So I finished five mornings (9-1pm) at Alliance Francaise. Overall I think the teaching methods are excellent as there are a variety of ways to learn the material; however, a lot depends on how the teacher engages the students particularly when there is ONE student who monopolizes the discussion. A girl from Turkey was sitting beside me today and she agreed that unfortunately, the Italian classmate talked all the time so it was difficult to get a word in. That being said, I still think it was a great experience worth trying. The hardest part for me is continuing to practice my French in Toronto where no one else does. Maybe that’s why I keep returning to France? Would I do Alliance Francaise again? Yes.
How was it different from Accent Francais in Montpellier?
The school in Montpellier was more casual. Although there was homework and in-class exercises, it didn’t see as rigid as Alliance Francaise. We used a text book and exercise book at AF but there was a Smartboard in the class so they really make use of technology. Maybe a bit friendlier at Accent Francais but that’s likely because it is smaller. Certainly the classes were shorter (9-12 rather than 9-1).
Anyways, to celebrate the end of my week, today was my “éclair” day. I went to Dalloyau and bought a chocolate éclair. I really tried hard to eat it slowly, but it wasn’t that big and it WAS delicious. In all the years I have been coming to France, I have never tried an éclair until today. Did it meet my expectations? Only sort of. Maybe I thought the angels would start singing when I bit into it.
Later in the day, however, I made the trek to the Marais and found “L’éclair de Genie” (14, rue Pavee, just north of Rue Saint-Antoine, near the Metro Saint-Paul in the 4th arr.) where I had the famous ‘Caramel Beurre Sale”—salted caramel eclair. IT WAS SO GOOD I am speechless. It was worth seeking out this patisserie. If I had bought more, I would have eaten them all. I had to restrain myself. Forget macarons! I am hooked on THESE éclairs!