With more than 25 years’ experience, we believe that immersion is the most effective way of learning French. This means that you are encouraged to speak French from the moment you wake up on Monday morning and at every opportunity thereafter. That includes meal times, when socialising with other guests, when talking to staff members, the chef, even the gardener – EVERYBODY ! And because all our facilities (accommodation, classes, meals) are on-site, it’s easy to maintain immersion.
In our lessons, active speaking practice is encouraged regardless of your level or ability. This engenders confidence in conversational skills and you are rapidly encouraged to try and speak in real-life situations. Emphasis is placed on pronunciation – a vital element in being understood. All our teachers are native certified French instructors who can explain grammar and vocabulary to beginners, in English, if necessary. Intermediate and advanced students speak only in French.
Classes are small to offer a maximum of speaking time and personal attention. You will be encouraged to speak French throughout the day – 14 hours a day – and then continue to speak French over a good meal and wine. The French-only rule at the dinner table for French-studying guests accelerates understanding through total immersion. What better way is there to learn to speak French than at a French table?
Our classes are either one-to-one or groups of no more than 6 per group (or 7 for university groups).This small number allows the tutor to provide individual attention and cater to the particular needs of each person.
We have developed an online French test that all our French language guests are asked to complete before submitting their application form. If you score 7 or less, you are considered a beginner and we invite you to attend any of the beginner’s courses. If you score more than 7 then you can choose any of the remaining courses.
Guests are invited to arrive on Sunday evenings. A warm welcome awaits you and you will be taken to your accommodation to settle in. At 7.30pm you meet your fellow guests for a three-course dinner prepared by our in-house chef.
Next morning, after breakfast, a private oral test is given to complete the assessment and guarantee that classes are as homogeneous as possible. Then it’s off to class! There’s a mid-morning coffee break, then back to class to finish at 12.30, in time for a tasty lunch. A welcome break after lunch is followed by French cooking courses or further French immersion classes, where applicable. For others not taking afternoon or evening classes, there’s the whole of France to discover, so take a bike ride, a drive, a train ride, or simply explore the local area on foot.
Dinners are at 7.30pm and are informal three-course meals with wine. After dinner, you’re free to go out or have an early night – whatever you prefer. Courses finish on Friday and you are encouraged to stay for Friday night’s dinner – a chatty, hearty affair. After breakfast on Saturday, it’s farewells all round as we wish you bon voyage!