Learn French in Nice: Teaching
Let’s get you speaking French in Nice!
French ability / Rate of Progress
The work of each group is tailored to each class’s ability level in French and centres on oral exercises, role playing, discussions, simulations and practical exercises in every day situations. Students work on progressive enrichment of their language skills in small groups of no more than 10 students per class.
The students are divided into six theoretical ability levels. A student of average linguistic ability should allow 4 weeks to complete the Beginner level and 4 weeks for the Elementary level. A further 4/8 weeks to complete one of the two Intermediate levels, (during the Intermediate level, the college will introduce the subjunctive) approximately 4/8 weeks to complete the Advanced level.
Number of weeks:
From total beginner…
A0 level One / Two weeks
By the end of two weeks, you can get by with your survival French expressing basic feelings, asking for things in shops, restaurants, asking for bus or train timetables, giving “profile” information about yourself and asking someone else the same and understanding their replies if they speak slowly.
A1 level Three / Four weeks
At the end of the four weeks, you will have 1500 vocab words and past, present and future tense mean that you have the building blocks to talk about something that happened or a plan that you have. How easily the sentences come will depend on how much you practise them.
A2 level Five / Eight weeks
Over the five/eight weeks at the course level, you will be able to use your past tenses with more accuracy and competence which means your speaking is more elegant and understandable. Your vocab count is up to 3000 words which means apart from your making for better sentences also improves your understanding of native speakers.
B1 level Nine / Twelve weeks
You have started to learn about concepts such as the conditional and the subjunctive which means that your French sounds more French and less translated. You can watch the news and summarize stories, and so understand French spoken at a moderate pace.
B1 / B2 level Thirteen / Fifteen weeks
You are incorporating the subjunctive mood and its nuances fairly successfully into your speech, even if sometimes hesitantly and can pick up a lot of what is said directly to you, even if speech is at native speed. You can write short letters and memos in passably correct French, take telephone messages and are thus employable.
B2 level Sixteen / Twenty weeks
Your French comes out naturally now, you can speak fast, use advanced structures and argot and understand almost everything that is said to you, and about half of overheard conversations. The challenge now is to “clean your French up”.
B2 / C1 level Twenty / Twenty Four weeks
Your French is very good now. All the grammar you will have learnt will have fallen into place so your speech will be accurate and peppered with appropriate expressions and rich vocabulary. You have had enough exposure to French to understand it, without needing to concentrate.
French teaching methods in Nice
Classes at the French school in Nice combine grammar with practise of the 4 skills – reading, writing, listening and, of course, speaking. We understand that the word “grammar” doesnt’ appeal to everyone! But the basics have to be covered, as they offer a way of building knowledge and retaining it, not just for the duration of your course, but in the years to come. Your power of recall will be so much better if you understand the tools that pull the French language together.
Using the Direct Method you will learn to apply your French knowledge quickly and efficiently.
It is based upon:
Team oral exercises. Role-playing, discussions, simulations, round tables, tape recordings, practical exercises in real life situations, video, games…
A “digestible” approach to learning grammar, developed from the student’s book (that is given to you upon your arrival) and permanently updated authentic documents … newspapers, narration, song lyrics, TV or radio broadcasts, exercises…
The school’s teachers know a lot about classroom dynamics and are careful to create an inclusive atmosphere in which students have the confidence to talk French. Of course confidence and plenty of practise are the keys to success.
Grammar skills & Vocabulary
This is the core part of the course in which students study French grammar, vocabulary and skills corresponding to each level as set out in the above syllabus. Course material is closely controlled so learning is organized and varied too.
As for most people this is both the most challenging and the most desirable French language skill, most of the courses contain this module which gives students the chance to train accessing new knowledge for active incorporation into their own speech.
Participants can decide on the content of their private tuition themselves or ask their teacher to devise a programme most suited to their needs. All students taking private tuition are requested to provide details of the areas they wish to cover in advance of arrival so their French lessons may be planned accordingly.
Levels and Groups
To guarantee adequate progress, it is vitally important that students are placed in a group that corresponds with their knowledge of French. This is only possible if the language school guarantees groups of all levels of learning. After making a careful initial evaluation of each student’s ability, the French School in Nice follows up their placement with regular control testing.
There will always be a little homework to prepare for the following day!
The smaller your learning group, the more personalized your course will be. The maximum amount of students per group is 10. The average number of students per group is 5/8 in low season and a maximum of 10 students per class.
We are quite strict about classes starting punctually so no class time is lost. At the school in Nice, lessons run from Monday to Friday and are 45 minutes long.
DELF & DALF Exam preparation
Students whose dates fit, can opt to do a preparation course for the official DELF exams which test students’ level of competence in French, and which are recognized world-wide. These are organized according to the European Framework of Languages (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). The school in Nice enables students to prepare for the DELF A1 to B2 levels. There is a specific 4 week DELF preparation course offered leading up to the exams, and DALF exams can be provided for on a Combined Course.
Arrival at school for everyone: 09.00hrs
Beginners: Will then have their first classes
All other levels: Language assessment tests in the form of a written and oral entrance test.
Classes will begin on Tuesday morning for students who have participated in the language assessment.
After your test, you are invited to take part in an orientation tour of Nice old town
and the famous « Promenade des Anglais » with the school guide.
Should the first Monday of your course fall on a public holiday,
the normal Monday procedures will be followed on Tuesday instead.
Year round courses are held at the main French school site.
In July & August the school operates a Summer School for the teenage students (16yrs+).
Sample Timetable / Standard Course
Sunday Arrival in Nice
Monday Tests/ Guided tour
Tuesday Lessons 09.00 to 12.20 hrs
Wednesday Lessons 09.00 to 12.20 hrs
Thursday Lessons 09.00 to 12.20 hrs
Friday Lessons 09.00 to 12.20 hrs
Saturday Day Trip *
Sunday Free Day
* Day Trip: Takes place on Saturday or Sunday, every 2 or 3 weeks during the year, and once most weekends during the busy summer months.
The school will arrange a variety of activities throughout the programme.
Please note: In the busy summer high season, Standard Courses also operate in the afternoons, as there will be a lot of students to cater for. Choice of timetable determined by School Staff according to student language levels, rather than student choice.
Timetable for Intensive Course : Standard Course + 3 PMs a week (13.15 to 15.45 hrs)
Nice School Teachers
All of the teachers are native French speakers and they are all full time French teachers. There are 10 teachers in the school, all trained to teach French as a foreign language. They use the French school syllabus, a tried and tested method developed based on personal experience and the vision of the school’s own teaching experts.
Nice School Students
Students come from all over the world, predominantly Europe, but also from as far afield as Australia, China, Japan and the USA. Fundamentally, if you want to learn French – you’re welcome. Age wise there a real mix of students, lot of younger students (16yrs to 19yrs of age) especially in the European holiday periods, there are also may students in their 20’s and 30’s (throughout the year) but older students are also regularly welcomed on the main course options as well as the Over 50s programmes, again everyone is welcome.
There are students that stay for one or two weeks and others who stay for 12 to 24 weeks. The longer you stay the better your French language skills will be!