Testimonials about our Intensive French Immersion Courses
French Immersion Course in Belgium
Emeritus Professor of Music, University of Oxford Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College
In preparation for a lecture I was invited to give on Johann Sebastian Bach at the Conservatoire nationale in Paris, I spent an intensive weekend at Dialogue Langues working with Jean-Luc on my proposed text.
The weekend was a remarkable experience, in that we not only revised virtually every paragraph to capture my meaning, but I also gained some very important insights into French written style which actually improved my ideas and helped me prepare for the impromptu Q&A following my talk.
Being given an ‘insider’ view of the precision for which the French language is famed felt at times like an ordeal by fire, but the success I enjoyed the next day in the French capital no doubt resulted from my time in Spa.
Many thanks, Jean-Luc, as always, for the splendid tuition and heartfelt encouragement.
I am studying French simply for the joy and pleasure it brings to learn to speak French and to explore the French culture. After four years of studying French at the Harvard Extension School (the Harvard division offering courses for working adults), I decided to spend three weeks at Dialogue in Spa, Belgium. Dialogue had been recommended to me by another student at Harvard who had attended the same Dialogue school.
Dialogue offers a unique total immersion into the French language and culture. The professor/student ratio is 1 to 1. That is, each student is taught by a professor in a class with but one student. This offers the advantage of the professor being able to focus on the exact level and needs of one student.
It also offers the advantage of having the instruction tailored to the particular needs and desires of the student, rather than having the professor determine what the curriculum should be. For example, when I arrived at Dialogue I told the staff that I was not particularly interested in French vocabulary or grammar. I wanted to concentrate on French phonetics and conversation, and that was exactly the program that Dialogue devised for me. Every Dialogue student is different, and the curriculum for every student is devised specifically for that student. There is no «standard» curriculum at Dialogue.
Moreover, when you arrive at Dialogue, you become a member of a francophone family. You take breakfast and dinner with Jean-Luc, the director of Dialogue, and his charming wife, Claudine. You take lunch and spend your classroom breaks (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) with the professors and the other students, often joined by Gerdemie, Dialogue’s «team assistant» and the person with whom you’ll have the most contact in registering and preparing for your stay at Dialogue. In other words, you spend the entire day in a French environment, speaking French, listening to French, thinking in French, possibly even dreaming in French (I studied at Dialogue three weeks ; my final night at Dialogue, I dreamed in French). You live in a nurturing French environment all of your waking hours. Dialogue’s purpose every moment of the day is to teach you French language and culture. The student at Dialogue learns French all day, every hour, not just in the didactic sessions.
You will not get lost in the crowd at Dialogue. Normally there are but two or three students, rarely more. In any event, every student has every class with one professor. And all students, regardless of their level of French, are welcomed into the Dialogue family. Every effort is made to bring every student to their full potential in the shortest possible time. The staff at Dialogue are professionals — friendly, personable, top-notch language teachers fully committed to bringing out the best in each student.
Before my study at Dialogue, I had had very high expectations, expectations I knew could not possibly be fulfilled. As it turned out, all of my expectations were met and in fact exceeded. In my opinion, Dialogue is the best place in the world to learn French.
Open Arms Consultants
I wanted to take a moment and thank you ALL for your hard work, and assistance with my learning to french!
My conference went well...spoke french the whole time and answered questions with no problems! few of my old clients were there and they were very impressed :)
Now I am back to a load of work and still trying to catch up. I had a wonderful time and met sweet interesting people!
Thank you again for a wonderful experience.
The DIALOGUE experience impressed me, from initial email contact to reception at the center and through the final period of instruction. DIALOGUE offers a truly individual experience—specialized one on one instruction in areas determined by the student.
In my case, the focus on listening comprehension was beyond my expectation. Jean Luc and the Team focused on distinguishing sounds, not merely learning more words; this was a different focus than expected, but extremely valuable.
Outside periods of instruction, the immersion remains constant and productive, subtly reinforcing course content.
In conclusion, the DIALOGUE team is “formidable!” Jean Luc is a scholar and gentlemen, Claudine is the most gracious host, Helene and Rafael are great facilitators (based on the learning model, I consider them facilitators instead of instructors), and Gedermie provided responsive administrative support.
Based on my experience, I highly recommend the DIALOGUE immersion program in Spa, Belgium.
Let me pass on my perceptions of the programme for your benefit.
It is hard to start, however, without many thank you's for the very peaceful study environment, the order of your school, and the warmth and generosity of spirit you shared with me and the other students over delicious meals. It is hard to imagine how a programme could be better run and personalised, especially for someone like me who (in my early 50's has a clear sense of myself), and who needs to balance privacy against an overwhelming desire to learn and to communicate. Your ability to perceive and respond to your students' interests, their starting levels and capacities has to be a strong competitive advantage in the field of language training, especially for motivated and older students. How I would progress in a class of six in a fixed programme, living in a dorm, is beyond me!
Here are some highlights, although it is inevitable that I will leave somethings out. My apologies in advance:
- The meals: the food was always well-balanced, healthy, seasonal and of course well prepared, all of which by themselves led to ample discussion topics. Add to that the beauty of the dining space and the garden, the discussions of managing house and home, interwoven with memories of family, and there was never a shortage of subjects for immediate interest. It also didn't hurt that we enjoyed some marvellous wines, which may not always have improved my French (at least not at the moment), but it certainly made me feel at peace at the end of a long day and at one with la culture francaise.
- The room: I loved mine. It was well equipped and the selection of videos (not to mention access to the film library) was amazing. I could be there for months on end. The bathroom was fine, and the view across the valley to the opposing ridge was a soothing backdrop to even the most rigorous exercises. Of course the care of the room and its cleanliness were very high quality. It was also very civilised to have access to the refrigerator with fine Belgian beers.
