French Language Salon

with François Thibaut and His Team

What makes for rapid, effective language learning? The right teacher, the right method, and the right materials.

After years of experience in the field, we’ve learned that no single approach applies to every student. Why? Every student has different learning goals —from gaining confidence in the basics of everyday French conversation, to excelling at an SAT, AP, DALF, DELF, or another standardized language test, to fine-tuning already advanced skills. Even two students with the same goal will inevitably take different paths to reach the same place, because students’ needs also vary based on other factors, like the frequency and length of their lessons, their learning style, age, and personality. The things that make us unique humans make the ways we learn unique, too.

Addressing each student’s individual needs means finding the right teacher, right method, and right materials for them. The interpersonal dynamic between teacher and student is incredibly important to making a student comfortable and excited to learn. The method of instruction —which can include the pacing of lessons or types of exercises used— also significantly impacts learning outcomes. Finally, students need engaging, quality learning materials that support the instruction and make sense for the student. The French Language Salon has a vast catalogue of custom-created learning materials for all experience levels that engage students’ interest and activate different learning styles —think eye-catching images or diagrams for visual learners, or audio exercises and music for auditory learners, etc.

Whether it will take a student 300 hours or less than 50 hours to become confident in conversation will depend on exactly these kinds of details. With the French Language Salon, students advance quickly and speak with more confidence after only several hours of lessons. This progress is possible because we take care to quickly and accurately match students with the right teacher, methods, and materials for them, setting them on the right path to fulfill their individual potential. How do we do it?

The Process

More About Our Methods

Nearly 50 years of research and instruction have allowed us to develop teaching methods based on how the brain naturally learns – through dynamic visual and emotional memory that builds on continuous progress. Each lesson is emotionally-engaging, highly relevant, and based in context.

Language and human life are inextricably connected. The technical components of language are what make up our daily conversations and interactions. So while some language teachers may divide their classes into grammar and conversation segments, we know that the two are essentially intertwined. There is no decontextualized grammar— our teachers teach grammar concepts through conversation and build conversations out from relevant grammar concepts. In this way no artificial barriers are put up in the learning process, so a student’s language development can progress organically and without interruption —as a part of life.

Keeping with this integration of language and life, we choose topics and course materials that relate to the student and engage their interests. This keeps students focused and motivated, and the familiar contexts make new concepts easier to remember. Furthermore,  classes do not rely on rote memorization of lengthy grammar rules or vocabulary lists. While these are common and easy classroom approaches, the automatism of such techniques removes context and breaks up learning. Instead, students with Francois and his team can remember and situate their newly acquired knowledge in real life contexts.

Through this focus on contextualizing language in life, our teachers aim to create an immersive language space, the boundaries of which expand as students advance and acquire new forms, tenses, and vocabulary. The progress is paced by each student’s individual needs. It is this adaptive, integrated way of teaching that allows students at the French Language Salon to rapidly advance towards their goals and experience French as a new and exciting way of thinking, communicating, and living.

Meet Our Director: The Acclaimed François Thibaut

François Thibaut, the founder, director, and master teacher behind the Cercle Franco Americain/French Language Salon is an exceptional educator with decades of experience teaching French to both children and adults, in-person and remotely. He has been featured in publications such as The Associated Press, New York Family, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN among others. In 2019, François Thibaut was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques (Order of Academic Palms) by the French Ministry of National Education, an award given to educators for contributing to the expansion of the French language and culture in the world. He has created countless language education materials for both children and adults, including the award-winning Professor Toto Multimedia Language Education Series.

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