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I had the most wonderful week’s immersion stay with Emilie and her family at Le Berger. Wonderful because, thanks to Emilie, it was the perfect combination of lessons tailored to my French language learning needs and being welcomed as part of the life of a French family and the French way of life.

Emilie quickly understood my knowledge of French, my weaknesses and my preferred ways of learning. Our daily lessons were always structured and yet fluid. My questions often diverted us towards adjacent topics. For example, a study of prepositions to a colloquial expression, to some pronunciation practice. I was never bored, subjects were covered in ways that related to me and my life, and towards helping me think in French rather than translate.

Our day in Toulouse and at the recycling workshop were great fun thanks to Emilie’s thoughtfulness about my wishes, her efficient planning and willingness to adapt her weekly routines.

I equally enjoyed my time with Emilie, David and Myrtille during the excellent meals, playing games and learning, by participation, about some of their regular activities. In this way my vocabulary widened and, importantly for me, I heard lots of authentic French in different voices. An excellent way to consolidate the written reminders of subjects covered that Emilie provided.

Le Berger is a lovely home, in a beautiful setting. Inside and out, there was the space for me to work on my own and my rooms were great with all the amenities one could want.

The week was ‘hard’ work, probably because I chose it to be that way. There was homework and the need to pay attention during family conversations to benefit from being included.

That said, I plan to continue my French language learning with Emilie and would return for another immersion stay.

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