- The instruction: starting from subjects close to my heart raised the importance of learning to speak the sentences or questions correctly. The weaving of vocabulary and grammar around the subjects made the learning itself much more engaging, creating emotional anchor points for what otherwise could end up as arid exercises. My four hours, plus 3.5 to 4 hours of social conversation, proved to be the limit of what I could handle, considering that I also averaged around 3-4 hours of personal exercises based on the accumulated lessons.
- The more technical discussions on tenses and prepositions never bogged down; and I appreciate my instructors' tolerating my demands of theory until we found something that would stick in my head to clarify what then resulted in fairly simple usage.
- The instructors were always very good humoured, and would encourage my halting efforts to convert jokes from English into some French equivalent. I realise that spoken humour is one of the last and hardest areas to master, but there is no time like the present!
- I found the self-evaluation and then instructor evaluation throughout the course very helpful and accurate. This helped identify priorities and kept the use of time efficient, which was of course very important to me.
- The recorded sentences are very good and central to my experience, although I admit that they remain a near-term project for me to practice on lunch-time walks at work. For most I have about 2,950 repetitions to go. I am looking forward to it.
- My thanks to Raf, Stephanie, Jean Luc and Claudine for persistent and adroit efforts at pushing me along, setting the targets and goals, and mostly for the encouragement of my improvement. In summary, when I came back to London, my friends asked me if I was now fluent. The answer is no...but! I am much quicker in cocktail party exchanges. My listening skills are markedly better for most broadcasts (although les polars remain largely indecipherable), and I am very pleased to have a new agenda and a clearer path for next steps. I cannot thank you enough for your guiding this very personal experience of mine. I will never forget Raf's invoking Descartes in explaining the subjunctive and steering me away from the more pervasive skepticism of Italian usage. Stephanie for coming up with the hardest sentences in French ever created, and Jean Luc trying (although only barely succeeding) in getting me to stop singing. And to Claudine for reminding me to stop saying 'pour' when I meant 'pendant, dans, en, etc.' J'ai beaucoup de pain sur la planche. Thank you all and best of luck in the future.
One of my longstanding goals in life has been to learn to speak another language. After several French courses and having remarkably passed all tests with high marks, spoken communication has always been a major block for me. My reasons for wanting to learn French are for personal, not professional goals; I live in Canada, on the doorstep to French Quebec, my daughter speaks French from her Canadian French immersion schooling, I have friends in France whom I want to visit and communicate with in their language, I want to travel in French speaking countries and I am fascinated with the neurological challenge of training my brain, now in its 60s, to think and communicate in another language. Browsing websites for French immersion courses, I instantly recognized DialoguE as being different from all others with its one-on-one student centred approach. As adults, the learning of language has always seemed to me to be the wrong way round. Children learn a language first by hearing and listening, then experimenting with sounds, words and sentences before reading and grammar. As adults the focus is often on grammar with limited opportunities for listening, hearing and speaking and there is a reluctance to make verbal mistakes so though reading French may be achieved, understanding spoken French and communicating verbally does not happen.
My week at DialoguE in Spa was the absolute best French experience I have had. Jean-Luc and Claudine, perfect hosts and expert teachers, welcomed me to their lovely home, a friendly retreat in beautiful surroundings. This was true immersion. Teachers Stephanie and Raphael assessed my level, focussed on my own goals and tailored the morning and afternoon lessons to my needs. All teachers, including Gerdemie, are patient and expert language educators, giving positive feedback and training in hearing, listening and pronunciation. The strength of the DialoguE approach and its teachers is the ability to teach comfortably and without prejudice at any level, and to people from all professional fields and interests.
My room doubled as a comfortable retreat and a classroom. Dining was a delicious delight with Claudine’s superb cuisine and Jean-Luc’s wine and stories. Every minute of the week was well spent, an indulgence entirely in French. Spa itself is a lovely and interesting town and, as a walker, I enjoyed exploring the town and its surrounding area and practicing my French in the shops and with people on the street. By the end of the week I had made significant gains in my ability to discern sounds and phrases and confidence in speaking and being understood. I sincerely thank Jean-Luc, Claudine, Stephanie and Gerdemie. Yes, I would love to come again and yes, I recommend DialoguE for anyone looking to improve their French for personal or professional reasons.
I am surprised how much I enjoy working with these personalized CD's. I have never been a good student with recorded material, but these are different because they are of personal interest and because the voices of Stephanie, Raphael, and you bring back many memories of pleasant if challenging classes.
I've thought a lot about what I learned at DialoguE since returning home: That there is much more to acquiring a second language than translating words (which often can't be done) and understanding the grammar; that one really needs to be in the culture and forget one's favorite phrases in one's native language; and that it takes a long, long time. I was pretty exhausted at the end of the two weeks, but am now looking forward to using the many tools which all of you at DialoguE have provided.
Stephanie and Raphael are simply the best. Each of them found a way to my heart and mind while pushing my usage and comprehension.
My special thanks to Claudine. She made each of us feel at home and welcome while providing us exquisite meals and occasionally, very gently, guiding our grammar.
Jean-Luc, thank you. You have created something very special.
My very best wishes to all of you.
I had a fairly advanced level of French before my visit to DialoguE but I felt that my pronunciation was holding me back.
After my week at DialoguE I am happy to report that my pronunciation has greatly improved.
I am confident that I will continue to make progress after my stay, thanks to the CD containing key phrases from my lessons and the helpful advice I received.
We were 4 students. Canada, Holland, Japan and me, Sweden.
During the days we had 3 different teachers. So we never got tired of each other and the teachers were young and one of the most profs I have meet during my schooltime.
The days started with the breakfast together with the owners of the school. At 9 the two private-lessons started at my private room. A break for coffee - next two private-lessons started. Break for lunch together with the students and teachers. After that the two last lessons.
My free time started 16.30 and I went out for a long walk in the lovely nature around Spa. Then back to room and study.
At 19.30 we had dinner together with the owners. The food was always very good composed with good wine. And it was not only the language - it was also a lot how to manage when you are invited to French people...the culture. We had very interested discussions during the dinners and it was great to hear how we all developed during the week.
