Archive for French Lessons

The NaperFrench Experience: The benefits of learning French through French Classes and French Tutoring

One student taking French classes in Naperville makes the most of learning a foreign language by studying in Paris.


NaperFrench Student attending French university in Paris

A Naperville French student enjoying a night out while studying in Paris

As a French teacher in Naperville IL, I am fully aware of the emphasis placed on students nowadays to learn and foreign language and see how useful learning French is in today’s globalized and mobilized society. However, not everyone realizes just how much borders have opened up to the extent that there now exist vast possibilities for Americans not only to travel, but to study, work, and live in a foreign country as well.

One of my high school students taking French classes at NaperFrench expressed a desire to go beyond mere French lessons in Naperville and actually immerse herself in the French experience with French language, culture, and lifestyle by studying in France. Several students receiving French tutoring from me in the past have had the opportunity to later use the French they acquired to go study abroad with a program through their American universities for a six of twelve month period. Studying abroad in this sense allows for students to experience a completely different culture and thus strengthen their understanding of the world around them- an important quality which translates not only on a social level but also on an academic and professional level to enhance the individual’s character.

This year, an ambitious student took the idea of studying abroad to the next level by applying for schools in France, meaning that the entire bachelor’s degree would be completed in Paris at a French School. This student started out taking French classes in Naperville with my private one on one tutoring system and has now successfully completed her first year of college at a French university. She couldn’t be happier, as she has not only been attending one of the top universities in France, but she has also had the chance to indulge in savory French food, learn about European history, experience Parisian culture, make foreign friends, and of course improve her foreign language skills. As an added bonus, she was able to travel all around Europe for a fully immersive experience.

While the idea of attending college in France may seem astounding or even nearly impossible to many, Americans can easily study abroad. Our modern society is so interconnected that it is easier than ever to study or live in another country. French schools and businesses are eager to have foreign individuals as part of their institutions, especially from the United States. There are several college programs, for example the euro-American studies program, and dual bachelor degrees with prestigious American universities like Columbia, Princeton, and Georgetown, that encourage Americans to study in France. You don’t even have to be fluent in French to study in France! Generous dual degrees allow for American students, even some who cannot even speak a word of French, to live in France while studying on an English track in all English courses, adding in French classes and immersion programs for them to learn the language during their stay. Other programs provide classes in a mix of French and English; Other American students who have taken French classes in the past and have extensive knowledge and experience in the French language may choose to challenge themselves by attending schools offering courses exclusively in French.

Although it is proven that private French lessons, French classes, and French tutoring alongside school-taught second language classes like those provided by NaperFrench are the best way for children, teens, and adults alike to learn a new language and bring students to a level of the language that is beyond what if provided in schools or at-home media lessons, I always advocate for my students to get real experience with the French language in a city like Paris. And, as amazing of an experience as a European vacation provides for someone looking to practice and improve their foreign language skills, being able to spend time in France for an extended period of time is veritably an experience like no other.

Studying abroad, whether in France of elsewhere, and whether for 3 months on exchange of 4 years while completing an entire degree, is truly the experience of a lifetime; I hope to foster more of such ambition for such an experience for more of my students and continue to prepare them for such adventures.

Easy Ways to Learn French Fast and Make the Most out of your French Lessons

Private French lessons are the best way to learn French, but there are a few things you should be doing to optimize your lessons and learn the language faster and more easily.

Learning a new language is an exciting and important opportunity, but it also requires time and effort if you really wish to learn well. Being a teacher for French classes in Naperville, I am happy to say that my students understand that the best way to learn French or any language is through private, one-on-one lessons like my own that offer a unique curriculum adapted to each student. However, for all of my students and others learning a foreign language, I would like to provide some insight on a few tips to enhance your language learning experience and make the most out of private language lessons.

