Studying French in Paris

As many of you know, while I was in Paris last month I took French classes. I searched online for a schools and was overwhelmed by the Google results. Then the first day I was in Paris, I was reading an ex-pat's blog (he too was in Paris) and he mentioned studying at the Alliance Française. The next day, I headed over there, took a placement test, paid my fee, and got my student id. Sure, I could have done more research, but somehow, this just felt right, so I went with it.

I signed up for two hours a day, four days a week. The off day (which is the same for all courses), the Alliance offers cultural outings for students. From the very first day, I loved my class. Our teacher (Madame was what I called her, as her last name was complicated to pronounce and using her first name seemed too casual) was wonderful. Fluent in French, English, and Spanish, she also seemed to speak Chinese and Russian when the moment arose. She spent time talking about French culture and history in addition to grammar and vocabulary.

The class size was about twenty people, but it didn't present too much of a problem, and Madame made sure we all had opportunities to speak aloud (during which time she'd correct our pronunciation) both within small groups and to the whole class.

I really enjoyed it, and my classmates, and was very sad on the last day, especially since the rest of my group was continuing together with our teacher in Paris, and I was returning to the States. I learned a lot and felt that my French really improved a great deal, to the point that I could understand a lot of what was said to me, and could (in most situations at least) make myself understood.

Based on my limited experience, I'd definitely recommend taking classes at the Paris Alliance Française. I certainly plan to return to Paris, and when I do, I'll sign up for more classes there again.

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