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June 2006 issue

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Special Report
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French and cookery

Language schools are increasingly adding value to their courses by offering further instruction in a range of activities. In France, interest in the country's cuisine means that French and cookery courses are becoming common.

France is strongly associated with its national cuisine and this aspect of the country's identity is a principal attraction for visitors. Many of the different regions in France have their own gastronomic specialities and for local language schools, offering students the chance to obtain first-hand experience of French cuisine as well as French language tuition is a natural course progression.

At French in Normandy in Rouen, French and cookery courses have been on the menu since 1993. "The French language is no longer the favoured diplomatic language nor the international passport that English has become so we tried to think of an angle that would encapsulate the French language and the way of life, make the most of the excellent destination that Normandy offers and generally promote France and the French language," explains Eleri Maitland at the school.

At the Association Perigord Linguistique et Culturel in Perigueux, the region's gastronomic specialities also influenced the creation of a combined French and cooking course two years ago. "The Dordogne is famous for foie gras paté, truffle, duck and goose confit and Bergerac wines" says Françoise Lipchitz at the school, who explains that their course offers students the opportunity to experience a distinctive local lifestyle. "The students who are attending these courses are more mature and they want to get more into the Perigord lifestyle," she says. "They like to go to the market, buy themselves the goods, like real Perigordians."

For some schools, offering specific activity courses such as French and cooking means that they are able to tap into a new client base and boost numbers outside the high season. Florence Delseny Sobra at Alfmed in Perpignan says that French and cooking is a very recent addition to their portfolio. "Our sport combination programmes are perfect for juniors and students but we needed something more cultural for the adults and seniors," she says. "We have the gastronomy know-how in our region, good products and good wine, recognised professionals and a healthy climate."

The majority of schools point out that French and cuisine courses offer students a very relaxed language learning experience, while also teaching a new skill. However, a significant trend in this sector is the increasing demand for more professional cooking courses, as Gérard Nadjar Storck from Langue Onze in Toulouse observes. "We noticed that students have been asking for some time to have professional cooking courses and not only [introductory] courses," he says. "They want the teacher to be a chef to show them how to prepare an authentic French meal."

At the beginning of the year, Langue Onze teamed up with a French cooking and oenology (study of wine) school in Toulouse to provide professional cookery courses for students, taught by a top chef. "All our professional French cookery and oenology courses include the preparation of the recipe, the discovery and explanation of the vocabulary and the cooking of a French meal," says Nadjar Storck. "It enables the students to discover the French culture and gastronomy as well as learning new words."

At French in Normandy, French and cuisine courses are offered as part of a language and leisure option for students, or also as three-, six- or nine-month certificate courses, run in conjunction with the Rouen Chamber of Commerce Cookery Institute. "France clearly still has a fabulous reputation for cuisine and food and drink so students see it as a good career move to come here and go home with a professional qualification," says Maitland.

With more language schools starting to offer such programmes as part of their course range, courses are becoming more wide-ranging and inventive. Maitland says that they have already run French & sausage making, French & fish and French & cheese courses, and French with country cooking, pastry making or chocolate making are all offered at other schools in the country.

Damien Renaux from BLS in Bordeaux believes that French and cookery courses are an ideal combination to enhance learning. "Our cookery class pushes the student to learn in a very practical way," he says.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company
Country
Telephone

Email


ASSOCIATIONS/
GROUPS
AAIEP
Education New
       Zealand Trust
English Australia
English UK
Feltom
Turlingua -
       Consortium of
       Language Travel
       and Tourism

INSURANCE COMPANIES
Interglobal Limited

WORKSHOPS/EXPOS
Alphe Agent
       Workshops
English Australia
ICEF

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
       Authority

AUSTRALIA
English Australia

CHINA
Mandarin House

ENGLAND
Active Learning
Aspect (Australia,
       Canada, England,
       France, Germany,
       Ireland, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       Scotland, South
       Africa, Spain, USA)
Bell International
       (Malta, UK)
Bristol Language
       Centre
Ceran Languages
       Ltd. (Belgium,
       England, France,
       Spain)
Concorde
       International
       (Argentina,
       Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Greece,
       Hawaii, Ireland,
       Italy, Malta, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Scotland, Spain,
       Sweden, USA)
Eden House College
English Language
       Centre Bristol
King Street College
LAL Language and
       Leisure (England,
       Malta, South Africa,
       USA)
Languages Out
       There (England,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, Spain)
Malvern House
Langbourne College
Queen Ethelburga's
       College
Regency College
Shane Global
       Language Centres
       (England, New
       Zealand, South
       Africa)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa, Spain,
       USA)
Westminster
       Kingsway College

FRANCE
Accent Français
Centre d'Etude des
       Langues de
       Saint-Malo
French in Normandy
Institut Français
       Riéra

GERMANY
Eurasia Institute
Lichtenberg Kolleg
       E.V.
Prolog- International
       House Berlin
Teikyo University
       Berlin Campus

IRELAND
Celtic School of
       Languages

JAPAN
Tokyo World
       Language School

MALTA
Feltom
Lingua Time
Malta Tourism
       Authority

NEW ZEALAND
Education New
       Zealand Trust
Languages
       International

RUSSIA
Liden & Denz
       Language Centre

SCOTLAND
Live Language

SOUTH AFRICA
International House
       - Durban

SPAIN
Turlingua -
       Consortium of
       Language Travel
       and Tourism

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       (Australia, Canada,
       China, Ecuador,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, Malta, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Scotland, Spain,
       USA)
Eurocentres
       International
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Italy,
       Japan, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Spain, Switzerland,
       USA)

USA
American Language
       Communication
       Center
Ashland University
California State
       University San
       Marcos
Columbia University
Kaplan Educational
       Centers (Canada,
       England, USA)
University of
       Nevada Reno
University of West
       Florida
Western Michigan
       University
Zoni Language
       Centers

WALES
Coleg Glan Hafren