I learned to pronounce better, I have a bigger vocabulary and I speak good French now. I more easier can read and listen to the TV better and I think I can have an interview for job on French.
It doesn´t stops here...now with the cd-disk they gave me with the key sentences. I continue to listen 15 minutes every day...
And the only bad thing I can say about this week, I wish it never lasted :)
I wanted to thank you once again for a very rewarding week with you. My French improved tremendously. For someone who hadn't spoken French since GCSE over 15 years ago, the combination of intensive individual lessons and continual immersion in the language proved invaluable. Merci beaucoup!
Thank you very much for the professional teaching & excellent hospitality during my stay in Spa. It was a pleasure to meet you and your colleagues.
I have talked positive about DialoguE to my friends here in Luxembourg.
President, Grasta Solutions LLC
As far as I am concerned, it’s the only way to go. I learned more in my two weeks there than I would in a year of school, although I was tired by the end.
I think I could do another two weeks and hope Mme Godard would be so courteous as to share breakfast with me in the mornings again.
I would like to thank you all at DialoguE in Spa for our superb two week French immersion experience recently. The course surpassed my expectations and your teaching method has truly provided me with the key to continue that improvement. Please convey my thanks to your teaching staff for their effective teaching and their consistently high level of expertise.
I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to yourself and Claudine for your hospitality as well as the entertaining discussions and the gentle corrections of my French during mealtimes.
All the best until we see you the next time.
I have spent a lot of time over the last few years trying to learn French. In reading books, learning rules of grammar, I have learned a lot about French, but not really to speak the language. It has been quite frustrating to be able to read fairly well, but not to express myself, fully understand others or participate in conversations. All that is in the process of change following my 10 day stay in Spa.
Claudine and Jean-Luc Godard, and their terrific professors, have a different and better method. The concentration is on the sounds of the language, comprehension of spoken French and correct pronunciation. I can see now that with work on the right things, as directed by DialoguE, it is possible for me to learn to speak the language. I arrived in Spa with the hope that I would make progress and I certainly did that; but, I also made some wonderful Dialogue friends; Claudine, Jean-Luc, Genevieve, Valerie, Sylvia & Gerdemie, but also other students from Spain, Switzerland and Holland. I left with personalized CDs with about two hours of my professors speaking about subjects that I chose, concentrating on vocabulary important to me. I will continue to practice with these CDs, expand my oral comprehension and speak with more confidence.
I have been to other schools. If I had found DialoguE sooner in my work to learn the language, I have no doubt that I would be much further along today. I plan to work with my CDs, the other recordings available at DialoguE and, with time and effort, expand my ability. It is clear to me that with DialoguE’s method, and a lot of work – no way to avoid that, but it is very enjoyable and rewarding – I can become a French speaker. I will certainly return. DialoguE has a very well deserved reputation for excellence among its students and other schools. Were it possible to easily learn a language, DialoguE would have discovered the secret. It is not easy, it requires effort and repetition, but this is quite clearly the way for an adult to learn to speak a language.
The accommodations and meals are exceptional. Claudine is in charge of the meals, Jean-Luc the wine and everyone the conversation. Meal times are delightful; breakfast with Claudine, lunch with the professors and dinner entertainment with the Robin Williams of Spa, Jean-Luc. It will be very hard for me not to become a regular guest at DialoguE. In short, the language experience is exceptional, the people and place delightful.
General Manager Global Risk - Treasury Arcelor Mittal
I arrived on the course with little or no background in French and left a week later with a very good foundation. Your teaching staff were very patient with me which I appreciated. I have been actively working every day at the language and hope to start bi-weekly lessons through work. I also have every intention of coming back, hopefully during late summer to polish up on what I have learnt.
Once again very many thanks.
Thank you for all of your help! The class was great!
Having just completed a week at DialoguE, I wanted to write to compliment you on your fine school and hospitality. As you know, this completes my third stay at DialoguE, and I still feel quite strongly that there is no other language learning experience quite like DialoguE.
The format of the course is novel and designed for rapid assimilation of French, since all lessons are private and geared to the level of the student. No one needs to feel shy or self conscious about their verbal abilities in French, and verbal expression in French is encouraged at all times.
But the real “magic” occurs during the time of total immersion in the French language and culture, which does not happen in many other schools. At DialoguE, even meal times and television time are opportunities to learn and exercise newly learned French! It is not surprising to realize that you are thinking in French, and it is true, actually dreaming in French after a time!
I would whole-heartedly recommend DialoguE to anyone who is seriously considering a language school, and wishes to make quick and enjoyable progress.
DialoguE is, in my opinion, by far the best program for learning spoken French in Europe or North America.
The school is full-immersion, residential, and specialized in teaching spoken French to adults. The students live and study in the home of the school's owners, taking meals together in French with their teachers. There might be anywhere from 3 to 6 students, depending on the time of year.
All instruction is completely individual (one teacher, one student) and customized in light of the individual student's objectives. I have attended on several occasions to improve my spoken French for professional reasons, and have always been fully satisfied.
In my view, the key to Dialogue's success is that all lessons are individual and personalized, so that a maximum of progress is made for whatever time one has to devote to learning French. The ratio of one student/one teacher explains, of course, the apparently high price, but in terms of a quality/price ratio, I think that the school is a better buy than less expensive alternatives where much time is wasted in group instruction.
I would appreciate your conveying my sincere thanks to you all, especially Claudine and Jean-Luc for their wonderful hospitality. I truly enjoyed my three-week stay there and hope to visit there again sometime this autumn.
I spent 2 weeks at DialoguE and it was a great experience. I think I learned more French over there than I did in 2 years in high school! Though it is expensive, it is worth the money. The quality of teaching is very high and the atmosphere is great. Before DialoguE, I could barely speak the language. Now, I can speak pretty well and can understand even the French news on TV!
