These courses are finished for the winter of 2012/13.
We'll start them off again in the late fall.
Weekend crash course - 2 x 4 hrs.
9:00 to 12:00 Saturday and Sunday.
includes a linguistic guide to take on your travels.
Federal Government Tests
Whenever there is enough demand, we will schedule a special Intensive Session that prepares participants for the government language tests. These are especially useful for those who are trying to find employment with the government. It is an affordable way to find out how these tests work, learn what the pitfalls are and acquire a few helpful tricks. At the end of the week we put you through a simulation test to prepare you for the real thing.
River Echo has an excellent record for getting federal employees to pass on their first try. You can benefit from our expertise.
TOEFL, TOEIC, DELF/DALF, TIF, Cambridge Exam - no matter what the language, they all have a lot in common but also require some special coaching for you to acquire the test skills and learn the sucessful strategies.
OUR FRENCH INTENSIVE PROGRAM
Each month we offer a 1-week long group session with
3 hrs. of classroom time Monday to Friday.
We have tried to find an interesting, enjoyable and useful balance between grammar, conversation, writing, and learning what's so different (linguistically and culturally) about French. Our goal is to help participants function better in French on a variety of levels.
Some people will take several sessions, others maybe just one. We tried to address what we consider the most common difficulties, so there will be some overlap, and as usual, we will not follow a rigid plan but adjust content dynamically to the participants' needs and temperaments.
Each session will include a daily review of tenses, so over the week you will deal with them all. Depending on who is in the group it may be a short review or a longer one.
Each session will also focus on a particular theme', but of course, other themes will always be touched on, too. It is, after all, impossible to exclude parts of a language just to keep things orderly and well defined.
Each Intensive Session deals with these types of linguistic challenges:
"Little Words and Big Expressions"
| What gives language its fluidity are all those little words. Without
them we sound wooden and don't much feel like using the language unless
we have to. And that lack of practice is your basic recipe for not improving
Lors, donc, cependant, néanmoins, par ailleurs, tandis que, dès que, dehors ... there's loads of them and we don't use too many, unfortunately.
Anglicisms are another way to sound so very un-French. So we'll work on those as well.
We want to sound entertaining, or at least interesting when we talk. Francophones will no longer switch to English if they can - and again, you're getting more practice!
"Toning Those Linguistic Muscles"
| Communication in French is much more formal, except when people know
each other well. It is easy for Anglophones to put their foot in it.
This theme' is about finding the right tone - both in oral and in written communication. "You never get a second chance to make a first impression".
Meeting a lot of strangers? You may working with the public, or do a lot of networking, attend business meetings, do presentations to potential clients, whatever - you want to come across confident, polite, helpful. What may be acceptable in English, may be just a tad pushy or arrogant in French.
You may be approaching people in writing. That clippy email style won't do ion French.
This will be a useful session for many people.
| So now that we got the tenses and those words and expressions down, let's
move on to communicating clearly.
The session focusses on written and oral communication: comprehension; reporting/ rephrasing/ recapping and revising; expressing/discussing/ explaining/defending your opinions.
Subject matters are chosen by the participants: your favourite/most hated story ..... an interesting/disgusting/annoying .... book/article/film/song/speech ..... whatever.
Joyful, of course, means that everyone is going to have fun. By now you should feel a lot happier about your French skills and - if you practice what you learnt in the second session and use the right tone - speaking French should be enjoyable' for both sides.
Each session includes work on this pesky topic: "Tense Situations"
Everyone - no matter which level - has trouble with them. Between the different tense forms, remembering when to use which, and the conjugations, it seems there are hundreds of them!
We'll put some method in this madness. Will you be surprised to learn there are fewer tenses in French than in English?
There, you feel better already.