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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

I have again tried to speak to speak to someone in France about the enrollment of free french language lessons. Having search for this on the internet all documents about it relate to 2008 when this first came in. Having rang the number that corresponds with the department I will be living in (a Paris number and I am going to be living in Nice) The Lady on the telephone said oh yes this used to be organised nationally but now each local area have ownership of registration ect, my partner rang as she is French a non french speaker would have had no chance anyway I am digressing.

My question is have anyone else had experience of this and can give me the appropriate number for the Var Department please?

Thanks for your help in advance

:juggle::juggle::juggle:
 

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The free French lessons are only available through the OFII for those required to make an OFII appointment on arrival in France (and those required to sign a contract of integration that includes not only learning French, but also sitting through a couple of "civics" classes). That pretty much excludes any EU citizen.

But if you want to inquire about it, the OFII in Toulon is:

141 avenue Marcel Castié
83000 Toulon
tel. 04 94 92 58 80
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I am currently going through the French classes and first I had my appointment with OFII and then they assigned me to the classes which are contracted out to an association called NOUAS. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Andy

Thank you for the info, how long did you have to wait to start your lessons? Hows the lessons going? I have tried the number in Nice but I can't get through, I will go down to the offices I think.

Regards

Stephen
 

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Hi Andy

Thank you for the info, how long did you have to wait to start your lessons? Hows the lessons going? I have tried the number in Nice but I can't get through, I will go down to the offices I think.

Regards

Stephen
Hi Stephen,

I arrived in France in September and started the classes in December. I will be taking my DILF exam next week, which should be fairly easy.

To answer your question as far as the classes are going......it's a long story, but to make it short they aren't really that great. The building is run down and in very bad shape, the majority of the people there don't want to be and I have come to the conclusion that the association NOUAS doesn't really care as long as the people show up they continue to get their check from the gov't.

On the positive side, my professor is very nice and she tries hard, but for her it's difficult since all of the people are at different levels of French, so she needs to constantly juggle her lessons.

I also went to the "Accueil" in my village and for about 25 euros for a year there is a class that meets once a week for 2 hours.

I think your best bet is to get a good software program like Fluenz, Rosetta Stone and use the FLE websites and other resources as much as you can and find someone who wants to learn English and in exchange will teach you French.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
andy_in_america said:
Hi Stephen,

I arrived in France in September and started the classes in December. I will be taking my DILF exam next week, which should be fairly easy.

To answer your question as far as the classes are going......it's a long story, but to make it short they aren't really that great. The building is run down and in very bad shape, the majority of the people there don't want to be and I have come to the conclusion that the association NOUAS doesn't really care as long as the people show up they continue to get their check from the gov't.

On the positive side, my professor is very nice and she tries hard, but for her it's difficult since all of the people are at different levels of French, so she needs to constantly juggle her lessons.

I also went to the "Accueil" in my village and for about 25 euros for a year there is a class that meets once a week for 2 hours.

I think your best bet is to get a good software program like Fluenz, Rosetta Stone and use the FLE websites and other resources as much as you can and find someone who wants to learn English and in exchange will teach you French.

Hope this helps!
Hi Andy

Thanks for that it is very helpful and I can imagine just what the lessons are like and I will keep an open mind not to expect to much, it's very much a question what and who you land on at that moment, good n bad in everything.

I have both fluenz and Rosetta stone and my wife is French but she as absolutely no clue about teaching it, I'm sure that once I have the free time to study and get out and talk to people I will be fine.

Your idea of teaching English as a trade is a very good idea I have the TEFL cert basic level and actually one or two people around me that I bet if I asked would be more than happy to do a trade off.

It's all part of the journey I guess, will keep you updated I'm thinking of doing a blog for everyone in the UK to follow, I'm please forums like this exists as the information you get from people who have already been through the same experiences is very valuable.

Cheers

Stephen
 

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I moved to France last year on a long-stay visa, so no mandate from the OFII for french lessons... as I'm essentially a tourist. I renewed my visa and should be obtaining my carte de séjour at the end of this month. (fingers crossed on that one!)

I now live in the Strasbourg area, and for those looking here, the Université Populaire Européenne in Strasbourg has some pretty decent "French as a Foreign Language" lessons, at various levels. I'm currently taking these classes on the recommendation of a Swiss friend who went through them for two years, and it's been pretty good. Almost everyone attending really wants to learn French, and they are from all over the world. The cost was about 100 euros for the year, a very good deal at 1.5 hours 2x a week. I highly recommend.

I would suspect other regions have similar community teaching schemes available, worth looking into!

(sorry, no URL for the school, as I'm too new to the forums and not allowed to post URLs...)
 

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This french admin is a complete nightmare but it is good to know that other people are also going through the same frustrating experience and we can learn from each other's experiences.. I start my 180 hours of french lessons next week............:)
 

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Hey there!

I've been taking lessons for a while now - 3 hours once a week (which can be up to 9). I was offered these through Pole Emploi when I signed up with them - 200 hours per DILF/DELF exam (upto DELF A2). The classes and rules are rigid, but my teacher is the best teacher I've had teaching me French.

Might be worth a try in your region (I'm in Bordeaux).

V.
 

