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Why learn French at inlingua La Rochelle

We are happy to present our French learning center in the beautiful city of La Rochelle

Do you know the city of La Rochelle in France?

La Rochelle, a small town of 80 inhabitants, located on the Atlantic coast, is not lacking in attractions. A major historic city for some, a boating paradise for others, La Rochelle is all at the same time. The pearl of the West in Charente Maritime!

Some are fans of Fort Boyard, this former prison lost in the middle of the ocean, made famous, in particular, by the game show of the same name. Others retain above all the Roman d 'Alexandre Dumas which starts the adventure of the 4 musketeers in La Rochelle.

Did you know, moreover, that La Rochelle was the sixth most visited city by French tourists when they stay in France?

Or that La Rochelle was the second city for quality of life. There is no shortage of superlatives. Also come and visit the largest marina in Europe in the Minimes district where the inlingua school is located.

the largest marina in Europe

Always more astonishing, La Rochelle is a pioneer city in ecology, the first city in France for cycling where we have also been able to rent electric cars for more than 20 years.

A stay in La Rochelle cannot be imagined without exploring the surrounding islands. Re island, magnificent all year round, it is accessed by an elegant bridge, by car or regular bus. Not to mention local surfers meet there all year round.

The port of La Rochelle

A little further south, don't miss the typical village of Marennes, capital of oyster production, where a few restaurants still serve the eclade, a unique recipe in the world to prepare mussels. A few steps then join the Ile d'Oléron, the largest island in France after Corsica. Only accessible by boat, do not miss the Ile d'Aix, very famous for its beaches.

Ile d'Oléron, the largest island in France after Corsica

You probably like gastronomy, so join one of the toursinlingua offers in a distillery near La Rochelle where you discover the production of Cognac but also Pineau des Charentes, an essential specialty of our region.
inlingua La Rochelle will actually help you discover the whole region. First of all during a city tour on the first day, but also during the Saturday excursions.
Is it not important to find an environment conducive to the holidays to go to language stay? With inlingua La Rochelle learn French as a foreign language in peace.

inlingua La Rochelle offers a wide variety of programs for learn French

First of all a few words on the inlingua teaching method, which offers learning in small groups with an emphasis on oral communication. It should be noted that this method has been used successfully for more than 50 years in our 300 centers all over the world.

Our courses for adults

From 16 years old, our general French course is open year round with new groups every Monday. Whatever your level, you can start the program on the date of your choice for a period of 1 week to a year. However, if you are a complete beginner you will need to choose one of our specific dates.

There is a 15 hour program, only in the mornings. But also over 20 hours where in this case are added 2 cultural workshops. You will discover at the same time, the history of France, the cinema, the gastronomy or even in a playful way literature, poetry ...

Many intensive programs are in particular approved by the Bildungsurlaub

In others, a program for over 30s is organized from April to October, it brings together a maximum of 6 people, a good opportunity to progress very quickly.
For professionals who wish, we can offer private lessons in addition to prepare for a new job or refine a presentation.

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If you are preparing for an exam, you will then be able to participate in our DELF and DALF preparations but also at TEF.

On specific dates, we offer 50+ course which combine linguistic work in the morning and cultural discovery of the region in the afternoons. Always accompanied by a teacher or a guide, one more opportunity to practice French.

Our long-term courses

Students and young adults who wish can participate in long-term education from 3 months to 12 months. These programs are accessible to all levels: A1, A2, B1, B2 and also to beginners.

The choice is given to follow 15 hours or 20 hours per week. A preparation session foruniversity entrance is added for those taking the 22,5 hours per week module.

We know how to guide students who wish to pursue their higher education in France towards a university or a large school. We know their needs well, which is why we can even take care of the entire administrative file.

Children and Juniors

In summer our courses are open to children from 8 years old. The very small groups as well as the use of the game help the children to feel confident and, moreover, make them love learning a new language.

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From 13 years old we offer stays with family accommodation or in residence. Young people follow, first of all, French classes every morning and second choose a afternoon activity. Multi-activity or even sailing and windsurfing are possible with young French members of the partner club.

inlingua La Rochelle is also complete support for your stay

Whether you are looking for a host family accommodation or residence, whether you need a letter of invitation for your visa at a later date, or even organize your trip and transfer, the inlingua reception service will be able to guide you in preparing your stay.

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Festivals and traditions in France - A year in France: festivals and traditions

A quick overview of the festivals and traditions that punctuate life in France over the months. On your agenda!

