Pierre — Deuxieme fois!
In my comments last year, I noted that Pierre was not only a great tutor and resource, but a
This proved true again during my second opportunity to be with him in Tayrac. During the year
in between, we have stayed in touch with a series of Zoom conversations, all targeted at
building on the foundation for language learning that he established with me in three weeks of
lessons last year.
At the beginning, we identified and focused on the areas where I was weakest, and during our
time together, Pierre zeroed in on ways I could dig deeper and find ways to be more fluid in
daily conversations. The learning didn’t end with the three-hour sit-down sessions. It started
with petit dejeuner, continued with lunch and always grew at dinner conversations, and after a
selected number of films we watched in the evenings.
And another jewel was the daily excursions in the countryside of Lot-Garonne. There were
countless villages where Pierre explained the history, the geology, the culture, and the beauty
of the unique agricultural region. Tayrac is located within two hours of Bordeaux, St. Emilion,
and a number of other potential weekend excursions that I experienced.
Another of Pierre’s assets is his ability to support Sue’s experience, “en anglais” in the time she
was able to join in during my second week.
It was fun, and very stimulating. I recommend Pierre highly!
I have just come back from two wonderful weeks of French immersion with Marion and Melie in their cozy home amid the Beaujolais vineyards, and I could not recommend their French language course, cooking demonstrations and wine tasting more! Marion had endless patience with my bad French and gave me the confidence to keep talking even when I could not find the right words. And Melie’s cooking skills and knowledge of wines were just amazing. It is really not every day that you get private wine pairing lessons by a professional sommelier. My two weeks with Marion and Melie passed much too fast, but I will definitely be coming back!
I’ve considered doing an immersion homestay with a French Today teacher for several years but they’re very popular and I previously didn’t plan far enough in advance. After booking two weeks with Pierre, I definitely wish I would have done this a lot earlier, even if it meant booking a year in advance! No matter your level, Pierre customizes his approach and you’ll make amazing progress!
My level of French has historically made studying difficult and it turned out an immersion homestay was the answer. I initially studied for three years in high school, but that was a very long time ago. For the past several years, I’ve worked on and off with tutors online, used apps such as Duolingo, and practiced in person on a few trips to France. Most resources available are geared for beginners or advanced learners and I found it difficult (as someone at B1-B2) to find resources that could customize to my level.
One of the most useful things I learned from Pierre is what I need to study and how I need to study to make it to the next level. I learned that I need to ask my tutors to correct me more often (I had several habits that were not correct French that tutors let slip because they could still make out what I was trying to say, even if it was very clumsy.) I appreciated that Pierre provided correction but did it in a patient and simple way. I also learned that I can’t avoid some of the trickier grammar and still make the progress I want.
Most days, our schedule was as follows: breakfast, 3 hours of highly customized instruction, lunch, break, an evening excursion, a break, dinner, and watching a French movie. Pierre devotes a significant amount of time to his students and each moment provides an opportunity to practice what we reviewed earlier in the day. If you want to make the most progress, I’d recommend using the breaks to review your notes, study further, and be prepared to practice what you learned during meals and excursions. If I gave advice to my former self, I’d also show up to the study time with questions and be more courageous in my conversation attempts. If I made errors, it simply provided learning opportunities, it was always a safe space.
I really enjoyed Pierre’s cooking. He’ll deflect your compliments saying it’s simple food but I found it to be really delicious and wholesome. Watching my resting heart rate on my Fitbit, I found out I was a lot healthier there and I tasted foods there i enjoyed enough that I’ve tried to replicate them at home.
Pierre spends more time than average with his students and I appreciated the thought and attention he put into the evening excursions. We went on some hikes, we visited some Christmas markets, we saw a number of picturesque towns, and I felt like I really got to know the area. Pierre has a lot of knowledge to share and it was a great experience to learn about a variety of topics.
I can’t recommend Pierre enough! I look forward to booking again in the future and using what I learned to advance my level in between!
