French-English Conversation Group
Co-founded in Paris in March 1998 by Adrian Leeds and Marie-Elisabeth Crochard Fitère.
Parler Parlor is the easiest and fastest way of learning la langue Française…
It makes a big difference if you can speak French, at least a little. More and more French people speak reasonably good English, but you can never really be a part of France without a certain level of the language. You can enroll in a language school, or take private lessons or even immersion courses to get up to speed, but until you actually let it roll off your tongue, all of that time and energy you spent will ultimately be wasted when it comes to speaking and understanding in everyday life.
Don't assume that three months in a good crash course in French will turn you into a fluent speaker. Unless you are 9 years old with a brain like a sponge, it will take years to learn this language well. And besides, who wants to spend all their time in France in a classroom suffering over the subjonctif?
My advice is to relax, take courses or lessons at an easy pace, and let osmosis at Parler Parlor do the rest, while you enjoy every minute of your new life in France.
The Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group was started by Adrian Leeds and Marie-Elisabeth Crochart Fitère in March of 1998 when Adrian was a newcomer to France and Marie-Elisabeth was the director of Berlitz on the Champs-Elysées. Adrian was looking for a venue for the group and Marie-Elisabeth was thrilled that she could provide it, as well as offer it to her students as a way of practicing what they were learning in class. The group was incredibly successful and met for over 20 years several times a week, and in different locations around Paris in language schools and cafés.
The system is simple, proven, and effective, yet it’s hard to find elsewhere–and we don’t know why, because it’s the one system of practicing that REALLY WORKS. On top of that, it’s fun and a fabulous way of making friends, both Anglophones and Francophones alike.
Here’s how it works:
Groups of approximately six people are formed by a coordinator balancing Anglophones with Francophones—as well as we can depending on who arrives that session.
Once the groups are formed, each group is on their own to decide to start in either French or English. For 45 minutes, they speak in one language, then switch to the other for the last 45 minutes.
Any topics can be discussed. Believe me, anything goes and does! It doesn’t matter what language you begin with and what you talk about. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t speak at all and only want to listen, because maybe that’s all you can do!
No teacher is correcting you, but everyone in the group is there for the same reason, so they help each other. If you were to be constantly corrected for faults, you’d never get French (or English) out of your mouth!
Meanwhile, you’re hearing the language spoken correctly by the native speakers and that makes it much easier to learn and absorb. And because everyone is there for the same reason, there’s no reason to feel embarrassed or intimidated, so it really helps you let loose with your tongue!
Here's how to get involved:
Your first session is FREE! You can’t resist that, can you? You have no excuse for not trying it at least once!
After that, you subscribe by purchasing 10 sessions at a discount. Your membership card will get checked off each time you come.
To reserve your spots or for questions, email Katie at [email protected].
Location: Right in the heart of Nice
Upstairs at Oscar Restaurant
15 Rue Masséna, 06000 Nice
Tram Lines 1 and 2, Buses 5, 8, 12, 38, 57
When: Sessions are twice weekly*
- Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Saturdays from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
*Special Note: On the Après-Midi (Nice) weeks (the 4th Thursday of every other month), we will meet on Tuesday afternoon that week rather than Thursday.
Months: January, March, May, July, September, November
A 10-session card: 100€ (Cash only, please. We cannot accept checks or credit cards.)
It’s easy to join the conversation group. The first time you come is FREE and you are welcome to come as often as you like!
Here are a few guidelines to a successful group:
- Please be on time. Arrive 5 minutes ahead! It is disruptive to the groups in session to be added or rearranged to accommodate you.
- The group should consist of 5 to 7 participants, as well-balanced Anglophone/Francophone as possible.
- When you speak, try to speak slowly and clearly to be easily understood.
- Only one person should speak at a time. Please avoid speaking to someone in the group while someone else already “has the floor.”
- Invite everyone to participate and do not monopolize the conversation, especially in your native language. Everyone should have the chance to speak and practice speaking as much as they want in their second language.
- Start in any language you wish by consensus of the group. Change from one language to the other at half-time (45 minutes) or when it seems appropriate. Sometimes when a group is unbalanced by Anglophones vs. Francophones, you may want to compensate by spending more time in the language most group members want to practice speaking.
- Don’t be scared or intimidated by your level of French or English. You have to start SOMEWHERE and remember, everyone is there for the same reason. You’re not alone!
Special Note: Anyone attending Parler Parlor must order at least one drink to support our host café as they are offering this space for us for free. Your presence indicates your willingness to participate.