The advantage about this programme is that one is constantly conversing in French. No English at all for the entire duration. This is what really makes a difference; in a couple of days I was able to understand pretty much everything that was being said in French.
Jean-Luc, Claudine and the entire team are very professional, but also make one feel at home. It is quite informal and there is no pressure as such.
It really was a very good experience and I encourage people who have the chance to go there not to think twice about it.
I’d like to thank you all for the extremely enjoyable, and productive time I spent with you last week in Spa.
To Jean-Luc and Claudine, I congratulate you on your excellent concept, and let me say once again how much I enjoyed your 1st class hospitality and the convivial atmosphere you create. The fine foods prepared so expertly by Claudine and matched by Jean-Luc’s wine were a particular treat.
To my "Professeurs", thank you for your professionalism, patience and perseverance. I was very pleased with the results of my tuition in all areas, and it was only after I left that I appreciated properly how much I had improved. It took me a while to get to grips with the "Triangle Vocalique", but now I am finding it immensely useful in improving my comprehension and expression.
I have already recommended to a number of colleagues that they should attend, and I believe that at least one will be contacting you very shortly. I myself would very much like to come back later in the year if the opportunity arises, so hopefully I shall be able to show you all how things have progressed.
In conclusion thank you all once again, and feel free to use me as a reference if you feel it would be helpful.
With Best Regards, and until next time,
Keith London ROGERS
Many thanks for a superb weekend. A short, sharp spell of total immersion in a francophone environment was just what I needed to give me the confidence to tackle my exams. It made a big difference as I passed them with flying colours!
PMI Engineering SA
I would like thank you for what has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
Learning something new is almost never easy, it takes effort & commitment from all concerned.
For a person like me, I needed, a motivating environment, without distractions; this you uniquely provide within the setting of Dialogue.
The Dialogue system of immersion from morning to night, without intrusion into personnel space is unique and something I still do not understand how you to manage to achieve so apparently effortlessly.
Personally the most important things were the intangibles & details provided by you, Claudine & your team.
The things I will most remember apart from the French language are:
- The patience and persistence of your team of professors.
- Your infectious enthusiasm for language and communication.
- The truly stimulating conversations over excellent dinners.
Thank you again for opening up the Francophone world to me.
Professor United Kingdom
Many thanks for your efforts of last week which made my stay at Dialogue both enjoyable and productive.
Over the past few days I have come to realise just how much I learnt in my one week stay at Spa. My wife, who speaks French fluently, was pleasently suprised at the extent of my progress and is currently helping me consolidate the excellent work of you and your staff. Your work will help me to enjoy my time in the Dordogne even more than I normally do.
My appetite for the French language has been whetted and I fully intend to return and to further increase my language skills. Your total immersion method certainly worked for me and the whole week was very good value for money.
Please convey my thanks to the other teachers.
Dear Ms McBean,
I undertook the course at DialoguE during the last week of September and first of October last year. I was a beginner at the start with no more than some remnants of schoolboy French with a few tourists phrases thrown in. I had been reading a Teach Yourself book for a few weeks before attending the course. I had originally booked a two week course with the intermediate weekend but due to a family death just before going on the course and an unfortunate incident in Brussels station on my way to the course I actually lost 4 days of tuition. Mr. Godard was most helpful through this and not only did he provide me personal assistance such as taking me personally to the Police Station to make a statement but also assisted me with getting funds into the country through his account. In addition we were able to make up for some of the lost time through Mr. Godard re-arranging schedules to give me extra lessons on the days I was present. He has credited me with the remaining lessons to be taken on my next visit which I will definitely take once time allows.
I took the course because I had been offered a job with a French company and as I was to be working with French speaking indigenes I had to undergo an interview in France, in French, two days after finishing the course. I passed the interview and was offered the job the next day. One of the many good things I found about the course was that I told Mr. Godard at the start that my initial aim was to pass the interview, with a secondary aim of continuing to learn the language, and he was able to tailor specific aspects of the course directly towards my interview. This definitely helped me get through a rather nerve racking experience as some key points, questions and responses had been turned into key phrases during the course and recorded on cassette allowing me to hear and rehearse them time and again. This 'Key Phrases' is a particular aspect of the course and I have found it particulary useful and still listen to the CDs on a regular basis now. Through this I am gaining more confidence and having been given a good grasp of the structure of the language have now found it much easier to learn on my own the grammar and verb conjugations. I have three French contractors working for me here in Nigeria and whereas I used to conduct all business in English with them, I now spend a lot of time speaking French on the job and even go out for a beer with them where we only speak French. The 'immersion' part of the course gave me the confidence to do this as only French is spoken throughout the course, although you are helped when you are in particular difficulty in trying to make yourself understood.
I found the whole atmosphere to be very relaxed and pleasant with meal times and evening interaction being something to look forward to. The food was excellent although Mr. Godard and myself could never agree on the best choice of wine, luckily he always had several. The instructors were very pleasant and relaxed, although forceful in their coaxing of French conversation from you and getting across the lessons material. I felt the individual instruction was of particular benefit because the moment I had a problem with a particular aspect the instructor was able to concentrate on that aspect until I had understood it. In a class session this would often not be possible leaving a gap in ones learning. Where the instructor noticed a particular problem this was specifically addressed on the 'Key Phrases' tapes so that it was available to me for continual reference.
By the end of the course I was rated as around level 2 with a notation that I should be able to achieve level 4 with another weeks training. In the few months since I've finished it I believe I have been able to raise myself well above level 2 with what I took from the course in both materials and the experience and am quite confident writing to the French company with which I had the interview in French. Even if I don't end up with the job that started it all, the course has given me impetus to learn a second language fluently and I intend to do that. I cannot actually, at this moment in time, think of anything that I would like to see improved. Jean-Luc and his wife, Claudine, made you feel very welcome and the small numbers gave the evenings a sense of a friendly gathering. For those who wanted less intensive study it would even make a pleasant and different holiday as Spa is a very pleasant area of Europe. I am happy to recommend the course and will be going again myself as soon as I can fit it in.