En novembre 2022, Nicole m’a accueillie à sa jolie maison dans la campagne. Les vaches sont ses voisines et elle a un grand jardin plein de légumes frais que nous mangeons tous les jours. L’appartement en haut est moderne, privé et confortable. Il y avait beaucoup d’occasions d’apprendre et de pratiquer le français. Par exemple, quand nous marchions dans la campagne, pendant une visité guidée à Limoges et aussi quand nous avons visité le vieux village d’Uzerche ensemble. Aussi, nous avons regardé la télévision plusieurs fois et Nicole m’a aidée beaucoup avec le vocabulaire.
Nicole est une très bonne enseignante de français. Elle a beaucoup de patience et elle peut expliquer les concepts difficiles d’une manière facile et claire. La seule chose que je changerais de mon séjour chez Nicole c’est que la prochaine fois je voudrais y rester pendant deux semaines !
Nancy : November 2021
I must admit it is difficult to write a review because why on earth would I want even MORE students to fill up Chantal’s very busy schedule? But that would not be fair to Chantal, and not fair to other english speakers who looking for an amazing, authentic, non-touristy, personally enriching french immersion experience.
For two weeks in November 2021, I had the honor to be a part of Chantal’s vibrant life. Along with Stephane (her partner), Liliane (her mother), Loulou and Grignote (their two spirited dogs), I was completely welcomed as if I was a long lost cousin from America. Chantal immediately recognized my level (painfully rusty), and magically spoke so that I could understand her. She patiently corrected my well-entrenched errors. While we had an official lesson time each day, in reality, it was a continuous, two-week french lesson. She/They took me on wonderful outings including the Château de Chantilly, the Compiègne Wagon, and a magnificent Florent Pagny concert at the Zénith Amiens Métropole. We met up with their friends on multiple occasions, all of them delightful and welcoming. Ok, so truth be told, I understood very little of their fast and lively conversations (my brain was always processing the words from 30 seconds prior). But I understood what was important – their friendships with Chantal and Stephane go way back, and they are kind, fun-loving, open-hearted, and open-minded people.
And now for my food review. (Mais bien sûr, on parle de la France n’est-ce pas?) Chantal is a fantastic cook! Almost every day, she whipped up a fresh, healthy, and amazingly delicious déjeuner, each different from the last. It was truly magic how she made it look so effortless. On one of the weekend days, we met up with their friends in the nearby town of Senlis. In true french style, we spent the better part of the day hanging out, drinking, and chatting (well, in my case doing a poor job of faking chatting), eventually ending up at one of their friends’ home for a wonderful Raclette dinner. Another outstanding meal was in celebration of Liliane’s birthday, where the four of us went to Auberge de la Grange aux Loups in nearby Apremont. The food there was SO delicious – take note here American foodies – I promise, it is worth the international airfare just to go to this restaurant! Yet another celebratory meal during my stay was Beaujolais Nouveau day, a day created to celebrate Beaujolais wine. Because apparently french people need another reason to hang out with their friends and drink wine with charcuterie, cheese, and bread. And of course my food review would not be complete without a shout out to the magnificent soups courtesy of Stephane’s Thermomix. Bravo, Thermomix!
As if the two weeks at Chantal’s weren’t already mes plus belles vacances, I have yet to mention the most joyous thing of all: I was the very lucky student to be in residence when Chantal’s granddaughter was born! Her daughter Eliane and son-in-law Benjamin live just an hour away. It was with great anticipation that everyone awaited news of the baby Elena’s arrival, which was followed by a difficult three day wait until mommy and baby were released from the hospital. (Due to covid, only mommy and daddy were permitted in the hospital). You can bet that, on the baby’s very first day home, Chantal, Liliane, and I rushed over to Roye to meet la petite crevette. What an honor it was to witness the family welcoming their fourth generation:).
And last but most definitely not least, un grand merci à Loulou and Grignote. These two little characters were an unending source of amusement, strutting about like the own the place (they do). And no, they are not fed from the table (except for the exceptions). I miss taking long walks in the muddy fields with you boys!
