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Learn A New Language At The Alliance Francaise de Detroit

By Jake Levin

At one point in your life, most likely in high school, you attempted to speak a foreign language. The benefits of learning a different language are numerous, but it may not take for everyone on the first attempt.

Fortunately, the Alliance Francaise de Detroit (French Institute of Michigan) is around for those of all French-speaking abilities, of all ages. Francoise Guellec, Director of the institute in Bloomfield, Mich., said that classes are offered for both children and adults.

"We are a center for certification and we are also offering translation services," Guellec said.

The institute employs various tactics aimed at honing one's French-speaking skills, including a library, French movie screenings, conferences, concerts, a book club, cooking classes and cultural events. These include, but are not limited to, Beaujolais Nouveau Day, a celebration involving wine in November, Bastille Day, or the French version of Independence Day, on July 14, and la galette, a celebration involving cakes every January.

Guellec said that in order to maintain an authentic French feel to all classes, the French Institute of Michigan keeps everything as close to home as possible. As in, the classes might as well be taught in France.

"We are using material from France to teach," she said. "Teachers are natives, or always have been in contact with the French language."

Guellec is glad that people seem to be taking an interest in the French language and hopes to see even more participation in the months and years to come.

"French is our specialty and we are delighted to share the culture with the community," she said.

Upcoming events include Immersion Week, or as it is known in France, semaine de l'immersion. This will begin on June 19, or 19 Juin. There is a theater workshop later in the month of May, and just in time for summer, a Detroit French History Cruise on June 11.

To keep yourself up to date on everything French in the greater Detroit area, check out the institute's website, www.frenchinstitute.org.

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