First of all a huge thank you to everyone who has joined us for courses so far this year. Our students come from all parts of the world and all walks of life and I believe we have the best job in the world. To work with our highly motivated students who may be complete beginners in the French language, intermediate students looking to consolidate their language skills or make that leap to the next level or maybe French teachers in their own countries participating in a refresher course is a real pleasure and we appreciate you all. From a coolish June this year July turned out to be hot and steamy and, we thought, perfect conditions for visiting the breathtaking lavender fields on the plateaux of the Alpes de Haute Provence.
Oh dear! Yes, the lavender was at its peak but the day of our first visit we had monsoon like rain and the magnificent lavender turned out to be a bluish haze! Perfect Cezanne painting! However undaunted we visited again the following week and saw sights that really take your breath away. When we visit this stunning area about 20 minutes drive from St Saturnin we try and include a visit to the little town of Banon, well-known for its cheeses and also for its bookshop, Le Bleuet, one of the acclaimed independent bookshops in France. It provided a wealth of teaching materials for French teachers Duncan and Laura to take back to Canada and the UK. Talking of painting… one of our really enjoyable excursions this season has been a visit to the Carrières de Lumière at Les-Baux-de-Provence where the projected images around the theme of painters of the Mediterranean has been a true delight. The exhibition coincides with exhibitions in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille to coincide with Marseille as a European city of culture this year and is a very special experience. At the same time we’ve managed to squeeze in visits to Glanum, the site of a Roman town on the edge of St Rémy de Provence and for the shoppers with us St Rémy itself is also a welcome stop (for the non-shoppers the little cafés along the leafy boulevard around the town provide a perfect opportunity for a cool drink and some people watching!) Our village really came to life in June and July and students joined holiday makers from all over the world for ‘le village en fête’. There is a fantastic open air swimming pool in St Saturn in, weekly concerts, theatre, lectures and markets. Something for everyone. During the first weekend of August every year St Saturnin has its ‘fête votive’, the annual village celebration which lasts from Friday to Monday. The highlight of the weekend is a fantastic concert with live music and dancing late into the hot Provençal night in one of the village squares. And, as so often happens with markets and celebrations in France, by the next morning you’d hardly know anything had happened. The village is neat and tidy and people are going about their normal business.
We are now taking a short break before our autumn courses start again on 9 September. We still have places available so come and join us at this mellow time of year. The light is golden, the weather glorious and the tourists fewer in number. We are refreshed and waiting for you. Just get in touch if you would like more information. Our French Immersion Courses include morning tuition, accommodation, lunches, excursion and many other elements. Afternoon classes are optional and are offered as one-to-one sessions. Great if there are particular language points you would like to raise with your teacher or if you have specific needs in your language learning, for example a particular set of language skills for a job. We also continue to offer our Individual Immersion courses. Do remember that our courses offer scope and possibilities for learners of different levels and with different goals in mind. These days we are delighted to welcome a new generation of French learners. Over the last few years many of those who have joined us have been at the beginning of their professional lives and have been interested in improving their language skills to improve job opportunities. For a very personal view of a language course with Language In Provence do have a look at the article written by the wonderful Australian artist Nellie Crawford who joined us for a four week course last autumn. She has written about her experiences in “The West Australian’ – just follow this link:http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/travel/a/-/travel/13126756/brush-with-provence Look forward to hearing from you…. Susan