The different types of festivals celebrated in France

As a preamble, let's take stock of the different types of festivals celebrated in France. We consider that there are three main types of festivals: historical festivals, religious festivals and civil festivals. The historic festivals refer to events that have marked the history of France. Religious holidays, for their part, correspond to key dates in the Catholic religion. Thus, these festivals correspond to the old and main French religious traditions and practices. Also, even if the French Republic is based on the principle of secularism, these different festivals continue to be celebrated today, by tradition more than by religious conviction. Finally, the civil festivals make it possible to celebrate important dates in the civil and / or political life of France.

            In addition, among all the French holidays, some are public holidays: these are days when the vast majority of the inhabitants of France do not work. There are eleven public holidays in France. Something to make the French happy… especially when this public holiday is two days before or after the weekend! Indeed, in this specific case, it is quite common to claim a non-working period of four consecutive days: the public holiday + an additional day off + the usual two weekend days. This is what the French call “making the bridge”. 

            Now let's take a closer look at the main different festivals and traditions that punctuate French life every year.

French festivals and traditions of the first quarter (January, February, March)

As you know, the beginning of the year is conducive to wishes, to wishes for the future. This is how we wish all those around us “a happy new year” or even our “best wishes”. If the tradition was that we send pretty cards to address our beautiful thoughts for the year to come, nowadays it is customary to do it via social networks or electronic messages, which is often considered regrettable. for people attached to traditions. January 1st, or New Year, is a public holiday, to start the year off right! It is a civil holiday. The start of the year is also marked by what are called “good resolutions”. It is the moment for each French to decide on bad habits to stop, future projects to carry out, etc. Of course, most of the time, we quickly forget the resolutions taken on the first days of the year, especially when it comes to doing more sport or limiting your chocolate consumption! January 6 will follow a religious feast, the Epiphany. Its origin is in the Christian religion and refers to the three Magi who came to bring gifts to Jesus a few days after his birth. Today, this feast is often called “Feast of the Kings”. On this occasion, the French usually taste a galette des rois, a sweet cake in which a bean is hidden. The person who discovers the bean in their part of the cake becomes the King or Queen of the party! As the French are very greedy, we continue on February 2 with the feast of Candlemas, also religious. Tradition has it that we eat delicious sweet pancakes, to the delight of children (and often their parents!). A few days later, on February 14, it is the lovers who celebrate on the occasion of the civil feast of Valentine's Day. Dinner at the restaurant, chocolate, perfume, bouquet of red roses are the gifts traditionally offered on this day. But many French people refuse to celebrate this festival, considered too commercial. We end the first trimester in style with the celebration on March 20 of the day of the French language and the Francophonie! On this day, many French-language schools offer their students to participate in games, contests or cultural workshops.

French festivals and traditions of the second quarter (April, May, June)

The second quarter of the civil calendar is known to be the preferred quarter of many French people. Why ? It's very simple: this is the quarter with the largest number of public holidays. April 1 or April Fool's Day (which is not a public holiday) is a civil holiday celebrated in many countries around the world. It's the day of pranks and jokes, even journalists have fun spreading false information. We continue with Easter. This religious holiday presents an interesting peculiarity. It is a so-called mobile holiday, that is to say that it is not celebrated on a fixed date. Indeed, it is necessary to refer to the lunar calendar. Thus, Easter Sunday is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following the spring equinox. Easter Monday is a public holiday. In the Christian religion, this festival celebrates the resurrection of Christ. Today, it is a moment spent with the family, often around a festive meal where we traditionally share a so-called paschal lamb. In addition, children have fun looking for chocolate eggs, chickens or bunnies, hidden in the garden by the adults of the family. Beware of liver attacks! We continue with Labor Day, every May 1st. On the occasion of this civil and international celebration, the French workers' unions are organizing a big demonstration in the streets of the capital. That same day, it is customary to offer people you love a little sprig of lily of the valley, a very fragrant flower that is said to bring good luck. A few days later, on May 8, a historic festival takes place which marks the end in France of the Second World War in 1945. It is a public holiday, a national rendezvous of meditation and many military ceremonies are organized through the country in front of the war memorial. Then comes the feast of the Ascension, celebrated forty days after Easter. It is a mobile and religious holiday. For Catholics, it is the memory of the rise of Jesus to Heaven. For the vast majority of French people, young and old, it is also the time to take advantage of four days of vacation. In fact, Ascension always falls on a Thursday… which makes it possible to bridge the gap and not resume the journey to school or work until the following Monday! We continue the year with Pentecost, which is also a movable feast of religious origin celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter in memory of the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles of Jesus. The following Monday being a public holiday, the majority of French people only retain from this holiday the possibility of enjoying a three-day weekend. In the spring there is also Mother's Day and Father's Day.

