There are no teachers, native speakers or impatient advanced speakers here so:
The causeries take place on Zoom twice a week: (you can see the days and times here)
When you first arrive you’ll be in the main zoom room and in this room we speak English. So when you first arrive you’ll be greeted in English and you have a chance to settle in without having to worry about speaking any French at all!
Then we do two things:
1. We break into pairs and have a conversation in French, and then
We talk abut everyday things such as where we live, our family, our jobs, our interests etc. Common discussion points are why you’ve started to learn French and how long you’ve been learning.
If you get stuck, you can switch to English to get yourself past the block and then continue in French.
Because your causerie partner is also a learner, you’ll probably find the vocabulary not too hard and of course, if there’s a word or phrase you don’t understand, just ask!
The causeries last 10-15 minutes and then you’ll be returned to the main group. We have three chat during the hour. At each one, you’ll get a different person to speak to (depending on how well we manage the break-out rooms!)
Usually you’ll be in a pair but sometimes you’ll be in a group of three depending of how many people turn up.
2. We return to the main room and talk about our experiences as French learners
One of the benefits of belonging to this group is the ability to talk about our challenges, learnings, breakthroughs.
So after each causerie there’s an opportunity for a debrief where we can reflect on how the causerie went and what we learned from doing it.
We have these conversations in English so that it’s not a strain to express the sometimes intricate ideas we want to talk about.
At the end of the hour, if you have time, you’re welcome to stay in the main room for our “digestif” where we share stories – both poignant and funny – about when we used our French in the real world!
We also talk about tools and resources we’ve found useful.
Then this is not the group for you – we are not a teaching group and we’re not a replacement for teachers. There are heaps of resources out there for people wanting teachers or feedback but this is not one of them.
We are different – we just open our mouths and give it a go and nobody interrupts to correct you or tries to give you a lesson.
We get it. Many or our members have had difficult experiences using their French with teachers and in practice groups. That’s one of the reason we created ¡Charlemos! language-practice system to be the way it is!
Check out this video where participants talk about their experience of the Spanish group:
“Thank you for such a warm welcome. I have been involved in dozens of group chats and this is 100% different.
Just to give everyone an idea of how phobic I am of speaking Spanish: the night before I know I will be on a chat, I don’t sleep and all day I have anxiety. Most of the time, I am a no-show. Even groups like Rosetta Stone where NO ONE can see you or even know who you are, I have such anxiety that I pay for the class and don’t show up. I have read articles about it and nothing seems to help.
I feel a complete weight has been lifted off and I was so excited when I hung up that I called my husband to tell him. It was a huge step for me. I HIGHLY recommend that anyone who feels even remotely shy to join this group whenever you can. Thank you everyone for your patience and kindness. I had so much fun!!!!!!! “
You need to be able to understand every day questions and statements so that you can take part in a conversation.
Your listening skills are more important than your speaking skills because, if you need to or want to, you can respond in English. But you’ll need to be able to understand some basic French in order to do that.
Watch the introductory video below and if you follow most of what I´m saying, you should be fine!
To do that, contact me using Facebook Messenger and let me know you’d like to join ¡Charlemos! French!
To do this:
i. go to my Facebook Profile and
ii. click the Messenger Button that looks like this:
1. I’ll be patient, kind and courteous
2. I realise that mistakes are OK
3. I won’t correct other speakers or do any teaching
4. I’ll share the time
5. I’ll respect people’s privacy
6. If I’m not participating I understand that I may be removed from the group
7. I’m over 18 years old
8. If I can’t contribute something positive, I’ll stay quiet.