Comments — Commentaires
What Do Past Students Say?
In the following video, Colin describes his recent stay in Brittany, France.
Comment from Hans – ‘Double Solo’ IPF Immersion week – May 2017
Just to add to Yvonne. I am her husband who shared the experiences shown below.
I cannot but sing the praises of our host teacher and guide Anne, she goes out of her way to make the hours and days interesting and stimulating, not only does one learn the language but one is exposed to the culture and the beauty of the region. I can thoroughly recommend seven days of being chauffeured and guided through this beautiful part of Brittany.
Comment from Yvonne – ‘Double Solo’ IPF Immersion week – May 2017
The activities in my immersion course were suggested by Anne after I told her about my interests and the things I wanted to see. We arrived at an itinerary that included museums, cultural activities, markets, gardens and tasting experiences with local foods. On Sunday, Anne met me at the train station in Rennes and we went to Thourie, a small village in the country about half an hour from Rennes. It is a lovely peaceful spot. My accommodation was simple, clean and comfortable.
The next day we set off for Pont Aven on the South coast of Brittany where we planned to spend the first night. On the way we stopped at Rochefort-en-Terre, a beautiful village with views of the surrounding country. Pont Aven is a lovely village where Gauguin set up an artists’ colony and works from the group can be found in the local museum. We had a gourmet meal at Sur Le Pont in the evening and our hotel breakfast the next morning contained a variety of delicious local specialties.
The following three nights were spent in Quimper, once again in a comfortable hotel. We went to two great museums and took a guided tour of a famous pottery workshop. One afternoon we wandered through a beautiful English style garden in nearby Combrit, where I took a video of noisy happy frogs in the aquatic garden. What a treat!
Back in Rennes on Saturday we joined the locals at the ‘grand marché’. We saw four or five weddings at the Mairie, and enjoyed the performances of the street artists.
I really enjoyed my week with Anne in Brittany. She looked after me so well and made everything easy. It was a wonderful experience and I learned lots of French.
Comment from Kathy – Solo IPF Immersion week – December 2016
It was a lovely stay with Anne, again, in the Breton countryside surrounded by rolling hills of green in December. This was my second IPF with Anne, and I enjoyed it as much as my first. The accommodations were very comfortable, and the food was delicious and plentiful. Most importantly, we spoke French every day, and Anne patiently helped me to constantly improve. I look forward to returning soon for a third immersion stay!
Comment from Pam – Solo IPF Immersion week – November 2016
What a week Anne and I had on my IPF-VIP! Anne planned an itinerary that somehow managed to include all of the places I had said I would like to see.
We started with a visit to Anne’s small village of Thourie and the nearby bustling capital city of Rennes. The next day, we hopped into her hardy little car and headed west. We savored galettes, a traditional Breton dish, in the picturesque village of Rochefort-en-Terre. Further down the road, we took a stroll along narrow cobbled streets in the walled city of Vannes.
We stayed overnight in medieval Quimper, with its magical square, soaring cathedral and flower-bedecked quays. We paid a visit to the Henriot-Quimper faïencerie, which, for centuries, has made colorful hand-painted pottery.
We then headed out to Crozon, on the western tip of France. Along the way, we stopped at the village of Douarnenez, where a small bakery makes the best Kouign-amann in the country. (The sweet and buttery pastry is shipped daily to Paris). In Crozon, we came across just the sort of small bookstore I had hoped to find. The cozy shop had the latest French publications, calendars and magazines.
As we drove back to Thourie, we stopped at Pont-Aven, a 19th-century haven and inspiration for Paul Gauguin and other artists of the impressionist school. As you can imagine, the town’s museum is a little gem.
After a night in my comfortable quarters at Les Burons, Anne’s family farm, we headed to the seaside city of Saint-Malo, once home to privateers. I walked the granite ramparts that enclose the historic section of the city, which is known as Intra-Muros. It was rebuilt stone by stone after its complete destruction during World War II. Today, it is a shopping paradise, where I found gifts from placemats to classic striped Breton tops, for family and friends. Later, Anne and I took advantage of low tide and trekked out to the tidal island of Grand Bé to visit the tomb of François-René de Chateaubriand, a 19th-century writer, historian and diplomat.
Anne chose three charming French hotels. Our accommodations in Crozon and Saint-Malo offered breathtaking ocean views, and their restaurants served superb gourmet meals. One evening, Anne put together an equally delicious French picnic.
