What are your teaching methods?
All of our classes take an immersive approach with native French speaking teachers. Our teaching methods have been developed in order to reach the best results. All of our classes take an immersive approach with native French speaking teachers. At the French Academy, we have a wide array of students—and thereby, a wide array of classes to match. We offer courses for people seeking to simply improve their abilities, or even perfect their fluency, for professionals tailored to their respective field, and classes specialized in test and exam preparation. Our classes are small in size to ensure efficient and effective learning while giving focused attention to students.
I’m a beginner. Is it possible to become fluent through your classes?
It is a long process to become fluent. That being said, with hard work, motivation, and the right teachers, it can be done. The first steps might be to discuss your own personal goals with a teacher and set up a specific amount of hours (for example, 60). Some beginners have some difficulty in the first few classes, because it means to get familiarized with new pronounciation rules, conjugations, vocabulary, and grammar. Therefore it is very important to do all the suggested homework, read out loud, listen to audio tracks, and learn grammar rules and vocabulary that was discussed in class. Your teacher will be there every step of the way to help you!. Generally, if you are motivated and go through the different class levels (Blue/ White series or the Survival series), you can reach the B1 level (intermediate). After this, it might become not be as easy to become more advanced, fluent, or completly proficient. The French Academy is happy to provide students with complementary materials to help further learning on the road to fluency.
What is considered fluent?
Level B1 (Intermediate) means you can understand, and comfortably speak about, most topics. B2 (Advanced) is considered a fluent level, because you can communicate freely and understand a lot. It's not so easy to reach the level B2 without traveling and spending some time in a French-speaking country. It’s important to be immersed, perhaps by reading French news, talking to natives or having access to other uses of every-day language. This said, even if you have reached some fluency at B2, you are not completely proficientyet: you may still lack technical vocabulary, colloquial sayings and, nuances; and of course you may still make some grammatical or lexical mistakes. This is completely normal, however, since a language is so vast and complex that even native speakers have different levels of proficiency!
What is the average length of a class? Can I choose it myself?
If you are doing a group class, the session will be between 1 or 2 hours over 5, 6, 8 or 10 weeks depending on which class you chose. The format will be determined online, so you can see before you register..Group classes generally meet once a week.
However, if you are doing private lessons you can customize your format to your own schedule and needs. With the minimum class length of one hour, you can meet 1, 1.5, 2 or 3 hours once or twice a week, or more according to what you desire. You can also book intensive private lessons!
Are the teachers native French-speakers?
Yes! All of our teachers have been trained and educated thoroughly to ensure the best quality courses for you.
Are learning materials, like textbooks, included in the price of the class?
Yes, we hand out copies, articles and worksheets. We like to use articles and videos to use as examples in lessons and strengthen the curriculum with real immersion. We will recommend some books at the beginning of the class to purchase, especially for beginners, mainly for grammar or lexical rules.
If I miss a group lesson, is it possible to make it up?
If you are unable to make a scheduled class meeting (in a group class), the teacher can send you the materials and homework from the missed lesson. It is possible to arrange a makeup class session in person or over Skype, however, you will have to pay the private lesson rate since our teacher will be taking the time to meet outside scheduled class meetings.
I missed a lesson with the Tuesday group class, is it possible to make it up with the Saturday group?
Since our groups are very small (meaning the other class might be full anyways), matching the needs of the participants, it is not really possible to go to another, same-level, class on another day of the week.
Are you following a curriculum?
Yes, each class follows a curriculum. However, the teacher will often adapt to the needs of students. Even though we have placement tests, some students may have different levels of proficiency. Some learn very quickly, while others might take more time. The teachers in each class customize the curriculum slightly to make sure that every one progresses together.
Will I receive a diploma?
You can receive a certificate if you so want. Please send us a request by email or an official document (language report) for your company.
Can children take an exam such as the DELF?
The DELF is made to evaluate English speakers who are learning French, so bilingual children would not benefit from taking the DELF since the tests level is quite basic. For children whose first language was English, they can take the DELF Junior or Prim in order to test their French level. We can help organize the test and evaluate our students during the course of their studies. The DELF is made to evaluate English speakers who are learning French, so bilingual children would not benefit from taking the DELF since the tests level is quite basic. At the end of course, we give a certificate that shows an evaluation of a child’s level if needed.
We offer special tutoring or support for teenagers who would like to take the DELF B1 or B2 or the DALF C1 for applying to a French college. We can also help Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate students to prepare for their exams. Private lessons are a very effective and a successful way of ensuring the best scores on any exam!
When will children begin writing activities?
We introduce writing activities around the ages of 4 and 5. We use fun, ludic activities and accompany writing exercises with oral exercises as well.
Sometimes the “moineaux” classes and the “poussin” classes are combined into the same class. Is it a good idea to put the different levels together?
Combining the classes can be advantageous for the overall class energy while improving the children's communication skills. At age 5, English speakers mostly need to improve their oral language skills, so by placing them with French speakers (even if they are a littleyounger), it can recreate a normal family or friend environment. When they are all mixed together, the children have more opportunities to communicate and learn from each other. For the little ones, songs and puppets are great teaching tools. However, it is also beneficial for them to be with older children and try to imitate their behavior.. A mixed group allows the children to improve communication skills and to challenge each other.
My daughter is two years old. Why are you having her coloring numbers? She can’t color or write anything: she is too young!
Even if your child cannot color in the lines like a pro just yet, activities like coloring in a class do help with brain development. Even if children can’t color or draw clearly, because they don't have control over their fine motor skills yet, starting to practice these activities is vital for their development.. In this case, the children have a goal and a clear vision of what they want to achieve, even though they are physically not capable of it yet. Letting kids doing some coloring or trying to write some letters is therefore a wonderful exercise for both brain and motor skill development—especially when combined with hilarious, yet educating French classes.