Join Alliance Française
“No” is the most likely answer you’ll get to this question if you ask people off the street. If you’re living in an English-speaking country, Francophones are something of a novelty. The best thing to do is “parler francais” if you want to learn the lingo. I’m not suggesting standing in front of the mirror and having a lovely “conversation en français.” From experience, I know you can’t get very far. Your reflection won’t be too willing to correct your mistakes! I’m also not suggesting you ask for a baguette en français at your local Anglophone bakery. Everyone will stare at you with that “you-should-be-in-a-mental-asylum” look. But don’t worry; you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a trip to France.
There’s a solution in your neighborhood—a place where you can “parler francais” freely as though you are in “l’hexagone.” Alliance Française is the world’s largest French language school. In addition to teaching français, this organization offers a variety of events where members can practice their French and learn about French culture. You will be surprised just how much you can learn at Alliance Française.
I joined this organization a few years ago, for a very small fee (less than $50 USD) and have never looked back. Some of the events I have enjoyed with this organization include:
• movie nights
• disco night
• le petit dejeuner
• café drinking
• petanque competition
• French poetry night
• French games night
• Tahitian cultural night
• French speaking contest
I had the opportunity to speak with native French people! You can’t get any better than that. I made friends with people from all over the world who have the desire to learn French. It is a completely open, relaxed environment, so you won’t feel stupid if you make mistakes. Making many Francophone friends, and having fun, is the best way to learn the lingo.
On that note, what are you waiting for? Join Alliance Française and “amusez-vous.”
You can probably find your local chapter by doing a Google search on Alliance Française plus your city name.