I trust I have been able to answer all your questions as fully as you would wish and that you find my personal view useful in your deliberations. A friend on mine is attending the course this month on my recommendations.
Teacher Osaka Japan
I have studied French for the past four summers in French-speaking countries and no other school is better than Dialogue thanks to the "private lessons".
I brought some CDs on which I had recorded French programs, made a transcript before each lesson and had a teacher correct it. This practice greatly helped me improve my French.
This autumn just after the lessons I passed the DELF 1st grade at the score of 16.5~18 out of 20.
The fees are a little expensive but they are worth it. DialoguE is for those who really want to improve their French because no one speaks Japanese there.
When I came to DialoguE, my French had been deteriorating for several years. I had given up being truly comfortable with the language and felt burdened by the fact that I had to speak it regularly in my daily life.
After one week at DialoguE, my worst faults in pronunciation and grammar have been corrected, my oral comprehension has dramatically improved; bust but most importantly, I'm motivated - I'm enjoying working with French - and speaking the language is a challenge and an opportunity.
I will come back.
CH - 9033 UntereggenI think your training method is one of the best I have known.
About my DialoguE experience :
Most language training I've ever had taught me how to translate from English to French. At DialoguE I learned to call on what I knew to express myself directly in French. What a difference! Much like the difference between someone who can follow a recipe and someone who knows how ingredients combine to form cuisine, I learned more than just verbs & vocabulary; I absorbed the sounds, the nuances, and the rhytms of the language. I discovered that I could be understood by shopkeepers, taxi cab drivers, and, best of all –waiters!
Two weeks at DialoguE were worth two semesters of college level instruction. By the end of my stay I was able to converse with French friends in their own language! They were so impressed. Not only that, but I now have the kind of foundation that makes future learning truly productive, instead of an exercise in memorizing dull vocabulary lists. Maybe the only down side to DialoguE is that one's English gets a little rusty!...
C'est incroyable! Merci mille fois!
Ian D McKie
BHP Billiton Petroleum
Flexible, sympathetic, personal - these are 3 of the most important adjectives to describe what DialoguE can offer you.
Whilst Jean-Luc, Claudine & their team are wholly professional & highly effective in delivering what you specifically need in terms of individually tailored language training, you will never feel anything other than part of an extended family. This is true from the initial doorstep greeting through your formal lessons, mealtimes and informal discussions up to the day of your final departure. When you are with them, the extended family will probably range from beginners to those who are nearly fluent - this is not an issue. Each gets his/her own needs met in a relaxed & comfortable environment - & students get to help each other in addition to everything that Dialogue offers.
I made much more progress here in just over 3 weeks than I made in 5 years of French lessons in school - & I left with an appetite to come back for more!! From one who was a reluctant language student, there can be no greater praise.
My stay at Dialogue was even better than I had hoped it would be. I had a wonderful time, meeting interesting people, and feeling constantly challenged.
You have developed a program that really works, for all levels of ability.
My French improved a lot, and I am anticipating having it improve even more, during my next visit to DialoguE. I don't know yet when that might be, but I do know that I will return.
Thank you for the innovative approach to language learning, the wonderful teachers, and for making me feel so at home. Please feel free to give out my name and phone number to anyone interested in learning more about DialoguE, as I'll be happto to help spread the word.
Again many thanks to you and Claudine, and everyone at DialoguE who helped make my experience there so positive.
David P. McNeillyThe stay at Dialogue was most helpful in focusing my efforts on key areas for improvement. The teaching methods were well adapted to my requirements and the teachers were excellent. It was very pleasant to be in a family home rather than in a school environment. This enhanced the learning experience.
The quality of instruction was quite high, with a great deal of attention given to individual needs.
I was able to make significant progress in the areas of greatest importance to me in a short period of time.
I would (and do) recommend DialoguE highly to anyone who is serious about learning French as efficiently as possible.
James David Jacobs
Baker & McKenzie
Your school was better than I imagined.
It rose far above the professionalism that I anticipated.
I particularly appreciated the perfection that you requested.
And of course, the food was superb.
When I undertook my first visit to DialoguE, within the range of Americans likely to be able to speak French, I would be entered into the group labeled, Not-in-this-life-time. Mais oui, I could read French, but speak the language? Understand it? Ha!
I started with DialoguE with realistic expectations, to be able to communicate without needing pen and paper every time I wanted to ask directions or order dinner in Paris. I can now more than hold my own. The French pronunciation is a challenge for most Americans. The sounds are not within our repertoire of sound. I may never make it to Parisian French, but now my efforts in French are met with the question, "Swiss or Canadian?" and no one responds to me in English! With this last trip I can now understand with complete ease radio and news broadcasts in French. With earlier lessons I had increased my ability to understand about 80%, 20 % was still a lot missing. The Godard's rapidly identified what I still needed to learn in order to understand the remaining 20% and within two weeks, give me the news en français! I did try other programs and I have an awesome vocabulary to prove it. I just couldn't speak or understand the language. I am certain that I still would not without DialoguE. Jean Luc and Claudine Godard are geniuses in teaching language at all levels.
In addition to developing a capacity to communicate in French, I find DialoguE an ideal place for learning and enjoying life at the same time. Mealtimes at Dialogue are a continuation of everyone's French lessons - always in a manner that is supportive and fun. Claudine Godard is a formidable hostess. She manages to surround each student in a relaxed elegance assuring that each individual has as much privacy or interaction as each desires. During my visits she has succeeded in helping even the most timid individuals feel at-home. At the same time she directs DialoguE with an attention to detail and an expertise in administration that senior executives routinely note with admiration.
For those with any interest in learning or improving their French, in my experience, DialoguE is THE place to go. It is an ideal setting whether one starts as I did, serious disaster case, or one is a professor of French seeking only to perfect an accent. The greatest risk for any student is that Dialogue can be rather addictive. I've been lucky enough to be there three times and I'm looking forward to the fourth.
