France Pass

French Life Immersion & Intensive Classes

French children’s books for Intensive french courses

Attention all Bostonians and other inhabitants of planet earth who want to come back to my place or discover my intensive French courses !
I’ve had the great good luck to work with a number of people from all different walks of life ; these students find me on the internet by typing Intensive French courses or Intensive French lessons in France. I’m writing now especially for my students who live in Boston, but I hope this note will also inspire other people interested in improving their language skills with my intensive French courses in France.
You who have come at least once to take my Intensive French courses, you know my village, La Couarde sur mer (La Couarde, located on an island in Biscay Bay) very close to my house. If you are a new trainee, you’ll find there not only the sea , but a bookstore whose owners have been sending French children’s books, for more than thirty years to Boston, and more precisely, to the Glover School of Milton . Several of my Boston students have grandchildren who live in France. When these grandchildren visit Boston, my students read these French children’s books aloud to their grandchildren. My far-flung students have told me that this pleasure has not only helped them maintain the French, they gained during my Intensive French courses, but has also entertained the entire family! Why not come experience this for yourself ? To that end, I’m taking this opportunity to let you know about the last changes to my website where the schedule for my Intensive French classes is updated and available to all : a customized program just for you. From now on, you can choose between 1h30 to 4 hours lesson per day. If you want to now more about my Intensive French courses, just click on the following link :

Work and discovery

I came to the Ile de Re to take some intensive French lessons for my international banking job but have ended up also learning the finer points of making cheese and raising goats! Claire Monin, my teacher (who has a terrific sense of humor and seems to know philosophy, art, and current events), took me to the « chevrerie » in Loix where at 5:30 every evening they feed and milk the goats. It was a perfect addition to my morning’s intensive French courses with Claire, and I was glad she was there not only to share an ice cream made of goat milk (try the chocolate) but also to help me translate the very charming farmer who explained exactly how the 15 gallons of goat milk get made into a refined goat cheese, which I bought straight from the farm. The village of Loix is an easy bike ride from La Couarde, and if you invite Claire during your intensive French courses you can exercise both your body and your mind. Or you might want to take the trip after your intensive French courses, to air out your mind as you take in the beautiful gold and green marshes that stretch out all around you. If you want to pay attention to the rules, you’ll know from your intensive French courses that « pied a terre » means you’re supposed to get off your bike and walk across the slightly lopsided bridge that takes you from the marshes to the edge of town. Another way to deepen the effects of your intensive French courses is to go on your own to the beautiful town of Ars where it seems that almost no one speaks English though everyone greets you with a smile. Try the tomato soap–it is made here and will make your hands smell of that just-picked tang of perfect tomatoes, the kind you can’t find in the U.S. anymore but are everywhere here. One of the things I learned in my intensive French coursesi is that you should always say « bonjour » or « bonsoir » when you enter a store, and when you leave, say « merci et bonne journee. » And while you’re on your bike, you can practice your intensive French lessons or sing along with Barbara as she teaches you how to ask questions in French: qui, quand, comment, et pourquoi. I think when I return to my office I will ask Claire to send me the occasional email so I can practice my intensive French courses and remember these « pistes cyclables » even while on the 20th floor of my downtown office.  Signed, Eliot  New York

Carte de PEDRO

Merci Pedro pour votre carte : grâce à votre Intensive French courses un miracle a eu lieu. Je vous attends pour une deuxième Intensive French lesson, afin qu’un autre miracle se produise !
Vous aviez le niveau A 1 en arrivant, mais au bout de 10 jours, vous êtes parvenu au niveau B 1 : tout le mérite vous revient, sans oublier votre choix de l’option Intensive French courses.
Bien cordialement.

Intensive French Courses

It’s early March and I’m getting ready to make my summer work and travel plans. At the center of my planning are my intensive French courses, taught by Claire Monin on the Ile de Re, which not only sustain but deeply nourish me in both professional and personal ways. I can’t believe my good fortune to have found Claire, who’s a masterful teacher; in fact, she’s so good you don’t even realize you’re getting intensive French classes when you’re with her because the lessons come wrapped in delicious meals, dark espressos, glasses of wine, and the beauty of the island itself. Last summer, because of Claire, I even had a French boyfriend–her intensive French lessons made it possible for me to converse with more than just my fluttering heart and shy eyes! This year I’m thinking of going back when the film festival at La Rochelle takes place; my French is strong enough now, thanks to Claire’s intensive French lessons, that I can understand French films and navigate the gorgeous port city of La Rochelle. In fact, being on the Ile de Re with Claire is a little like being in a film where there’s picturesque beauty and also intellectual stimulation. Plus you can get outside, borrow one of Claire’s bicycles (they’re for her students), and ride in any direction into immeasurable beauty. You can ride out to a newly opened oyster bar that looks out over the sea or into St Martin to the galleries. Recently I saw the French are interested in electing Obama–not a bad idea, as long as he and Michelle take Claire’s intensive French courses! Kitty New York

