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Unique

Helping Adults to Learn French - Naturally.

Experience French Immersions as Unique as You.

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Learn to communicate in French - naturally!

Communicating in French through French language holidays for adults, French immersion activities & personal coaching. We offer curated French experiences for people that love France & want to acquire the French language, not in a classroom, but through our unique & personalised immersion plans.

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Unlike Traditional Language Schools

We use the proven “natural approach” because nobody learns their first language with grammar, rules & exceptions. We learn by hearing, experiencing & then speaking - only when we’re able to communicate do we learn the rules. This is how we all learn our mother language.

Riding bicycle during the French language Holiday XPF

Immersions that match your goals & budget

Whether you’re looking to dive deep into French history & culture, improve your CV/resume or live in France - we have created programs to match your objectives & your wallet.

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French immersion course participants standing in front of Eiffel Tower
Conversation during the French immersion language course

French Language Holidays for Adults

Why settle for “French Lessons Near Me” when you can:

  • Take a French language holiday in France
  • Enjoy personalised French immersions
  • Escape the classroom

 

We learn our first language by listening, interacting with others & finding the simplest way to communicate; so why try to learn French alone with an app or learning grammar rules first?

Hear French, Experience French, Speak French!

 

French for Beginners - FAQ

Please message us via our Contact Us page if you cannot find an answer to your question(s).

Whether you’re a teenage novice, adult learner or want your whole family to learn French in France then here are our top tips for the best way to learn French:

  1. Listen to French audio regularly: Your brain needs time to hear the sounds of French so the more you can listen to, the better. An example of this working in English is: “I like to eat A apple for breakfast but I don’t like to eat too MUCH of them each day.” Your ear tells you that it is not the right way to say it even if you don’t know the grammar rule, the same applies for French. You don’t need to try to read along or translate it into English; simply play a French podcast, audiobook or film. Daily French news podcasts like this one are great because they use simple French and broadcast at the end of the day, therefore, you will probably have already heard the English news that day &  have some idea of what they’re talking about. This is known as “comprehensible input”.  (Alternatively, search for “Journal en Français Facile” wherever you get your podcasts.) Be careful with music though because it may contain too much slang, word-play or not reflect how French is spoken today. You will impress the French though if you can sing along to this classic by Edith Piaf.
  2. Get your favourite magazines, comics or documentaries in French: By flicking through subjects that you are already interested in, e.g. cycling, your brain will quickly identify “vélo” as French for “cycle”. Most importantly, compared to looking at random flash cards or text books, your brain also decides that this new memory is “worth storing” because you have other sensory inputs linked to it. E.g. Riding your cycle from the hotel to watch the Tour de France. Similarly, watching a short, simple French video about the birth of the USA will be more comprehensible to you than one about whether the word America is masculine (le) or feminine (la). This is refer known as “sheltered subject matter teaching” (SSMT). 
  3. Don’t worry about making mistakes or speaking “Franglish”: French people appreciate it when you try to communicate with them in French & many words are shared between the languages so you will find a way to understand each other. Actually, so many French people speak some English now that we give you phrases to help you stick with your new French conversation skills, instead of slipping back into English. Obviously, there are exceptions, which is why we advise against trying to practice your new French skills with a busy & over-worked Paris waiter! 

To summarise, as per our first language, the best way to learn French is the following order: 

  • Hearing & seeing
  • Physically engaging experiences
  • Speaking & learning from our errors 
  • Writing & learning grammar rules

Click here to learn more about how we can do this for you. 

You’re going to invest a lot of time & money looking for the best French school in France so how do you find the right one for you? 

  • Do you prefer classroom learning or practical, activity based learning? Yes, XPF is based upon the later but some people actually need to understand the rules, structure & exceptions of language before they feel comfortable to try speaking French. Which one are you? If you’re not sure we can offer you an online trial to find out.
  • Why do you want to learn French?Do you need to reach a certain level of competence & obtain an accredited certification or are you looking to learn conversational French as quickly as possible?  If it’s the former then try the following established language schools (alphabetical order): Accord Langues, Alliance Francaise, Berlitz, Elfe, LanguageTeams, LSI.
  • Speak to them! There are a lot of French language schools & a lot of students being sent to Paris to learn French. Your time & money is precious so do not even consider a language school that will not talk to you & personalise the lessons to suit your needs. (A teenage student has different vocabulary requirements than a retired businessman!) Most importantly, ask them if you have the same teacher all week because often the teachers change a lot and they rarely use the same method or materials. (I used to end up with lots of photo-copied handouts in my text books as different teachers explained passé composé & l’imparfait in variously differing ways. Very annoying….) 

