Success Story! Former Student Liam Connell Shares His Tale


We are delighted to share the success story of one of our former students, Liam Connell. Liam, a retired trader living in Chicago, took private French lessons in Paris twice a week with French As You Like It at the beginning of 2013.  It thrills us that he found his lessons so enjoyable and beneficial, and that, as he says: “Thanks to French As You Like It, I felt like a Parisian instead of a tourist.”   Here’s Liam’s story! 

At the beginning of 2013, I spent three months in Paris with my wife and 18-year old daughter. I was excited about to this trip for many reasons but in particular, I was looking forward to learning to speak French.  I’d learned French in school some 34 years before and could read and write in French proficiently, but I couldn’t really converse in it.

Why I Chose Lessons with French As You Like It

As soon as I arrived in the city, I started researching French tutoring programs in Paris. I called numerous schools and programs but I was by far most impressed with Marguerite and French As You Like It.  During our initial phone call, Marguerite and I had a really intelligent conversation – in French – about what I wanted out of the lessons. She demonstrated a genuine interest in my goals and commitment to achieving them that I just didn’t sense in the other schools I’d spoken with.  I knew then that I wanted to take lessons with FAYLI.

What My Lessons Were Like

Shortly after that conversation, I began taking lessons twice a week with both Marguerite and Marion. Marguerite knew that I didn’t want lessons in grammar, as I already had a grasp of that. What I wanted was to practice having conversations in French about French politics and culture, which is just what we did and I greatly enjoyed.

Marguerite was good at ensuring I was not lazy in my pronunciation, and even made me translate my verbal tics into French ones. (I would say “so….” and she would correct me with “donc…”!) It was quite amusing in the way she would keep me focused – sometimes by tapping me lightly on the head with her pencil every time I made a repeated mistake!

I was also interested in learning common phrases and sayings that a French person would say, and Marion spent a lot of time working with me on those. Learning these phrases helped me to sound more Parisian and gain confidence when in French conversations.

How I Benefited From French As You Like It

It was really important to me to feel that I fit into Paris. Thanks to FAYLI, I felt like a Parisian instead of a tourist. My teachers made me feel more confident and relaxed.  I had great and funny conversations with shopkeepers, taxi drivers and people I met in cafés and on the public tennis courts. I also was able to understand the current affair TV programs that were on every TV channel every night. I became part of the community that endlessly analyzed the French malaise! 

Why I Recommend French Lessons with FAYLI

Learning another language is a major commitment. Use every resource to immerse yourself in the French language. There are many resources, particularly online, to help you do that. But nothing can replace the need to practice speaking, listening and understanding French. FAYLI is the best resource I know for helping in this regard.

If you’re interested in taking French lessons with FAYLI, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help you achieve your dreams of speaking French!