1. How is “Alliance Française” pronounced?
2. What is Alliance Française?
It is a world-wide nonprofit network devoted to promoting French language and cultures. Its World Headquarters is based in Paris, France (www.alliancefr.org).
3. Why choose the Alliance Française?
The Alliance Française is the premier provider of French language and culture in Atlanta since 1912. It is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization which means it focuses on fulfilling its mission, not in making commercial profit. AF is not just a service provider. It is a membership-based organization so anyone can join and help it grow. All levels of involvement are welcome: member, student, volunteer, donor, committee member, board member, etc. It is more than just a simple school. It provides the complete experience by offering a wide variety of cultural and social events including lectures, concerts, art exhibits, films and dinners. French language courses are offered year-round and emphasize conversational French. All AF teachers are experienced and professionally trained. The Alliance Française has no political or religious affiliation and welcomes students, members, and volunteers of any age, sex, creed, race, color, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin.
4. Are all Alliance Française chapters in the United States the same?
All AF’s serve the same purpose of promoting French language and culture in their community. They also possess bylaws that are approved by the Alliance Française de Paris allowing these chapters to carry the AF name and logo. Each AF in the world must offer the following services: French language classes, social and cultural events and activities, and up-to-date resources about France and francophone countries. The quantity and frequency of programs vary by chapter due to size. To know more about the American network of the Alliance Française, please visit the website of the General Delegation: (www.alliance-us.org)
5. If Alliance Française is nonprofit, why do you charge for services?
Our status of 501(c)3 gives us exemption from federal taxes and qualifies us as a nonprofit organization. Our activities and services are offered for the purpose of serving the community and fulfilling our mission. However, it is necessary to charge for most services in order to cover overhead costs which keep us in operation. In order to continue to grow and improve our service to the community, we depend on grants, donations, student enrollment and membership dues.
6. Why learn French?
Many non-native French speakers simply like French for the way it sounds, for the culture, food and everything else that goes with it, for the good time they spent studying, working or traveling in French-speaking countries, or for the random or life-long romance that still brings tears in their eyes… In addition, learning a second language has been proven to boost brain power. It develops the area of the brain which processes information in the same way exercise builds muscles. You may even have your own reason, but actually, you don’t really need one, you can do it just for fun!
7. Where is French spoken?
113 million Francophones – Speak French (as a native or adopted language) fluently and use it on a regular basis. 61 million “occasional” Francophones – Live in a francophone country but do not speak French regularly, due to limited knowledge. 100-110 million students of all ages – Do not live in a francophone country, but have learned/are learning French in order to communicate with Francophones. French is the second most commonly-taught second language in the world (after English). French and English are the only languages spoken as a native language on 5 continents. French is the official language of France and its overseas territories (French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, French southern and Antarctic lands, Sant Pierre et Miquelon, and Mayotte) as well as Algeria, Bénin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Congo (Republic of), Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Luxembourg, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Sénégal, Togo, the Canadian province of Québec, and the Swiss districts of Vaud, Neuchâtel, Genève, and Jura. French is a co-official language in Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti (the two official languages are French and French Creole), Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Switzerland, and Vanuatu. French is one of the official working languages in dozens of international organizations, including: Amnesty International, European Union (EU), Interpol, International Olympic Committee, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Red Cross and Red Crescent, United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO).
8. Is French difficult to learn?
All languages are different and have their own challenges and therefore it does not really make sense to compare them. Consider the following:
French sounds are difficult to understand and to pronounce. But one could say the same about Chinese. French grammar is difficult. But one could say the same about the subjunctive in German or in Spanish. French is difficult because you do not always pronounce what you write. Consider the English words wait and weight.
Most general statements about foreign languages are pre-conceived ideas. If you want to study a language but don’t have a specific goal right now, just follow your heart! The difficulty of the language is not the issue; everything is a question of personal motivation!
9. How long will it take for me to become fluent?
Learning a foreign language is a long process. Achieving fluency requires a various amount of time depending on a number of factors such as the motivation, the time you can spend on your French outside your classes, your natural ability for foreign languages etc.
That said, using the CEFR we estimate the following number of hours to arrive at the following levels:
A1 – Generally 80-100 hours to master this level
A2 – Generally 100-120 hours to master this level
B1 – Generally 150-180 hours to master this level
B2 – Generally 200-250 hours to master this level
C1 – Generally 250-300 hours to master this level
C2 – 300+ hours, requires a linguistic development of a varying number of hours.
10. How much do your classes cost?
The tuition for the weekday classes (2 classes a week) is $330 (for 27.5 hours of instruction, that is barely more than $11 /hour!) and for Saturday morning classes the tuition is $350.
For first-time students, there will be additional charges such as the cost of the books. The first-time registration total is $450 weekdays, $470 Saturdays. Which includes:
- the tuition $330 weekdays/$350 Saturdays
- the 2 books $65
- one-year membership $60
- registration fees $15
As a new student you get $20 off on your first tuition. The tuitions are non-refundable after the registration period has ended.
11. Are your classes officially credited?
No. You will not get any credit from Alliance Française d’Atlanta toward any degree. There is no exam to move from one level to the next. Students who attend their classes regularly generally move up. You can repeat a class should you feel that you are not at the right level.
12. I have had French before. How do you know which level is good for me?
In that case, we ask that you take our online written placement test and that you an oral evaluation which consists of a 10-15 minute conversation over the phone or in person. We then have an idea of your level according to our set of classes. The placement test is free of charge.
13. What is the difference between group classes and private tutoring?
Group classes have a specific group dynamics and programs whereas private tutoring is tailored-made to suit the student’s needs (intensive programs / special days or hours). Group classes cost less than private tutoring. Choosing one over the other depends on your personal goals and objectives as well as your personality.
14. Are the classes only for adults?
Yes. Most of our classes cater to professional adults. We occasionally have younger teenagers in our classes and we offer programs for toddlers and enfants 6-24 months.
15. How do I get to your location?
We are located in Midtown Atlanta, in the Colony Square plaza on 14th and Peachtree St. 1197 Peachtree St. There is parking underneath our building, bring your parking ticket upstairs to validate for free parking.
Click here for directions. You can also come by MARTA; we are three blocks from the Arts Center station.
16. How can I use my guest passes?
Guest tickets may be used for AFA on-site cultural events (non-fundraising) of your choice during membership period. You must call or email us to make a reservation for an event using a guest pass to ensure we give accurate numbers to our caterers and to account for seating as needed.