There it is, you have booked a French course in Aix-en-Provence and you are excited about it, maybe even a little nervous. What should you do to make the most out of your stay? Here are three tips that we feel will maximize the outcome of your language course to learn French.
Think about your goals and set objectives for yourself. Before starting the course, think about what you want from your French language course. Set your own goals and don’t be influenced by others nor by what they may think is best for you. If you just want to learn how to make conversation or small talk, how to order at a restaurant, that’s fine. If you prefer to set a precise goal, attain a certain level or pass a test, make sure it is realistic in the time you’ll spend in Aix-en-Provence. Remember that learning a language takes time and effort. Plus, everyone is different and what works for one student may not work for another. Think about your learning strategies: what’s good for you? Using a formal book to refer to? Taking notes/Not taking notes? Repeating several times at night? Specific exercises? Active listening?
Homestay and activities are good complements to a classical French language course. If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet in Aix-en-Provence, you may want to consider homestay. Staying with a French person is a great way to put what you’ve learnt into practice but also to get inside the home of a French person. Enjoy moments such as dinners (made of French food) or casual conversations over an apéritif before going out for dinner with your classmates. Any opportunity outside the classroom is good to take to communicate in French. Leisure activities can be a great add-on for you to practise oral French and to meet other students while doing something fun. Make sure to ask the school staff what they have on offer at the moment or what’s going on in the city.
Be egoistic – this is your time. Feel free to speak with the teachers. Ask them questions. Ask for help. Ask for advice. What would you benefit from as an add-on to your French class? How can you keep working on your French after leaving the French language school? Most French teachers love to talk so try to start a conversation and learn what they like and recommend for you. A certain book to read at night, an article with the right level for you, a film, their favourite café in Aix-en-Provence…
Use the time in Aix-en-Provence to its full extent and make new friends. Either students from your French school or people you meet in the city, but make sure to speak French! Enjoy the French way of life in Aix-en-Provence and practise French outside of the school in cafés and restaurants. They are excellent places to easily start a conversation.
Enjoy your time in Aix-en-Provence and the time spent in class to the fullest and have fun!