One must be very cautious, of course, about any dealings over the internet with an entity one does not know. But, DialoguE is all they claim to be in their web site and much more. I cannot think of any group or business that I have dealt with in recent years that lived up more fully and totally to the deal they make with each individual student, in terms of instruction, cost and promised facilities and amenities. One can have total confidence that here are folks who really care about what they do, are proud of it, and proud to teach and share the beautiful French language with those fortunate enough to come to their splendidly equipped and located school.
In my view, they are at the very top of the apex in instruction methods and personal expertise in language training. My time there has given me a very fond memory to carry a lifetime.
Margot Dexter and Palmer Swanson
Our DialoguE Experience
Over the years enterprises which "promise their customers less, yet deliver more" are the successful ones. Exceeding clients' expectations as a routine matter happens only through careful attention to every aspect...down to the smallest detail... of the enterprise. While such business terminology is not often applied to the educational and training process, in the case of DialoguE it most certainly deserves to be.
We arrived at DialoguE with a common interest in learning French, but differences in experience level, language skills and learning styles.
Between us we've had exposure over the years to many different training methods in dozens of settings, thus we feel competent to compare and measure DialoguE against other approaches.
Some of our key observations are:
o The excellence and consistency among our several trainers were remarkable. They obviously loved their work. They were patient, helpful, enthusiastic, encouraging, creative, skilled at regularly delivering constructive, corrective feedback, and moving from one good-natured trainer to the next was a virtually seamless process for us the learners.
o While all trainers were clearly adhering to a common method, their individual creativity, sense of humor and enthusiasm shone through. As promised, training was strictly one-on-one; no group sessions.
o The personalized subject matter developed on-the-spot to be taken back home on individualized CDs comprises current and immediately useable autobiographical phrases and sentences...essential to meaningful later conversation.
o Living at Jean-Luc and Claudine Godard's villa in comfortable, private rooms and partaking of Claudine's delicious home-cooked meals, accompanied by French-only conversations with fellow students and ever-present friendly faculty added tremendously to the experience.
In summation, we've arrived home with a very clear understanding of the ongoing steps we must take to insure that we not only keep alive the language skills we've gained, but also to move ahead. We are already planning our return to Dialogue within a year for another rewarding and satisfying experience.
As I am in a hurry, I just write you to let you know that I got the job at the ICRC.
For the interview I had the chance to choose between English and French and I decided to speak FRENCH!!!! For the group discussion etc. we spoke as well in FRENCH.
Thank you very much for your help....
Professor of Statistics
On my return home, I received with interest the most recent "Champs-Elysées" CD to which I have subscribed for a long time.
A month ago I heard about 50 %. Now, after my stay at DialoguE, I hear almost all.
East Boston MA
In only two weeks I made a noticeable improvement in my ability to speak and comprehend French, and significantly improved my self-confidence.
Within weeks of leaving DialoguE I was living in Paris, navigated an interview entirely in French, and had received a job offer.
The instructors were genuinely interested in helping me learn, easily accommodating my particular interests and learning style.
Rest assured that during your stay Jean-Luc and Claudine will be the perfect hosts, providing wonderful conversation and food for those rare times when you're not studying or having a lesson. Be sure to ask Jean-Luc to show you his slides from Burundi!
I have taken a number of French language courses over the last ten years but always in a group format. My French had reached a particular level but I found it difficult to advance beyond this. I spent a very fruitful five days with the Godards and their excellent teachers at Spa and I reached a new level of confidence with the language. I made some marked improvements during the course and am now confident that I can reach a much higher level with practice.
I wholeheartedly recommend five days at DialoguE.
Your efficient & personalised teaching has certainly remotivated me. Additionally, your CDs make it easy to continue to make progress at home.
Regards to all,
Six months after my first visit to DialoguE and immediately prior to starting my new job in a Parisian law firm, I returned to DialoguE for two weeks.
The result is that I felt extremely comfortable and natural speaking in French once I arrived in France. Immediately after my arrival, I received many compliments on my French. Parisians repeatedly expressed surprise that I had never lived for an extended period of time in France. Furthermore, the facility of expression that I gained at DialoguE helped me to adapt quickly to working in an entirely French office and to interact easily on a social level with French people outside of the office. I know that the time that I spent at DialoguE played an important role in my current comfort level in France and the extent to which I am enjoying my stay here.
DialoguE is, without a doubt, the best language school that I have found. The main drawback to studying at DialoguE is that afterward, you will be much less tolerant of the inefficiency of studying elsewhere.
Richard H. Zahm
My French improved dramatically: I could see and hear improvement daily, not just over the course of weeks. I made more progress in my week at DialoguE than I did over the course of a year studying at school.
If you really want to learn French (or Spanish, or German, or Flemish), and you’re willing to put in the work to do it, I can’t imagine a more effective method. And I can’t wait to go back.
I'm home now, and very happy with my DialoguE experience, for many reasons.
The biggest is that my instructors knew how to identify and address those issues that are particular to a more advanced learner.
No wasted time -- my efforts were focused. Time and energy were well spent, and the result was marked progress each day.
Another big reason was the food -- the meals were outstanding!
Wall Street Financial Firm - Information Technology Analyst
Pure excellence in language education!
After searching for two years and taking classes at several schools, finally I've discovered one where I can make solid progress in minimal time. It truly boosts your confidence, rapidly increases your level of comprehension and ease of speaking. The environment is perfect for studies - comfortable, non-stressful, and yet very serious.
It's a true language immersion - you speak the language which you study from 9 o'clock in the morning till 10 o'clock in the evening, non-stop. The teachers are extremely competent, well versed in the method, and very pleasant. They concentrate on your goals, making sure that you achieve them by the end of your stay.
