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Meet Heather, Coffee Break French learner

Tell us who you are, where you live, your nationality and how long you’ve been learning a language with us.

My name is Heather, and I live in Madoc, Ontario, Canada. I am Canadian, but come from Scottish parents. I started listening and downloading the Coffee Break French podcasts a few years ago.

What experience have you had speaking and learning other languages?

My immediate family speaks only English. I have had prior lessons in French, a very long time ago while in public school. French classes were mandatory in grades four to eight. I’m afraid that I did not enjoy those classes as they were not fun or engaging for me, and were only one hour a week.

I somehow stumbled upon Coffee Break French about a year after it started and listened just out of curiosity. I ended up hooked! My husband is in the military, and the Base where he is posted offered French lessons with wonderful and engaging instructors to military family members. I signed up, and because of Coffee Break French, I was allowed to start at a higher level, which I did complete. I used my Coffee Break podcasts to augment my learning. I signed up for the next level course, but it was cancelled because of a lack of students. Since then, I had a change in employment, which made it too difficult to attend classes in the evenings offered. My French learning was sidelined!I did try some other online French classes, but I grew bored very quickly with the picture and flash card techniques they all seem to use. Repetitive phases did not work for me, so I gave up on it.

Over the last year or so though, I found that I had learned enough French through Coffee Break, that I would often find myself reading the French side of pamphlets or other bilingual writings, signs, etc. I did not know every word that I read, but I would often get the gist of what I was reading. So, a couple of months ago I started listening to Coffee Break French again during my commute to and from work. Well, I came to the realisation that signing up for the course would take me to the next level, so I registered!

What are your favourite memories of learning a language?

I think my favourite memories of learning French is when I have made attempts to speak to my French speaking friends or to shopkeepers, etc., and was met with a funny little smile or chuckle because I had not quite got something right. They enthusiastically corrected me, but also said how much they appreciated my efforts. I found this especially true when I travelled in Quebec and France.

Where would your ideal coffee break be, and with whom?

I would love to return to Nice and converse with any of the local people there!

What’s the best language-learning tip you have found works for you?

With living in Canada, packaging on all store products is written in both French and English, as is any literature found in government buildings. I like to try reading the French sides of these items and then read the English side after to see how well I understood what I read in French.

Quickfire round

• Your favourite language: French
• Your favourite word or phrase in the language: Any word where I get to roll my “Rs “.
• Do you have a favourite film, TV show, book or singer in the language? Céline Dion
• Your favourite destination to practise your language: Anywhere on the French coast!

Please finish off with a message to your fellow members of the Coffee Break community and the Coffee Break Team.

Thank-you Coffee Break Team for all the hard work you put into your language lessons. I truly believe Coffee Break offers the best resources to learn a new language as it goes well beyond just memorising phrases. I love the fact that you teach how to actually use and construct the languages, and that it is taught at a nice, easy pace. The explanations are always so clear and easy to understand. The best part of all is the amazing amount of free material to get you started and it’s taught with real life situations and in a mature manner.

To all my fellow Coffee Break learners, enjoy your learning experience! I wish you all the best in your endeavours!

2 Comments on “Meet Heather, Coffee Break French learner”

  1. Avatar

    Hello Heather from New Jersey, USA. I too study French with Coffee Break French. Speaking English I too need to practice the rolling R’s! I have found CBF to be a great learning experience especially the recorded conversations out and about. Hope you continue to enjoy the experience!

  2. Avatar

    Bonjour, Heather, de la Californie, USA. C’était bon de lire votre histoire. J’ai des grandparents de l’Écosse. J’étudie le français et l’italien, que j’ai appris à l’université il y à 30 ans, et j’apprends aussi l’espagnol. Je voudrais bien visiter le Canada, pour la beauté naturelle et à fin de pratiquer mon français. J’ai dit à mes deux filles (qui étudient le français, l’espagnol, l’italien et le coréen) que nous devons aller au Canada pour notre prochain voyage. J’adore aussi le Coffee Break Languages et écoute les podcasts dès que possible. J’ai appris tant avec Coffee Break — et les podcasts et leçons sont vraiment amusants et intéressants. J’aime particulièrement les conversations engageants entre Marc et Pierre-Benoît.

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