French coaching in Toronto via videoconference: 6-months “Décollage” package
Magda’s success story
Je voulais me souvenir du français que j’ai appris il y a 20 ans et avancer pour être fluide dans le futur. Je voulais trouver une méthode effective pour apprendre la langue. [Après 6 mois de coaching,] je suis encore timide mais je peux parler avec mes collègues et je comprends ce qu’ils disent.
When she first contacted me
She had a hard time understanding the fast paced francophone speakers. She rated her French as false-beginner / lower intermediate (basic vocabulary, understanding present, passé compose, and a little future).
As her company’s head office is based in Quebec, she wanted to become fluent and able to converse in French with colleagues in Montreal. She was bothered by the fact that her francophone colleagues had to switch to English during meetings because of her. She felt reviving her French was the right thing to do in order to build deeper relationships and to get fully involved into the company‘s life.
Her expectations at the start of the 6-months “Décollage” package
She thought she would be able to speak a little bit and understand what she would read.
The coaching journey
- Quickly, we realized she was progressing faster than she had expected. After refreshing the bases and unlocking her listening comprehension, she realized she was at an intermediate level.
- We found her favourite ways to study and practice French and she incorporated these activities into her daily life.
- We realized her mother tongue (Polish) helped her grasp the French language better than solely relying on English. As a result, we made sure to create connections between all the languages she knows to maximize efficiency.
- She always came well prepared to our sessions with specific questions and examples of sentences she could use at work.
- As a result of her personal work, she was always progressing, developing the range of her vocabulary and her ability to understand, speak and write. Also learning to be more comfortable with the discomfort of not being as articulate in French as in English.
- She experienced a few “Eureka moments” on the way, for example that Polish was an asset to understand French grammar. Each realization fueled her self-confidence and took her one step further.
- During the first 3 months, we “cleared the fog”, refreshed and practiced concepts, worked on learning strategies and finding the courage to speak.
- Then, during the following 3 months, we moved into more advanced concepts and practicing spontaneous conversations. I’m grateful Magda trusted me to explore uncomfortable situations. As a result she improved her skills and developed the confidence to use them in the “real world” with her colleagues.
- What’s next? Now that she’s firmly settled into the high intermediate level, Magda is determined to continue her French journey until she feels more confident in stressful situations as well. We’ll also be working on correcting fossilized mistakes and practicing advanced syntax and grammar to sound more natural.
Results after 6 months (1h30 per week and personal work in between sessions)
She can interact spontaneously in French with her colleagues and they can conduct meetings mostly in French.
Je suis encore timide mais je peux parler avec mes collègues et je comprends ce qu’ils disent.
What she said was the most useful to her:
La flexibilité de la structure des sessions. Le contenu dépend de ce que mon cerveau a besoin pour apprendre.
She particularly enjoyed that we had a framework to work toward her goals but the content was flexible. We adapted each session to her specific needs at that moment.
By doing that, we reduced the frustration and uncertainty in her brain. When it had a question, we provided an answer that made sense. Therefore, the calmed brain was able to acquire that piece of knowledge and move on to another question.
Unexpected benefits from the coaching
- In a Quebec company, speaking French is definitely an asset. She showed her bosses how dedicated she is to this project and to the company. Her colleagues started considering her a fluent speaker before she was confident enough to call herself fluent.
- Being prepared is important. However, you also need to practice spontaneous interactions to be able to perform well in the foreign language when interacting with natives.
Looking for French coaching in Toronto via videoconference?
Ready to revive your high school French like Magda?