Frequently Asked Questions
When you sign up through our website booking page, you will provide your details. Then you will be directed to our PayPal website. Follow instructions for payment and you will be officially registered for a course! You will receive a receipt for payment by email.
Once payment is received and your registration confirmed, you will receive an email containing:
-access to the preparation materials and reading
-a link to assess your level of French
-the opportunity to register for a 15-minute one-on-one evaluation with Kristen or Ruth
-the link needed to join the live online course, to be used the day the course starts
Take the assessment right away and share the results with us so we have a benchmark to measure your progress. The email will also provide instructions on preparing for the class – we recommend starting your preparation a minimum of two weeks before the first day of class but you can take longer if you like. In fact, the more time you take to prepare, the better/more efficient the classes will be.
On the first day of classes at the appointed time, join by clicking the link provided. Et c’est parti!
During the course you may be offered the opportunity to join a class Facebook or What’s App group to keep in touch and share your experiences with your instructor and fellow students. You may also be offered opportunities to participate in fun events and activities (depending on COVID restrictions).
Once you have finished the course, if you wish, you may take the assessment again to measure your progress. But remember, much of your improvement will be intangible – just the confidence you will gain by speaking in front of others will be invaluable!
An intensive course requires dedication and preparation from you! To see results, you will need to the reading and any exercises we give you in their entirety before coming to the course (roughly one hour of preparation needed per hour of class time, for a total of 32 hours of pre-course preparation). Ideally, you would also review a section of the materials every day before our sessions. When you sign up for the course, we will tell you exactly what you need to do.
Every French program is different, with its own approaches, positive points, and details. What you will get with us that would be hard to find anywhere else is:
-instruction by a teacher holding a doctorate in French second-language education
-instruction by a teacher with at least 10 years of adult teaching experience
-small-group classes (12 students maximum per instructor)
-an intimate, casual, relaxed atmosphere
-a French “partial immersion” experience (see below for more information)
-a communicative-based approach (see below for more information)
-teachers with multicultural Anglophone experience (one British and one American, both with experience of both cultures)
-extensive knowledge of the local region and culture (we are also professional tour guides!)
-real-world application of learned material and cultural experiences
-use of innovative teaching methods designed to get you speaking as quickly as possible
-the whole group progresses through the same material at the same rate (no students joining the course partway through and repeating material)
We will request payment from you via PayPal. Once you have signed up for the course, you will receive a prompt to pay through PayPal. Once we’ve received payment, we will send you a receipt by email, and you are officially registered for the course!
In order to confirm your registration, you must pay for the course in its entirety*. Your registration is not confirmed until payment is received by us.
*If you would like to request a personalized payment plan, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Certain discounts may count as an exception to this mode of payment. Instructions on how to access these discounts can be found on our Special Offers page.
Cancel with a full refund up to two weeks (14 days) before the start of the course. If you cancel a week (7 days) in advance of the course start date, you can receive a 50% refund. After midnight on Sunday before the start of the course we cannot give a refund but you will be given the option to book onto a later course as long as courses are available.
In some cases, a minimum of six students is needed to run a course. For these, if less than six students are registered by the registration deadline, we must cancel or reschedule the course. In this event, you will be given the option to reschedule (no refund) or cancel (with a full refund).
We are confident that you will make progress, feel easier speaking in front people, and enjoy the course. We believe in our ability to help you improve and we believe in YOU! So we offer a 100% money back guarantee. If, at the end of the course, you have attended all the classes, done all the work, and yet made no progress, we will happily refund you the full cost of your course.
No, not necessarily! While native French speakers have the best pronunciation, the fact of the matter is that you will be in France, surrounded by native speakers and listening to native pronunciation every day. The advantage of working with Kristen and Ruth is that we have advanced degrees, and years of experience, in the teaching of French as a second language to adults. We know – and know how to explain – all of the rules. We know why and how the grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary work – things that many native French speakers never learn. Plus, Kristen and Ruth have been specially trained in the teaching methods that allow you to expand your speaking capabilities and progress in a short amount of time.
Additionally, because we teach and are fluent in English, and have lived many years in our home countries as well as France, we are capable of cultural as well as linguistic translation – explaining why and how things are done and said in one country and how they differ from another.
That said, KRU works great in tandem with other programs, as a supplement, booster, or to bridge gaps in practice or knowledge. Doing regular lessons with a French native speaker in addition to a KRU course would be an excellent way to maximize your French power! There is no such thing as too much practice.
In the traditional classroom, new information is communicated by a teacher lecturing to the students, who listen and take notes. Then, directly afterwards, the students are asked to do activities that demonstrate understanding of the material in the lecture. At the end of class, the students are sent home with reading to supplement the lecture and homework to practice what they have learned.
A flipped approach reverses this model. In a flipped classroom, the students read the textbook and do any related practice activities first, before coming to class. Then, the teacher uses the beginning of class time to check student comprehension of the material, and to answer any questions the students may have, explaining concepts as needed. The rest of class time is used for practice. Afterward, the students’ “homework” is learning the new information for the next class session.
In a language classroom, this has many advantages. One of the biggest complains both students and teachers have in the traditional model is that (1) grammar is not easy to learn and (2) there is never enough time for speaking and listening practice. The flipped approach addresses both these issues. First, it allows the student to learn the grammar at his own pace, giving him time to digest the material before practicing it. And by using class time for answering questions and clarifying the material, the teacher can target specific issues or problems with understanding. Second, the flipped model allows for a maximum of live language practice under the guidance of an experienced instructor.
Most traditional language courses focus on precision in grammar and vocabulary – basically, you do lots of written exercises and every mistake you make is corrected until the rule is memorized. This is great for people who want to reach a very advanced level in reading or writing but not as good for those who just want to have a conversation or get around in French.
A communicative approach emphasizes communicating an idea successfully and actively speaking over getting your words exactly right. You learn by doing. Instead of writing translation exercises, you will be expected to speak the language – from Day One! You WILL make mistakes, but they are part of the learning process. Think of it like learning to play a musical instrument: When you learn a song, you don’t play it exactly right the first time. And when you practice, you don’t stop and start over from the beginning every single time you hit a wrong note — you keep playing it all the way through until one day you play all the notes correctly.
One advantage to this approach is that the stigma of making a mistake is eliminated. Instead of being afraid to mess up, most students are excited to talk! The atmosphere is fun, relaxed and comfortable – many students say that it is the most pleasant experience they’ve had learning a language.
“Partial immersion” is different from the total immersion approach. “Total immersion” means the course is carried out completely in French, with no instruction in English or any other language. This is a highly efficient way to learn, but it means that students who miss basic concepts early on may get left behind. “Partial immersion” means that a majority of the course is carried out in French but English can be used as needed. By keeping English to a minimum, but using it when necessary, we can ensure the best possible training and progress for all students. Such an approach is not always feasible when the teacher is a native or fluent speaker of one language only. Having completely bilingual teachers allows a “partially immersive” experience to be possible.