After spending a year in Germany and then several years in England where I graduated as a teacher, I took a train back to the South of France.
The French ticket inspector came along and checked my ticket. When he saw I had got on the train in Winchester, he was happy to exchange a few words because his daughter had spent a holiday there. It was my first real conversation in French with a French person in a long while. When he handed me my ticket back after our little chat, he said to me: “Oh, for an English woman, your French is not bad at all!”
I can tell you hearing such a comment didn’t feel very nice. I realised my French had become somewhat awkward and that I tended to use English sentence structures. French is my mother tongue but after years abroad, my French wasn’t really up to scratch. It actually took me a couple of months to recover the French of a native speaker, and even longer to learn new words that didn’t exist before I left France. I still remember struggling with new acronyms that seemed to have become customary, especially on the news. Sometimes, I had no idea what or who the newsreaders were talking about!
Experiencing such difficulties in your native language is odd to say the least and very unsettling. It also taught me a good lesson: although you may have a really good level in a language, you just can’t rest on your laurels. A language is something you always have to keep on practicing if you want to maintain your level, even more so if you want to keep on improving.
That is what gave me the idea to offer a new service for professionals throughout the world who need to maintain their level of French: Online French Conversation Sessions. If French is a language you use in your job, if you need to have conversations in French at work, whether you are a teacher of French as a Foreign Language, a tour guide, a translator or an interpreter with French in your language pair, we can work together! 🙂
Of course, if you use French professionally, it means you are already fluent or nearly fluent. However, if you don’t live and work in a French-speaking country, you may feel the need to speak with a French native who still lives in France. Some of you may actually live in a French-speaking country but French isn’t your mother tongue and you don’t have the opportunity to have someone help you erase those little errors you sometimes make, or get rid of those nagging doubts you sometimes have about a phrase, the use of a word or a grammar point.
Each session lasts 30 minutes and you can choose the number of sessions per week you like. All you need is an Internet connection and a smartphone, tablet or computer. We can meet via Zoom, Meet, Messenger, Skype or FaceTime.
As for the content of the sessions, I am always happy to adapt to your specific requirements. You can opt for standard sessions with conversation only or you may wish to add something more according to your needs.
Two teachers of French who have started the online conversation sessions very kindly sent their testimonial for you.
Luisa lives and works in Brazil. She started with one session a week, then changed to 2 and later 3 sessions a week. More recently, she asked for a more personalised offer where we have conversation twice a week and the third session is devoted to written French.
Luisa usually jots down doubts she has while teaching and then often takes advantage of the session to ask me questions. It is a great way for her to make some points clear and to get rid of doubts she may have.
Here is what Luisa has to say about our sessions:
“One day I came across Yolaine’s blog and contacted her without really knowing what I was looking for.
I teach French in Brazil and I could tell that in the course of time I had stopped using French words and structures that I used to be familiar with when I was living in France. When you live abroad, watching TV, reading, studying and speaking with your students or your friends from time to time isn’t enough. You start forgetting the language and you need help to brush it up and improve.
I realised what I was looking for only after starting the conversation sessions with Yolaine: the teachers’ teacher!”
Beatriz meets me online once a week. Here is what she has to say about her French online conversation sessions for professionals:
“As a teacher of French in Spain, attending online conversation sessions is essential to maintain the language that isn’t spoken in your country.
As I am a French language and culture enthusiast, I started to follow Yolaine Bodin’s website where she shares tips and explanations about the French language in a very clear and different way.
I am currently attending online conversation sessions not only to clarify grammar points but also to achieve greater fluency when I speak. For me, it is a very special moment since the teacher takes into account what I’m interested in and also because we share the same passion for teaching. All you need is Internet access to attend her classes which I highly recommend!!!”
I wish to take this opportunity to thank them both for accepting to share their comments. Merci Luisa, merci Beatriz ! 🙂
If like Luisa or Beatriz, you would like to maintain your French, contact me to let me know what you type of session you are interested in (e.g. conversation only, conversation and grammar, conversation and writing) and I will send you a quote and all the details you wish. In any case, be sure asking does not commit you to anything at all.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