Try Something New Week

Try Something New Week - December 13-17

It's time to mark your calendars for December special programs! During the long winter break, the Alliance offers French
learning experiences that go with the holiday spirit. Treat yourself to something exclusive and entertaining,
or try something you haven't had a change to do this year, before it's over.

SPECIAL OFFER: Buy one, get half off the second workshop. Use the code HalfOff at checkout.

 Advanced Level - CECR B2/C1

Intro to French Surrealism & Creative Writing

Do you love word games like Mad Libs? Do you wish you could take a moment to just write spontaneously in French? Do you enjoy learning about unconventional literary movements? If you answered “oui!” to any of these questions, you will love this workshop on Surrealism. After learning the basics of the history of the movement and reading extracts of André Breton’s “Manifeste du surréalisme”, you’ll have the chance to try your hand at a few surrealist activities yourself. The focus of the workshop is on writing and you will participate in individual and group writing games/exercises, along with some reading, lecture, and discussion.

Open to advanced (CECR B2/C1) students. Prerequisites: Completion of Edito B1 level or instructor approval.

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Le spleen de Baudelaire : à la mode ou pas ?

In her popular song, “Tout oublier” Belgian singer Angèle claims that “le spleen n’est plus à la mode.” In this workshop, students will first learn about what Charles Baudelaire meant by “spleen” in order to debate Angèle’s statement. We will start with an introduction to the French lexicon of poetry with which students will be able to identify formal aspects of a poem. We will discuss the differences, as well as the commonalities, between the poet’s work in verse (Les fleurs du mal) and his work in prose (Le spleen de Paris).  

Open to B2/C1 level students and native French speakers. Prerequisites: Completion of Edito B1 level or instructor approval.

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A brief history of Paris

Did you miss the History of Paris class? In this workshop Emmanuel will guide you through five main chapters of his popular class, three of which are historical (Gallo Roman Lutèce, Middle Ages Paris, Paris Classique), and the remaining two thematic (Paris artiste, Paris intellectuel). With various hand-picked documents, photos and videos, A Brief History of Paris aims to show you around some of Paris iconic monuments (and lesser known marvels) from the comfort of your home. And better yet, to offer five different routes to follow for your next visit in the French capital.

Open to advanced (CECR B2/C1) students. Prerequisite: Completion of Edito B1 level or instructor approval.

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Les maîtres de la peinture moderne

Travel through time and space while revisiting some of the masterpieces of modern painting. In workshop, Emmanuel will review the lives of famous French (and francophone) artists, including Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, René Magritte, Vincent Van Gogh.

Open to advanced (CECR B2/C1) students. Prerequisite: Completion of Edito B1 level or instructor approval.

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Intermediate and Upper Intermediate Level - CECR B1/B2

La Chasse-Galerie: A Quebecois New Year’s Legend

What if you could travel anywhere you wanted in a flying canoe—but you had to make a pact with the devil first? Chances are, if you speak to someone from Quebec, they will recognize this premise belonging to the beloved folktale “La Chasse-Galerie.” In this workshop, we will explore the legend's rich oral and written history through several media: a written story, a short animated film, and a song. The focus is on written and oral comprehension, but you will also have the chance to express yourself in conversation and writing as we summarize the story and share our ideas.

This is a class for upper-intermediate to advanced (CECR B1/B2) students. Prerequisites: Completion of Edito 206 or instructor approval.

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Régions de France

In this preview of the Winter Term class, Emmanuel will guide you through the French countryside, offering a few glimpses into its most beautiful and picturesque villages, its various landscapes, its specific local histories and its favorite foods. With various hand-picked documents, photos and videos, "Region" aims to shed light on the lesser known sites and monuments of France and offer you ideas for your next visit in France.

Open to intermediate and upper intermediate students (CECR B1/B2) students. Prerequisites: Completion of Edito 206 or instructor approval.

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Paris : une promenade d'hiver autour de la Cité

As Victor Hugo writes in Les Misérables, « Errer est humain, flâner est parisien. » In this workshop, you are invited to take a winter walk around the heart of Paris—the Île de la Cité. We will make our way by taking a close look at several works of art that feature this landmark location: an excerpt from Victor Hugo’s literary classic Notre-Dame de Paris; a post-WWII poem by Jacques Prévert, a pop hit song performed by Jacques Dutronc, and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s noir masterpiece Quai des Orfèvres.

This is a class for upper-intermediate to advanced (CECR B1/B2) students. Prerequisite: Completion of Edito 206 or instructor approval.

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Pour qu'on ne se perde pas dans le quartier avec Patrick Modiano

In this literary workshop, we will meander around the streets of Paris together with the characters of Patrick Modiano’s novels Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier (2014) and Rue des Boutiques Obscures (1978). Along with Modiano, we will ask ourselves what can be uncovered as we lose ourselves in these places of memory (lieux de mémoire). What can urban “memoryscapes” tell us about our own past?  This workshop will focus on several excerpts from the two novels (sent to the participants in advance), as well as on the maps and images of the neighborhoods and locales featured in Modiano’s fiction. 

This is a class for upper-intermediate to advanced (CECR B1/B2) students. Prerequisite: Completion of Edito 206 or instructor approval.

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 Beginner and Lower Intermediate Levels - CECR A1/A2

French Holiday Commercials

Get in the holiday spirit and immerse yourself in comprehensible, beginner-friendly French with this workshop around the theme of holiday commercials. French commercials celebrating the holiday season will be used as a jumping-off point to tell stories, learn new vocabulary, and discuss holiday traditions and preferences. This will be a listening-focused workshop with opportunities for conversation and written review at students’ level.

Ideal for beginning/intermediate students (CECR A1/A2). Prerequisites: Completion of Edito 101 or instructor approval.

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 In English

Study Skills

This workshop is designed for those wishing to develop a specific skill-set to learn the language more efficiently. Here's what you should expect from this 2-hour long workshop:

- How to take USEFUL notes and maximize them for learning.
- Learn to cultivate a success-oriented attitude toward the immersion approach.
- Clarify what NOT to do.
- Work smarter, not harder: tap into your brain’s memorizing powers.
- Tips for training your ear and your tongue to perform the mental gymnastics needed to speak French well.
- Strategies to milk your materials for every last drop of purpose they hold.
- A Q & A opportunity for honing in on your top study challenges.
- An introduction to listening resources available free online.

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All about the Bûche de Noël

Bûche de Noël - this unique cake links regional traditions all over France which were developed over the centuries when the hearth was the center of family life. Come join us for a fun culinary experience!

No matter what your level of French may be, this workshop is open to all! It is taught in English with some French. Learn customs, history and different recipes of this exquisite holiday dessert.

In this two hour workshop, you will learn about the origins of this Christmas cake, from its medieval roots to current day traditions. You will watch a step-by-step demonstration for making your own Bûche de Noël. You will then explore some of the wildly creative new flavors and versions being served today. Enjoy conversation and learn some new words for your holiday vocabulary!

This workshop is in English with some French.

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Street parking on SW 20th St. facing the Kamm House is limited. Free parking is available in Lot A at SW 18th and SW Columbia. Please obtain a parking pass from the office. After 6 pm weekdays, students may park in the Willamette Dental lot at SW 20th and SW Jefferson as available.


The Alliance office is open 10am-3pm Monday through Friday.
Call us at 503.223.8388 during business hours or leave a message.
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