FRENCH FOR BUSINESS – JOHN W.
48-year-old John works for a French company with offices in the UK. When he contacted me, he could read documents in French, write basic emails, but he felt left out during meetings and in social contexts, and was frustrated that he couldn't communicate in French.
'I don't remember anything from school'
'I'm probably too old to learn a language'
'English can help me learn French'
I created a programme tailored to John's tastes and interests (Mediterranean cooking, Indie cinema, and rugby), making sure that not a week would go by without him listening to a recording, writing sentences about his favourite activity/movie/country, etc., reading a simplified book, practising grammar points, and using as much language as possible during our conversations.
Exploring topics he already knew (so that comprehension is easier) to practise his French helped John gradually relax and enjoy the process. He managed to put aside the pressure of having to improve his French for work, to embrace the language learning process wholeheartedly.
He soon realised that school hadn't been a waste of time and English and French are two very different languages. He learned to let go of his mother tongue, which made him makes mistakes when speaking French. And I was very happy to remind him, a couple of weeks after he'd started, when he could already see his progress, that you can learn a language at any age, as long as you put the effort in!
KEY LANGUAGE POINTS
Reviewing and consolidating key tenses (futur simple, passé composé, imparfait, subjonctif présent), using the indirect speech, formulating hypotheses, acquiring conversational tools, and how to use formal and informal French in conversation and in writing.
John said for the first time in his life learning French no longer felt passive nor abstract. He enjoyed the fact that I was explaining the language to him, encouraging him, but also leaving no mistakes uncorrected.
'I know I still have a lot to learn, but I also know that I can figure out a way to say what I want or need to say. I'm no longer stuck.'
'Not only am I cooking new recipes, but I am learning those in French! That's been a great ice-breaker with the head of the Paris office.'
'I'm thinking of applying for a new position, working closely with the French office.'
I became a teacher because I'm passionate about languages, I'm a natural communicator, and love nothing more than seeing my students empowered with language.
French and trilingual.
20+ years of teaching experience, including at university.
Former manager of a publishing company.
If you would like to book a free 20-minute consultation, don't hesitate to send me an email.