Language Exchange - France, Language Exchange Homestay

Caffeinated on Art, Games and English Lessons in France

by Davie Pocstar, Greenheart Travel Correspondent Scholarship Winner in France

mercredi le 24th octobre, 2012; 13:27

Another trip to Lyon today had me headed straight for the local Starbucks. As much as I adore my espresso the French way, a tiny cup does not meet my caffeine fix. I haven’t been in this country long enough to throw back a morning espresso whilst newspaper is under my arm and a briefcase in my hand. You can take the global wanderer out of Canada but ya can’t take away her Tall Dark Roast, even if she is in France. Therefore, a piping hot tall café de la semaine is the answer to my slight coffee addiction.

I paid €2.65 (aprx $3.45) for a Pike Place Roast and as I silently wept handing over a €5 note, I thought well, on the bright side – free wifi! Not gonna lie, France is expensive:

At least the people watching is free, and there is always something to see in Lyon. Recently, on the pedestrian magnet that is rue de la République, all kinds of happenings were going on. One activity that caught my attention was the chalk artist. Now, I have experienced this already in Canada’s busy Toronto Queen Street West. But it was just as nice to see this global art happening here in France.

An art form requiring lots of patience and definitely no performance anxiety:

Tools of the Artist’s trade…

As I near my 1st month living with my host family, I am definitely getting into the groove of family life here in Vourles. With both girls off to school in the mornings, I usually crawl out of bed long after they’ve started class. But soon, I’ll be put on an early morning schedule as I start my French classes next month in Lyon.

Until then, LG – Life’s Good.

One of the many ‘Life’s Good’ examples are the nightly family board games we play after dinner. Recently the Dimouchy/Poc Family is nutty about Rummikub – a numbers game that gets the whole family thinking and bonding. And always laughing.

Another daily activity is of course the English lessons/tutoring sessions I have with my host family. Alice who will be turning 8 next week, is an enthusiastic girl full of energy albeit a short attention span. Since she is a visual person, I have constructed a lesson set up of watching the popular North American Show Blue’s Clues, which she loves. As we watch the show, we pause whenever I feel there is a good sentence for Alice to write, draw and then repeat for practice. As I dictate the sentence letter by letter, she is starting to differentiate between how letters sound in English though she still gets the sounds of ‘a’ and ‘i’ mixed up. It’s actually very cute with her very strong French accent.

Once she has written the sentence, we practice reading it and pronouncing the words. She also loves drawing the clues as they are uncovered throughout the episode.

Alice, pausing Blue’s Clues to write and draw

Getting excited for Blues Clues

For Juliette’s lessons, we keep it informal by watching my favorite TV show “Departures,” which has opened her mind to the idea of world travel. As we watch each episode, I pause at certain times to ask her questions to see if she understands the dialogue and story line. Generally she is good at picking up what is being said. I also pause when I think there may be a word she has never heard. Usually I’m on the money! I also have her repeating lines of dialogue for conversation practice. This lesson set up is ideal as I get to re-watch the best show ever made (I’m sooo plugging Departures) and she is googly over one of the show’s hosts, Justin Lukach.  It’s Canadian-made too!

Lessons aside, there is always time for goofing around. The girls just love the photo booth application on my macbook. Below are just some examples of us having fun at home.

Goofing around with the Alien effect on photo booth:

This weekend we are heading off to Spain for some frolicking by the sea before I start my French classes. I am so excited! Life indeed Is Good.

About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


One thought on “Caffeinated on Art, Games and English Lessons in France

  1. Wow! Awesome art.

    Posted by Tirupati Balaji | November 20, 2012, 1:58 am

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