Reasons for Learning French

If you are planning on taking French classes or are currently receiving tutoring, you should have a clear reason for learning French. My Naperfrench students are all unique and different from one another. And while I make a custom curriculum for each student based on age, personality, and interests, I also consider their intentions for learning the language and why they are taking French lessons in Naperville, IL. Many students come in conjunction with their school programs to receive French tutoring and succeed in school classes or skip levels in high school. Other students come from a young age, as parents see the intellectual and business opportunities that it will give their children in the future. I have students who come because they are moving to Paris, Nice, or other parts of France or simply would like to vacation there with some knowledge of the language. Still others come to me because they love the beauty of the French language and the culture of France, either looking to brush up from lessons in the past of start a whole new experience with me. Having clear intentions will not only help you decide how much time and energy to invest into learning the language, but it will allow you to receive the right kinds of lessons and work towards your end goal.learn french fast and easy

Dedication and Motivation

Along with having a clear reason to learn French comes dedication and motivation to your studies. Planning a goal for learning a new language allows you to determine how hard you are going to work and get you motivated to achieve that goal. Learning a foreign language requires a lot of time and effort- and French is no exception. There needs to be ongoing effort on the part of the student to attend classes regularly, study outside of class, be attentive, and look for different opportunities to use French. Of course, the degree to which you will work on all of these elements depends on your end goal and particular circumstances. If you are suddenly moving to France or need to keep up with French to pass your school’s final French exam, you will need to spend much more time and energy on learning than if you just wish to practice light conversational French for your personal pleasure. Additionally, you must stay motivated throughout as not to start putting in less effort and keep improving. Without motivation, you will not enjoy your learning of the language.

Lessons Suited to your Needs

Learn French fast by learning French the right way. The easiest way to learn French quickly and effectively is by having the right lessons. As my French lessons at NaperFrench emphasize, lessons should be private and individual. Group lessons may initially seem like a good way to learn, but over time you will realize that you are not learning fast enough because the class is not tailored to your needs and you get dragged down by the weaker students who struggle to get the concepts down. Individual classes allow for lessons adapted to all of your goals and needs. Moreover, your French lessons should have extensive audio in addition to reading and writing, so you can properly learn the sounds and pronunciation of the language. But, learning a foreign language solely by audio like with video or audio discs does not incorporate the other crucial element for the best way to learn French- practice and conversation. All lessons should give you the opportunity to speak, and learning French is even easier when the other speaker is a French native. No matter what you choose to learn French, make sure it is effective and fun for you- this will make the lessons enjoyable and thus easy and effective for you to learn French fast.


Taking French lessons is ultimately only a part of what it takes to learn French- signing up for language lessons just is not enough. To learn French fast and easy, you must begin by setting goals and investing yourself in order to fulfill these goals. Learning French should be fun but it will also require hard work and effort in order to make the most out of your foreign language learning experience. Lastly, make certain you are taking the proper French lessons that are adapted to your goals and learning needs.


What Is The Best Way To Learn French?

Passport of French teacher

The Knowledge of a Language is a Passport to a Country

Do you want to learn French? Not sure how to start? Have you learned any languages before? Your best bet is to find a French teacher who can help and teach you.

French is a beautiful and rich language and one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. it can claim to be the only language to be represented officially on every continent of the planet. French is the official language of over 25 countries, Francais, the other name for French, mainly spoken in France, Belgium and Switzerland has a history dating back as early as 842 AD.  Of course, French is primarily spoken in France, but it is also spoken in many countries in Africa and believe it or not, it is the fourth most spoken language in the USA. Only English, Spanish and Chinese top it there.

You can see the advantages to learning to speak French are many. If you are a world traveler, or wish to visit or reside in France for a while, then it is essential to learn how to speak the language.

So what is the best way to learning French? There are many methods, such as going back to school or taking an evening class. You could try to teach yourself with CDs and audio tapes, or of course using one of the many pieces of software that are out there. You could even move to France and jump right in and learn it as you go along, by experience.

All are useful and good ways to learn to speak the language and should not be dismissed in any way.

