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Tag: IMMERSION PROGRAM IN FRANCE

Five Good Reasons to Learn French

Five Good Reasons to Learn French

Five Good Reasons to Learn French

For many years you may have heard that learning French is not necessarily useful. In truth, French is useful in a variety of ways and here we propose 5 Good Reasons to get started on your French language training.

Reason #1
200,000,000 people speak French on 5 continents. French is taught in every country in the world and France has at its disposal a network of world-wide cultural institutions, allowing 750,000 people to benefit from French classes every year.

Reason #2
Learning a foreign language is good for the brain, especially when we age, and since we are all getting older….. In 2014, a study led by Scottish researchers showed that bilingualism has a positive effect on cognitive function and on the beginning stages of dementia. A strong motivation to consider an Immersion Program in France !

Reason #3
Can you respond to the following questions:
What do we call a person who speaks three languages?
Response: Trilingual
What do we call a person who speaks two languages?
Response: Bilingual
What do we call a person who speaks one language?
Response: French!
In fact, according to recent data, even though they learn French in France, 1/3 of French citizens don’t speak a foreign language, so if you are traveling to France and want to be understood, knowing a little French can definitely be useful!

Reason #4
Imagine for a moment…. You are in a French patisserie and you say in French, « I would like 3 macarons: one chocolate, the second, raspberry and the third, lemon and also, could you please add that delicious-looking tarte tatin ? » Next, you seat yourself on a sun-soaked terrace at a magnificent counter, and you order your Nespresso® in French (not like George Clooney does in our French television commercials).
Thanks to our Immersion Program in France, consider the pride you will feel by speaking French as you savor typical French dishes …. How awesome! You might even consider learning how to make these French pastries yourself by enrolling in French and cooking courses!

Reason #5
It’s well known that French is the language of love, in fact, many French novels are linked to love: La Princesse de Clèves by Madame de la La Fayette, Belle du Seigneur by Albert Cohen or even Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, etc.
And everyone knows this phrase that has made its ways around the globe: “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?”!

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You want to speak French with a French accent… OK, but which one ?

You want to speak French with a French accent… OK, but which one ?

You want to speak French with a French accent… OK, but which one ?

If you tried to learn french, you are now aware of the different accents you may encounter. Probably so far, you know of the “regular” French accent, and the French Canadian accent.

And you also spotted that French Canadian spoken in Quebec is not differing from French spoken in France because of differences in vocabulary but also in the accent that French from France find very amusing for some reason.

But whether we are talking about Quebec or France, inside those two countries, there are even more accents. France has a great diversity of accents. So, what could be better than an immersion program in France to discover all of them and – why not – choose yours?

Your high school level of French might help you go around Montreal, but if you go further North, until you reach the city of Saguenay and the nearby Lac St-Jean, you will find the way they speak quite different, and to a certain degree almost impossible to understand if your ear has been mostly used to French from France.

When we think about the French accent, we actually think of the accent of Paris, what French from the south of France call “L’accent pointu” (The sharp or pointed accent).

If you watch an old Marcel Pagnol movie, you will listen to another accent, one from the South East of France, from Marseille. Generally, any accent heard in the South of France is called “un accent chantant” (a singing accent) by the rest of France. It seems that this accent is adding some extra “euh” at almost every word. Between the South East of France and the South West, you will hear a slight difference, the one between the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea.

But dividing accents in France between North and South would be a mistake, as you also find accents in the French campaign, a rougher one, and how about Alsace, where it sounds closer to a German accent, or the North of France, that seems to replace “A” in words by “O”.

France is not the only place in Europe with French accents: let’s not forget Switzerland, where French seems to be in slow motion, and last but not least, the Belgian accents, as this small country as more accents in French than it should.

So next time you listen to a native speaker of French, try to wonder from his accent from where he might be. If you want to learn more about our Immersive French School, read our article about our methods.

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New Activity at the Ecole des 3 Ponts

New Activity at the Ecole des 3 Ponts

New Activity at the Ecole des 3 Ponts

Make no mistake about it, hiking in France is experiencing growing popularity with many enthusiasts. In addition to the pleasures of discovering the bounty of the region, walking remains an excellent activity for maintaining good health.

 In the Loire district alone, there are nearly 7800 km of hiking paths on 264 trails.

Around the towns of Roanne and Riorges, we count no less than 143 walking trails which makes our region a paradise for hikers. Numerous circuits reveal a varied palette of countryside valleys, woodlands and vineyards. Some of the trails follow a portion of the Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle, a large portion of which has been honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In our region each year, thousands of pilgrims motivated by diverse reasons, follow the steps of their predecessors on this ancestral route and pass through charming villages such as Charlieu, St. Jean St. Maurice…

Last year, the Roannaise region re-delineated all the paths and just published a new hiking guide that details walks of 11 to 25 km. What about discovering this bracing Immersion Program in France ?

