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Interview with Eleri Maitland from French in Normandy

Published on Friday, January 24, 2020

Interview Eleri Maitland

In today's interview, we had the pleasure of speaking to someone who needs no introduction in the education travel industry - Eleri Maitland from French in Normandy

1. Tell us a little bit more about French in Normandy and the beautiful city of Rouen?

Rouen is such a beautiful city. It is easy to get to and has a wonderfully friendly feel to it. It is almost impossible to get lost yet it is a major metropolitan area and has lots of theatres and cinemas as well as some of the best shopping in France. The city was the first city in France to be pedestrianised and that makes for easy and pleasant days out in our great selection of small boutiques and French department stores. Normandy cuisine is some of the most reputed in France so a day out ‘A table’ in Rouen or anywhere in Normandy is a delight. Rouen is the City where the Impressionists painted so we have the second largest collection of Impressionist paintings in France and every two years an International Impressionist Festival. The festival runs from April to September throughout the Normandy region but most of the activities are concentrated in Rouen and Caen. Each year is devoted to a new theme. In total over 450 events are scheduled throughout Normandy for five-and-a-half months.

This year  the Festival will be from 3 april to 6 September 2020 and the official website for full details of the region-wide programme as well as the superb events in Rouen is on:

2. Apart from teaching French to foreigners, what other courses do you offer?

We have an excellent Teacher Training Department which offers courses for teachers of French looking for methodology and we also have a strong presence with Erasmus for teachers who just want to either learn or improve their French.  Another star product is our DELF and DALF French Diploma preparation courses which have an amazing pass rate success rate in the high 90s even for the DALF levels C1 and C2. They start every Monday of the year and we guarantee all the levels every week. The students take the exam in Rouen centre so that the school is not disrupted with ‘Hush exam’ signs everywhere.

We also have specialised programmes concentrating on French Language and Culture with our 50+ course or French and Cooking.

3. Which markets would you like to work with and for which of your courses?

We love to work with anyone as French in Normandy is so international and we want to keep it that way as it is one of the very strong points remarked on consistently by our student body.

and have hopes to develop our relationships in India and Africa as well as extending our presences in Latin America and China.

4. We know that French in Normandy and your team have been nominated for awards and won quite a few over the years, can you mention some of these?

I have such a fabulous staff. The teaching team is full of energy and always keen to enhance our course offer and teaching skills. We were the first French school ever to become a SuperStar in the Study Travel Magazine Awards and before he died Tom said to me ‘ We were the first to win the Study Travel SuperStar, don’t ever forget that as even if other win it as they inevitably will we will always be the first ones to get it and that speaks volumes’

The same year 2012, we won the first every UED Best French-language School Award and we have been honoured to have received it every year since which is not only a tribute to my teaching and administrative team but also to the excellence of our relationships with the UED agency network.

- A highlight for me was to see French in Normandy nominated  for the Star of Superstars Award alongside:

- Twin Group, UK

- IALC – International Association of Language Centres, International

- ILAC – International Language Academy of Canada, Canada

- English UK, UK

When you compare us in size then this nomination was such an achievement!

5. What does French in Normandy have in store for the coming year?

Well, we are developing a wider offer for teacher training with specialist presenters and workshop leaders like ANL Formation for the Neurolinguistic Approach and Patrick de Bouter one of the best known and loved trainers in France who will be running two workshops on how using theatre techniques in the classroom can be put to great use for oral expression and improving speech.

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