ARTICLES ABOUT DIALOGUE'S FRENCH IMMERSION COURSES
"One of the best French immersion courses"
Look Before You Leap Into a Language
You May Have to Put Your Money
Where Your Mouth Is
These are excerpts from an article by reporter Brandon Mitchener on
intensive and full-immersion foreign language training.
The article appeared in the Wall Street Journal Europe Edition,
Friday-Saturday, June 27-28, 1997.
LESSON ONE: Look at language classes like
any other investment. After shopping around for a two-week crash
course, David Ecklund, a 47-year-old American sales executive living
in Brussels, thought he was lucky to get into a group course that a
local school was running for another U.S. multinational. It was
cheaper than places out of town and so, says Mr. Ecklund, "I figured
I’d stay in Brussels."
He got what he paid for. Instead of building the little he had learned
of the language at high school, Mr. Ecklund got an intensive exercise in
frustration. "In a classroom environment with seven to 10 people," he
says, "you learn at the pace of the slowest student." Even worse, he was
so put off by the experience he gave up entirely on learning the
language for three years.
Whether you pay for language classes yourself, like Mr. Ecklund, or your
company pays for them, there’s nothing more frustrating than wasting
time and money on language lessons - especially in a class that’s
supposed to be "intensive." But even one-on-one instruction can be a
waste if you choose the wrong school. And with prices for intensive and
full-immersion classes ranging from $20 to $100 an hour - not to mention
the possibility of losing income from having to take time off from work
or using vacation time - it pays to choose carefully. (Intensive refers
to morning classes with afternoons off, while full-immersion programs
pretty much involve round-the-clock attention.)
First off, decide what kind of return you want on your time and money
and choose a school - or combination of schools - that maximizes the
potential reward while minimizing the chance of wasting time and money.
Many language schools don’t offer refunds. The most important criteria
for a successful intensive or full-immersion experience are small class
sizes and professional teachers as well as preparation, follow-up and
realistic expectations on the part of the student.
On his second try, Mr. Ecklund found just what he was looking for: a
full-immersion program at DIALOGUE, that both helped him with his
pronunciation and grammar and adapted itself to his interests -
including vocabulary geared to his logistics business. Mr. Ecklund is
commercial director of Caterpillar Logistics Services Inc., a unit of
The key to Mr. Ecklund’s satisfaction, in his view, was the one-on-one
philosophy of the school, DIALOGUE, which offers individualized courses
ranging from 20 hours of instruction a week to a more extensive 40 hours
Mr. Ecklund is convinced that the school, which is run out of the home
of the teachers and includes full board and round-the-clock attention,
is a bargain. "If you go to group classes, you might save money, but
you’ll probably spend the same amount over time because it’ll take you
much longer," he says.
In fact, people who have taken a full-immersion plunge say group classes
should be limited to five students, especially if you’re beyond the
absolute-beginner level. The more numerous or more advanced the
students, the more likely the ability level will vary wildly.
Small Is Beautiful
A reason to opt for one-on-one instruction, or at least go to a school
that offers one-on-one lessons, is the opportunity to work on
specialized vocabulary and cultural issues that wouldn’t be part of a
Of course, schools like DIALOGUE have their price. (…) But considering
the degree of individual attention they provide, students who attend
them have a better shot at satisfaction.
"Château French immersion courses"
Michael Nathan chose an French immersion course with
DialoguE - France
Weekly lessons in a class, often with friends, is one way to learn
French but what if you want something more?
These are excerpts from an article by reporter Lizzie Chapman on
different teaching methods to learn French.
The article appeared in theFrenchPaper
CHÂTEAU IMMERSION Michael Nathan, 61, is
a retired public health scientist who now lives in France. He improved
his French through a week-long immersion course DialoguE-France, in
Brittany. Run by Bernard and Véronique Henusse, the one-to-one lessons
and accommodation are held at their château.
I have been living in France since 1998. However, I was working for the
World Health Organization in Geneva and because it was an international
environment it functioned almost entirely in English. In the area close
to Geneva, many people also speak English, especially when they hear
non-native speakers so, unfortunately, it is easy to get by with only
rudimentary French and frankly, I was very disappointed with the
progress I had made in ‘assimilating’ the language from around me.
With retirement in mid-2008, my wife and I planned to stay in France, so
I wanted to improve my limited French skills so I could function more
effectively and integrate better into the local community.
I had ‘schoolboy’ French but had never used it (at the beginning of the
DialoguE course I was assessed to be at basic-intermediate level). I
learned some Spanish while posted to the Caribbean and working in Latin
American countries, and had found the ‘total immersion’ and ‘one-to-one’
approach far more effective than group/classwork several hours a week
that I had tried several times. For this reason for French I again
looked for one-to-one immersion, and in particular for an intensive
course in France, tailored to my own needs; an emphasis on aural
comprehension and speaking. DialoguE met these criteria, came
recommended by a work colleague, and as a bonus was located in a
delightful part of the country.
The course lasted five days, with seven 45-minute sessions a day for a
total of 70 hours of one-to-one learning. During the morning session I
spent a considerable amount of time watching, listening to and repeating
film dialogues. It advanced my listening skills and helped to train my
ear to everyday French. The afternoon sessions were on free expression.
In addition, there were delicious meals eaten with the family, with
conversation exclusively in French, and on occasions, local visits
including one to meet a beekeeper because I had indicated that I hoped
to begin beekeeping as a retirement pastime (which I have done!). There
was homework too - always an opportunity to review, revise and listen to
audio material in my room when energy levels permitted. Moreover, in the
heart of rural Brittany there are no distractions!
The accommodation was in Bernard and Véronique’s delightful and very
tastefully converted old farm cottages. I had an en-suite room that
doubled as both my bedroom and my classroom, with audiovisual and other
necessary classroom equipment. Véronique is a wonderful cook and she
prepared delicious and different meals every day, with lots of fresh
vegetables from the garden, and homemade jams and bakes. Mealtimes were
a genuine delight for me, and the French continued informally
The course certainly advanced my French language skills, improving my
confidence, comprehension, expression and writing abilities. Of course,
there is much more progress to be made but this was a genuinely
intensive boost to my skills and I would love to go back for more. I
have since taken a local classroom course that is two afternoons a week
for three months. However, it only confirms my previous experiences -
that immersion works best.
It is not cheap but it does bring results and that is what is important.
If one is serious about progressing in French, be prepared to put in
some really hard work – but this is an excellent and enjoyable way to do
" One of the best French immersion courses"
The Wall Street Journal
DIALOGUE - FRANCE FRENCH IMMERSION
sarl Kerfiac - 15
Kerfiac - Saint-Gouéno - F-22330 Le Mené - France
Tel. +33 (0)184.108.40.206.45 - Mobiles +33 (0)6.08.49.58.58 - +33