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5 tips to choose a French course in France


5 tips to choose a French course in France

You’ve tried to learn French from books, at school, with private teachers or at evening French courses for adults, but never in a completely French environment.

Once you are out of the classroom, you don’t need to speak French anymore so you don’t use what you’ve learned and this is the problem. Nobody forces you and the situation you are in does not require you to speak French. Taking a complete French immersion course is the ideal solution.

To get a real taste of what French is all about, nothing is better than attending French courses in France. Once you are out of the classroom, you will have to put into practice what you have just learned.

We probably all know someone that went abroad and came back without having improved his language skills.

The reason is that simply following French courses in France is not enough to improve your capacity to understand and communicate with other French speakers. You need to learn how to speak French and to immerse yourself in French culture and spirit.

Here are 5 ways to choose the best French courses in France:

  1. Get away from Paris : Even though spending a fews days in the capital of France sounds like a great idea, if you want to learn French, this is the best way not to learn anything.  Paris is the most English-speaker friendly city in France. Moreover, by staying in Paris, chances are that you will be among people that are more focused on having fun than taking French courses in France.
  2. Make sure that you are among people that are as motivated as you : This is a direct consequence of point number one. French courses for adults are the best way to learn the language as your fellow students have the motivation and maturity to focus on learning French, just like you.
  3. Having French courses for adults doesn’t need to be boring : This is a pivotal element when choosing the best way to learn French in France. By adding an activity to your courses, you will be able to use the French that you learned in a real situation: it can be cooking lessons in French, walks in French, or anything that will allow you to use what you were taught.
  4. Communicate with the establishment where you will learn French prior to your visit :  Ask questions about the teachers, the level of the class to which you are assigned, the schedule and the intensity of the courses. You need to be completely comfortable when you arrive to avoid a bad surprise.
  5. Read online reviews : An excellent way to verify the quality of a specific French course in France, is by viewing what other people say about it.

Follow those tips and don’t enrol in the first French courses for adults in France you see online.

Feel free to contact us so we can answer any questions you may have.

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Why adult French courses are the best options to learn French in France ?


Best options to learn French in France

So many French language courses in France and all you need is to get the one that will fit your needs. Adult French courses have the specificity to allow people with the same interest to get together and focus on one goal : improving their level in French and getting the most out of their French language lessons in France.

Being surrounded by the wrong crowd

In many cases, adult students willing to learn how to speak French are disappointed by their experience, not necessarily because of the courses themselves, but essentially because they realise that other students are not attending French courses for the same reason as they do.

Most of the time, the age difference can explain the situation and some misunderstandings. Being surrounded by much younger students whose goal is radically different from yours is upsetting.

They might have been sent to a French school in France by their parents, and in this case, their level of motivation will certainly not be as important as yours.

Looking specifically for French courses for adults needs to be a major criteria when selecting a French school in France for your holidays.

Making sure you attend the adult French courses you need

When reaching a certain age, we tend to optimize our time in a more efficient way. With more experience and wisdom, we understand that investing our time and money in a French language school in France is not just about the features from the school, but also about the people we attend the French courses with.

It is a part of the French language immersion to be assured that the other students following the program have the same goal. This is also the only way to have the certainty that the group you will fit in will play by the rules of English language-free zone, especially during the time spent together outside of the classroom and the cooking lessons.

Don’t hesitate to check this specific issue before your subscribe to any French language school in order to prevent any misunderstanding.

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 for Adults French courses.

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Speaking French is also Singing in French


Speaking French is also Singing in French

Learning French in France can also turn the French classroom into a concert hall. You don’t need to be a professional singer to be a part of the show. What you need is just to learn the French lyrics of any song you like… and at last understand the meaning of it!

If learning French by cooking can be exciting and fun, you can also add another technique to your range of ways to speak French.

In many cases, songs are often seen as one of the best way to learn a language, and French is no exception : singing french songs a very good way to learn how to speak French.

You can start with one of the most famous of all, “La vie en rose”, iconic, romantic and such a classic. As much as Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower or the Champs-Elysées,

Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle l’a tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
Il me dit des mots d’amour
Des mots de tous les jours
Et ça m’ fait quelque chose

When he takes me into his arms
He speaks to me softly
And I see life in rose
He speaks words of love to me
They are every day words
And they do something to me

And you may have noticed that in French songs, once written, some words are shorten. Instead of writing “ça me fait”, the author, Edith Piaf herself, with probably the help of Paul Durand, wrote “ça m’fait”. So don’t be afraid when you see the French language being twisted, turned around and almost tortured by the authors of many French songs lyrics.

