Mark 2018

Mark

 

My stay with Michel was both a relaxing vacation in a beautiful setting and an effective method of improving my French.

I was at a B2 level before arriving, but had not spent any significant amount of time in France, and so much of what I knew felt rather abstract.   After only a week in Belle Isle, I felt so much more confident and at home living with the language.  The morning lessons were very worthwhile because Michel is adept at pinpointing specific grammar and pronunciation problems and finding exercises to improve in those areas.  We also read and discussed poetry and short stories by well known French authors, which was very enjoyable.

But what I enjoyed most was simply accompanying Michel on little sightseeing trips around the island or errands into the village and sharing dinner in the evenings.  I essentially got to listen to him live his life out loud in French while interacting with other French speakers, which helps immensely in picking up on the nuances of how the language works in everyday life.

In addition, Michel introduced me to some of his friends on the island, who were very warm and welcoming, and provided more opportunities to practice speaking in social situations.

Finally, Belle Isle in late spring/early summer is a beautiful, verdant garden perched above the crystal blue waters of the Breton coast, and is worth a trip for that reason alone.