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Learning a language takes time and dedication. While there are many books, CDs and software programs that can help you learn a new language, the best method is to study privately with a qualified teacher. A private teacher will tailor lessons to fit your ability and help to keep you motivated. A great way to advance your learning is to apply what you’ve learned by having conversations with native speakers.
If your chosen language is French, you’ve made a great choice. French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. And lucky for you, Pittsburgh is rich in French culture! The French controlled the area until it fell to the British, but even today, there is a strong French presence felt throughout the city. Today, Pittsburgh is home to 30 American subsidiaries of French companies and has a large French-speaking community.
So if you live in Pittsburgh, you’ll have plenty of opportunities outside of lesson time to practice! Home to a large French community and several French societies, restaurants, and social clubs, there are plenty of opportunities for real-world practice after your French lessons in Pittsburgh.
The Alliance Française de Pittsburgh was founded in 1903 and was started to encourage the study of the French language, literature and culture as well as to promote activities in education and the arts. The alliance offers a variety of social and cultural events and programs in both French and English. (http://www.afpitt.org/)
Another great organization is the French Cultural Center of Pittsburgh. This volunteer organization’s goal is to welcome and entertain the French-speaking communities in Pittsburgh, and it offers education, cultural and social events where members of the community and guests can meet and mingle. (http://www.centrefrancophonedepittsburgh.org/)
The Pittsburgh French Meetup Group was founded 10 years ago by a French professor in the Pittsburgh area who has been involved in the local French community for over 20 years. Started as way to help his friends learn French, the group has grown into a social club that meets at various locations in Pittsburgh for fun, conversation, and the exchange of ideas. They also offer a variety of language classes for all levels of French speakers, and most social events are free to attend. (http://www.meetup.com/FrenchLessons/)
Taking French lessons in Pittsburgh with a qualified teacher is only the beginning of your education. The city offers great opportunities to meet others who share your interest in the French language and culture. Make sure to practice your language skills and get out there and enjoy all that Pittsburgh has to offer!