The Heart of Europe: Dialogue Intensive French Immersion

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Intensive French in France and Belgium
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"After searching for two years and taking classes at several schools, finally I've discovered one where I can make solid progress in minimal time. It truly boosts your confidence, rapidly increases your level of comprehension and ease of speaking. The environment is perfect for studies - comfortable, non-stressful, and yet very serious. It's a true language immersion - you speak the language which you study from 9 o'clock in the morning till 10 o'clock in the evening, non-stop. The teachers are extremely competent, well versed in the method, and very pleasant. They concentrate on your goals, making sure that you achieve them by the end of your stay. I will certainly come back again at the first opportunity!"
Inna Sheinan, New Jersey

"I had no idea taking foreign language lessons could be so much fun! The teachers are outstanding, working with you to make sure that you make progress. Coming to Spa I did not dare to put a sentence together in French, by the end of the third day I was speaking! The teachers really helped me gain confidence. I would like to come back!"
Julie Sheinan, New Jersey

"Thanks for one of the hardest but one of the most fruitful weeks of my life. At 54 most people don't attempt to learn a second language, so I arrived with extreme apprehension and left with confidence and motivation. You have given me a solid base on which to build my use of French."
Randy Powers, Alcan, United Kingdom

"I found Dialogue to be very valuable experience. Through the total immersion I gained significant confidence in my speaking ability and the one-on-one courses allowed me to make tremendous progress in the areas I needed to improve. The teachers and teaching methods are outstanding and the hospitality cannot be matched. I hope to continue my studies with Dialogue in the near future."
Carol Lewis, Delta Airlines

I wanted to write to thank you for the wonderful 2 weeks I spent at your school DialoguE. As a complete beginner to French I was amazed at the progress I made in 2 weeks. Even now - almost 5 months later - the words and phrases I learnt with you are imprinted on my brain.

I also wanted to say a few words about your hospitality, the lovely accomodation and food - and how comfortable I felt in your home. I really have to compliment Claudine particularly for her attention to detail and for being a terrific hostess. The food was always delicious, the rooms always clean and comfortable - and the garden delightful.

Lastly I have to talk about the learning experience at your school. At first I have to admit that as a complete beginner it all seemed a bit overwhelming. I couldn't imagine being able to understand any of the meal-time conversations - but how wrong I was. After only a week - I could comprehend much of what was being said around the dinner table - and not long after was even able to join in. I was very impressed with the methods you used for teaching, and also very impressed with all of the teachers.

Now I've started on the many things that impressed me at DialoguE I am finding it hard to finish. I also appreciated that the lenth of the lessons were never stinted on. I have worked at a Language School myself - and know that at other schools lessons times are strictly adhered to. At DialoguE the lesson ended when both teacher and student were finished a topic - and not simply because the time was up. So I always felt like I was getting more than my money's worth.

Thank you to you both and everyone and DialoguE for making the experience of learning French a great one. I would gladly recommend your school to anyone who wishes to learn French in a hurry.
Louise Murray

"I would like to thank Jean-Luc and Claudine for making my two-week stay at Dialogue thoroughly fulfilling. The tailored individual sessions on auditory discrimination and phonetics enabled me to make great advances in my pronunciation of French. Equally important, my hosts' unstinting attention to my malapropisms outside class served to heighten my awareness and facilitate correction of longstanding bad habits.

Jean-Luc and Claudine Godard proved to be wonderful hosts; indeed, they were cordial and personable to a fault. The ambiance they generated at their dining and living rooms, amid stupendous meals, wine and classical music was one of extraordinary ease and comfort. Nor did Jean-Luc's graciousness stop at the confines of Villa Sylvania. It was amply in evidence in the tours he gave us of Brugges, Ghent and Brussels, during which the action, naturally, took place entirely in French.

To francophiles no matter the French level, I cannot but recommend Dialogue in the highest terms. The opportunity to assimilate francophone culture and refine one's French in the home of such an exceptionally accommodating family is one that no serious francophile should pass up. My only regret, as I write this, is that I don't have a forthcoming vacation to visit Dialogue soon again."
Jorge Kizer, M.D., Philadelphia

"The combination of total immersion in the French language and intense academics is truly hard work. However, the immersion and the excellent instruction paid off. I am delighted with my progress. I can communicate in French with far greater agility than before Dialogue. Additionally, I am convinced that through Dialogue I have built a solid base which will enable my continued progress. Dialogue was the ideal preparation for my MBA studies in France."
Ben Small, Attorney, MBA Candidate, INSEAD

"The week we spent was a fine, intensive way to learn French pronunciation and conversation. You are guests in the Godard's house, eating your meals with them and, at lunch, with the instructors. In between meals, you intensively drill pronunciation and conversational phrases in a way I haven't seen done in the U.S."
Mark Roe, Professor, Columbia Law School, New York

"A great way to learn French."
Helen Hsu, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

