Tips for improving your French during a summer in Paris

Tips for improving your French during a summer in Paris

Professor Interview
  • Professor Edwige de Monigny teaching at the Summer School (photo: Manuel Braun)Professor Edwige de Monigny teaching at the Summer School (photo: Manuel Braun)

Professor Edwige de Montigny teaches French Level A2 and the written French workshop for the intermediate levels in the July session of the French language track. She holds a French Agrégation degree in classical literatures and languages, and a master’s degree in teaching French as a foreign language. She teaches (and has taught) French at the Université Paris-Est-Créteil (DELCIFE), the Catholic Institute of Paris, the American University of Paris, and the Sorbonne. Her research subjects range from French literature and etymology to the historical evolution of the French language.

You’ve taught at the Summer School for several years.  What are you most looking forward to about this summer?

I’m looking forward to the moment when the class has its first big, collective laugh.  Everyone laughing together is a sign that amazing things can happen in these moments when people from different cultures mix and share their experiences.

Beyond pure language study, how will your courses allow students to learn about contemporary events and culture in France?

For my classes, I have chosen a broad theme that will allow students to explore the French mindset: love. We will use a variety of materials, including texts, visuals, and audio-visual documents, to explore this theme from a historical, sociological, and emotional perspective, all while making connections between the past and the present in France.

What advice would you give a student spending the summer in Paris to improve his or her French?

First off, students should participate as much as possible in the activities organized by the Summer School, which will allow them to discover French culture and the history of Paris.

Otherwise, I would recommend some useful tools for meeting French people, such as the application Tandem, or the soirées organized by the Franglish association, or the website Conversation Exchange.

What is your favorite activity in Paris?

Off the top of my head, I would say buying bubble tea in the 13th arrondissement and drinking it as I walk to the Parc Montsouris.

Aside from that, I have always loved strolling down the Boulevard Saint-Michel and spending time at the Gibert Jeune bookstores.

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