However, arguably the best way to learn the language is one on one with a French teacher. This opens up a variety of positive reasons compared to the other methods of learning, such as:

  1. The personal language teacher will be able to quickly assess what level you are at and build the teaching around that.
  2. Focus of the lessons are entirely on you.
  3. The lessons can flow at your own pace, so there is never any fear of being left behind.
  4. If you are stuck, the teacher is there instantly to help.
  5. Help with pronunciation of words. French is much stricter than English, and if you do not pronounce words properly, you will not be understood.
  6. Because you are the only one being taught, all the time is spent with you rather than having to wait your turn as in a class.
  7. Your teacher will get to know you much quicker and therefore be able to adapt teaching techniques to suit you.

These are just a few examples of why having your own personal French teacher is better than the other methods of learning.

However, to really maximize your French learning, by all means utilize these other methods along with your French lessons, it will help you understand a great deal more, as well as accelerate your learning experience.

Having your own French teacher to teach you French will provide you with an excellent foundation and enable you to continue in your studies It will help accelerate your knowledge to being closer to a fluent speaker.

Your passport to France is not as far out of reach as you might think.

Sign up for your own personal French lessons today!

Typing French Accents – French Accent Characters

Here is a list of French accent characters you can use when typing emails or documents in the French language.

To type French accents with ALT codes, hold down the ALT key, then on the numeric keypad type the three or four digits listed here. When you release the ALT key, the French accent character will appear.

It is easy to type French letters, just try it yourself.  Knowing when and where to use these special French accent letters might be a little trickier, that’s where a French teacher like myself might come in handy.


Capital Vowels






























Lowercase Vowels
































ALT+0199 (caps)


ALT+0231 (lower)


ALT+0171 (Left Angle Quote)


ALT+0187 (Right Angle Quote)


Another way to type French accents on your laptop or desktop computer is to install the French keyboard, you can find that and the language bar under regional settings in Window control panel.

The language bar allows you to switch between the French and English keyboard easily.

Here is where you start:

French Grammar Lessons – Can You Learn French Fast Without Them?

There are plenty of French learning sites around. A quick search will give you plenty of places where you can start to learn to speak French for free, and lots of choices of French language courses to buy. These days you don’t have to struggle with dusty old text books any more… but there are still those dreaded French grammar lessons.

Can you really learn fluent French without getting to grips with the grammar?

What I’m going to say now will probably upset a lot of teachers, but I believe it’s perfectly possible to learn French – to a standard where you can live and work in France – without really having much of an idea of French grammar at all. Why do I say that? Because it’s exactly what I have done.

I have to be honest, I don’t know a definite article from a pronoun or adverb in English, let alone in French! Yet I have lived and worked here for five years. I have French friends who don’t speak a word of English, yet although I wouldn’t claim to be completely fluent, my lack of French grammar lessons doesn’t hold me back.

In fact I have a friend who is a teacher of both French and German who says that we all worry too much about grammatical construction and that the French language should be learned more casually. More time should be spent on learning French words – increasing our vocabulary – and listening to the French language. We pick up grammar and nuance as we go along.

For some people, of course, this is too laid back. Some people learning French need a rigid structure to build the language on. That’s fine, except as with any language, the real French – that spoken by French people every day – uses poor construction, bad grammar and slang.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore French grammar lessons completely. The French say things differently and it’s important to use correct construction. For example, we say a green chair but the French say “une chaise verte” – a chair green. They have masculine and feminine, which we don’t have in English. All of those things might be grammar – but is it really necessary to know whether it’s a noun, adjective, conjunction or whatever? I just want to learn how to speak the French language – I don’t need a university degree in dissecting it.

Learning French phrases ought to be fun! Try Learn French Phrases for tips on handling all kinds of French situations, plus a free course of professional language lessons that would normally cost you $27.00.

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Experienced Tutor
* Over 10 years of experience
* Born and raised in France
* Taught in language schools

Anne Cottez-Jones - French Tutor
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