Below is an excerpt from my email newsletter describing the incredible results that one FOUR WEEK INTENSIVE client had ...
I had the most amazing experience Sunday night ...
One of my favorite students was in Paris for work (he's a Digital Product Director at a place none of us could live without) and we indulged in a very long, very gourmand dinner with two of my closest Parisian girlfriends (I know, poor guy!). At Café Charlot, bien sûr (I'm addicted to its ambiance and cheeseburgers).
He'd taken my 4 week intensive (High School Déjà Vu) in preparation for his trip and was the perfect candidate for the class: he studied French in high school and college and even studied abroad in Paris.
Then real life happened.
When he started traveling to Paris for work, he found himself with a rusty version of the shiny French that he had worked so diligently to obtain. Like most people in that position, he was dreading the process of 're-learning' what he had 'forgotten'. I don't think that we ever forget knowledge, however I do think that our self-confidence leads us to think that we do. We don't have to re-learn, we only have to give ourselves permission to be imperfect in an area where we once felt we were. Thankfully, feelings aren't facts.
Long story short: we have to have a sense of adventure and look forward to the fumbles. Why 'look forward'? Because the only way to where we want to be is through them.
In life in general, by the way ;)
I spoke French with him briefly while he was here for work in the fall prior to the course and I could hear the latent knowledge buzzing behind his eyes. I was sure that once we got his confidence back, he'd be a rock star, transformed into my favorite species -
The American that absolutely floors French people with their command of the French language.
And he was amazing - the most motivated and engaged student I've had to date, taking full advantage of all of the videos, audios and written + speaking assignments. He also decided to go deeper and get more practice via private Skype sessions with me.
Cut back to last Sunday night. BOOM. Even I was floored by his level of French. He'd become very fluid in our Skypes and I was no longer adjusting my speech to encourage him. However, chatting with your coach feels a lot safer than chatting with Parisians (in a loud bistro, I add), even for a French person.
He spoke in French with us for 4 hours. 4 hours. 4 HOURS. And my Parisian friends didn't adjust their speech at all. The best part for me was witnessing my friends getting to know the same personality that I've had the pleasure of getting to know. He was joking, telling stories, asking questions, all in his natural voice.
He was feeling fluent.
I'm going to be honest...
Up until now, I've thought that the courses that I've designed with so much heart and experience were fantastic, one-of-a-kind solutions for those looking to learn French or brush up on their French. After our dinner, I realized that what I've created is actually more powerful and provides more unheard of (and I mean absolutely unheard of) results than anything out there.
Even my friends, who are pre-disposed to think whatever I do is great, were stunned, saying things such as -
Holy sh*t, that was the best advertisement for your programs, EVER.
- but, in French (so it sounded even cooler - especially considering their tendency to avoid revealing being impressed by anything). One of the girls had spent time with him in Paris in the fall, so she got the full-on mind-shattering before and after.
Best of all, I can tell that he is loving his new way of being while in Paris - dinners in French, French chats at the office - it's an expansive feeling.
And expansion brings joy and empowerment.
So, that's my story about my amazing Sunday night. If you or someone you know sounds like my student - or if you or someone you know wants to learn French - PLEASE send them my way or reach out to me. The feeling of opening up a loved one's world is pretty f*cking amazing (pardon my French, I reserve it for special occasions, which this is!). And there's no better gift to give (ourselves or others) than one that expands our sense of self in the world.
To close, as far as perfection goes and feeling fluent, enjoy the below videos of Jodie Foster and Bradley Cooper speaking French, both with very different levels of aptitude, both expressing their personalities 'perfectly'. Which one of them speaks French 'fluently'? In my book, they both do.
Find your French. Feel fluent.
Sending you lots of French Love from the City of Lights,