Following this trend and responding to a growing demand by our clients, in 2016 the team at the Ecole des Trois Ponts is inaugurating a French Language and Countryside Walks class. Among the team, Valérie and Laetitia are themselves enthusiastic hikers. This session is accessible for everyone, whatever your fitness level. The walks can vary from 6 to 10 km and will lead you to discover the beauty of the Loire countryside with lovely vistas overlooking the Roannaise plain and the Loire gorges.

This activity will encourage you to express yourself in French with targeted support to enhance the knowledge you have acquired in class.

More informations on our dedicated page about countryside walks.

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Wine and France a love story, founded in History and Geography

Wine and France a love story, founded in History and Geography

Wine and France a love story, founded in History and Geography

It is simply impossible to refer to France without talking about wine. One of the main aspect of French culture revolves around its relation to winery, and even its landscapes in many regions of the country have been shaped by the way vineyards were settled, especially in the southern part of France. Any cooking lessons in a French language course in France would be incomplete if we did not mention wine.

Here is an unavoidable activity in our Immersion Program in France: the Cooking and Gastronomy Tour.

If the history of wine in Gaul brings us back to the time when Etruscan and Greeks brought it to the Mediterranean coast of what is now known as France, the modern development of winery is linked to the way Christianity needed wine for its most important ceremonies. This wine was more used for liturgical reason that pleasure. But this will not last. As early as the 13th century, people started to make classifications of wine, from the best to the worst.

Still now, history and geography helped shape the modern map of French winery, from Bordeaux and its world renowned regions and vineyards, like Médoc, Sauternes, or Saint-Emilion, just to name a few.

Going a little further east, the wine lover will arrive in the “Côte du Rhône” area, one of the birthplace of the Beaujolais wine, which annual release is the pretext for what is now a worldwide event, perfectly marketed by the local winemakers and importers.

Beside the Beaujolais, we also have our local wine, next to Trois Ponts French language school, the Côte Roannaise, made from the same type of grapes than the Beaujolais

Many other regions of France possesses vineyards, like the Champagne that created the fizzy beverage, or even Paris, on the hills of Montmartre, or Alsace with the Gewurztraminer.

But still, one on French people favorite wine, is the one they drink for the aperitif during those long summer nights: Le Rosée.

This pink wine is drink chilled, and if not consider as one of the greatest, its freshness is synonymous to vacations. One of our most popular tours at the Ecole des Trois Ponts, the Cooking and Gastronomy Tour is available in either English or French.

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Event at the Scarabée in Riorges, France

Event at the Scarabée in Riorges, France

Event at the Scarabée in Riorges, France

The Charolais Festival, recognized at a national level, takes place this weekend for its 9th annual exposition.  The event spotlights in “Scarabée” the agricultural world through numerous tastings, competitions, presentations and discoveries.

Scarabée is the name of a large hall, where many events take place all year long. Taking part is a real and intense way to immerse in french culture.

This celebration brings together participants from the beef industry and the general public in order to present ways of better recognizing and understanding the role of the farmer, to secure and strengthen the links between different industry participants from producer to consumer, and to promote quality bovine meats, by way of the Charolais breed.

A meeting of animals and livestock producers

This breed, which is globally recognized for its succulent meat and authenticity, strongly differentiates our terroir, an area of lush, wooded landscapes at the crossroads of Burgundy and Auvergne.
This is a wonderful opportunity to see more than 450 Charolais cattle, to attend a livestock breeders’ competition, and of course to sample some Charolais beef.
At the École des Trois Ponts, during our special weeks of French and Countryside Walks, we have many chances to see these cows in their native environment.  During mealtimes, we serve dishes using quality ingredients and our Chef Lilian is proud to incorporate Charolais beef in multiple variations: in stews, filets….

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Hiking, a meditative activity

Hiking, a meditative activity

Hiking, a meditative activity

Walking and hiking is not just a way to keep your physical condition as good as possible, it also works as an excellent way to let you mind wander away as you go through your path.

Could silent countryside walks be a kind of immersion program in France?

Indeed, hiking is one of the best way to free your mind and meditate. If you take French lessons in France, you might want to have a partner with you to talk to, but hiking can also be an opportunity to keep silent and let your brain digest your newly acquired language skills and start thinking by yourself in French.

Meditation is a way to impregnate yourself with new information, and hiking allows to increase this capacity in a much easier way. The efforts required to walk allows your mind to focus less on the least important details and lock on the basics, like the panorama you see, the landscapes you hike in, the careful steps you take not to stumble. All the elements combined together put you mind in a special set that is very similar to meditation.

Walking in nature is certainly the best way to trigger the meditation mode in hiking : the noises of the forest, the sound of the wind, the birds’ chirping, the gentle crisp of your shoes on brown leaves lying on the ground, the feeling of the air on your skin, the light from the sun bouncing on stones, trees and earth makes this experience essential to the mind.

If you hike in a group, you will notice that gradually everyone will stop talking. First the efforts required can make it harder to walk and talk, but, moreover, the need to connect with nature in human silence will be met by all. Nobody will need to communicate with words as just a glance at your hiking partners will say much more than words.

