Information about Language Schools

Jan 16th, 2011, 04:32 PM
  #1  
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Information about Language Schools

I am thinking about going to France for 2 weeks to study French. I want to learn French, but also be immersed in the city and the culture. Has anyone been to Coeur de France in Sancerre or CLE in Tours? Do you have recommendations or would you recommend a different school? Thanks!
SusanA is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 08:41 PM
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I have been to both and enjoyed both experiences. That said, there were differences. I found CLE to take a more rigorous approach to teaching, and there was more homework. Many of the students were studying for their employment although there were others like me who were there for "enrichment". That school also had students from all over the world, and French was our common language, which kept us on task even during breaks, lunch, weekends, etc. It was a very worthwhile two weeks, and I felt that I made a lot of progress in that short time.

When I was at Coeur de France, everyone attending was an anglophone, and there was a more light-hearted approach to learning. It was a pleasant experience, but I did not feel that I improved my speaking or comprehension very much.

My recommendation: if you want to work hard and learn a great deal, go to CLE. If, OTOH, you want a more laid back experience in a charming French village, go to Coeur de France.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about my short sojourns at both places.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 01:56 AM
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I have been to Crea Langues in Provence and am organising a group of Aussies to go there this year. It is total immersion in the language and there are lots of activities (all done in French) throughout the day and evening. The food is sensational!!! You meet lots of interesting people from all over the world. Check it out, www.crealangues.com Schnauzer
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Jan 17th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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My daughter is planning to do a course in Lyon at the end of the year at Lyon Bleu http://www.lyon-bleu.fr/2-32-Home.php I will ask her to do a trip report when she gets back.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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Thank you for all your replies. Grandmere you helped me make my decision. I am going to choose CLE since I would like to learn as much as possible on this trip. Did you take many of the excursions at CLE? Was it possible to engage people in the city in conversation? I am planning to do a homestay, so I am hoping the hosts will be available and will speak with me in French also. Any hints are welcome.

Thank you.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 08:41 PM
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Susan, I just wrote you a long reply answering all your questions and then some, but I hit something wrong when previewing, and it disappeared! Getting late here in PA, but I will get back to this tomorrow.

I think you are making a good decision if you want a school where the mission is taken seriously.

More later!
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Jan 18th, 2011, 06:41 AM
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Back again!
I did a homestay with a family that consisted of a couple my age and their teen age son; they had two older daughters who were married and lived elsewhere. The couple and I had lots in common, and the son interacted with us, also. There were two other students staying in the same house so there were plenty of people to talk with, and it was all in French. It was very pleasant to linger at the table chatting and to sit outside in the evenings, and the late sundown (June) was deceiving and seductive; I had to tear myself away to do my homework!
As to your concern about your hosts being available to speak in French to you: I imagine that CLE chooses families that want to interact with their guests. Where I stayed the husband worked in Paris all week, home on weekends, and hosting students was the wife's "career", so to speak. I was made to "feel at home", and it was a very positive experience.

At school "alliances" formed along class lines (and therefore speaking abilities) rather than nationality or age, and I ate lunch, took breaks, everyday with the members of my class, went to a movie one night with them, etc. The first week I was the only American in my class of 7 (maximum in class--a real plus) and probably next to the oldest.
I had traveled to Tours with a good friend, but we were in different classes, stayed in different homes and rarely saw each other except to say, "Hi" so there was no temptation to speak English. She stayed in a household with an older widow, and they kept up a correspondence for years.

On the middle weekend I did a school-sponsored tour of some chateaux, and one night the school organized a dinner party in a Michelin-starred restaurant with a well-known chef, Jean Bardet.

I was really busy and did little shopping, etc., and because of all the people to talk with in my household plus classmates, I did not feel the need to engage townspeople in long conversations. My head was swimming with French so when I was out alone, it was nice to just have some quiet moments! Believe me, it is total immersion--French 24/7.

There were seven levels of classes, and I tested into the 6th, my friend into the 7th; we were pleased, not having studied French since our college days. I assume you are not a beginner, but even they were encouraged to speak French as much as possible.

Good luck and again, anything I can add to be helpful, just let me know.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 12:19 PM
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That sounds perfect! I am already looking forward to my stay. I am an Intermediate speaker so will probably be in the B1 or B2 class. I am continuting to study now to improve my level before I go in June.

The afternoons seem to be very free so I thought at that time one would have the opportunity to visit the city and perhaps find opportunities to speak with the people there. I know it is hard to speak with strangers, so I am glad to know you had other opportunities.

Thanks again for all your information. I love to hear it all!
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Jan 18th, 2011, 12:19 PM
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That sounds perfect! I am already looking forward to my stay. I am an Intermediate speaker so will probably be in the B1 or B2 class. I am continuting to study now to improve my level before I go in June.

The afternoons seem to be very free so I thought at that time one would have the opportunity to visit the city and perhaps find opportunities to speak with the people there. I know it is hard to speak with strangers, so I am glad to know you had other opportunities.

Thanks again for all your information. I love to hear it all!
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Jan 18th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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When I was there, we had classes on two afternoons a week but perhaps that has changed.
You certainly will have opportunities to speak French all the time in the city and wherever you are. I didn't have anyone try to speak English to me as sometimes happens in Paris. If your experience is like mine, you will be surrounded by people speaking French for the whole two weeks.

CLE was privately owned and run by a young-ish couple; I had read about it in the NYT a few years before I attended. I'm not sure if the organization is still the same or not. I haven't looked at the site in a long time.

What month are you planning to go?

Have a wonderful trip, and please come back and post about it.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 03:26 PM
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I just looked at the site, and it seems to be still owned by Herve and Isabelle. That's good; I was afraid maybe it had been bought out by a large firm. There's also a link to the NYT article that I mentioned reading many years ago now.
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Jan 19th, 2011, 11:29 AM
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I think I will go May 28-June 11 since that fits my work schedule. Unfortunately, there is a holiday on June 2 so there will not be class on that day. If I put it off a week, there is another holiday June 13 so I guess I will just lose a day of lessons. I'll need to make an effort to connect with other students that day for an activity. I did read the NYT article.
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