Greg, Danville, Californie
Greg, Danville, Californie
I’ve taken French lessons at home in California for a while and was intrigued with taking an intensive program in France. I looked at several and chose two weeks with Claudine. The combination of a private course in a home environment together with a rich cultural program in such a beautiful part of France seemed just right, and it was. Claudine quickly assessed my strengths and weaknesses and tailored a program to exactly meet my needs. Yes, the morning lessons were intense as you’ll read in other posts, but after all, I was there to learn. The focus was on grammar, pronunciation, expansion of vocabulary, and speaking. The opportunities for afternoon activities were vast. I visited a beautiful abbey, an art gallery, a chateau, a charming old village, and attended a play performed amid the tables at a restaurant. Claudine is an excellent guide too! As much as possible she described the places we went in French. When the complexity of the history went beyond my abilities, she added in some English. Hearing and understanding so much French improved my comprehension while at the same time she made sure I didn’t miss any important concepts. When I arrived in Montbard I couldn’t understand natively spoken French at natural speed. By the time I left I was watching the French news on television with decent comprehension.
And then there are her friends, they’re all wonderful people. I’m lucky to have had the privilege of getting to know and speak with them. We spent time with an artist, an elementary school teacher, the owner of the local bookstore, and several other friends and acquaintances. That experience was worth the trip all by itself. Finally, the food. After day two I told her she had to cook less food or I wouldn’t be able to get back on the plane. She didn’t stop but I didn’t really care, it was all excellent and authentic!
Thank you for everything Claudine! -Greg
Milou en Jan, Nederland
Op internet vonden we “Chez Claudine” waar we een cursus Frans op maat konden volgen in een pittoresk oud klooster in het stadje Montbard.
Claudine is een fantastische docente Frans. Het was een groot plezier om les van haar te krijgen. We hebben ontzettend veel genoten en vooral geleerd. We kregen alle gelegenheid om ons optimaal te richten op het verbeteren van het Frans. Daarnaast is Claudine een goede kok en zeer gastvrije gastvrouw. Elke dag bereidde zij heerlijke traditionele Bourgondische gerechten voor ons, waar zij ons veel over vertelde, in het Frans. De maaltijden samen waren eigenlijk een extra les Frans. In een gezellige ambiance, staken we ongemerkt heel veel op van de informele tafelconversaties. Het werd steeds makkelijker om het Frans te volgen, dankzij de intensieve lessen in de ochtend en de informele gesprekken tijdens het ontbijt en de lunch. We kregen deze week ook volop de kans kennis te maken met de Bourgondische levensstijl en cultuur. Elke dag organiseerde Claudine wel een leuk cultureel uitje in de omgeving of een ontmoeting met een inspirerend iemand uit haar netwerk, waar we vervolgens zeer hartelijk werden ontvangen. Het was een fantastische ervaring, waarbij we hebben genoten van de prachtige natuur, schoonheid en gastvrijheid van het cultuurhistorisch zeer rijke Bourgondië. Het was volgens ons de fijnste en beste manier om Frans te leren en we hopen het in de toekomst weer een keer te doen.
Lieve Claudine ontzettend bedankt!
Helen de Portland (Etats-Unis)
My three weeks in Montbard at chez Claudine were a total immersion not just in the French language but in the culture and customs of France and in the civic activities of a small French town. This immersion enhanced my understanding of France and of its rich language.
Meals were delicious as Claudine is an excellent and generous chief. And although I had my own fully-equipped kitchen I never cooked but instead enjoyed the leftovers for dinner – and ‘leftovers’ doesn’t accurately describe her delicious Bourgogne menus. In addition, the kitchen is well stocked with all sorts of good things, including teas, cookies, breads, and cheeses.
Apart from the private lessons and Claudine-escorted excursions, the range of activities made for full days, whether riding the local train solo to neighboring towns, walking along the canal with the Bourguignons, or participating in the after-film discussions at the Cinéma le Phénix .
The lessons were rigorous. Claudine emphasized the proper pronunciation of vowels in our lessons. We both worked hard to undo my many years of incorrect pronunciation. I felt that I made real progress in those three weeks. And, I came away with simple but effective strategies devised by Claudine to maintain my progress and further develop my speaking and oral comprehension skills once I returned home.
Maryann de Portland (Etats-Unis)
The three weeks not only meant French immersion but truly a cultural immersion as the people in the town and surrounds were generous and interesting. The countryside is incredibly beautiful, full of medieval villages and gorgeous farmland.
Claudine and I ate together and she fixed incredible Bourgogne meals. I will return and recommend this to anyone who wants to improve daily conversation as well as grammar classes. »
Licha de Californie (Etats-Unis)
Schellie de New York (Etats-Unis)
Claudine instantly assessed my level and with great energy and caring set about helping me to progress. She is a seasoned teacher, infinitely resourceful, and I found myself working hard to take advantage of the time and her expertise. It was satisfying to have my spoken and written French (and confidence) so greatly improve and I wish I had had another week. Not just for my language skills but because I also enjoyed being in Montbard,
The accommodation is simple, homey, and comfortable. The town is surrounded by fields of sunflowers, and green pastures with herds of white cows, which you pass on the way to fun places. There wasn’t time to visit all of the museums, historical sites, chateaux, or attend all the concerts and exhibitions on offer that time of year, that I would have liked to.
Which is why I plan to return this summer. ».
Melody de Corvallis (Etats-Unis)
As a language teacher myself, I greatly appreciated her ability to clearly explain language concepts and to supplement with level-appropriate materials.
In addition, the experience of complete immersion was not only valuable for my language improvement but was also enjoyable. Claudine provides many real-life opportunities to mesh with the local culture and experience being with « real » French people. She was quick to answer any of my questions about French culture, values, etc. and was a wonderful liaison for better understanding the French lifestyle. Excursions to local musical and art events, eating and visiting with her friends and shopping at the local market were highlights of my time in Montbard. Claudine went the extra mile to ensure that I was comfortable, well-fed and cared for (she even took me to the doctor’s office when I was sick!).
After spending two weeks with Claudine, I continued my travels in France with far more confidence in speaking and listening to native French speakers. The ability to communicate « en français » is a thrill and well worth the time and effort spent with Claudine ».
Christy, Alameda near San Francisco (Etats-Unis)
Kimiko Yasui (68 years old)