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Has anyone attended language school in Paris?

Interested in attending language school while in Paris. Has anyone done this and which school would you recommend ? Just received info on Alliance Francaise Paris Ile de France school.., had anyone been there?

Posted by
9436 posts

I went to the Alliance Francaise for a year back in 1975. It was good then and I believe it still is.

Posted by
10359 posts

Oui. Like Susan back in the 1970s. Very good experience at the Alliance Française on the Blvd. Raspail in Paris, and I made friends from around the world.

Posted by
335 posts

If sgoldblmca will be there for a time period, then taking a class makes sense, for a 1 week visit - not so much. I've thought about doing this but only know what I call "tourist French" (hello, goodbye, please, thank you, etc.) so have been too intimidated to throw myself into a class with anyone who knows even a little bit more. Does Alliance Francaise take TRUE beginners or is there another place in Paris that helps those of us who have tried and tried (CD's, continuing education classes, etc.) to learn basic conversational French but our brains just won't absorb it?

Posted by
3696 posts

Typically these classes are one on one... At least there are all through Central America. I have attended a number of classes while traveling in Guatemala and felt it greatly enhanced my trip. Not only did I spend time with a local teacher I learned more than I would have on my own. Most are flexible and can be as little as a few hours a day. I would never look at it as a 'waste' of time...especially given that it is something you want to do.

Posted by
380 posts

If you go to the Paris Alliance Francaise website, you will see that they do take absolute beginners. However, studies have shown that students will get the most benefit from in-country learning if they've already have at least one if not two years of studies. There are Alliance Francaise in the USA.
Language schools whether in France, Spain, Italy or Germany will have tourist, cultural activities for their students. It's not classes all day unless that's what you want. Most of the time, it's about 2-3 hours of class in the morning and the afternoons are free for sightseeing. Most schools can arrange home stay with a family which may appeal to some.
You get to meet people from all over the world. My German class in Vienna had Italian college students, a Spanish cardiologist, a Polish physics major, a Japanese ski instructor, a Taiwanese studying bassoon. I swore beforehand that I would not go into a McD, but the girl from Finland (there were no McDs in Finland then) said she had to get a big Mac.
I love learning languages. I plan vacations to go learn. It's a personal choice. Definitely not a "waste" for me.

Posted by
25 posts offers a variety of courses in French as well. Our niece recently took their courses while in Paris for the year; she raves about the program!

Has anyone heard of Centre Linguistique Etrangers (CLE)? I believe they have French classes in Tours as well as elsewhere.

Posted by
9882 posts

I would think one would be highly unlikely to find a one-on-one language class here that one could even begin to afford. Labor is just too expensive. You might find on some exchange website a student willing to exchange some hours at a cafe for some English conversation in return.

I too agree that a language class would be a wonderful component of a visit, but I've only taken semester-long classes at the Institut Catholique in the 6th. They do offer shorter courses, I think. For me they were a good alternative to the Alliance Française, which of course is the big "name" school that we all know about because of its presence in the U.S. and worldwide.

Posted by
1176 posts

For someone interested in the language and already with some proficiency, taking a few hours of class in Paris might be an interesting thing to do, the same way some people take cooking classes or whatever. But if you are starting from a total beginner or novice level, then a few hours of instruction is unlikely to move the peg very much. For longer term study, a smaller village may be a better choice. As in any big city, life in Paris is rushed and locals don't have the time to teach French to visitors.