"My experience at Dialogue was very productive. I spent three weeks learning French. The program of total immersion is the only way to make rapid and enduring progress. In addition, they have developed a new and unique method of learning French which concentrates on difficult sounds, followed by intensive practice to imprint the results permanently. Three weeks of study at Dialogue is equivalent to 2 years of study elsewhere. Above all, living in a French-speaking home adds to the experience. Without exception, Jean-Luc and Claudine Godard are outstanding hosts. The atmosphere is very conducive to relaxed learning. The living quarters and kitchen are four stars."
Dean Limbert, MD, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

"Following my week at Dialogue and the opportunity to use my newly acquired French skills at two congresses in Paris, I am writing to express how pleased I am to have selected Dialogue over my other options. From the first contact your team demonstrated full flexibility with my scheduling constraints. Further, given that the demands of my job do not allow a relaxed multi-week program, you were able to construct an intensive 7-day course that I estimate would have required 2-3 weeks to complete elsewhere. Your competitors did not even understand my needs.

I found several aspects of the course highly unique and commendable. Your method of practicing French pronunciation is essential for the American like me unskilled in French phonetics. You were correct in placing emphasis on this area; my subsequent negotiations in Paris showed that my partners were pleased more by proper pronunciation than perfect grammar. Incidentally, my French friends, initially sceptical about me taking a course in Belgium, were also impressed.

Also, rather than being language teachers only, my course instructors all had occupations in other fields along with extensive training and experience as French instructors. Alone the logistics allowing them to carry on their primary occupation as well as teach were impressive. But more important, Ingrid, Didier and Regis were able to convey current usage of French, in particular from marketing and media, which was relevant to my multimedia business whose vocabulary did not even exist 3 years ago. Finally, the relaxed environment at Villa Sylvania and the excellent cuisine from the hand of Madame Godard certainly added to the enjoyment of immersion in the French language and culture.

I conclude by offering my highest recommendation to others who may be considering French study. Anyone who has time considerations, needs to use spoken French and enjoys a family atmosphere should select Dialogue. I find the program a very good value and hope to return once we clarify our plans to expand into France."
John E. Bissel, Telemedia GmbH, Germany

"It is a great pleasure for me to thank you warmly for the excellent lessons in French that I received from you at the end of last year. When I returned to Paris from Spa, I could immediately notice a marked improvement in my competence in speaking French. In particular, I was able to carry on several fairly complicated conversations over the telephone without any difficulty. You will be amused to learn that I happened to mention to my French publisher that I had been taking lessons in French and was hoping to take some more; he replied that I had no need of further lessons! Of course, he was flattering me, I know. His remark, however, was a credit to you. You may refer any prospective clients to me, and I will be happy to recommend your lessons in French-and your gracious hospitality as well."
Ian Stevenson, M.D. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry, University of Virginia

"The course is extremely well thought out, combining many hours of lessons and informal conversation, skilled teaching and a pleasant atmosphere, which makes it the ideal immersion experience. The teachers are well trained and good at structuring the work for each individual. The practical facilities; that is the personal study bedrooms are also well planned and very comfortable. Finally, the house and meals provided are beautiful. I found that the small number of students kept the family atmosphere intact, and it was a great pleasure to talk to everyone I met. My aural comprehension of French and my confidence in speaking it improved enormously, which was what I needed myself."
Sue England, Brussels

"I've been studying French for years in the United States, with private lessons, classes, books, audio tapes, video tapes and what have you. While I have to consider myself an advanced student, I can also honestly say that I learned more French during the seven days I spent at Dialogue (May 25-June 2, 1997) than I did with all my other efforts combined.

The Dialogue method is different -- innovative -- especially when it comes to pronunciation. French pronunciation is profoundly different from English. With expert one-on-one guidance I was able to reach into the center of the French language and come out with a better ear for sounds that had previously eluded me. In many other fundamental ways I was able to grasp what I call "real French," instead of English translated into French. Because 60% of the vocabulary of both languages is similar, it's easy for an English speaker to fall into the translation trap -- but real French is something else entirely! I've experienced some of it now, and I want more.

I stayed in the lovely home of Claudine and Jean-Luc Godard, two truly hospitable people. Putting aside the warmth that developed between us, the superb meals, and the wine education that Jean-Luc throws in as a matter of course, the addition of real conversation at meals added tremendously to the corpus of my learning. Spa is a lovely place, known for its waters (I tasted waters from seven different springs in one expedition). While there must be many opportunities to live with a French-speaking family, most of them aren't language- teaching visionaries like the Godards."
Monica Winefryde Furlong, Larchmont, NY

"I feel privileged to have attended your school, early in its existence, because we have benefitted uniquely from the immense effort that Jean-Luc and Claudine have made. You have provided comfort, a warm intimate ambience, personal tutoring at its finest, beautiful classical music, all reflecting your excellent taste."
David M. Erwin, Chicago

Elliot Essman is Dialogue's North American representative. See Elliot's information page for telephone or email contact information.