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Montauban. A solution to reconcile with English


Published on 08/09/2009 at 15:37

Education. The French are not strong in languages. A school without a blackboard or a red pen to remedy this...





Valérie teaches English to children through games and songs.

Since September 2008, Valérie Blandinières has been running and running an English school near Sapiac. A school without vocabulary lists or irregular verbs, without assessments and red pens.

Learn while having fun

“The idea is total immersion in the language, through games, painting workshops, crafts, songs. We learn without realizing it. And the sooner we learn, the better. » The one-hour English sessions are open to children from the age of 18 months, accompanied by one of their parents. During these “Playgroup” sessions, the mothers discuss over a cup of tea while their children forge a logic of language learning in the broad sense.

At first centered on the little ones, the workshops gradually opened up to teenagers and adults. The 10 to 14 year olds, often disgusted by English, discover a new way of learning the language by playing pictionary, cooking, etc. “A language is above all to communicate. In this way, the children discover that English is fun. »

An efficient way of working

Valérie Blandinières exported this working method from England where she lived for six years, while working in import-export. “Over there, these kinds of workshops are done a lot. In addition to this London experience, English is omnipresent in her family and she regularly returns to the United Kingdom. It is therefore quite naturally that she teaches children English songs, the lyrics of which list the names of body parts, gestures, and other common vocabulary. From an early age, children get to know each other for one or more terms in a bilingual universe. A friendly universe that they find after school and sometimes even during the holidays. In any case, the method is bearing fruit: the middle school students participating in the workshops are proud to show Valérie their good grades. Moreover, all of this year's registrants have already re-registered for the next school year.


Montauban. Here, children learn English while having fun


Published on 19/07/2012 at 10:33

a studious summer






Valérie Blandinières founded "Fun School" in Albasud. The originality of its concept on the market  saturated with English lessons lies in the fun and pleasant approach to its teaching. Internships are planned for this summer.

Hellooooo!….A dozen or so well-behaved kids don't wait for the teacher's signal to greet the visitor… in English of course. This is the whole concept of Fun school that Valérie Blandinières founded in 2008 in Montauban (1).  These kids are between 3 and 12 years old. They come here on Wednesday afternoons or during the holidays to acquire the basics of Shakespeare's language and above all, vocabulary. Generally under pressure from anxious parents at the idea of seeing their offspring out when they return to college.

Stop cramming

At Fun School, students do not use notebooks or books. here, no homework to do, no blackboard. No parrot sessions either on the my taylor is rich or the sky is blue mode. “If we have fun, we are receptive,” says Valérie. At Fun School, you learn English while having fun, by tinkering, by cooking, by playing cards… All the exchanges are done in English. “It's very effective, assures Valérie, because they don't have the apprehension of expressing themselves in English. They are uninhibited. It is certain, at the vocabulary level, they are ahead when they return to college, which then allows them to be more receptive to grammar”.

If the youngest become familiar with English in this way, the teenagers, already confronted with English in college, but often stuck in the face of expression, would therefore find with Valérie and her colleagues, something to patch up with this teaching. “Often these teenagers don't like English. There, we reconcile them with this language”.

Teens and moms too

This summer, small groups of 12-15 year olds will follow a week-long course. Valérie concocted a trip to New York for them… via the internet, “but only on American sites”. There too, it is a question of provoking the click. This click which is also sometimes missing for parents who have also ended up finding their place within Fun school. “A lot of people said to me and why not us?” explains Valérie. These adults, mostly mothers, wanted to be able to effectively monitor their children's homework. But also to consider trips abroad with more enthusiasm. These adults who come here to chat or play Monopoly in English will not cut a few grammatical obligations like irregular verbs. But it's the price to pay to be understood... and to fight this shyness that freezes you outside our borders. "In six months, at the rate of one hour a week, we are able to get by," says Valérie.

(1) FunSchool. Impasse d'Oslo (next to the Acoustic bar). tel 062 052 911.


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