International Advertisement Director, Handelsblatt Publishing Group, Düsseldorf
I would just like to convey my heart-felt gratitude to you and the whole "DialoguE" team for 2 thoroughly enjoyable and productive weeks in Spa.
I feel I made significant progress with my French, thanks to a combination of your highly effective method and an extremely motivated teaching staff. The latter mixed just the right "cocktail" of exercises devoted to grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and practical application - rest assured, I will be putting your cassettes to good use in order to build on what I learned.
Claudine's culinary skills rounded off the programme beautifully - all in all, a class act I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone.
Director Market Development, Falconbridge International
My expectations were fully met by DialoguE.
One to one teaching ensured I was learning exactly what I needed, at a pace tailored to my ability. The setting is inviting and the Godards and their staff made my full immersion week a positive experience. I now have the confidence to approach practical situations in French as well as a good foundation for continued learning.
During the five days that I spent at DialoguE, I felt that I largely recovered the level of French that I had had years before when I was a student.
Even more importantly, I acquired a facility of expression that I had never had before, having only taken large group classes when I was in school. The teaching method developed by Claudine and Jean-Luc Godard is extremely effective, and I found that my lessons were tailored to my particular needs and requests. The professors were not only intelligent, highly skilled and motivated, they had such a pleasant teaching style that the classes were very enjoyable.
Additionally, I found that much of the learning took place in the relaxed setting of meals and coffee breaks with the Godard family, the professors and the other students.
Before planning my stay at DialoguE, I was somewhat worried that spending a week in language immersion might not be the most relaxing way to take a break from work. Instead, I found that being at the school was very much like being a guest in the home of excellent hosts. I had a private room and shower in a lovely room with views of the countryside. Every day, there were three delicious sit-down meals, with wine flowing freely at dinner. During the afternoon, there was time to go hiking in the Ardennes or to the thermal baths in heart of Spa.
At the end of my stay, not only was I extremely pleased with my progress in French, I felt refreshed and relaxed.
Thanks for one of the hardest but one of the most fruitful weeks of my life..
At 54 most people don't attempt to learn a second language, so I arrived with extreme apprehension and left with confidence and motivation.
You have given me a solid base on which to build my use of French.
Independant Computer Consultant
I wanted to write to thank you for the wonderful 2 weeks I spent at your school DialoguE.
As a complete beginner to French I was amazed at the progress I made in 2 weeks. Even now - almost 5 months later - the words and phrases I learnt with you are imprinted on my brain. Sadly since finishing my course I haven't used my French very much - as I didn't end up moving to Lausanne. However I have been to Paris since then and managed to get around Paris, order food and ask directions all in French. It was wonderful to me - as the people appreciated my attempts - and it enhanced the experience greatly.
I also wanted to say a few words about your hospitality, the lovely accommodation and food - and how comfortable I felt in your home. I really have to compliment Claudine particularly for her attention to detail and for being a terrific hostess. The food was always delicious, the rooms always clean and comfortable - and the garden delightful.
Lastly I have to talk about the learning experience at your school. At first I have to admit that as a complete beginner it all seemed a bit overwhelming. I couldn't imagine being able to understand any of the meal-time conversations - but how wrong I was.
After only a week - I could comprehend much of what was being said around the dinner table - and not long after was even able to join in. I was very impressed with the methods you used for teaching, and also very impressed with all of the teachers (yourself and Claudine especially).
I would like to add one other special thanks to Ingrid - whose good humour and enthusiasm for teaching French was inspiring. She always made the lessons entertaining and fun - and helped bring French to life for me.
Now I've started on the many things that impressed me at DialoguE I am finding it hard to finish. I also appreciated that the length of the lessons were never stinted on. I have worked at a Language School myself - and know that at other schools lessons times are strictly adhered to. At DialoguE the lesson ended when both teacher and student were finished a topic - and not simply because the time was up.
So I always felt like I was getting more than my moneys worth. Thank you to you both and everyone and DialoguE for making the experience of learning French a great one. I would gladly recommend your school to anyone who wishes to learn French in a hurry.
I found DialoguE to be very valuable experience.
Through the total immersion I gained significant confidence in my speaking ability and the one-on-one courses allowed me to make tremendous progress in the areas I needed to improve. The teachers and teaching methods are outstanding and the hospitality cannot be matched.
I hope to continue my studies with Dialogue in the near future.
DialoguE are a very good company: very professional, and they take a lot of care all the time to tailor the course to your particular needs.
A week there seems expensive if you compare the costs with the costs of individual private lessons which you might take elsewhere, but the huge advantage is that you are completely immersed in French. You aren't going out at lunch or back in the evenings to an English environment.
I really found that this helped me become more fluent and more confident.
Burlington Consultants, London
DialoguE provided me with an excellent preparation for my INSEAD French exam.
In particular, Dialogue's thorough coverage of grammar and its distillation of useful structures in 'Phrases-Clefs' gave me a good basis for attacking both the multiple choice and written sections of the exam.
Also, living and studying in the 'total immersion' environment at DialoguE allowed me to cover and assimilate this much faster than I would have at a larger school.
John and Yvonne Moossy
Once again many thanks for the friendly and informative week at DialoguE.
The intense and disciplined one-on-one method of instruction was very effective in improving our conversation and pronunciation. We learned much about the nuances and analytical power of the French language.
University Pennsylvania Health sys., Department of Medecine, Philadelphia
I would like to thank Jean-Luc and Claudine for making my two-week stay at DialoguE thoroughly fulfilling.
The tailored individual sessions on auditory discrimination and phonetics enabled me to make great advances in my pronunciation of French. Equally important, my hosts' unstinting attention to my malapropisms outside class served to heighten my awareness and facilitate correction of longstanding bad habits.
Jean-Luc and Claudine Godard proved to be wonderful hosts; indeed, they were cordial and personable to a fault. The ambiance they generated at their dining and living rooms, amid stupendous meals, wine and classical music was one of extraordinary ease and comfort. Nor did Jean-Luc's graciousness stop at the confines of Villa Sylvania. It was amply in evidence in the tours he gave us of Brugges, Ghent and Brussels, during which the action, naturally, took place entirely in French.