Thank you again Chantal, Stephane, and Liliane for such a wonderful two weeks! I hope to make it back to Mouy again sometime in the near future. And of course, you always have a home in Cincinnati, Ohio!
J’ai eu le plaisir d’étudier avec Soline en octobre. J’ai trouvé sa méthode très efficace. Elle m’a encouragé en conversation et après m’a donné un compte rendu écrit qui m’a aidé à corriger mes erreurs. Aussi, elle est très sympathique et accueillante. Le gîte à côté de sa maison est charmant et bien fourni pour ses étudiants. Soline est très organisée et elle conçoit le cours et les activités comme vous le souhaitez. Je recommande ce cours avec plaisir, et j’ai hâte d’y retourner.
What an amazing week! If you want to improve your french and break out of your current plateau, do not hesitate to spend at least one week with Soline. As an intermediate french speaker, I am looking for ways to supplement my classic french lessons, and this is a fantastic way to do this. After one week I was speaking with more fluidity and I had a better comprehension of the trickier french grammar points. It’s so nice to practice french in a natural setting… going for a hike on one of the volcanos, visiting a museum and having a drink in Clermond-Ferrand. So many options! There are endless things that you can do, to make your week and busy as you like it to be. Volvic has everything you need and there are some great walks and places to visit right from your front door. Soline prepared some great lunches and her family is very welcoming and warm. The cherry on the top is the accomadation, very nicely styled and very comfortable. You will not regret a second of your stay with Soline.
Quelle semaine incroyable! Si vous souhaitez améliorer votre français et sortir de votre plateau actuel, n’hésitez pas à passer au moins une semaine avec Soline. En tant que francophone intermédiaire, je cherche des moyens de compléter mes cours de français classique, et c’est une façon fantastique de le faire. Après une semaine, je parlais avec plus de fluidité et j’avais une meilleure compréhension des points de grammaire français. C’est tellement agréable de pratiquer le français dans un cadre naturel… faire une randonnée sur l’un des volcans, visiter un musée et boire un verre à Clermond-Ferrand. Tant d’options! Il y a une infinité de choses que vous pouvez faire pour rendre votre semaine aussi occupée que vous le souhaitez. Volvic a tout ce dont vous avez besoin et il y a de superbes promenades et lieux à visiter dès votre porte d’entrée. Soline a préparé d’excellents déjeuners et sa famille est très accueillante et chaleureuse. La cerise sur le gâteau est le logement, très joliment décoré et très confortable. Vous ne regretterez pas une seconde de votre séjour chez Soline.
Ma semaine avec Nicole dans la Corrèze a été mon premier cours d’immersion et parmi mes meilleures expériences. C’est une prof expérimentée et une femme intéressante ! Elle adapte ses cours à chaque étudiant, elle enseigne sans pression, avec beaucoup d’encouragement. Elle sait comment transmettre ses connaissances aux étudiants. C’est facile de parler avec elle et de lui poser n’importe quelle question. L’hébergement était impeccable, j’ai adoré ma suite au premier étage. J’avais tout ce qu’il me fallait. J’aimais bien nos repas ensemble, surtout nos déjeuners sur la terrasse avec des aliments frais du jardin. Nos journées étaient bien organisées et chargées. Nicole était disponible toute la journée et même le soir. Pour moi, c’était formidable d’avoir quelqu’un juste à côté de moi, qui corrigeait mes fautes sur le champ et offrait plein de bons conseils.
Meilhards est un petit village dans la campagne et une véritable bouffée d’air frais. Le paysage est magnifique et vous êtes loin des grandes villes. Tous les jours, on faisait de belles promenades. On a visité quelques fermes qui produisent des spécialités de la région, une région qu’elle connaît bien. Nicole m’informait sur l’histoire, la culture, la vie quotidienne d’aujourd’hui et d’autrefois. C’était un aperçu de la vie authentique des Français dans la Corrèze.
J’adore la langue française. C’est toujours un défi et du travail ! Ma semaine avec Nicole a été intensive et j’en ai vraiment profité. Maintenant, je me sens plus à l’aise quand je parle et mon intérêt est renouvelé. Je recommande vivement Nicole si vous voulez améliorer votre français.
