By Gabrièle Laliberté Auger
Every Friday morning between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. a dozen individuals whose main language is not French get together to chat in French in the company of Nicole and Denis, a dynamic duo of volunteers. No formal teaching, no homework, no exams! The idea of these weekly Coffee Shop gatherings is to offer participants an opportunity to exchange in French—making mistakes is truly not an issue—and to ask questions on just about any topic that may arise.
If you have some knowledge (basic to intermediate level) of the French language; if you feel somewhat embarrassed when engaging in a French conversation; and if you have difficulty understanding when people speak French; if you would like to improve your French vocabulary and speaking skills; if you would be willing to participate in a French conversation group with people just like you, then, Sutton’s Coffee Shop is just for you!
The Coffee Shop is organized by Sac-à-mots, a not-for profit organization based in Cowansville. The purpose of this French conversation activity—no coffee involved—is to help participants practice and improve their skills in order to feel more comfortable speaking French with the people they meet in their everyday life.
Developing an ear for the “québécois” French is an added benefit. Learning typical local expressions and comparing them with those of other languages can also be fun. Did you know that when “it rains cats and dogs” in English, “il pleut à boire debout” in French?
Beware! Practicing French where everyone is welcome with smiles and laughter, may even lead you to making new friends!
If you wish to read the complete article in French, visit Le Tour’s web site.