Learning French comes in a variety of ways. From interactive toys to online lessons to French theatre with English surtitles to language speed speaking to traditional one-on-one lessons or studying abroad. The list keeps growing to fit your convenience.
Some ideas from the past for young ages like the P’tit nours bears have given way to Snow & Stella, Lily Lapin, a friend of Pierre Lapin’s, and the very popular ChiChi Love, the showstar Chihuahua. Two large toy stores in Paris stock and innumerable quantity of French and bi-lingual toys and animals.
Adults over 15 need not worry because fun is in store for you! Frantastique, a humorous online learning tool that trains and improves your French grammar and listening skills with fifteen-minute lessons of cartoons, vocabulary and grammar quizzes with corrections. For hard copy and online quizzes, FUSAC (France USA Contacts) publishes Speak Easy puzzle books and becoming French books.
If you want to practice your French or English communication, leadership and presentation skills, Toastmasters International has twenty-two Toastmaster clubs in the Paris area. MeetUp is a great way to mingle with the French for hobby activities and conversation.
JouéClub Village à Paris (I visited 3/5 boulevard des Italiens Metro: Richelieu Drouot lines 8 or 9)
La Grand Récré (I visited the one at 27 boulevard Poissonnière, Metro: Grands Boulevards)
For more details on the toys, see the slideshow below.
Online learning tool – Frantastique
Frantastique – use this link for a free month of lessons after the trial. Corrections available in the blink of an eye. I can attest, you will love it.
Frantastique is a language improving tool that I started using and then stopped … Imagine how far along I could have been now! ;-)
Revisions; reminders of past mistakes are one thing that helps me notice my improvement. The subtle reminders and reviews seem to stick better to the brain without even realizing it. I woke up one morning thinking about the usage of ce, cet, cette and ces.
The program uses imaginary characters and is actually fun to use. You control how often you wish to receive lessons (I had to reduce from an ambitious five down to three a week). Each lesson takes about fifteen minutes, including the quizzes. The program works best for those over fifteen years of age. Worldwide, Frantastique (a French company) helps two million users (French and English) improve their French online.
FUSAC– The multilingual, multicultural marketplace
FUSAC has an online boutique to find their publications. Lisa and John Vanden Bos have created and compiled volumes of their Speak Easy puzzle books to increase your French brain power and knowledge with phrases, quotes and proverbs.
To entice the French in you even more, Shari Segall, Lisa Vanden Bos and Judit Halász have put together a very humorous, easy to love “90+ Ways You Know You Are Becoming French“. Volume 3 of their Speak Easy puzzles came out in 2016.
Some trivia about FUSAC
Translation of La petite histoire of FUSAC:
In the 1980s, John Vanden Bos, originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, traveled back and forth regularly to Paris, giving English courses to survive. At the time, English teachers found students by posting bulletin board notices here and there around town. The student would call and arrange the lessons. In 1986, John read an article about a man who started his own magazine about baseball using a new technology. The CAP-computer assisted publishing (later called DTP-desktop publishing) (PAO-publication assistée par ordinateur) technology now allowed a publisher to set typography and layout without using a conventional printer and printing press.
The FUSAC light bulb went off in John’s head! He and everyone else advertising on these bulletin boards were aiming at a niche market for the Paris English-speaking community.
1988 combining the CAP technology and this market, John published his first four-page, black and white bulletin every two weeks.
1991 Color was added
1998 Internet version of FUSAC introduced
2000 The largest edition of 80 pages published
2012 FUSAC’s 500th edition
Theatre in Paris provides surtitles (opposite of subtitles) to French mainstream plays. The current play listing for Theatre in Paris is available in English. Watching the plays from choice balcony seats makes it easy to work on your French listening skills and cheat by looking at the surtitles.
Conversation Exchange – French/English
Personal tutoring – Claire Brossard is a professional instructor available to give French lessons to women.
She lives in Neuilly sur Seine.
Contact her at: 06 83 85 54 61 (cell)
0146 40 02 51 (home).
Anglo-Info – examples of language exchange opportunities
MeetUp – type in keywords: language, Paris, exchange
Franglish – Paris: 7 minutes in English/7 minutes in French at Paris bars and pubs
InterNations – Business networking for Expats
Speed Speaking in French/English
Franglish is a French/English language exchange event taking place four to five times per week in some of the best venues across Paris.
It is a one-to-one conversation event. People participate in at least 5 sessions of 15 minutes each (one native French speaker and one native English speaker). During one session, French is spoken half the time and English the other half.
After each session participants switch tables and meet a new language partner. It is very easy for people to learn a language and meet locals in a friendly atmosphere.
Over 30 people attend each event and it’s a good mix of ages, and their French/English doesn’t have to be perfect. A lot of people come who speak very little French/English. A bilingual organizer is there to guide and help people during the events.
English speakers like the concept, and most of them come back to our events. If you are interested, contact us, and we will be very happy to tell you more about Franglish.
We invite you to come to one of our events. More details are available on our Franglish Website.
French language and study abroad
The Web site “eHow” contains a page for “ How to Learn Key French Phrases” They list the top five on the home page. When you click on one, it takes you to the video page. Below the video screen is the entire selection of common French phrases that Expert Village has produced. These videos include for food, asking questions, restaurants, emergencies, entertainment, weather, months of the year, etc.
101 French Idioms
According to their website:
“Paris Version à la Française is a learning center
Our week language and culture course is aimed at Francophiles who already have a basic knowledge of French.
Linguistic program If you want to improve your French while visiting Paris, you want to speak it.
Our method is based on lively approach to French language with your active participation.
We offer varied and friendly lessons which will help you speak French.
Cultural program Coming back to Paris, you want to know the real Paris of Parisians and not the touristy Paris.
Our cultural program is based on discovering new districts and areas and getting to know Parisians.
We offer different walks and visits every day.
Visit their website for a “Typical day”
French word a day
Kristin Espinasse has a daily website for those who would like to learn a French word a day.
Centre International d’Antibes/ATOLL
Centre International d’Antibes/ATOLL is a group of French language schools in France that offer French courses for all ages, levels and interests.
This translation service offers a range of language services, including a free online English-French, German-French translation tool; French language paraphrasing tool; and a collection of English-French useful phrases.
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