Friday, February 8, 2013

Missing Paris? Here's A Cure

I told myself before I went to Paris that if I truly liked the city and the culture that I would learn to speak French when I returned home. The only problem is that I was a bit afraid because I took French in high school and the only thing I could remember from the whole experience, besides fruitless attempts at learning the grammar, is how to say hello and goodbye. I did some research and found out about the Alliance Francaise de Chicago, Chicago's French cultural institute.  I signed up to attend their open house on Wednesday to take advantage of a trial lesson in French. Oh, and the wine and cheese.

Little Singing Cutie Pies
The event opened with a small concert given by the students from Lycee Francais Chicago, a bilingual school that teaches k-12th grade. The kids were adorable and excited to be the center of attention. They did a fantastic rendition of "We Will Rock You" in French and English! 

After the concert, our French language class began. There were about  18 of us and we learned the art of introductions by practicing with each other, which was fun and a little nerve racking. I now know  how to properly introduce myself and a friend. This will come in handy for my next trip to Paris. I spent my last visit saying ,"Bonjour! Parlez-vous anglais?" 

After class while having wine and cheese I toured the center; beyond the language classes the center provides cooking demonstrations, cultural events, film screenings, and other opportunities to enjoy French culture. They also have an extensive library of  French film, books, and CDs that members can borrow. Bonus for Kandice: they have a cafe that meets monthly for learners of all levels to practice their skills. 

I definitely plan on attending more events at the center and signing up for classes sometime soon. If you are interested in joining or visiting an Alliance, they have centers all over the U.S. and abroad. Go to their website to learn  more.


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