Special Edition: Make a Royal New Year’s Resolution:,Come to the King Cake Party!
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Now that a bright and shiny New Year has arrived, you’ve likely made a resolution or two, or goals you want to achieve in 2012. If you’re here in Paris and still struggling with perfecting your French (or even your English), one of your resolutions should be to improve your language skills so that you can maneuver better in your daily life. Whether you are an Anglophone living in a French world, or a Francophone living in a new and international world, having a command of the language will broaden your horizons if not make life itself just all that much more fun.
This is the reason that Marie-Elisabeth Fasanella Crochard Fitère (yes, she’s experienced a lot of life!) and I started the French-English Conversation Group on March 17, 1998 when she was the Director of Berlitz Champs-Elysée, right there on the premises. For her students at Berlitz, it was “service après vente” — to allow their students (and anyone who wanted to attend), to practice speaking what they had learned in class.
From the moment we put out meager promotion of our idea, it took off like wildfire and has been blazing ever since — meeting three times a week in two different locations (central Paris near Châtelet and Saint-Germain-des-Prés).
Some members have been coming almost as many years as it’s been operating and others come sporadically for the pleasure and practice. People come from more than 50 different countries and it has held an excellent balance of Anglophones to Francophones all these years, which is key to its success.
The way it works is that groups of five to seven people are formed, balanced Anglophone/Francophone as well as possible. We make as many groups as is necessary depending on who shows up. Then, the group is on its own from then on. They can choose to begin speaking in French or in English, and switch languages midway, at the 45-minute mark. They can talk about anything they like and they manage themselves so as to provide complete freedom to practice without an instructor to intimidate the session.
The system has proven itself time and again, and certainly for all these 13 years. It works to get you using the language you’ve been studying with ease and to feel comfortable with your level — whatever that is. Meanwhile, it develops friendships that would be difficult to achieve otherwise and it’s amazing how much you can learn from others with knowledge, opinions and ideas.
Every group and every session is different. No two groups interact the same or have the same conversations. Like a restaurant with an ever-changing menu, it’s impossible to become bored.
Regularly, we host a party or event — another way of socializing and getting to know one another. And that’s what I’m here to tell you about. So, mark your calendar for our upcoming KING CAKE PARTY (La Galette des Rois) next Saturday, January 14, 2012 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. then stay for the party!
23, boulevard de Sébastopol
at the corner of rue de la Reynie, 1st arrondissement
3rd Floor on the Left (
read notice on door to obtain entry code)
Métro Châtelet, Les Halles
Come for the conversational exchange, discover how much fun and worthwhile Parler Parlor really is, then celebrate the New Year over Galette des Rois with Vin Chaud. Here’s your chance to make new friends, practice speaking French and English and get to know the members…plus, at a DISCOUNT!
That day, receive 12 sessions for the price of a 10-session card or 24 sessions for the price of a 20-session card!
But don’t wait till January 14th to try it out. It’s free the first time you come, so there’s nothing to lose…but 1.5 hours of your time! No need to call first and sign up…just come!
For more information, visit Parler Parlor
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
(with Marie-Elisabeth Fasanella Crochard Fitère)