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Just a follow up message- I have an American friend here who is taking the OFII-mandated language classes, and she's having a lot of trouble with them as most of the attendees are likewise people required to attend... and they're NOT very interested in learning anything, just getting the class over with. She was disappointed as she wants to improve her language skills and that's not happening in this circumstance.

I was very pleased taking voluntary classes as everyone there *wanted* to be present, and to learn- I think that makes a huge difference...

I do wish that France offered state-run language integration courses like the Germans do, but then again if I wanted to live in Germany we'd just hop across the river and live there instead... and we haven't felt the urge to do that yet! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hello All

Its been awhile since I wrote this original post, I have now been in Nice for 9 months and in that time I have had OFii free lessons(DiLF) for 160 then the funding stopped but due to start again soon!

I also have 10 hrs a week with the Pole Emploi so all in all over 500 and a very positive experience from both organisation some very dedicated staff with a willingness to go the extra mile, so yes my french is improving slowly... Bon Courage
 

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Hi there!

I had the free lessons with DILF too until funding stopped. I never heard about the Pole Emploi French classes. How are those? What qualifies someone for those?

Thanks!
 

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andy_in_america said:
Hi there!

I had the free lessons with DILF too until funding stopped. I never heard about the Pole Emploi French classes. How are those? What qualifies someone for those?

Thanks!
Here, OFII sends a person to Pagode which has the contract with Pole Emploi for French instruction to foreigners. They will not speak with you until after you sign your "Contract" with OFII. Cheers
 

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koppazee said:
Here, OFII sends a person to Pagode which has the contract with Pole Emploi for French instruction to foreigners. They will not speak with you until after you sign your "Contract" with OFII. Cheers
Just to qualify my understanding, and I might be incorrect but folks in my AVF classes who are going through the same processes as I am, but just further in the process have told me OFII sends them to Pole Emploi for an assessment of both French language and employment aptitude. If there is a deficiency in the French language, Pole Emploi sends he person to Pagade. Cheers!
 

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origami said:
Just a follow up message- I have an American friend here who is taking the OFII-mandated language classes, and she's having a lot of trouble with them as most of the attendees are likewise people required to attend... and they're NOT very interested in learning anything, just getting the class over with. She was disappointed as she wants to improve her language skills and that's not happening in this circumstance.
Isn't there an exam that must be passed at the completion of this mandated class? I'm confused with this. I once was told by someone that this 180 hour course offered to immigrants to France costs the French taxpayer 8,000€. That is a lot of money!! Cheers!
 

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I've only just picked up this thread. All Europeans and other nationalities who are married or PACSED to French citizens are entitled to free French lessons which they are referred to by the Pôle Emploi. People who are claiming unemployment benefit who are not fluent French speaking have to attend to continue to receive benefit if their advisor feels their lack of language skills (oral or written) is holding back their chances of finding employment.

If you're not on benefit you are actually paid to attend (albeit approx 3 euros an hour) but this gives you actual payslips and so opens doors into all sorts of things such as health care, entitlement to RSA (income support), etc. Personally I don't actually agree with this but for those not in it to 'milk the system' it's a good scheme. Someone I know (not a friend) has been doing this for 2 years - still can't speak hardly a word of French, gets everything going plus works on the black. Grrrrrr!!
 

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Garonne said:
If you're not on benefit you are actually paid to attend (albeit approx 3 euros an hour) but this gives you actual payslips and so opens doors into all sorts of things such as health care, entitlement to RSA (income support), etc. Personally I don't actually agree with this but for those not in it to 'milk the system' it's a good scheme. Someone I know (not a friend) has been doing this for 2 years - still can't speak hardly a word of French, gets everything going plus works on the black. Grrrrrr!!
Let me understand this, please...I have never contributed into the French social system being newly married to a French national. I speak no French. When the government sends me for French language classes, will they pay me 3€ per hour even though I am still not authorized to work in France yet? Thank you! Cheers!
 

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I've only just picked up this thread. All Europeans and other nationalities who are married or PACSED to French citizens are entitled to free French lessons which they are referred to by the Pôle Emploi. People who are claiming unemployment benefit who are not fluent French speaking have to attend to continue to receive benefit if their advisor feels their lack of language skills (oral or written) is holding back their chances of finding employment.

If you're not on benefit you are actually paid to attend (albeit approx 3 euros an hour) but this gives you actual payslips and so opens doors into all sorts of things such as health care, entitlement to RSA (income support), etc. Personally I don't actually agree with this but for those not in it to 'milk the system' it's a good scheme. Someone I know (not a friend) has been doing this for 2 years - still can't speak hardly a word of French, gets everything going plus works on the black. Grrrrrr!!
Garonne, are you sure about this? Your "acquaintance" sounds like they are masters at milking the system and may have found some particular program or loophole for themselves. But at least here in the Ile de France area, I have not heard anything about free French lessons for the spouses of French nationals, much less being paid to attend French classes.

What I have heard is that people going through the OFII process are being "passed" on their French language skills if they have mastered a few basic phrases, can count and "fill in the blanks" on a few sentences - all, apparently, aimed at reducing the number of new arrivals who have claim to the free French classes offered through the OFII.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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