The Bretons are friendly and relaxed. They have truly preserved a way of life, from their architecture and rolling countryside to the patisseries, art galleries, bistros and small shops lining historic squares and lanes.
Of course, an important goal of my visit was to gain more fluency in French. Anne made certain that would happen. We spoke only in French, and she employed her inventive and effective teaching methods to make me comfortable speaking with the many people we encountered. She has a great gift for setting up her students to succeed.
My French fluency was truly tested when I arrived at Charles DeGaulle Airport to fly back to Boston. The lines everywhere were long and tempers were short. Many people had very little time to make their flights, including a shy woman just behind me. She spoke no English and was very worried. I urged her – in French – to inquire if she could be put into a much shorter line that was dedicated to business class passengers. She succeeded, and, as she disappeared through a gate, she turned, smiled and waved. Un bon moment pour moi!
Anne is a warm and friendly companion who is full of good humor and fun. I will savor the memories of a week in Brittany with Anne.
Comment from Colin – Regular IPF Immersion week – May 2016
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French Immersion Program
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How Would You Rate Anne’s Teaching?
A really first class week in and around Thourie under Anne’s excellent guidance. Due to all the difficulties in France, the strikes, lack of petrol, Anne had to really redo the IPF program from scratch. This involved walks and biking around the area and meeting plenty of local people- what a delight!
Anne put so much energy and passion into the revised programme but was also incredibly patient in correcting my mistakes and helping to develop my spoken French. She also got a non- cooking guy into the kitchen and we had some excellent food and wine.
Top marks for a great teacher and a great hostess- wish I could do it all over again!
Comment from Yvonne – Regular IPF Immersion week – October 2014
French immersion with Anne in Thourie was great! The activities were varied, challenging and enjoyable. I loved the excursions with little tests along the way. Anne has boundless energy and a passion for the language and culture that comes through in her teaching. She is thorough, well prepared and adjusts her teaching methods to the needs of the students. With her patience and encouragement I achieved my goal of gaining confidence in speaking French. Anne’s group management skills are formidable! I admired the way she organized all our class activities, cooking sessions and excursions. She was able to get us all working together in a very short time. I met some lovely people and learned a lot of French. Thank you Anne for taking care of us and thank you for working so hard to make our time in Thourie so much fun.
Comment from Kathy – Regular IPF Immersion week – October 2014
This is a fun, stress-free, convivial week of learning French with Anne at her family home of Les Burons in the beautiful Breton countryside; classes are always small, only three to five students. Unlimited opportunities to speak in French abound, and one is always gently encouraged to ask questions and participate in everything. Anne’s teaching methods make learning fun all day. During the breaks, one can use the wifi, relax, or take a walk to see the neighboring farms, which are inhabited by cows, horses, and ponies. Then, after a delicious lunch prepared by Anne with the help of one or two of the students, Anne takes everyone to explore the quaint villages, see sites, or visit the nearby historical towns. Even on the afternoon tours, all are encouraged to continue learning, usually immersed in a project that Anne has suggested. Evenings at Les Burons are comfortable and friendly with lots of laughter during l’Apero, as those who wish help Anne prepare the meal. All become acquainted with many French as well as Breton customs, foods and drinks. After a long, happy day, students finally retire to their private rooms for a welcome rest, while listening to the owls hoot in the woods nearby.
Comment from Katie – Regular IPF Immersion week – September 2014
I just attended a full week immersion program with Anne at the farm in Thourie. It was am amazing experience. Not only is Anne an exceptional teacher, she is a wonderful guide for all of Bretagne. She put her heart and soul into the program and her love for the culture and language is profound and infectious. I came away with a renewed desire to improve my French language skills as well as a wonderful memories of the trip. Her patient and flexible approach to the course made it easy for all. Her sense of fun and enthusiasm are a natural gift and I strongly recommend this program to anyone with an interest in a unique and very personal approach to French language and cultural immersion.
Comment from Jeana – Regular IPF Immersion week – September 2014
Just got back from Anne’s immersion class. I completely agree with Katie’s quote above. The classes were well thought out and we made significant progress. The accommodations at the beautiful farm were very comfortable, the meals were fun to cook and delicious, and the excursions to surrounding villages of Brittany were very interesting. Check out Anne’s Pinterest board to see our group in action.
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