You can also pick one of Serge Gainsbourg’s song, like his first success “Le poinçonneur des Lilas” and again, you can spot that the way this song can be transcripted with much shorter words, that help give the exact pronunciation. Listen to the song and you will clearly hear it!

J’suis l’poinçonneur des Lilas
Le gars qu’on croise et qu’on n’ regarde pas
Y a pas d’soleil sous la terre
Drôle de croisière
Pour tuer l’ennui j’ai dans ma veste
Les extraits du Reader Digest.

So if you encounter some words with an apostrophe in some song’s lyrics, make sure this is not just a way to show the rhythm of the song instead of the real correct spelling.
Now that you have some insight on how to read and understand French lyrics, you can use this great tool to speak French by singing in French. And why not cooking and singing in French at the same time?

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How to make your dream come true: speaking French fluently


Make sure people will understand you : Ecole des 3 Ponts.

Having a conversation in France can be quite disturbing the first time.
You went through the process of learning French at school, you have been able to master some vocabulary that should allow you to have a correct level of communication. Your understanding of the way verb tenses is not excellent but quite good enough to make sure people will understand you.

Understanding French people speaking: a challenge

Now you feel you have the tools to have a conversation with a group of French people, what is one of the best way the learn how to speak French.

You came to meet them with a certain level of confidence, and at the very moment they opened their mouth, you understood that you won’t be able to follow the conversation.

The speed, the vocabulary, even some accents you never heard of, all of that combined dragged you into despair.

“Why do they speak so quickly ?”
“I have NEVER heard that word before.”
“Are they kidding me ? This must be a joke !”

You just met the gap between “learning French” and “living French”. Spending time in a French language school in France is what you need to fill in that gap. French courses in France is what will allow you to learn French in total immersion, on an English-free environment. Not being able to use your natural mother tongue is so fundamental to push your brain to switch your brain to “French mode”. At the beginning, following a conversation in French is not easy, but there are a few mistakes you should not make to avoid any frustration.

Speaking French fluently, a matter of self confidence

The most important advice is not to try to understand every word. If you get stuck on one word, keep on listening to the rest of the conversation and just get the general meaning. This meaning is the most important aspect of communication, and moreover, this understanding of the phrase, just like a boomerang, will allow you to get back to that word and getting a comprehension of what it meant, thanks to the context.

Once you are more relaxed about what you comprehend, your will be able to unleash your French language skills.

If you want to know more about L’École des Trois Ponts and how you can immerse in the French language, feel free to contact us.

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Is Cyrano de Bergerac the ultimate French character


Cyrano de Bergerac :

According to a study by the French Ministry of Sports published in 2016, there are about 16 million French people who often go hiking. The French go hiking everywhere since France offers a diversity of regions and landscapes where there is something for everyone!

Whether they walk on coastal, plain or mountain paths, discovering summits, forests, seashores or small villages on their way, there are about 5.5 million of them who practice this activity regularly. A third of them even say they walk at least once a week.

Among the hikers, many of them prefer to go hiking in a group and mostly in family: 42% walk in family and 39% in couple. Indeed, more than half of them discovered hiking with their relatives and 35% were introduced to it by friends. The French prefer to walk independently and in a friendly atmosphere; only 11% of them hike in the framework of an association. Walking is above all about the pleasure of discovering and sharing the paths and landscapes that are on their way.

As far as the level of hiking is concerned, French hikers consider that they have a rather good level: 81% of them consider that they walk often enough to have a good walking pace without being too tired and thus find a balance between physical effort and the pleasure of the senses linked to the sight of the landscapes.

Hiking is a mixed activity, practiced by almost as many men as women, of different ages and profiles, but it should be noted that it is mainly seniors who walk the most: 43% of hikers are over 50 years old and 27% of them are retired. If seniors can walk much more often than younger people, the majority of French people go walking on weekends or during vacations, when they have the time and the desire to go to the countryside to take a breath of fresh air and to discover the French landscape together.

There is a huge amount of hiking trails in France, in all regions and if you feel like going for a walk somewhere, you can find all the necessary information on the websites of the tourist offices. Don’t hesitate to ask French people for advice when you travel in France, they will be happy to give you information and it will also be an opportunity for you to learn how to speak French !

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Where to learn French in France ?


Where to learn French? At l'Ecole des 3 Ponts

As a major part of the French language learning process, the daily use of new vocabulary or grammar is important.
Thus, we have implemented, as a part of our curriculum, a French cooking school inside our institution in the Villa Beaulieu.

