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Method

The method used by this French language school can be aptly called Diversified French Immersion.

French immersion per se means that from the outset the student is plunged into the French language without recourse to his or her mother tongue.

In Diversified French Immersion, the student goes through a variety of linguistic activities throughout the day so as to approach spoken French from all angles and in all types of situation ranging from audio-visual class, language lab, games, films, songs, to making up a TV commercial, role playing in everyday or professional situations, the discussion-lunch with a teacher, evening outings with teachers, etc.

So that at the end of this intensive, all-encompassing French language course, the student will be able to speak correct French and be readily understood in everyday conversation. Total beginners will be able to say much of what they want to say, simply and correctly.

The key to this fluency is talk and more talk – ONLY IN FRENCH – in varied situations, using and re-using the fundamental vocabulary one needs for everyday conversation. Although the written language is also developed, oral expression is stressed at all times during the day in constant and spontaneous exchanges with the teachers, eliminating translation into the mother tongue. Thus, little by little, the student is able to acquire an instinctive fluency and familiarity with the French language, which is often impossible with the formal and impersonal character of traditional or “just classroom” teaching.

An audio-visual class

An audio-visual class

The language laboratory

The language laboratory

In the classroom

In the classroom, the Institut de Français uses the officially recognized Saint-Cloud-Zagreb audio-visual methods and is the only French language school in France to also use a video method developed by the Cultural Services of the French Foreign Ministry and the French National Television.

These modern methods result from the joint research work of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud and the Institute of Phonetics of the University of Zagreb, and when used in conjunction with the Institut de Français’ methodology, are the most effective way to develop a true speaking capability.
Called structuro-global, they are based on the oral language (spoken and heard) and place the emphasis on the structures, sound, rhythm and intonation of the language which the student absorbs as a whole and reproduces in the same way a child learns its mother tongue, without the need to dissect or excessively analyze the language.

In the first week, an introduction to grammatical terms and sentence structure is given. Then, during the course, grammar is introduced appropriately whenever it helps the process of understanding and learning to speak correctly. Grammar is of course inherent in the structures contained in each lesson and the student absorbs it naturally and gradually, day by day, as it grows in complexity.

A language laboratory is used to support the classroom work and, together with audio-visual aids, is at the student’s disposal for accelerating his or her progress or improving speech difficulties.

Outside the classroom

Outside the classroom, the student reinforces his French during more informal and varied practice sessions such as: the discussion-lunch with the teachers and the French staff, linguistic games, role playing (students improvise a sketch on an everyday situation), radio news analysis, making television commercials, debates with a teacher on current issues, film showings with discussion, attending outside lectures, evening group outings with a teacher to the theatre, a restaurant, etc.

All these activities take place in a congenial atmosphere, created by all concerned, and which contributes so much to the students’ progress and enjoyment.

No special preparation or particular knowledge of French is required.

Some amount of specific homework is given in order to help overcome certain difficulties.

A minimum amount is also given on an optional basis, but the rate and intensiveness of the lessons make it difficult for a student to forget from day to day.

Because the maximum number of students in each class is limited, each student’s progress is closely monitored, with special exercises given to correct individual, characteristic errors. Thus each student can achieve the best possible results compatible with his or her potential and individual effort.

At the end of a 4-week session, regularly attended, a final examination is given leading to the Institut de Français Certificate (usually corresponding to about 5 US university credits for a 4-week session).

Practice session in living room

Practice session in living room

Practice session in garden

Practice session in garden

Chatting in French with a teacher

Chatting in French with a teacher

Teachers

All INSTITUT DE FRANÇAIS teachers are rigorously selected to ensure the highest possible teaching standard, which is the Institut’s hallmark.
They all hold various university degrees in foreign languages and linguistics. They are all native, accentless French speakers and speak fluent English; some also speak German, Spanish, Japanese or Chinese.
They have been specially trained in the teaching of French to adults by audio-visual methods, have many years of experience in this field and are being continually monitored by the Institut’s teaching supervisor.

 

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Villefranche-sur-Mer 15 °C
March 29, 2017