Je suis chez nous après un voyage incroyable. De temps en temps j’arrête et réfléchis. C’était une expérience inoubliable. Merci encore pour notre semaine ensemble.
My week with Eliane, Elena, Benjamin and Okami surpassed my expectations for a total immersion experience. From the first emails and lasting through the entire week, Eliane conveyed genuine “joie de vivre” and a convivial approach to all aspects of this both delightful and challenging (which I sought) week. Eliane’s course design was robust, tailored to my specific needs, and the experiences, both guided and individual, provided rich opportunities to enhance the French language with culture, history, gastronomy, and current events.
I cannot recommend Pierre highly enough!! An immersion in France was a dream of mine for a long time and with the Pandemic this dream had been delayed a few years. Of course I was a little nervous coming from Australia to stay in the French countryside with a tutor for a week of intensive French. From the moment my husband dropped me off at Pierre’s house I felt at ease.
I never felt embarrassed or ashamed to make conversation and he was very patient with my repeated mistakes. We spoke French from the time I got up to the time I went to bed, even watching French movies with me after dinner which he must have seen many times over.!!
The walks in the countryside were fantastic as each day Pierre would take me to a different village and we would walk on tracks for a couple of hours without ever getting lost! This is such a beautiful part of France with so much history and agriculture which he relayed to me in French.
Pierre cooked amazing meals for us. I am amazed at how organised he was to fit this all into our schedule!
After initial conversations with Pierre on my arrival, he was able to assess my level and adapted his teaching accordingly. I never felt like I was a pupil receiving lessons which had been preprogrammed.
I felt very empowered after my week and was able to converse at the wedding of my friends south of Toulouse and over the course of the next weeks holiday in France.
I highly recommend Pierre’s professionalism and his knowledge of the origins and structure of the French language. He made the lessons very interesting and varied.
Thankyou Pierre for an awesome week!! I am very inspired to continue with learning and speaking French!
Avis de mon séjour linguistique chez Nicole
- Découvrir: l’histoire de la porcelaine dans le musée de Limoges / des nouveautés de la gastronomie / l’utilisation correcte du subjonctif
- Voir: les belles vaches limousines / les hêtres, chênes et châtaigniers imposants / les paysages vallonnés
- Apprendre: des nouveaux mots / un poème par coeur / que l’on ne fini jamais a apprendre une langue
- Parler: avec des agriculteurs / de l’économie, de la géographie et de l’histoire du Limousin
Ceci est une bonne recette pour une immersion totale d’une semaine chez Nicole. Mais avant de mettre cette mélange au four métaphorique, il faut faire attention à l’assaisonnement : un hébergement confortable et une hôtesse qui, ainsi que son travail professionnel et générosité d’esprit, sait rire.
My husband, 11-year old son and 16-year old nephew spent one week with Soline and her family, improving our French language skills and experiencing life in the lovely village of Volvic. This week was the highlight of our three weeks in France. From the moment Soline picked us up at the train station to when she dropped us off for our car rental, she was encouraging and accommodating. In our formal lessons, she was able to accommodate our very different skill levels by using games and activities that were both fun and challenging. The two members of our group who came with a basic knowledge of French and were hesitant to use it at first gained enough confidence that they spoke French for most of the rest of the trip. There were ample opportunities for casual conversation and for us to ask questions about what we were seeing and experiencing around us.
Lunch was always delicious and featured some classic French cuisine, a variety of local ingredients, vegetables from the garden and interesting discussion. Our afternoon activities varied from a walk and swim in a volcano to the Volvic water and stone museums. One afternoon our boys spent the afternoon with Soline’s boys playing sports while Soline took my husband and I shopping for some necessities. Another evening, the boys hung out together eating pizza and watching a movie, while the adults went out to a local restaurant. Our interactions, both formal and informal, made us feel like we were “at home,” and part of the family.
The accommodations – Gîte de la Planche – were roomy, comfortable and very tastefully decorated. The kitchen was well-stocked with every tool we might need. There were laundry facilities, lots of books and games for us to use, and a lovely terrace where we had our evening meals and some lessons.