In the heart of French cooking

As we are settled in one of the most iconic region of France for gastronomy, it was impossible not to include cooking lessons in French as a part of the French immersion experience. Riorges, near Roanne, where our school is based, is about an hour away from Lyon, considered by the French themselves as the heart of French culinary art.

Being able to follow French cooking lessons after French language lessons is probably one of the most exciting element in our program.

Following the footsteps of some of the greatest French chefs, this unique opportunity for our students turned out to be a central feature that is being much enjoyed.

Becoming a chef in France by learning French

The goal that we hope you will be able to achieve with those cooking lessons in French is not to turn anyone to a three star restaurant chef, but to learn some cooking techniques, and also have fun doing it while you learn how to speak French in a real situation. Those techniques are designed for people with any level of cooking skills. So don’t be afraid if you can’t even cook an egg, you will be surprised with what you can achieve during our French cooking courses.

Once you’ll be back home, not only you will impress your friends and your family with your improvements in French, but they will also be able to taste the food you are now able to prepare thanks to the cooking techniques you were taught in France.

Now get ready, put on your apron, sharpen your knives, as you will be now entering the French cooking lessons you’ve been waiting for.

If you want to know more about L’École des Trois Ponts and how you can immerse in the French language, the first step involves contacting us 🙂


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Is French-Tech also the opposite of High-Tech?


Is French-Tech also the opposite of High-Tech?

Have you ever heard of the Minitel? Probably never in a regular French language course. No, it is not a small telephone. It is one of those pieces of engineering that can only come from France, just like the Citroën DS, or … the guillotine.

Where would you learn this if not in a French language course in France? OK, maybe on Wikipedia, but that’s not the point.

The Minitel was basically the closest ancestor of what is the internet today. Developed in the early eighties in France, it was found in almost every household in French families and was a staple of French tech culture starting from 1982 and reached its peak of popularity in the nineties.

Basically it could do almost everything the internet can do today, in a much different way, meaning, in a very slower way.

It came as a squared box with a keyboard that would fold over the black and white screen it used to show the information you needed, and it just required to be plugged into any phone line.

The first thing this piece of antique technology could do was replacing the white and yellow pages to find any phone number, but its range of services started to spread as companies started to see the benefits of offering their own services: TV channels, “online” shopping, administrations turned it to the first “computer” that many families in France had access to.

It symbolized what France could build in terms of technology. The 3615 (the number you dialed to access those services) became almost a sign of recognition of a generation that grew up with the Minitel.

Moreover, it is also a sign of what France couldn’t overcome. The growing tech pressure from the U.S. on one side, and from Asia on the other made the Minitel totally obsolete.

Since then, the French tech industry is trying to come back on the front of the tech scene. But some may think that maybe France is at its best when it goes low-tech, and focuses on its forces. No wonder why when in the U.S. the strongest companies are Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, in France, the front runners are among the luxury industry.

Those pieces of technology from France have obviously strange names, with strange pronunciation. Let’s look the bright side of things: if you are technophile, this could be a good to come to France, to learn how to speak French.


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How to choose the perfect and best French language school in France ?


Choose the best French language school in France

Once you’ve decided to put yourself in total French language immersion, you need to make another important decision. Which French Language School should you choose ? Different factors must be taken into account when taking your decision.

A few tips to make the correct choice for your French language school in France

You first need to ask yourself what kind of French language courses in France you want to attend. For adult French courses you might want to make sure that you will not we surrounded by students that do not have the same motivations as you. We recommend that you investigate with each French Language School the general motivations of most adult students.

Another aspect that you should look into consideration is where you want to learn how to speak French. Being in immersion in Paris or in “province” (meaning outside of Paris and its suburb) is not the same at all. And even if you decide to go for French language courses in “province”, each region of France is different, and moreover, if you want to select a French Language School in a city or in the countryside is another factor that will increase your immersion experience.

The deeper you go into France, the better your French immersion will be.

One of the key aspect of your French Language School is about who you are coming with you. If you are with your husband or wife, just by yourself, or even with your children is another element to make the good choice. Remember that full immersion means that everyone will be speaking French at all time, even during meals. Make sure that the persons coming with you are perfectly aware of the French immersion rules. If you are planning to come with your family, you will need to check if the French Language School and its facilities are suitable for the rest of the family. Your French immersion experience need to be a good time for everyone.

French courses that will meet your expectations

Altogether, choosing the perfect French language school in France, is making sure that your needs and expectations are met by the standards of the school you decided to go to.

To be certain you are not making any mistakes, contact the school and ask your questions, explain what are your goals by learning French in France, if you will be coming by yourself, as a couple, if both will be attending the French courses or not, etc. This will provide you with the best informations to select the best French language school.

