Somewhere along my parenting journey in Geneva, I went to buy scissors to cut my daughter’s hair. To the utter confusion of the saleswoman, I asked for « scissors for horses ». My daughter started laughing, the lady was still looking at me with her eyes wide open. You see, in French, the difference between hair (cheveux) and horses (chevaux) is small, especially to a non-native speaker.
Luckily I had my little one with me to help out. Needless to say, I was pretty embarrassed. All I could think about was what if that happened again, and worse, what if it was a potentially more serious situation?
Let me give you an example: my dear friend, whom I love to the bottom of my heart, gave her newborn baby vitamin D drops. All would have been fine if not for the fact that she was putting them in her eyes instead of the mouth. Just because her French was bad.
THE PERFECT PLAN
So, I tried. I did what I could. A few months after giving birth, frustrated at myself for not being able to communicate well enough with the paediatrician’s assistant, I packed the pram and decided it was time to enrol in a French course in my commune. The plan was perfect: the course was free, so I could use some of my budget to hire a nanny while I would focus on French. Sadly, due to my daughter’s poop, nap, and colicky cry, I was late and all the spots were already taken. Since all other options at the time were too expensive for me to have both a nanny and the lessons, I gave up.
I was dreaming about an online course that I could do from the comfort of my sofa, while my kid takes a nap. I didn’t find anything good, so I went on to imagine how my daughter will soon invite her friends and plan all sorts of cheekiness, without me even realizing. I didn’t even know the word for « cheeky » in French…
Luckily for you, that online course I was dreaming about exists now. Prêt à Parler is a Geneva-based online French school founded in 2015 by a fellow expat mama. She knows exactly what parents need and how little time we have to focus on ourselves.
With Prêt à Parler’s private lessons you can schedule your lessons whenever you want, reschedule easily (because sleepless nights, stomach bugs and all) and learn at your own pace. Your ‘Super Prof’ will always find solutions and adapt to your learning style and priorities, so you can learn, review, and reinforce key grammar and vocabulary points which are relevant to your specific needs.
Prêt à Parler does not only offer private lessons. You can opt in for their Premium Webinar Program (live French lessons in small groups as well as on-demand library of over 80 recorded lessons). These are perfect for busy people, as whenever you miss the live session, you can watch it online anytime you want.
There is also a fun and great online program called French for Everyday Life – it’s ideal for beginners (A0-A1) as well as intermediate French learners (A2-B1) who prefer to learn independently as it includes 200 lessons within 10 progressive modules. It was designed specifically for English speakers, with a big focus on pronunciation. The tips to improve your French « r » and other difficult sound the French invented, was created by the Prêt à Parler founder herself as Isabelle is also a professional opera singer. She knows a thing or two about diction and sounds! You can see her story here.
They also provide tons of free content on their website, Youtube channel and on Facebook. You’ll already learn a lot by simply following them on Instagram. These free tools are perfect if you need some time to decide if this methodology works for you.
My husband has been having lessons with Prêt à Parler and he is very happy. He saves time on commuting, has got more time for his family and his French improves every week! I wrote more about his experience here.
Being able to speak French will definitely boost your parenting confidence. Calling the pediatrician will not increase your cortisol levels anymore, you will make more friends at the park, and when the time comes, discussing your child’s wellbeing at creche or school will become a no brainer! Don’t wait until your kid starts translating for you, you can get there first.
Here is Smita’s testimonial, one of many moms who took French lessons with Prêt à Parler. There are more and more parents on their platform, all very happy with their investment. Take a look:
Why were our online services so helpful for you to reach your French goals as a working parent?
Prêt à Parler offers a flexible, practical option for working parents wanting to improve their French. Their website is easy to use and you can schedule your lesson according to when it is convenient for you. Online learning is the way forward and we have seen this on a greater scale during the Covid-19 crisis. Prêt à Parler was already ahead of the game by eliminating the organizational fatigue of face to face lessons and offering their excellent courses online.
Did you find that your investment with Prêt à Parler was worth it? How so?
The investment I made into lessons with Prêt à Parler was definitely worth it. I needed some French lessons to be able to pass the FIDE exam for my Permis-C – so I had a clear goal. The value for money I got in terms of a clear, structured set of lessons in the run up to my exam was second to none.
What would you like to tell busy parents who are hesitating to take a trial lesson with us?
If you are a busy parent and you’re hesitant to take lessons with Prêt à Parler please don’t be! You won’t regret it. They are a friendly professional team of people who genuinely want to help people learn and in a comfortable and secure space. You won’t find a better alternative so book your trial lesson now!
* This article is a result of a paid collaboration between Parentville and Prêt à Parler.