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I dont know which French course to pick!

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:51 pm
by joechapman01
Hi :)

I'm looking to take a month long intensive French course this year at B1 level, however, im really struggling which one to pick! I'm looking for a social course and one based in an exciting city. Currently my 2 main options are ESL (Lyon) or ILA (Montpellier).

If anyone has taken either of these courses (or both!), or has general knowledge of either cities, I'd love to hear what you have to say about them.

Thanks v much!


Re: I dont know which French course to pick!

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:41 am
by Cavesa
Hi, welcome to the forum!

I see nobody has answered yet, it's nothing against you, please don't take it as a lack of welcoming spirit in the community.
It's just that most of us do not sign up for this type of courses, and these schools (based on a brief overview of their websites) totally show the same problems.

These classes may include quite a lot of hours in class per week, but there is no sign of lots of homework or otherwise supported self study. That's my main problem with calling them "intensive". Your classmates are likely to be the usual passive class sitters. The groups are supposed to be "5-8 students, max 10", so probably 10, which is a huge crowd. 5 people could still be worth it, but you usually have no guarantee. 10 people are far too much.

There is no information on the results, on the expected pace of the course. How much of a normal B1 coursebook (which one?) are you supposed to cover per week? That is an important piece of information, which has a lot to do with estimation of value for the price.

You are doing well to look for any such opportunity at B1 (are you B1 already, or aiming for B1). Beginner classes are the worst, full of unmotivated and not serious learners, who just damage each other's pronunciation. In theory you are at the ideal level for something like this.

If you join any such a class, prepare to be discouragement resistant. As most people will be too lazy to study in the free time, you may need to be extra motivated to not give up too. Ask, whether you can be sorted to a different group, if you progress significatnly faster, or whether it is impossible (especially smaller schools simply have fewer classes and cannot help with this).

And avoid any people trying to use English in the free time. If they don't use French, they are actively harming your progress (and theirs too, but that is not your problem).

About the cities: Lyon is really nice, I don't personally know Montpellier. But Lyon is bigger, you may struggle a bit more with people switching to English. Smaller and less touristy places are overall better for learners.

Re: I dont know which French course to pick!

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:13 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
Do hosts of such courses provide guides or itineraries to help students immerse locally in the language?
Do they suggest places to stay that let you avoid other non-native speakers?
What is a 'social course'?

Note that I have never taken such a course, social or otherwise, so take this with a grain of salt.