French festivals and traditions of the third quarter (July, August, September)

France's national holiday is celebrated on July 14. This holiday, of historic origin, recalls a major event of the French Revolution: the storming of the Bastille. Nowadays, the French can admire magnificent fireworks or even dance at the firefighters' ball in most French municipalities. In addition, military parades are organized. The Paris parade is traditionally broadcast live on television. The next holiday is religious. It is about the Assumption. On this holiday, which is a public holiday, Catholics remember Mary's ascent to heaven. For the French, it is often an opportunity to admire fireworks at their vacation spot since it is a summer period.

French festivals and traditions of the fourth quarter (October, November, December)

The end of the year is marked by the celebration of Halloween on October 31, a party during which the children disguise themselves as terrifying characters and demand candy and confectionery on pain of being cast a bad spell. The next day, November 1, is a holiday of religious origin. It is All Saints' Day, a tribute to the deceased whose loved ones will flower the graves in the cemetery. The next holiday is November 11, the day commemorating the victory of the First World War in 1918. Like May 8, this holiday is known for its many tributes paid to soldiers who died for France. The end of the year is fast approaching, it is time to decorate the streets, shops and houses while waiting for the most popular holidays: Christmas. The children may write a letter to Santa Claus to list their wishes, and the adults will think about the delicious meal they will share with their family for Christmas Eve on December 24. On December 25, a religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus, all French people will unpack their gifts and probably drink a glass of champagne. They will have a short week to prepare for the festive New Year's Eve, December 31, to celebrate the transition to the following year, usually with friends.

You you - You or you? Let’s talk about tu

Have you been told the difference but you don't always know when to use you or you? Let us unravel together the mysteries of the tu and the vouvoyer.

Tu and tu, you and you in French, a unique case?

Well the answer is no. Typical of Indo-European languages, we find this case in all languages ​​from Latin such as Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian or Italian but also in Slavic languages ​​such as Russian, Ukrainian and Polish but also in the Germanic languages ​​in Norwegian and Dutch for example, but not in the English-speaking world where this distinction has disappeared!

The main principles

The familiarity and the formalities relate to the use and the politeness. You will understand, to not offend anyone, it is very important to behave properly in society. Whether it is the corporate world at work or even social relations outside the office, it is important to know which attitude and which brand respect to adopt.

First of all, it should be borne in mind that this distinction is not always natural for the French either and it is not uncommon for a relationship between two interlocutors to go through a phase of “you-tussement” , that is to say a period where two people oscillate between the “you” and the “you”, having not very clearly defined the nature of the relationship or having seen it evolve.

Thus, we will use the pronoun “you” when we interact with a peer, that is to say a person whom we consider equal to ourselves in the professional context for example. It could be a colleague with whom we share an office. It is also the pronoun that we will use in the informal context, when we are presented, for example, to a friend of a friend.

The pronoun “you”, on the other hand, will be used in a formal context, towards a hierarchical superior, a department head for example or his boss, but also when speaking to an older interlocutor.

From where the difficulty met when one is presented to the parents of a friends when one is a teenager for example or to the parents to note spouse when one is adult. Our friend or our spouse will naturally tutor his parents, it is nevertheless expected that we will see them. It is possible in a sometimes very short time that the parents invite us to get to know them but this moment can also never happen and we are then obliged to see them even years after our first meeting.

Similarly, in the professional context, a superior could invite his subordinates to speak to him, but this is not automatic. Increasingly rare, it happens that a chef gets close to his collaborators when they are required to see him, but this then establishes a very unbalanced balance of power.

So you see that even for the French, this job remains a game of perilous balancing act in the social relationships that one maintains with his interlocutors.

How to avoid using them?

Let’s now review some ways to avoid the use of tu and woo when you are unsure of what to do. First of all, you should keep a neutral tone and therefore use a standard language register: neither too strong nor too familiar. We will then try to avoid conjugated verbs, which inevitably bring out pronouns and conjugation marks.

• Hi how are you ? / Hello how are you ?
=> Hello, how are you?

• Did your vacation go well? / How was your vacation?
=> How was the holidays?

• Did you have a good weekend? / What did you do this weekend ?
=> Was it good this weekend?

• What do you think ? / What do you think ?
=> A remark or a suggestion?