One of the pleasures of my Intensive French courses

When you come for your intensive French courses with Claire Monin on the Ile de Re, you’ll need to bring nothing. I came as an absolute beginner and with only ten days of intensive French courses an entirely new world has opened up. Now I know that yes, an « avocat » might be either an avocado or a lawyer! Regardless, the avocados here in July are perfect, especially when you eat them the way Claire, after a long day of intensive French courses, prepares them: she scoops out the soft pale green flesh with a melon scoop and mixes these perfect half circles with a salad of endive and a perfect vinaigrette that, along with the cabernet, will loosen your tongue so that your intensive French lessons will slip right off your tongue as if you were to the language born. I spent this afternoon on a bicycle I borrowed from Claire and biked from her small village, where I bought perfect apricots using the French I’ve learned in her intensive courses, to a beautiful port village called Ars en Re, where I’m having un cafe at the Cafe du Commerce. Everyone around me is speaking French as if they’d taken several intensive French courses–but they also look French, so perhaps they came to this beautiful language by a more direct route. I recommend indirection in this case–what better way to spend a vacation than on the Ile de Re taking a morning of intensive French courses and an afternoon of sights? On my way to Ars en Re I passed the museum of salt and a tiny open-air stand where all transactions were done on trust. I tucked six euros into the red box and picked up a lovely glass bottle filled with the famous Ile de Re salts for my next bath (or salad!). One of the pleasures of my intensive French courses was riding beside Claire while she tried to explain the difference between the words for sea, marshes, and mother. The white nectarine tarte that I had at the local bakery here in Ars was a perfect complement to my immersion in these intensive French lessons that make me yearn for nothing more. 
Signed, Anne

Return to the island of Re for an intensive french lessons

I have returned to l’Ile de Re for another dose of intensive french lessons with the wonderful Claire Monin who runs an inimitable program in the picturesque town of La Couarde. I found Claire when I was working in Paris and wanted to take some intensive French lessons and also wanted to leave the city. This is my third summer taking intensive french lessons with Claire, who has become a friend. In fact, each time I come I encounter her other international students who also benefit from a heady and thoroughly enjoyable mixture of intensive french lessons and absolute beauty and joy. Everyone returns! Yesterday Claire and I took a bike ride out to a new cafe that looks across the bay (ocean?). She told me it has the best coffee on the island and I will return there later this morning, if I can bring myself to leave the village of Loix and the delicious bakery here. I have a loaf of warm rustic french bread in my hand and am writing right now as I sit on the terrace watching children on a tiny carrousel built in 1900. The market has filled my basket with white nectarines and apricots. To practice my intensive french lessons I have been reading the paper and in my next post I will describe some of the events that are going to take place on the island as well as some of the events that have already happened. Sadly I missed the chance to learn how to hypnotize my friends and colleagues with monsieur tk. I will have to return next year for more intensive french lessons and coordinate with monsieur tk. I hope to hypnotize myself into a better accent! Or perhaps I can hypnotize those listening to me into thinking I have a better accent! Surely my ongoing intensive french lessons will soon mean hypnosis is a thing of the past.

James,  Boston 2016


Nostalgic memories

Nostalgic memories

When I arrived by bus from La Rochelle to St Martin for my intensive French courses with Claire Monin, I had a few minutes to walk around the port before Claire and I met to go to La Couarde, where we would begin our intensive French courses that very evening.

I admired the cafes, had a delicious ice cream (and even without my intensive French courses I knew how to ask for my favorite flavor, « framboise »), and then wandered close to the water around which the gracious stores and cafes gather. A few men were selling fish so fresh it looked like it had jumped right onto the ice that kept the fish cool in the warm late afternoon breeze.

