We talk to teacher Marie Verrey about her work as an FLE freelancer and the advantages of learning French in Grenoble
Grenoble Life: Marie, tell us a bit about you and what sort of services you offer …
Marie: I teach French as a Foreign Language (FLE) to children and adults. I can work with individuals, professionals and companies. I teach English to French speakers too.
I generally give private lessons where my students live or work: individual lessons (face to face) or private mini-group lessons (two, three or four people, no more). I can adjust to all sorts of needs and to all professional fields (medical, tourism, technology, law, business, etc.). Sometimes, I join language centers as a freelance teacher (GRETA, CUEF, Alliance Française, etc.).
GL: What sort of learners do you generally work with?
Marie: I have worked with learners of all ages (3 to 75!), all levels (real beginner, false beginner, advanced, etc.), all nationalities and all mother tongues.
I worked with kids and teenagers at school or at their home. Some adults I worked with had never been to school, some were university teachers, air stewardesses or carpenters. The beauty of my job is that wide diversity of people.
Knowing English quite well, a bit of Spanish, or notions of Greek or Chinese can definitely help me for grammar explanations, but I can teach using French only, so mother tongue is never a problem. Most of my students are English-speaking students though.
GL: What are some of the difficulties and obstacles English-speakers have when learning French?
Marie: Well, first and for most people I would say, the biggest obstacle is their lack of confidence!
Having learnt French at school in big classes where you never had a chance to practice your speaking more than five minutes has discouraged many. Once I’ve helped them rebuild their confidence, we work a lot on what should be the main focus in French classes: how to pronounce French sounds and how to master the links between spoken French and written French. They actually are two different languages until you build the right connections.
GL: What makes Grenoble a good place to come and learn French?
Marie: Grenoble is a young and active city with a rich cultural life and direct access to the mountains. Definitely a great combination. Also, lots of the people who have studied in Grenoble have come back to it after travelling abroad. There is a wide community of French speakers with a special curiosity for other languages and cultures. The game is to try and meet them!
GL: How can people get in touch and find out more about what you do?
Marie: If you want to take lessons, the best way is to send me an email at: veryfrenchgrenobleATgmail.com (the two capital letters must be replaced by the @ sign) explaining why you want to work on your French and when you’re available. Or you can call me directly on my professional mobile phone to book an appointment: + 33 (0) 6 31 46 92 09.
We then set up a free first interview where I’ll assess your level and explain what we could do together. I’ll also let you know if you are entitled free subsidized lessons depending on your situation. If you prefer small group lessons, I try and match my students according to their levels. If you’re willing to create your own group with one, two or three friends of the same level, it’s also an option.
If you wish to join the newsletter and be informed of the free events that I throw every now and then (language exchanges, nice food, nice drinks), just send me an email at this same address: veryfrenchgrenoble – AT- gmail.com. Hope to meet you there very soon!