Sunday, November 9, 2008

Languages with Class

People always ask me how I learned to speak French; I always respond that I took lessons for years in school, but it was not until I traveled to French speaking countries that I actually learned to converse in French. (Imagine someone arriving in the US after only reading and speaking from books that taught phrase like "See Jane. See Spot. See Jane and Spot run.") Every language has its' own rhythm, slang, and references that are completely ignored in formalized lessons. After many trips to France, Martinique, St. Bart, Quebec (another kind of French entirely), and of course, Tahiti, I can now say I truly do speak French.

For those who wish to learn sur place, there are courses in Sancerre, France which include some fun vacation outings and treats along with language lessons. Coeur de France Ecole de Langues offers wine and cheese appreciation along with language courses. Imagine taking your courses in a 400 year old mansion in central France's famous wine region, where you can sample locally made cheeses at the farmer's market. You don't have to make a year long commitment; they offer courses from 1-12 weeks long and you can learn as a group, with your family, or as a couple sharing an educational vacation. Prices are very reasonable and you get discounts for the longer you stay and the more people you enroll.

Gather your friends or family together for a fun way to pick up an educational souvenir that will serve you for future trips.

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