Any sentence pronounced at that time will need to say the essential.

At the end of this meditative journey, you will not know how long it lasted, except you just wished it had been a little longer… Until next time.

Discover our French and Countryside Walks

This course is designed for those who want to strengthen their French but also explore the local countryside with walks from 5 kms to a maximum of 15 kms.  Walks are adapted for people with a moderate fitness level, with stops to take pictures and relax.

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How to succeed in learning French in a French immersion school ?

How to succeed in learning French in a French immersion school ?

Immersion Program in France - A One to One Course

How to succeed in learning French in a French immersion school ?

The French you learned during your school and college years is a little rusty. Old memories of your time trying to learn (or guess would be more appropriate) if a French word was feminine or masculine.

One question keeps coming back to your mind.

How do French people get it right everytime ? How to they remember all those rules, verb tenses and word gender ?

Make a list of your goals in your French language learning process

If you plan to learn French in immersion, you must ask yourself a few questions. The answers you will get will help you in your learning process.

What are my expectations and goals ? Are those goals reachable ? How much time am I willing to give to reach those goals ? How much will do I have ?

Taking part in an Immersion Program in France can answer many of those questions. But some of them need answers before.

Make sure that you are surrounded not necessarily with people who have the exact same level of French than you do, but that have the same motivation to improve.

Having this appropriate environment will help a lot to learn French in French immersion. In adult french courses, you will have a better chance to encounter people that are just like you and have the same goal: succeeding in learning French.

Your immersion will not last forever so you need to take every aspect of it, and extract the full potential of your time in French language immersion.

French immersion school, a safe place to learn

First of all, even when communicating with other students like you, keep your mindset on “French mode”. Making mistakes is normal, and your immersion is the perfect place to dare speaking and being wrong. Nobody will make fun of you, or belittle your for this. Mistakes is in the heart of any learning process. It is the most efficient way to remember the correct way of speaking French.

Cutting yourself away from an English-speaking environment can also be done by avoiding any contact with English texts or videos. This clearly means that your contact with internet must be as limited as possible.

Getting access to the Best French Immersion Programs is a key element, the one that will offer the appropriate way to learn French in France, by taking away the distraction that could push you back to the ease of speaking English.

  • We could sum it up with a few learning tips:
  • Focus on speaking French, even with other students.
  • Don’t mind making mistakes, this is the best way to learn
  • Run away from the internet

Adult french courses are the most efficient way to make the French immersion school efficient, as younger students may not be as motivated as you are

Being successful in learning French is just a matter of will, and we are helping you getting some.

If you want to know more about L’École des Trois Ponts and how you can immerse in the French language, here is your first step.

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Discover the historical and natural heritage of the Loire

Discover the historical and natural heritage of the Loire

Discover the historical and natural heritage of the Loire

Our school is located in the Loire, a French department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The name of the department comes from the name of the river that crosses it from south to north for more than 100 km. Its inhabitants are the Ligériens, this name comes from the Latin word for the river Liger. The prefecture of the department is Saint-Étienne.

Like several other French departments, the Loire department was created during the French Revolution (1793), following the separation of the Rhône-et-Loire department. A large part of its surface area comes from the former French province of Forez which was part of the Kingdom of Burgundy and was attached to the Kingdom of France in the 16th century. In 2016, the Rhône-Alpes region merged with the Auvergne region to become the greater Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the Loire became one of its department.

The Loire is a department with a very rich natural, historical and cultural heritage. There are several towns and villages remarkable for their architecture, often built on high ground, which offer beautiful views of the surroundings. They have preserved their medieval appearance over the centuries: you can find half-timbered houses, Romanesque and Gothic churches and abbeys, castles, watchtowers, dungeons, ramparts surrounding the towns. Among these very pleasant places to visit are the towns and villages of Lyon, Beaune, Dijon, Saint-Haon-le-Chatel, Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice, Charlieu, Ambierle, Sauvain, Montbrison, and there are many others.

There is also an important craft heritage in the Loire thanks to the presence and the reappearance of workshops and old trades such as the clog makers, the weavers who had made the reputation of the region during the last centuries and who made clothes and fabrics with silk, the potters, the glass makers… The Loire is a department which is composed of a lot of countryside, so there are many farms, producing mainly meat and cheese, which are turning more and more to an organic agriculture and short circuits to make the inhabitants benefit more directly from their products. You can also find many winemakers, mostly located on the Côte roannaise in the Loire, who produce quality wines, and we know this because the school offers their wines during meals to our students !

For nature and history lovers, there are many tourist itineraries and hiking trails throughout the department, on foot or by bike, which allow you to discover places of character at your own pace. You can find more information on the website of the Loire tourist office. The school also offers courses that combine the discovery of heritage and the practice of French through excursions in nature or in historic towns and villages, you can find out more by looking at our website. It is a good way to have a complete immersion in France, both linguistically and culturally.

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