FREE FRENCH COURSES IN THE PARK
by Kristiana Psee
Relocating to a French-speaking city like Geneva comes with the challenge of speaking French fluently.
I know what you’re thinking…. Geneva is an international city where the heart of the UN beats and so many multinational companies are based here, surely you don’t need French. However, in order to integrate best and be able to enjoy the city at its fullest, a good knowledge of la langue française is required.
The options for learning are plentiful, but here is something you may not know, during summertime (July 9-August 17, 2018, August 1st excluded due to the National Swiss Day), the canton of Geneva and the OSEO (Oeuvre Suisse d’Entraide Ouvrière) organise FREE language courses in the park (Cours de français au parc) for the 3rd year in a row. Isn’t this great?!
This year, the courses take place in Parc la Grange, the largest and, in my eyes at least, the most beautiful park Geneva has to offer. From Monday to Thursday from 16:00-18:00 you are invited to join in!
Finding the right place.
If you enter the park from Route de Frontenex (not the beach side), you will see a large sign: Continue walking to the left and you’ll notice the registration desk, teachers and all the students in line. Make sure you arrive 10-15 minutes before the beginning of the courses, at least the first day you attend.
What to take with you
Geneva´s summers are quite warm and in full summer mode, make sure you bring lots of water, sunglasses and your best mood pour apprendre le français! You may also want to bring a notebook.
Registration – not scary, we promise!
No pre-registration needed, just show up and you’ll get registered there on the spot according to your level. The teachers interview you for some minutes to acknowledge your level – nothing scary, I promise!
It´s quite fun and then they assign you to the group you belong.
Note the levels are A1-B1 more or less so the cours au parc are especially designed for beginners and intermediate level French speakers.
The park itself is so inspiring and embraces its visitors. Everyone from OSEO is very friendly and welcoming, some of the participants are a bit more shy than others, but the ice breaks easily. After all, everyone is there to learn, no reason to be ashamed if you cannot speak well or if your accent is not comme il faut.
All teachers are super friendly, open to answer questions and help the participants to progress and learn. No criticism, just encouragement. The courses are more conversational, but grammar and vocabulary are taught as well.
A diverse blend of cultures and nations, moms and dads with babies and little ones, students, people with dogs, everyday people of every age group who want to learn French and are taking a step in the right direction.
What I learned
I found the teachers´approach fun, playful, creative! We kept playing with words, pairing up with different people to practice what we were taught, the use of body language was plentiful, one day we even meditated with a teacher before class in order to relax and let le français conquer our brain. Guess what! It worked! At the end of course, I was feeling a bit more accomplished and with a richer vocabulary for sure!
My recommendation: On y va!
For more info and updates: www.cours-au-parc.ch