Tag Archives: one to one tuition

Expatriates, let me help you succeed in French…

You’ve dreamt of emigrating to France. Paris was on your mind all the time. Now you are here. Your dream has come true, but you are feeling blue.

Your biggest dream seems to have turned into a nightmare and you are on an emotional roller coaster all the time.  You have been dealing with unfriendly people, constantly harrassed and running people in the metro, the French are speaking too fast for you to catch their speech and, on top of that, you are dealing with the legendary French bureaucracy that is driving you nuts!

bureaucracy 3

Do not worry: I am feeling you. Being an expat is very challenging. I have been there. Although I mastered the language, getting settled in London was far from easy, and, believe it or not, I’ve been dealing with tons of bureaucracy as well from the English side.

I can help you transform your expatriation into a success. How?

 

bureaucracy

-first of all, by helping you acquire more confidence in speaking out. The method I am using is based on very concrete situations that you can apply immediately after the lesson.

 

French cheese

-by helping you to deal with the “cultural shock”: the French are quite different from their European neighbors and from English speaking countries. Good food, good cheese, good wines, for instance, play a major role for many French citizens. Being Latins, most people are more laid back and like taking time after their work. The “art of living” or ” art de vivre” is very important to the French. Parisians, by the way, are not representative of France as a whole, so it is important that you travel a little bit out of Paris ( if you can), in order to discover various traditions.

-by helping you with your administrative paperwork: you will be more confident as you get acquainted with specific formulas and administrative slang

-by increasing your cultural knowledge about Paris and France and giving you some infos on shopping in different arrondissements.

-by working on pronounciation and intonation and by stimulating your conversational skills.

 

paris heart

 

French lessons in Paris? Always a good idea!

Book now. Contact me at isabelleesling@gmail.com

 

Expressions revolving around the weather

temps 1

The French like talking about the weather: so do not hesitate to engage into a small talk ( culturally, the Germans are opposite on this matter…it is considered as ” superficial talk” in Germany and not relevant. So you will need a different approach as a learner of German).

But while staying in Paris, speaking of the weather is totally approriate: most people will respond to your small talk.

To complete the last article, here are a few French expressions related to meteorological conditions:

  • Il pleut, il mouille, c’est la fête à la grenouille: it is raining, it is getting wet, it is the frog’s feast
  • Il fait un froid de canard: literally ” a duck’s cold”= it is freezing
  • un temps de chien ” a dog’s weather”= bad weather, usually cold and rainy- note that the French also use ” un temps de cochon”, ” a pig’s weather” to express the same! “Quel temps de chien ( de cochon) aujourd’hui!
  • pleuvoir des cordes= it is raining cats and dogs- “Il pleut des cordes”
  • un vent à décorner les boeufs ( wind dehorning oxen)= a violent wind
  • avoir la tête dans les nuages ( to have the head in the clouds)= to be a dreamer
  • faire la pluie et le beau temps = to have all powers “Depuis son arrivée, le patron fait la pluie et le beau temps dans son entreprise.”
  • le temps est au beau fixe= the weather is set fair “Il va faire beau pendant toute la semaine, le temps est au beau fixe.3
  • jeter un froid= to put a damper, to have a chilling effect. ” Sa remarque a jeté un froid pendant le repas familial”

 

décorner

 

Hope this will help you perfect your conversation. Feel free to contact me for any question you may have.

 

Learning vocabulary lists is pointless; get acquainted with your structures!

Some language learners sometimes complain that they have spent months, or even years, without reaching any progress.

Whether you are a beginner in French or in German, there are some common mistakes you should avoid if you really want to make some consistent progress in your language.

 

First of all, DO NOT MAKE ANY VOCABULARY LIST!

Why?

 

waste of time

  • It is totally pointless to align one word after the other with their respective meanings. If you are using tons of vocabulary lists, you will surely fail at your task. Let me explain WHY.

The following rule is true for ANY language. You don’t learn a  language by acquiring numerous words of vocabulary. You start learning a language by INTEGRATING YOUR WORDS WITHIN SPECIFIC STRUCTURES.

As a beginner, you must make an effort to learn ¨PLAIN SENTENCES”.

french grammar

 

german grammar

 

  • Ok maybe grammar is not your cup of tea…this is why you will need a tutor to guide you. The method I am using is based on very practical, every day life conversations. We will interact and I will explain grammar and expressions in a way that is easily understandable. By being an actor of short dialogues, you will feel confident straight away. We will practice together and simple sentences will come to you easily.

French and German lessons are ALL à la carte. You decide what really fits your needs!

Also, you will be given the right tips by a professional and native speaker to improve your skills DAILY.

  • very fast, you will also become familiar with a few idiomatic expressions.

By acquiring idioms, you will not only be aware of the literal meaning of the expressions, but you will also understand the metaphor. It will make the memorization of simple words easier.

In addition, you will sound more authentic!

“Nicht alle Tassen in Schrank haben”, literally ” to not have all  the marbles in your cupboard”, to be out of your mind, to be mad.

You could hear from a German person’s mouth: “Ich glaube, du hast wohl nicht alle Tassen im Schrank!”

nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben

quand les poules auront des dents

“Quand les poules auront des dents” literally means “when chicken will have teeth”, so to say NEVER, since chicken don’t possess teeth!

“Quand est-ce que Charles fera ses devoirs sérieusement?”

“Quand les poules auront des dents!”

 

Are you committed to make some considtentprogress in French or German? Contact me and we will arrange some lessons. BOOK NOW!

 

 

 

 

 

Why choosing a native speaker is a detail of importance

poser-un-lapin

 

Some websites claim that finding a competent tutor is much more important than having a native speaker at your disposition and that, very often, non-native speakers are capable of explaining better, because they understand that “students can make mistakes”…first of all, let me set the record straight about the latter sentence: native speakers do too!

 

The truth is that you will need -preferably- BOTH:

  1. a competent, well trained, experienced tutor who masters grammar, structures and who is able to understand the student’s particular difficulty due to phonetics or grammar or whatever else…
  2.  a person who was immersed into the culture of the language you are currently studying.

Why is this detail of importance? It truly matters if you want to make some consistent progress in your language of study.

By making the choice of trusting a native speaker, you are making the RIGHT CHOICE.

  • A native speaker will ALWAYS pronounce RIGHT
  • A native speaker will have the right intonation and will help you repeat the sentences with the right accent and intonation. So, you want to sound French or German? Choose a native speaker!
  • A native speaker will always insert idioms in his speech very naturally. Idioms are expressions you would barely understand, because they are typical of the country’s way of expressing. It can be a metaphor, it may have a historical background. The native speaker is usually able to tell.
  • Especially when it comes to precise knowledge ( culinary habits, cultural habits, school system, politics etc), the native speaker is usually more competent to give you the accurate info you actually need.

 

“French lessons in Paris”  can offer you BOTH:

  • an experienced and competent teacher who is used to the specific difficulties of English speakers
  • a native speaker of French and German who can help you integrate idioms and structures easily as you progress

In addition, lessons are informal and tailored to each client’s individual needs!

 

Do not hesitate! Book your lessons NOW!