If you want to know more about our French Immersion School L’École des Trois Ponts, here is your first step: contact us!


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That time when the 4th of July was also celebrated in France


The 4th of July was celebrated in France

Did you know that the 4th of July, the date celebrating the declaration of Independence of the United States, was also an important date of celebration in France for decades?

At the time of the First World War, as early as 1917, French newspapers of that time record celebrations in France organized to honor the United States, the “sister republic” that came to help France fight against Germany. The newspapers describe large crowds gathered in the capital but also in the provincial cities to celebrate the independence of the United States and their friendship with the Americans. It was in fact in 1917 that the Americans, new allies of the French, arrived to join them in the battle against the Germans.

The celebration of the 4th of July will continue in France after the First World War and until the end of the 1930s. Since 1926, to celebrate this date and to emphasize the alliance between the United States and France, an American delegation comes to Paris to lay a wreath on the tomb of La Fayette. This symbolic gesture was initiated by the Society of Cincinnati of France and the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

After World War II, things changed and the celebration of the 4th of July in France almost completely disappeared. French newspapers of the time mention some of the much more modest and ceremonial tributes that still take place, but the celebrations no longer draw large crowds as they did in the years following World War I and the 1920s and 1930s.

Today, more than a century after the year 1917 when the United States fought with France, the Fourth of July is hardly celebrated at all in France, except by diplomatic protocol and privately by a few Americans who live in the country. This can be explained by the fact that the veterans of the two world wars have passed away, and thus the relationship of the current generations to past events has evolved and diminished. It can also be explained by the fact that diplomatic relations between France and the United States have evolved, especially since the presidencies of George W. Bush Jr. and Donald Trump and events that have cast a pall over the relationship between the two countries.

Nevertheless, even if July is not celebrated in France as it once was, the ties between the United States and France remain important and seem to be moving in a more positive direction than in years past. In any event, on the diplomatic front, the cultural and social interest of the French, especially the younger ones, in the United States and conversely the interest of Americans who travel to France, remains in itself a form of celebration of the ties that bind us and of our common history.


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Do you speak Verlan?


Kind of a french slang?

No? But at least you should try to understand some…
For anyone that spent a few days in France, especially going downtown and passing by youngsters, or in the suburbs, a strange feeling occurs: what is this language everyone seems to speak? Don’t worry, you just met the most common used version of french slang.

You don’t need to learn it to be understood, but a few words will certainly help, and could get you out of some quite interesting situation, this is the least to say. Young people coming to France learn quickly a few words of slang: they are aware this a fast way to learn how to speak French, and to be understood.

This is not a new language that they are using, it is called « Verlan ». The name Verlan comes from ” l’envers” (flipped, or upside down in English). If you think it is brand new, like most people think in France, you would be mistaken.

In some form it is been around for centuries in France but got popular in the last 40 years.

Zyva. tu m’fais trop golri comme as, et j’étais vénèr à cause de ma meuf qui dit que j’suis teubé, elle me prend pour son iench.

If you just understood a few words but have no clue what this is about, don’t worry. This is normal.

Verlan is quite an interesting twist on the French language. It is basically reversing the syllables inside french words or expressions.

Let’s take our phrase and break it down, the words in bold being the one in “Verlan”.

Zyva is “Vas-y” (Go Ahead), golri is for “Rigolé”, Comme as is “comme ça”, vénèr is for “énervé”, but you may have noticed some slight changes, like for Golri, which is not straight forward flip of the word as the er of “Rigoler” is missing. Why? Because the easiest pronunciation is all that matter. Goléri is not what comes the easiest and it finally turned to Golri.

Let’t take the next example Meuf. This is a very common one as it means “Femme” (woman or girlfriend – petite amie in french – in that context) . If you flip the syllables you get Mefe, which should be pronounced Mefa, as the first “e” of Femme is pronounced as an “a”. If you haven’t got totally crazy by now, you realize the ending “a” was dropped and to emphasize the word pronunciation in Verlan, the first “e” was turned into an “eu”.

And yes, even in slang, French can be challenging, because why not… it is still French after all.

The next two words are now easy to translate from Verlan to regular French. Teubé is “bête” (stupid) and iench is “chien” (dog).

Now our full phrase is:

Vas-y, tu me fais trop rigoler comme ça, et pourtant j’étais énervé à cause de ma petite amie qui dit que je suis bête, elle me prend pour son chien.

Now next time you listen to a french you don’t understand, instead of guessing by flipping a coin on its meaning, just flip the word.

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