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Old 13.03.2016, 03:43
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Affordable French course in Lausanne

Hello,

I am looking for an affordable French course for my wife which is a level 0 beginner.
There are certainly multiple options in Lausanne, generally with crazy prices, but I could not find some reviews about French teaching schools.

Would anyone have some suggestion for a beginner friendly intensive French course of 3 / 6 months at a reasonable price and decent quality?

Thank you very much for time.
Regards
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Old 13.03.2016, 07:26
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

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at a reasonable price and decent quality?
Perhaps you could specify the range of fees you have in mind? And whether she would like to start immediately (i.e. within some weeks)?
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Old 13.03.2016, 07:43
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

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Perhaps you could specify the range of fees you have in mind? And whether she would like to start immediately (i.e. within some weeks)?
Thank you for your quick reply.
It is very hard for me to define what is "an usual price" in Switzerland. Would 10-20 CHF /h for a group lesson and 50-60 CHF /h for a individual lesson be a correct guess? Should we invest more? What is extremely important for her is that she can reach a decent level of French to start looking for a job asap (hopefully within 6 months).
We will arrive there around the end of April and I she probably would like to start from the beginning of May. We are looking for an intensive course 4 or 5 times a week several hours a day.

Once again thank you for your time.
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Old 13.03.2016, 18:15
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Hi,

I found a private tutor a few years ago and I have find her to be extremely valuable and reliable. I have weekly one-to-one sessions with her. I do have to drive to hers though as she lives in Savigny. On occasions when I am unable to get to hers, due to weather conditions or travel, lessons are held by Skype.
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Old 13.03.2016, 18:39
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

I was sent by social services to language classes at Voexa in Lausanne.

I can't comment on the quality of the lessons as I became ill very early on and couldn't attend the course.

But I assume (as it was social services who were paying) that their prices are reasonable, and that they are considered a good school (or social services wouldn't have sent me there).

Here is a link to their prices for intensive language classes - it looks like you can choose how many weeks classes you want to take.
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Old 13.03.2016, 18:52
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

A decent level of French is at least B1. An option would be the intensive vacation courses at the university from July onwards: http://www.unil.ch/cvac/en/home.html

She could also start learning via Migros: http://www.ecole-club.ch/Offres/Lang...rs-de-francais

Other alternatives:
http://voxea.com/courses/french-cour...ndard-courses/
http://wessexacademy.ch/en/course/french/

I am sure there are other options, so hoping other EF-ers would guide you in the right direction!
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Old 14.03.2016, 08:52
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Thank you very much for your kind replies.
It helped a lot to have an idea.
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Old 14.03.2016, 09:48
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Google Université Populaire in LS, they can have some fab tutors and the fees are only admin fees, if it is similar to Uni Pop in Geneva. Have her organise a language exchange EF group through our calendar and she will progress without paying anything, really. Got me started here, it was really good. I still keep my lang exchange 1x - 2x a week with different friends or neighbors, the best thing about it is that it is complementary to cramming but it provides real conversation with real folks, not simmulated. It's a fun way to network in a new place.
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Old 20.03.2016, 17:35
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

I have good experience with the following school. You'll have to decide for yourself if it's affordable enough.
I did the intensive French course, good teachers and very good is to use the optional "language laboratory", you can practice for yourself during certain times, it's to train your conversational french...and it's free to use.

http://www.institutrichelieu.com
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Old 16.10.2017, 01:10
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

I know this thread is about 1.5years old but just wondering what school did you eventually choose and how did your wife get on?
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Old 16.10.2017, 10:11
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Hello.

She went to the Lausanne's university summer school and then she's doing courses online.
Good luck!
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Old 16.10.2017, 10:15
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

I did a three month intensive A1 here, and it was good.
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Old 16.10.2017, 11:47
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Université Populaire in Lausanne as stated and Supercomm Language & Communication in Lausanne is good for business language learning http://www.supercomm.ch/en/
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Old 16.10.2017, 11:58
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Université Populaire de Lausanne is a very good institution. Highly recommend it.
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Old 16.10.2017, 16:02
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Thanks very much everyone, I have reached out to a couple of places also - Swiss French School and Institute Richelieu Lausanne.
I am checking out the Uni and Supercomm also
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Old 19.10.2017, 21:48
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Hello,
I can share my experience with several schools in Lausanne. I was also looking for an affordable option last year (up to 20 CHF per teaching hour in a group class can be considered inexpensive).

