They say that learning a new language is great for stimulating the brain. They also say that having a new language gives you a wider understanding of culture and the world. Sometimes when the language of your birth is not a very common one, learning a new language is a must. For others, it is a necessary step when moving to a new country, which can be quite stressful.
Well, you don't have to move and you don't have to sit any exams or worry if you made the grade. Lise Mariano has devised her French classes to give you all the benefits of learning a new language, or refreshing one which is in danger of being forgotten, right here in Brisbane.
I had the pleasure of attending a class. As I parked the car I have to confess to being a little anxious. I had not spoken a word of French for the last six years.
Lets Speak French
I met the other members of the group and Lise, who runs it. All of them attending for a variety of reasons, be it love for all things French, a passion for the language itself, the realisation that perhaps in retirement there was ample time and energy to do something completely different and novel. It won't surprise you to learn that the list goes on.
Lise came to Australia from Canada some 20 years ago and after living in Sydney for a number of years, made Brisbane her home. She started off tutoring in French and when she announced her intentions to give lessons on Facebook, the requests for group lessons started coming in thick and fast. So a couple of years ago she set up her business Let's Speak French . She has developed a business model which works not only for Lise but all her willing and happy students or should I say more accurately co-conversationalists. This is a good chinwag with substance.
She decided to make it easy for people to access the classes, so she runs them in cafes and pubs and even organises weekends away where French Charades (is there such a thing?) and French restaurants take centre stage. The result is a great atmosphere of mutual encouragement and some direction to speak better, more fluent French. Lise is aware that there may be different levels of competence, so she does plan beginners or advance level courses to suit everyone's level. All you have to do is ask and she will direct you to where you can best fit in.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I remembered but also how much I enjoyed the challenge of stringing a French sentence together and jogging my memory for those lost words. Lise employs many engaging methods for getting the most from the group, either with interesting texts, games or interactions between the participants. It is fun and full of laughter, including the occasional blip and bloop, which are part of the fun.
Above all - as Di said, she had done French in high school and then at University and even spent some time in France with a French family - she was keen to find a way to continue her love of the language without it being stressful or unaffordable. Lise has provided her with the perfect answer and she is delighted to participate on a weekly basis.
Lise is very responsive to messages on Facebook, so if you have any questions about where the classes take place and when, send her a message. The best bit is that this fun activity will not burn a hole in your pocket, it will allow you to meet like-minded people and get that grey matter ticking away. Mais oui, you could imagine yourself in la belle France in the middle of Kenmore no less.