Later I learned, from the local paper Le Phare de Re (very good for practicing your intensive French courses) that from Monday to Friday fisherman from the boat « Jemapa » sell their freshly caught fish directly to customers there on the pier. You can find them there from 5pm to 7pm. The fish that is left is then sold by auction to the Cotiniere on the island of Oleron, but there is rarely any left!

« It’s less expensive than at the supermarket, » said Jeremy Chevrier, the boat owner, « because there’s no intermediary between the buyer and me. Thanks to that, I can keep the prices low for my clients. » He said he couldn’t imagine selling his fish in any other way.

Although Claire and I didn’t have time to return to Saint-Martin during my weekend of intensive French courses, I will be sure to stop by when next I meet with Claire for another delightful and challenging set of intensive French courses, this time for at least a week and several dinners of fish fresh from one of the last of the authentic small fishing boats of the Ile de Re.

If you have time while you’re here taking your intensive French courses, you might want to check out the four other fishing boats that bring to the island fish so fresh it can make you cry out with pleasure. There is The Atlas in Saint-Martin, The Jason and Little Jules in Ars. Jemapa, is usually docked in La Flotte, and there is a boat I haven’t yet met in Rivedoux. I plan to sample some of the fish and shellfish from each as I learn, in the most deliciously practical manner, the names of each fish. Part of our intensive French courses is watching Claire prepare lunch and/or dinner. Claire wraps the fish, along with a few thin slices of garlic and topped with a few drops of fragrant olive oil, in paper and places it in the oven, all the while teaching you, in her intensive French courses, more words for « delicieux. »

Alfred : New York  October 2016



SWOB! Is it the name of a planet? A galaxy? A dance? A school subject as was biology? After all, it may well be that, the SWOB art, or one of these arts : enabling us to be consistent with ourselves.

The SWOB real name SALSA ON WEST BEACH, takes its source from the meeting of three worlds : Salsa, the West Coast Swing and the sweet town of Rivedoux beach on the island of Ré.
Three elements whose fusion has created in four years a truly innovative event, uncommonly human, and that makes the event one of the jewels of the French major dance events. The town of Rivedoux,  the swobers community and the team organizers can be proud of it!

At the origin of this concept : Achilles DINGA, dance teacher for 15 years at La Rochelle, and whose only ambition was to let the dance out in the street, giving back to it, its nobly  popular spirit.
At the dawn of the fifth edition, this bet is to be successful thanks to the partners support, who accompany it since the beginning of the adventure, starting with the town of Rivedoux, the tourist office and Mayor Patrice Raffarin, the Toyota eco-concession of La Rochelle-Aytre and its director Mickaël Giachetto, France Bleu La Rochelle and Le Camping des Acacias  in Rivedoux.

Why Come to swob?
Family, authenticity, creativity, singularity, holidays, dances …. These are all the facets that you will find here. A team always looking for new concepts, among choreographic workshops and performances on weekends, not to mention the famous dance with swobers, remake of “dance with the stars”. All these have given birth to the slogan of the event: « Swob Your Life !!! « .

If you want to dance, enjoy, get some rest, and learn some french, then come to the île de Ré, enjoy the SWOB event and have French Intensive Courses. Memories will speak for themselves…

SWOB 2016 : from august 20th to 27th.
French Intensive Courses : all year!


Jazz au Phare and Intensive French Courses

If you have intensive French courses in Ré Island in august, don’t miss the festival “Jazz au Phare” in Saint Clément des Baleines!
After your intensive French courses, you must go at « the end of the end » of the Ile de Ré. There, from his height of 50m, the Lighthouse of Whales (“le phare des baleines”) sits on a must see place that stretches to the sea. For four days, it will be the focal point of more than 15,000 lovers of tempo, melody, grace, breath and vibration; the focus of an extraordinary landscape that artists make unforgettable. From august 15th to 18th, you will be able to learn French with intensive French courses and finish the day at the festival, enjoying jazz in a lovely setting.

