Each Friday we introduce you to the local experts that really can help you during your time in Morzine, Les Gets or Avoriaz. Helen Watts, founder of Morzine based language school Alpine French School (formerly Lost in Translation) is one such person. Over the years, Helen and her expanding team have taught thousands of students to speak both French and English, and with a new learning centre now open in Morzine, learning a new language has never been so easy.
“Alpine French School was originally set up in 2003 as Lost In Translation. We offered French courses to the local expat community and English courses to the local French community. We started in Morzine and expanded to offer lessons in Les Gets, Saint Jean d’Aulps, Samoëns, Châtel, Thonon and as far as Evian and Bonneville. Our business grew and we have taught at the Evian water head-offices, in numerous local businesses and to thousands of individuals.
We started offering French courses to people visiting the area on holiday wishing to study French. We have now expanded this side of the business to welcome international students to the Alps to learn French in the beautiful villages of Morzine and Les Gets.
A lot of the locals in Morzine speak enough English for their business, so if they run a ski shop they can talk about skis and boot sizes but apart from that they prefer to speak French! If you’re learning to speak French in Morzine, the trick is to find French friends and neighbours to talk to on a daily basis. The French population still hugely outnumbers the English-speaking population in Morzine but the English-speakers seem to stick together and don’t mix with the French as much as they could. Many of our students are guilty of this and cultivate English friendships but not French ones. Just have a go and they will love you for it! Seize every opportunity you can and don’t be shy. And in the town, you can use our Friendly French Scheme.
‘FRIENDLY FRENCH’ is a great way to practise your French conversation in real life French situations in Morzine. The idea is to give you the opportunity to have French conversation with local businesses with the guarantee that French locals will not answer back in English and will be patient with your efforts to speak French. You’ll be given a card (the size of a business card) which explains ‘I would like to speak French with you! Would you mind repeating slowly if I don’t understand? Thank you’. The service is free and students collect their card during their French class.
Because Alpine French School is an approved language school, we can often arrange financial aid for language training. A business training budget can be used for example, to part or fully subsidise your french lessons. We look after all the administration and applications for you. Training budgets are available for employees on French employment contracts auto-entrepreneurs, French business owners and some international students.
We’ve just finished our first year of our French language junior summer camps here at Alpine French School and they were a huge success. International students, local French and English juniors and tourists took part in the camp and children were asking to come back week after week, which the parents didn’t expect! So we will be definitely running the camps again next year!”
For more information of French lessons in Morzine, contact Alpine French School.