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About Program Choice and Duration
  Dear Visitor and Reader,
                                                You have decided (or are just obliged) to learn French or brush up your skills. Now you have to choose! Where? How? What kind of course, method, approach? What about time, duration and costs? There are lots of places, possibilities, offers, methods! Good ones, bad ones!

Just keep in mind three things:

1. Language is communication AND culture with a multitude of levels! 
  Terms like "Intercultural Method, Cross-cultural Method,  Cultural awareness, Communicative Method, Immersion Training  etc.... are often used in the context of "modern" foreign language learning.

A lot has been - and is still - written about it from distinguished and highly respectable linguists, from Language Schools offering their services, from very serious and competent people (and also lesser ones).

Many things may be right, even evident and others may be wrong or simply unrealistic! But one thing is for sure : There is a undeniable relation between language, thinking and culture!

It might, perhaps, be possible to "learn" a foreign language without consideration of its cultural aspects, but then, real communication competency and aptitude will be non-existent or very low.

Learning a language, especially a foreign one, goes beyond learning strategies, reading textbooks, memorizing the grammar and vocabulary. Learning a foreign language means learning to communicate with different cultures, with individuals who have their own specific feelings, customs and habits. ...

That means you should learn a foreign language in the country of its origin, if you really want to speak it. Under certain conditions and planned circumstances the "intercultural competency" will then come from alone.

And... there is no "Total-Super-Hyper Method" or "Miracle" Solution to learn a language!
Neither "interculturally" nor "communicatively" and certainly not effortlessly!
You have to cram for it! Also in the country where the language is spoken! And ... you need time!

In short : Without doubt you have to learn in the country of the language as intensive and as much integrated as possible if you want to acquire intercultural communication competencies!
  But there are also undoubtedly many possible need-adapted levels of competency!
    What level do you need... REALLY ?  
? What level of communication competency do you want to attain ?
? What is your starting level?
? Why, at all, do you have or want to communicate in another language/culture?
? How much time do you have to attain your objectives? 
? Does the available timeframe correspond approximately with your learning goals?
? Wouldn't be a kind of - correct - "Survival French" enough to get by, more or less trouble-free, in a French speaking country?  Or do you want to socialize and maintain contacts on a private basis?
? Do you need or want to engage in conversation, to provide and to obtain information, to express feelings and emotions, and to exchange opinions, more or less fluently?
? Do you have to communicate in an appropriate form with clients, managers, seniors, colleagues, staff members or subordinates?,
? Do you have to discuss - without appearing too clumsy - delicate or subtle issues or to speak about unknown topics? Do you have to understand more or less complicated reports with technical details or legal meanings, follow specialized lectures or even give them yourself or make a speech?
? In what kind of sphere of life or domain will you have to act? What kind of situations will you have to cope with? What will be your role in these domains and situations?
? Who and where are your interlocutors? What kind of institutions, organizations? When do you meet them? During what events and situations?
? Do you have to speak or only to listen or read? What have you to read or to listen?
?  Would you have to write too? To translate?
? What will be your personnel or professional  relations and in what environment or institutional setting will they take place?
? Under what conditions do you have to act? What is expected from you? ?
  and ... and ... and ...

Before you choose a program you should

  • identify and analyze your needs,
  • assess your current communication skills and competencies
  • determine a timeframe
  • define your learning goals and objectives accordingly.
  Should you be undetermined or in doubt about the program or the course you would need to achieve your learning goals, we would be pleased to advise or suggest an adequate program.
Our online forms "
Communication Needs Analysis" and "Self-Assessment and Course Target",
can help to zero in  on your objectives and needs.

According to your detailed personal and/or professional needs and requirements and corresponding to your available learning time and targets, we propose tailored French language training programs for all levels with a variable intensity and length ranging from short Weekend Refresher Courses to intensive French learning programs over several weeks or months.

2. Everybody can learn any language ...  (Even the most "stupid" ones do speak at least one!)
Actually almost six and a half billion people do speak at least one language, and generally - into the bargain - quite fluently.
They all have learned the most difficult and time-consuming language... the First One! The Mother Tongue!

A common opinion considers Chinese as one of the most difficult languages to learn. (*)
So what? Sure, its not an easy language but over one billion people use it commonly because they have learned it!
I doubt that many of them pondered over learning strategies, used flash cards, language labs etc or were all together very "gifted" in language learning!
They just had to communicate .....
(*) Be assured, French is a bit easier for you (except you are Chinese! ;-)
   ... but nobody will speak a foreign language fluently, correctly, "perfectly" in three or four weeks!
  There is no way of learning a language the easy way, without learning, without effort.
Especially not with "those total-hyper-super-maximum-and-so-on Methods"!
(Even the most "intelligent" ones will not!)
          But ... you can learn a lot, even in a rather short time !
And then it would be up to you to continue learning! Like you did - and still do - in your mother tongue!
Dear Reader, please bear with me for the silly "joke" with the link just above,
but there is a little, no hidden truth in the picture because ...
3. ... last but not least :
Learning a new language always means effort and work,
even a bit constraint and stress,
needs motivation, time, perseverance and personal investment,
 will bring momentary discouragements, but also
... personal satisfaction and enrichment!

French at the French Riviera
French learning