To francophiles no matter the French level, I cannot but recommend DialoguE in the highest terms. The opportunity to assimilate francophone culture and refine one's French in the home of such an exceptionally accommodating family is one that no serious francophile should pass up.
My only regret, as I write this, is that I don't have a forthcoming vacation to visit DialoguE soon again.
Attorney, MBA Candidate, INSEAD
The combination of total immersion in the French language and intense academics is truly hard work.
However, the immersion and the excellent instruction paid off. I am delighted with my progress. I can communicate in French with far greater agility than before DialoguE.
Additionally, I am convinced that through DialoguE I have built a solid base which will enable my continued progress.
DialoguE was the ideal preparation for my MBA studies in France.
Professor, Columbia Law School, New York
The week we spent was a fine, intensive way to learn French pronunciation and conversation.
You are guests in the Godard's house, eating your meals with them and, at lunch, with the instructors. In between meals, you intensively drill pronunciation and conversational phrases in a way I haven't seen done in the U.S.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ
A great way to learn French.
MD, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
My experience at DialoguE was very productive.
I spent three weeks learning French. The program of total immersion is the only way to make rapid and enduring progress. In addition, they have developed a new and unique method of learning French which concentrates on difficult sounds, followed by intensive practice to imprint the results permanently.
Three weeks of study at DialoguE is equivalent to 2 years of study elsewhere.
Above all, living in a French-speaking home adds to the experience. Without exception, Jean-Luc and Claudine Godard are outstanding hosts. The atmosphere is very conducive to relaxed learning. The living quarters and kitchen are four stars.
John E. Bissel
Telemedia GmbH, Germany
Following my week at DialoguE and the opportunity to use my newly acquired French skills at two congresses in Paris, I am writing to express how pleased I am to have selected DialoguE over my other options.
From the first contact your team demonstrated full flexibility with my scheduling constraints. Further, given that the demands of my job do not allow a relaxed multi-week program, you were able to construct an intensive 7-day course that I estimate would have required 2-3 weeks to complete elsewhere.
Your competitors did not even understand my needs. I found several aspects of the course highly unique and commendable. Your method of practicing French pronunciation is essential for the American like me unskilled in French phonetics. You were correct in placing emphasis on this area; my subsequent negotiations in Paris showed that my partners were pleased more by proper pronunciation than perfect grammar. Incidentally, my French friends, initially sceptical about me taking a course in Belgium, were also impressed.
Also, rather than being language teachers only, my course instructors all had occupations in other fields along with extensive training and experience as French instructors. Alone the logistics allowing them to carry on their primary occupation as well as teach were impressive. But more important, Ingrid, Didier and Regis were able to convey current usage of French, in particular from marketing and media, which was relevant to my multimedia business whose vocabulary did not even exist 3 years ago.
Finally, the relaxed environment at Villa Sylvania and the excellent cuisine from the hand of Madame Godard certainly added to the enjoyment of immersion in the French language and culture. I conclude by offering my highest recommendation to others who may be considering French study. Anyone who has time considerations, needs to use spoken French and enjoys a family atmosphere should select Dialogue. I find the program a very good value and hope to return once we clarify our plans to expand into France.
M.D. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry, University of Virginia
It is a great pleasure for me to thank you warmly for the excellent lessons in French that I received from you at the end of last year.
When I returned to Paris from Spa, I could immediately notice a marked improvement in my competence in speaking French. In particular, I was able to carry on several fairly complicated conversations over the telephone without any difficulty. You will be amused to learn that I happened to mention to my French publisher that I had been taking lessons in French and was hoping to take some more; he replied that I had no need of further lessons! Of course, he was flattering me, I know. His remark, however, was a credit to you.
You may refer any prospective clients to me, and I will be happy to recommend your lessons in French-and your gracious hospitality as well.
The course is extremely well thought out, combining many hours of lessons and informal conversation, skilled teaching and a pleasant atmosphere, which makes it the ideal immersion experience. The teachers are well trained and good at structuring the work for each individual.
The practical facilities; that is the personal study bedrooms are also well planned and very comfortable. Finally, the house and meals provided are beautiful.
I found that the small number of students kept the family atmosphere intact, and it was a great pleasure to talk to everyone I met. My aural comprehension of French and my confidence in speaking it improved enormously, which was what I needed myself.
Monica Winefryde Furlong
I've been studying French for years in the United States, with private lessons, classes, books, audio CDs, DVDs and what have you. While I have to consider myself an advanced student, I can also honestly say that I learned more French during the seven days I spent at Dialogue than I did with all my other efforts combined.
The DialoguE method is different -- innovative -- especially when it comes to pronunciation. French pronunciation is profoundly different from English. With expert one-on-one guidance I was able to reach into the center of the French language and come out with a better ear for sounds that had previously eluded me. In many other fundamental ways I was able to grasp what I call "real French," instead of English translated into French. Because 60% of the vocabulary of both languages is similar, it's easy for an English speaker to fall into the translation trap -- but real French is something else entirely! I've experienced some of it now, and I want more.
I stayed in the lovely home of Claudine and Jean-Luc Godard, two truly hospitable people. Putting aside the warmth that developed between us, the superb meals, and the wine education that Jean-Luc throws in as a matter of course, the addition of real conversation at meals added tremendously to the corpus of my learning.
Spa is a lovely place, known for its waters (I tasted waters from seven different springs in one expedition). While there must be many opportunities to live with a French-speaking family, most of them aren't language- teaching visionaries like the Godards."
David M. Erwin
I feel privileged to have attended your school, early in its existence, because we have benefitted uniquely from the immense effort that Jean-Luc and Claudine have made.
You have provided comfort, a warm intimate ambience, personal tutoring at its finest, beautiful classical music, all reflecting your excellent taste.