At Jazz au Phare, ocean waves impose greatness musicians performing. From 11 am to 3 am, not less than 7 scenes will celebrate His Majesty the Jazz in all its diversity; Discovery Kids Scene, Lighthouse scene, Théâtre de Verdure, or places with evocative names that celebrate the sea breeze, the Lighthouse Café, Au Gré du Vent, Chez Marie; without forgetting the town parades and « after shows », a drink at Top On The Green. To combine Intensive French Courses and jazz is a good remedy against the gloom!
For this 7th edition, a wave of artists is about to hoist the mainsail of the blue note under the skies of the Ile de Ré. In the telescope, the veiled timbre of Patricia Bonner is pointing in opening, she’s the lucky charm of the festival with her irresistible swing; then the legendary and brilliant bassist Stanley Clarke with his contagious slap; Lisa Simone, daughter of Nina,  will be for many a real discovery; the extraordinary Italian crooner Walter Ricci and David Sauzay for a tribute to Sinatra; Richard Galliano, Philip Catherine and Didier Lockwood in a prestigious trio and virtuoso to ignite the Lighthouse; the highly expected and unclassifiable Pierre Christophe Quartet; the beautiful Canadian singer Terez Montcalm; and without a doubt the greatest French composer standard for jazz and true monument music Michel Legrand.
With 54 free concerts, 12 paying concerts, you could discover a rich program, with a piece of advice: come and listen to the ones you never heard, the artists are invited just for yourself as a new world to discover with glee.
If you want to learn French or just improve your knowledge, intensive French courses are made for you! Ré Island offers you a lot of activities, and many music festivals during the summer. Come enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Ré Island and learn quickly and efficiently French thanks to intensive French courses. To live the French life being “in context”, enjoying music, beaches, wonderful landscapes, in addition to intensive French courses, will help you progress very quickly and in a relaxed and friendly ambiance.

Festival Jazz in Ré and Intensive French Courses

If you plan to have Intensive French Courses in the île de Ré, then it’s time to come!

The 19th edition of Jazz in Ré, presented by Daniel Lagarde and his team, is really appealing. On the big stage of the port of Saint-Martin, true to its reputation, the festival has invited all kinds of jazz musicians. The combination between Intensive French Courses and Jazz festival is a good way to enjoy your  holidays.

« And each of the three evenings, the program respects the musical parity on stage between men and women artists!  » noted Daniel Lagarde, pleased with the enthusiasm of the artists who love to come to the Festival. They also appreciate the quality of reception, sound and lights by Philippe Marliengeas, the setting of the port and the loyal public.

You can take Intensive French Courses during the day, and enjoy music during the night, from friday, August 19th. Ask for the program!

Friday, August 19: Opening of the festival.

21 pm: Bobby and Sue (Jazz blues). A Breton duo remains faithful to the authentic blues of the southern United States. Violaine Fouquet and Brendan de Roeck, aka Bobby & Sue, just released a second album hailed by critics.

22 pm: guitarist Steeve Laffont (gypsy jazz) invites violinist Costel Nitescu. The gypsy guitarist Steeve Laffont, is one of the greatest jazzmen. Just as his guest, Costel Nitescu who tirelessly walks with his bow on all scenes jazz or swing reigns supreme. His improvisational abilities make it the best emulator of Stéphane Grappelli.

Saturday, August 20: To introduce this second evening, the excellent Jazz Band 007 will stroll the streets of Saint-Martin. On the stage of the port you’ll applaud:

21 pm: Marie Carrie (jazz). An elegant and classic jazz, influenced by blues, groove and bossa nova. She has a stamp captivating and powerful voice, accompanied by gifted musicians!

22 pm: Big Dez (blues). Electric blues of Big Dez is very invigorating, full of humor and melancholy. Varied, steeped in funk, soul and rock’n’roll, his style is unique.

Sunday, August 21: festive closing of the festival.

21 pm: Champian Fulton (jazz). His style and remarkable piano technique call to remind the pianist Erroll Garner. With his mischievous and light voice, Champian claims influences from Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington.

22 pm: Le Comptoir des Fous walks his Swing’n’roll on the roads of France and elsewhere.

Combining Intensive French Courses, contemporary music, festive songs and jazz of New Orleans, the festival repertoire is a remedy against the gloom. A beautiful way to announce the 20th anniversary of Jazz in Ré in 2017.

You want to learn French from the beginning, you want to practice your French in a lovely place with a lot of activities to do, then you must come to the île de Ré and have Intensive French Courses. The best way to learn quickly, efficiently and in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere is to have Intensive French Courses in the île de Ré. Furthermore, throughout the year, you can enjoy many festivals, exhibitions and shows. The île de Ré offers a very pleasant lifestyle. In addition with Intensive French Courses, you can live the French way of life in a splendid island.

Festival Jazz in Ré : in August, in addition to Intensive French Courses, you must note three free evenings in your holiday program now !