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If you have a week or more in Paris, you might consider building it around French language classes.

A language-focused holiday is fantastic fun and some of the best vacations I have ever had!

Not only does it enhance your visit, but you meet wonderful people and get into discussions you might not have anywhere else.

I did this recently at the Accord School of Languages where I found myself  in a class with a dozen other students from around the world.



The map shows where students to the Accord French School come from!

All Over The Map

In fact, every one of us was from a different country.

There was me from Canada, and Padriac from Ireland, Charlotte from Belgium, Thi Quynh Nhu from Vietnam, Marinella from Italy, Dan from the U.S. (now a loyal reader of this blog!) and so on.

Dan paying close attention to our teacher, Dominique

French Levels

You don’t need to speak a word of French to take these courses.

When you arrive at the school, the first thing they do is place you with others at the same level.

Advanced Class

I was in the advanced class as I already speak French but want to keep learning and improving.


Our teacher marking our papers


Our teacher, Dominique, was a woman of Moroccan descent, who had a strong socialist bent.  This made for some lively discussions.

She structured the week around the subject of the French workforce, redistribution of wealth and French president Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms – – all of which turned out to be very timely with the “gilets jaunes”|yellow jackets, and their ongoing protests and strikes over pension reform.

While our little group entered these conversations shyly at first, learning a whole new set of vocabulary, our classes soon became a hotbed of intellectual debate.


Simon from South Korea makes his point!


No one seemed to notice that their verb tenses started to falter — although Madame would correct us whenever she could.

Instead, we forged head-long to present often opposing views in this foreign language, appreciating the French art of constructive argumentation and tendency to use a hundred words to explain a point that should only take about 20!


Max from Switzerland was a dead ringer for David McCallum from the 60’s TV Show “The Man From Uncle” — Remember that?


Cinquante plus – Fifty Plus Classes

While the ages varied in this class, you can also find language courses for people over 50 that run two weeks or more.

I absolutely loved the one I did in Nice a few years ago.

The classes I take in Paris run from 9 am to 1 pm which allows for sightseeing in the afternoons.


Padriac and Marinella prepare their arguments.


The Over 50 Programs also have morning classes but then include activities in the afternoon, evening and on the weekend —  such as trips to museums, visits to other parts of the Riviera, wine tastings and restaurant outings.

It is an ideal holiday for couples and solo travelers alike!

Links to French Classes and Retreats

1. You can click on the links provided to learn more about French classes at the Accord School Of Languages, Paris, France 

2. Also the school I went to in Nice – France Langue, Nice France 

3. And let’s not forget about Christine Camm who offers French courses online.


Christine doing a online class from the yard at her home in Pujo, France


Christine has offered followers of this blog Free French Lessons for two of my Giveaways. 

She also has French Immersion Retreats at her home in the village of Pujo, about two hours south of Toulouse in south-western France.

I plan to pay her visit there one of these days.

Maybe you will too?

Learn about her Immersion program at




Jackdaw Journeys to

Provence with Dee Poquette



Also just a reminder that Dee Poquette at Jackdaw Journeys is guiding three wonderful trips to Provence this year!

Here are the dates!

MAY 4-12, 2020
JULY 6-13, 2020
OCT. 12-20, 2020

And if you book one of Dee’s tours, she is generously offering to

My Subscribers ONLY


Yup — just for the subscribers of a

You can find out more about Jackdaw Journeys at


  1. Shardie Stevenson on January 19, 2020 at 8:57 am

    There have been a number of times that we have travelled together that you have included a language course as an important part of the trip! I know that it adds to the experience for you …. not only with respect to enhancing your language but making connections with the local community! I love the idea of the French immersion week in Provence! ❤️

    • Diana Bishop on January 19, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      You should do it sometime too Shardie! Lots of fun. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Lagatta de Montréal on January 19, 2020 at 11:09 am

    I was especially pleased that no nationality was to make up more than 12% of learners in a group. Yes, as well as immersion, taking language courses (included far more advanced ones that include literature (and reading news and current events) is a wonderful way to make friends. See that there is also a wide range of ages in your group.

    Paris is wonderful, but do you think it is a better choice than a smaller city which might be rather less touristed?

    • Diana Bishop on January 19, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks for your comment Lagatta! Doing this is one of most favourite things to do anywhere in the world. I have done the same in Spanish too. Best to you, Diana

  3. Lagatta de Montréal on January 19, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Yes, I do want to improve my Spanish – it would be advanced; I do speak it and read even academic books in Spanish, but it is not good enough for me to translate or interpret into Spanish; the Italian creeps in. Did you do Spanish in Spain, or in a Latin American country?

  4. Trudy Van Buskirk on January 19, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    My one and only trip to France was in 1971 when I was 21 and had just graduated from university. I went to Aix en Provence for a 4 week course that was French for non-French speakers. We all lived in the dorm at the university there so I got to meet other young people from around the world.

    The school/ course had trips to Marseille and other places … and when it was over the 2 American sisters and the Scottish girl and I took the train to Paris for a few days and then to London. There I got to stay with the Americans’ family on Hampstead Heath! (Their father was a university professor from Chicago who was on exchange with an English professor and the house was included! But I digress.)

    A wonderful experience 🙂

  5. Dan Cummings on January 19, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    There is a universal classification for French students from A1 (entry) to C2 (fluent). Diana and I had separately enrolled at Accord for a one-week B2 session. Each week is a separate session. Students generally take consecutive weeks, so we were the new kids when we showed up on Monday. We took a written test. I thought it was easy and probably aced it. Afterwards, we had our oral exam together. I went first and thought I was coherent, thank you. Diana opened her mouth. She was completely fluent. I thought to myself, “If this is B2, I am an A-.”

    But it turned out she was the outlier. As an Anglo-Canadienne from Ontario, she had taken French all the way from kindergarten through university. Then she lived in Paris. No fair. Thankfully, the rest of the class was more like me.

    Accord was a great experience. It was the first time I was not taught French in English. Our teacher was Dominique Leandri and I loved her.

    • Diana Bishop on January 23, 2020 at 11:17 am

      Well you are being too modest Dan! And I wish that I had started in kindergarten. I did take French in high school but I really started to study French in University. But it wasn’t until I went to France for a year at 23 that is all started to come together. Learning a language is a life long skill unless of course one starts at 3 years of age. I hope we end up together again at the Accord school! Diana

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