Recommended:

1) Ecole Migros - they have many levels and groups, there's a level for anyone. Courses are 2-month semesters and it's possible to join any semester, even once the course has started. The school is well organized and communication is good. They will not rip you off (if you join in the middle of the course, they will charge proportionally). However, the groups can be large (up to 14 people) and some teachers might not be that good (however, in general they are great). They make you do (a bit crappy) online test but then you can move to a different group if the level is too high/low.
Pros: many levels, price around 15 CHF/hour (600 CHF for 40 hrs), no registration fee
Cons: groups can get large

2) Universite Populaire - I didn't do a course with them in the end but I went to a 'placement test' which had a written part and then there was a chat with the teacher who assessed my level and suggested the best course. I felt they really care about the quality of teaching. I heard good opinions about them.
Pros: good quality of teaching, good prices (around 15 CHF/hour (890 CHF for 60 hrs), groups up to 12 people
Cons: some financial commitment (you have to pay 890 CHF in one go)

3) Agora - didn't do a course with them but had a really good chat with one of the teachers (the owner?). I just walked into the reception and he devoted some 20 mins to talk to me in French (I was not a total beginner) to assess my level. I had a feeling that they care about the quality of teaching too. They are more pricy with appr. 22.50 CHF per hour (360 CHF for 16 hrs/month)
Pros: good quality of teaching, teachers who really want to make you speak
Cons: a bit pricy, plus registration fee of 150 CHF

4) For EPFL-based foreign people and members of their families:
ACIDE association organizes very cheap French courses, however it's only for EPFL employees + their families, and the courses are around noon and early afternoon. Great price (app. 9 CHF/hour) - 280 CHF for 2-month course.
Pros: great price, nice teacher
Cons: for EPFL community only, classes in the middle of the day, groups can get large

To avoid:
Ecole Lemania - it's a boarding school which also organizes evening classes of French. A bit pricy - 720 CHF + registration fee of 60 CHF for 2-month course (around 24 CHF/hour). I spoke to a secretary both in person and on the phone - she wasn't able to give me any details. I was made to do a written 'placement test' but I was never told the result, I was just asked to come to the first class. Warning: they make you sign a registration form with small print saying you declare to pay even if you cancel! So think twice before you sign anything. There were people of different levels in the group, there is no coursebook, the quality of teaching seems poor.
Do not recommend.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck!
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Old 19.10.2017, 22:16
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

Thanks a lot Gotta - this is super useful, exactly what I am looking for
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Old 19.10.2017, 22:23
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

No problem, I know how difficult it is to find a decent course and not go bankrupt :-) Happy to hear it was useful.
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Old 18.11.2018, 23:33
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

An update to my previous post on French language schools. I've had an experience with Agora two months ago and I want to share it.
As I said, I got good impressions when I spoke to the owners so I decided to try a course with them. My level was assessed as A2/B1 which seemed accurate. During my visit to their office I asked some questions about the course, also about the coursebook they are using for this particular level. With some hesitation, the owner showed me a book called "Alter Ego", which was fine. I was told the groups are no more than 10 people. I decided to go ahead with the course, but I didn't ask for a trial class (which I should have done) - in general they don't offer free trial classes (but maybe if you ask, this can be arranged, however I didn't ask).
I had to do the payment of 150 CHF (non-refundable) + montly price of the course. I was joining in the middle of the month so I was charged accordingly (for two weeks) which was fair.
In my first class (A2 level), I met our teacher who was in her 60s (maybe late 50s) and her teaching methods seemed to me so old-fashioned! She was talking most of the time, not allowing students to say much. There was no group work, no pair work, no interactive varied methods which help develop speaking, listening etc. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not against experienced teachers, and as an adult I don't expect the teacher to entertain me, but please! The teacher read the text from the book herself (why not let students do it??), then was writing definitions for new words on the board (for students to copy to their notebooks). As homework, we were requested to copy the text from the coursebook to our notebooks (!). The coursebook they were using was not the one shown to me by the owner - it was a book from 1958!!! An old-fashioned black-and-white book with old-style texts and excercises - why not use something published in the 21st century??
I didn't like the class so I asked them to let me try level B1, and here the teacher was different but the same age group and similar teaching methods. At least the coursebook was the one shown to me ("Alter Ego"). During my visits to the school I got a glimpse of the teachers, and all seemed to be rather elderly. Of course it doesn't have to mean anything, I leave it to you to judge.
The number of people in the group (in both courses) was indeed no more than 10, I would say 6-8 people on average. You can pay monthly which gives some flexibility, but the fee of 150 CHF is non-refundable. You can buy the coursebooks in the office (I didn't do it as I was not sure if I stay at the school, which proved to be a good decision). The overall atmosphere in the school is good.
To sum up, please consider before you go - in my opinion, their teaching methods are absolutely old-fashioned. My advice is to ask for a trial class - they don't mention it anywhere but maybe it's possible (it would be fair to offer it before you ask people to pay for a month + fee)...
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Old 19.11.2018, 00:31
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Re: Affordable French course in Lausanne

The previous post remembered me of an account of experience with french lessons at Pole Sud in Lausanne, a place where people from disadvantaged backgrounds are taught French, no questions asked, at highly subsidized cost.

It is a great all-exercise course for beginners, i.e. no dry lecture but instead interaction all the time.
And, from the same first-hand account, they had for some time a substitute teacher who happened to be a retiree who worked there before, and, according to the account, was way better at teaching than the other, younger teachers :-)
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