Foire aux Questions

(This is what the French say; literally "fair" of questions)  You are always welcome to contact Amey with any questions, but read through these common concerns to see if they help.

I'm not sure which class is best for me. 

Read through the level descriptions to see what material is covered in different classes. Amey can help you decide, but it's really your choice, and you can always change classes if you feel it's not the right level for you. Sometimes you choose the class based on your schedule, in which case  

Do you do private lessons ?

Yes. Sometimes individual sessions can be a great supplement to another class, or the best option if that's all your schedule allows. They can be once a week, twice a month or more intensively if you have a pressing need. Rates are $30/hour, or $36/hour for two people sharing.

I've taken French before, but I'm not sure how much I remember because it was a while ago.  

Even if you haven't studied or even thought about French in a few years or a few decades, you will probably be surprised by how much you remember once you start again. If you are considering a class with Amey, it's your choice whether you go back to the absolute beginning or jump into a different level. Don't worry about language you learned being "out-of-date"; people always understand expressions, even if usage has changed today.  Don't start with Beginning unless you truly want to go back to the absolute start, with basic pronunciation and common words. Otherwise, jumping into Mid-Beginner will offer you enough practice with basic French that you should feel comfortable.

I'd like to take a class with my friend / partner, but we're not at the same level.  

If you want to be able to practice with your friend/partner, then you may enjoy taking the same class, because you are working on the same structures and vocabulary. Amey can adapt your individual work or studies to suit your levels, and create ways for the more advanced person to still improve.

I found a children's book, but I can't get through a single page!  

Don't get discouraged if you find yourself struggling with a "simple" children's book. Many children's books in French have long passages per page and complicated grammatical structures.

I feel my reading comprehension is much stronger than my other skills.  

You're probably right! In general, it's easier to understand sooner than to produce language, and the adult brain connects strongest with visual cues, so it's natural to develop reading comprehension easily. Recent studies have proven that reading is the task that improves language skills better than any other task, and we have the most access to written French, so don't neglect it! You can work on pronunciation by reading aloud, and absorb more by completing a speaking and/or writing task related to the reading.

I can't understand anything I hear in French!

There are many reasons for this, and the best way to conquer it is by immersing yourself in French. Even if you don't understand a single word, your ear and brain are getting familiar with French sounds and phrasing, and this helps your overall learning.  On the Internet, you can stream French radio stations from French-speaking countries all over the world, listen to French music or podcasts and watch French movies and television programs. Take advantage of the stress-free environment where you're not required to respond yourself. There are also many resources designed specifically for people learning French, where you can listen and read at the same time. This process is best for making connections between how words sound and look, and is especially important in French, because you know there are all those silent letters and combination patterns. Amey will help you find the right exercises for your level and topic. You can find resources through the blog and your class page.

Have patience ! 

Remember that learning French is a process, and just as you didn't learn your first language overnight, your brain will take a while to filter different things you hear and see. If you focus on small elements, you will succeed in being able to detect and use them. DSCF2178 (1)