge that allows secondARy traffic over the Rhone.

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