What A difference A Day Makes To Your French

Written by on March 31, 2016 in Courses


An afternoon back at French school

If you think you can’t significantly improve your French in just a few hours, then you haven’t been to the Alpine French School in Morzine. And if you’ve ever wanted to improve your French language in a relatively painless and short period of time, then you need to make a trip to the Alpine French School a priority this year.

The Alpine French School


Founded in 2003 and recognised by the French government for the high standard of their professionally run courses, the Alpine French School is in the centre of the alpine town of Morzine, just an hour from Geneva.  It offers a selection of intensive French courses, classes and workshops and it’s a fantastic school to visit if you need or want to improve your French or even learn it from scratch. And particularly if you fancy combining all that with a bit of alpine sport.

Is your French a little rusty?  

Not convinced you can improve your French in just an afternoon? I joined a class of 4 for an Intensive French Course. From the outset our teacher Lucille spoke in clear, simple French and the concept behind the lesson was that whatever you wanted to say, you said it in French, with help from Lucille in French as and if you needed it.

We started with some simple conversation to get us all warmed up. Then we tackled a few pronouns, before both listening to a transcript, watching some French adverts and practicing by filling in the missing words. I’d never really given pronouns much attention before, sprinkling them randomly into my sentences with little care for accuracy so this was a bit of an eye opener and our teacher Lucille discreetly slipped in lots of information about the different verb tenses we were using (or trying to).

Quirky French “idioms” which you probably don’t need to know but should learn anyway.

Every language has their idioms and they can be one of the hardest parts of understanding what’s being said. So the part of the class that tackled these was both useful and a lot of fun as we tried to work out both their literal and figurative meaning. My favourites of that afternoon have to be:

  • “Quand les poules auronts des dents” which I now know literally translates as when chickens grow teeth or as we’d say in the UK, when pigs fly.
  • “Ne pas vendre le peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué” or don’t sell the bear skin before you’ve killed the bear. Meaning one thing at a time and very apt I suppose for the mountains!
  • “Il ne faut pas pousser mémé dans les orties” which means don’t push granny in the nettles or don’t go too far! An alternative of which is also “Il ne faut pas pousser le bouchon trop loin” an expression coined by a very famous (well in France anyway) French advert!

And now I just can’t wait to get the chance to use at least one of the above!

By 6 pm…

alpine-french-schoolI had genuinely expected to either lose concentration or my brain to just shut up shop at the prospect of spending 3 hours in a foreign language. But not a bit of it. The lesson simply flew by and there’s something wholeheartedly satisfying about stumbling around the French language with other students, and being understood. By the end of my first class, forgotten French I must’ve once known had (if not flooded) trickled back and I’d learnt a huge amount about verb tenses and grammar. Better still I’d dusted off my rusty conversation skills and given them a good polish and I went on to do an hour’s French conversation class before I talked to myself in French all the way back to my apartment.

Filled with rekindled enthusiasm and confidence for this lovely language, after just one class I felt so confident and inspired, I’d set my sights on writing up my memories of France in French. My French had improved dramatically in the space of an afternoon although when I pick up my pen to start writing, I think it may be time to say to myself, “ne pas vendre le peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué”!

You can find out more about the Alpine French School and their french classes and courses at www.alpinefrenchschool.com 

More on Morzine
An Idiot’s Guide to Skiing in the French Alps

Related Articles

French Immersion course in Provence

If you really want to improve your French, then a total immersion course in France is the very best way to do it. It’s also a lot of fun when you join Goût et Voyage, the taste and travel company, on their fabulous week long cultural and gastronomic full French immersion course in the heart […]

Continue Reading

Best French Immersion courses in France

If you want to learn French, to speak it like a local and understand it fully, the best way to study is undoubtedly by immersion. It’s also great fun and when you’re able to fully immerse yourself in the culture and essence of France at the same time – it really does help make learning […]

Continue Reading

How to pronounce French words the French Way

When it comes to speaking French as a foreigner, it can be very difficult to get those tricky pronunciations right. Many of us don’t have the time to go to lessons or we struggle to understand just how to make our mouths form the sounds in the first place. However French teacher Geri Metz’s online […]

Continue Reading

Fantastic French Immersion Courses in Provence

What could be more special and memorable than learning French on a truly exceptional  immersion course where you stay in lovely Provence. Aix en Provence, Isle sur la Sorgue and Fontaine de Vaucluse – the names trip off your tongue to conjure up images of the most beautiful of Provence’s towns. Now you have the […]

Continue Reading

A taste of Morzine Haute-Savoie, France

As you intrepid skiers head off to the mountains for your last fling of the season, or you early bird hikers strap on your boots for some alpine air, try if you can to visit Morzine, about an hour east of Geneva and a little further north of Chamonix. There’s lots of reasons to visit […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.