It’s an important question: Should I learn French in Paris? One of the most asked questions that deserves some time to consider & look beyond the clichés but our simple answer is: not full-time.

Why not? 

Simply because language learning cannot be rushed & if you’re stressed because the Paris waiter is impatient with you (did you see how many tables they serve?) then your brain will “lock up”. It’s the same reason that lots of us get anxious as soon as the teacher tells us that we will have to read the next paragraph from the French lesson. As the great polyglot linguist Michel Thomas said: “All stress inhibits true & effective learning.”

Does XPF have French lessons in Paris?

Yes but not in a language school or classroom. You will spend the day moving between locations (museum, metro/train stations, cafés); maximising your time in and around Paris immersed in real-world activities. Example day for our “Art Theme”:

  • 9am – 10am: Prepare essential vocabulary for the transport trip & then take the train, metro or bus to the museum.
  • 10:30am – 11am: Introduction to Musée Marmottan (world’s largest Monet collection)
  • 11am – 1pm: Tour museum with XPF guide using comprehensible French.
  • 1pm – 3pm: Traditional French restaurant lunch.
  • 3pm – 5pm: Visit locations of famous impressionist paintings around Paris.
  • 7pm: Evening apéro/dinner where Lautrec, Renoir, Gauguin etc once dined.

Learning French on-line has grown exponentially since French apps burst onto our smartphones & Covid forced us to stay home or avoid crowded areas. App stores & online resources like Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook & TikTok etc. have masses of French videos, vocabulary, grammar & flashcard apps to keep you busy for “free”. However, good, structured content is worth paying for so checkout the services from Babbel, Duolingo, FluentU, iTalki, Memrise, Pimsleur, Preply if you prefer to learn French alone.

Do they help you learn new words, phrases & grammar? Absolutely.

Do we retain more conversational French & create more long lasting memories* when we travel to France & immerse ourselves in physical activities that interest us? Absolutely. 

This is why, with XPF, when you have returned home you will review, on-line with your XPF guide, the photos & videos from your immersions together with the new vocabulary you were immersed in.  

*Scientists can measure this ability to create new neurons (neuroplasticity) and we prove this every time we get a song stuck in our head (earworm); or hear a song that recalls a special memory with someone or in someplace.  

You don’t need to know the science or read the latest linguistic research to benefit from our immersions but here’s a summary from Professor Stephen Krashen: 

“The solution to our problems in language teaching lies not in expensive equipment, exotic methods, sophisticated linguistic analyses, or new laboratories, but in full utilization of what we already have, speakers of the languages using them for real communication. I will also conclude that the best methods might also be the most pleasant, and that, strange as it seems, language acquisition occurs when language is used for what it was designed for, communication.” 

This is how we all learn our mother language; the brain creates an association of ideas with the sounds and images from the outside world. In addition, Sheltered Subject Matter Teaching (SSMT), focusses on what interests you, not the grammar rules &, when combined with stimulating activities, this results in more comprehensible input and natural language acquisition.

To summarise, as per our first language, the best way to learn French is the following order:  

  • Hearing & seeing 
  • Physically engaging experiences
  • Speaking & learning from our errors  
  • Writing & learning grammar rules

For those that want to delve deeper into the theory, science & research of second language acquisition we have collated a short introduction with some videos & links here.

Of course – we discover new words all the time. Just don’t get fixated on exact literal translations all the time because it will slow you down and, also, how you write English is not how you will speak in French. For example the French phrase for asking “What is it?” is “Qu’est-ce que c’est….” 

My logical brain would be trying to translate word by word & I would get into my head that it meant: “What is that is?”  

Even worse, I couldn’t even say the phrase because the sequence of letters shocked my eyes & my English tongue had no idea how to pronounce it easily. (But what a Scrabble hand!) The solution only arrived when I closed my eyes & listened to the phrase over & over before then using the phrase in daily life. At first I was trying to translate EVERYTHING instead of allowing my brain to hear new sounds & create new words; what the scientists refer to as neuroplasticity.     

When your brain creates these new French words & phrase structures it will eventually “hear French” so that it will become unnatural for you to ask for more butter by saying:

“Puis-je avoir beurre” instead of the correct:

“Puis-je avoir du beurre“. 

An example of this working in English is: “I like to eat A apple for breakfast but I don’t like to eat too MUCH of them each day.” Your ear tells you that that is not the right way to say it even if you don’t know the grammar rule; the same applies for French!

Learn French in France