I cannot more highly recommend this experience: French immersion lessons, afternoon excursions and comfortable accommodations right beside our host.
Sherry, Jo, Marshall and Evan
First of all I want to assure you that my week in Tayrac was a wonderful experience is many, many ways. Learning more French and hopefully improving a bit were of course important.
In addition was learning about and gaining an understanding of the history of that region of France. The afternoon hikes and excursions were so special for me.
I learned a lot about myself and came to understand more and more those things that are challenging in one’s life.
My week with you was a perfect preparation for the remaining weeks that I spent in my travels. I have so much to think about and for which I can be very thankful.
Thanks again and again for the wonderful week you gave to me.
I’ve ordered Farine de Sarrasin and I plan to master making the Galette. Like all of you meals, that was great. I cannot remember feeling so comfortable and healthy as I did having three well balanced meals, plenty of water and good exercise in the afternoon for an entire week.
You’re the best, Pierre, and stay in touch.
My friend Lauren, and I went to study with Eliane after several years of studying French in the USA and we learned so much in one week! My husband came with us, but did not take lessons during the week. During our lessons, Steve took short walks around the town or appreciated a quite time in the garden.
We appreciated the structure of the program and Eliane truly listened to us and created lessons to improve the skills we asked for help with and she used subjects according to our interests! (Like for example, wine and couples therapy! 🤣)
We liked her style of teaching also! Eliane is very particular about grammar and pronunciation. We liked her way of stopping us for corrections. (We liked that she explained what a French person hears when we pronounce words incorrectly! 🤣)
Eliane also had many simple rules for memorizing common points of grammar!
Finally, we loved her dog, Okami! He was like a therapist for us! If we felt nervous, etc he would always show up for a cuddle! What a sweet dog!
Thank you to Eliane for a wonderful week!
Our French version of our review for Eliane :
Mon amie Lauren et moi, on est allés étudier avec Eliane après plusieurs années d’étude de français aux Etats-Unis et on a appris beaucoup en une semaine!
Mon mari est venu avec nous, mais n’a pas pris de cours durant la semaine. Pendant nos leçons, Steve faisait des petits tours dans la ville ou se reposait tranquillement dans le jardin.
On a apprécié la structure de son programme. Eliane nous a vraiment écouté et elle a créé des leçons pour améliorer les compétences pour lesquelles on lui avait demandé de l’aide et elle a utilisé des sujets selon nos intérêts! (Comme par exemple, le vin et les thérapies de couple! 🤣)
On a aussi aimé le style de son enseignement! Eliane est très rigoureuse au sujet de la grammaire et de la prononciation. On a bien aimé sa façon de nous arrêter pour nous corriger quand on parlait! (On a aimé qu’elle nous explique ce que les Français entendent quand on prononce mal les mots! 🤣) Eliane a aussi beaucoup de simples règles pour mémoriser des points de grammaire communs !
Et enfin, on aime beaucoup son chien, Okami ! Il était comme un thérapeute pour nous! Si on était nerveuses etc. il venait nous faire un câlin! Quel chien adorable!
Merci à Eliane pour une super semaine!
I have spent a very enjoyable week of immersion with Nicole in Meilhards. It’s a lovely, quiet agricultural area with stunning views everywhere of rolling fields and dense forests. There is lots to do and see in this part of France and I found a visit to the City of Limoges, famous for its porcelain, particularly interesting.
Nicole’s house has been renovated to a high standard and the student apartment above the living area is very comfortable and private. I have enjoyed Nicole’s cooking very much. She has used produce from her own garden and from the farms near by while factoring in some dietary constraints that I have. She encouraged me to try the locally produced Boudin even though I was somewhat dubious. It was delicious!
Prior to my departure for France, Nicole gave me the opportunity to outline my goals and expectations from my stay with her and she has met those expectations perfectly with a tailored and flexible program. She is a warm, friendly and welcoming person and a natural teacher. The long and tiring trip from Australia has been well worth the effort!