Attention: Coucou French Language Classes in Soho!

Bonjour mes amis!

Coucou kindly invited me to join in on one of their French language classes and I have suddenly become ~cultured~ and way cooler ever since. There’s just something about the French language that makes a person instantly more appealing, am I right or am I right?

I have not only lived in France but I have taken many French classes in my academic career. I’m both a disgrace to myself and my family for having forgotten almost everything I’ve ever learned, so because of this, I was thrilled to attend a class at Coucou. I chose the level 2 “Grand Débutant” class which is for the people who have a basic understanding of French vocabulary, a semi-basic understanding of conjugation, and a no-where-near-basic understanding of anything else. AKA me.

Lea & Marianne

I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the founders, Léa, before class to learn more about Coucou and what makes it different from other French language programs. First off, Léa moved to NYC without being able to speak any English. Any. She moved here to visit her cousin Marianne (who now owns Coucou with her!) and fell in love with New York City. I can’t blame her, I did too.

Anyway, she first established Coucou in Williamsburg and now offers classes in Soho, and an opening-soon location in Los Angeles. Coucou has grown tremendously since it started not-so-long ago, and continues to offer the smallest (and best, just sayin’) French classes in the city. There’s 7 levels of classes but like I mentioned, I have brought shame upon myself for having forgotten any French I’ve ever learned, so I decided on the Level 2 class.

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When it came time for class, I settled into a tiny room with 4 other students and our teacher, Charlie. Just like Léa, Charlie was sophisticated and friendly and probably one of the best French teachers I’ve ever had. Coucou’s whole teaching technique is about being realistic and relevant to the way French people actually speak. It’s not so proper and rigid, and rather a more conversational approach to learning a new language. For example, I don’t need to know how to say, “Hello sir, your shirt looks rather nice today,” when in real life I would want to say, “Hey dude, cool shirt.” I kept silently wishing this whole idea was embraced more by high schools and colleges and maybe I would have stuck with it more. Maybe.

Anyway, the class is structured around a small booklet that Léa and her cousin, Marianne, came up with just for Coucou. Each level of classes is 8 weeks long, and each specifically designed booklet has 8 lessons, so that comes out to one lesson per class. Math!

Each class is 2 hours long and they’re offered in the evenings so every member of corporate America can make it. The price is $420.00 per 8 weeks, and the classes have a minimal amount of spaces, usually 4-8 spots per class. Trust me, you do not want to learn a language with 20 other people around. That’s how I was taught previously and I received little, to no, personal attention. Wait, let me rephrase that so I don’t sound like a attention-seeking brat; you want a learning environment that allows you to ask questions without being drowned out by a ton of other people’s questions. There we go!

Coucou also offers private lessons and corporate classes, so you can be the star of the show or you can bond with your co-workers. Then when grammar gets annoying (when isn’t it?) Coucou has weekly workshops designed to target all the hard stuff that makes you want to pull your eyelashes out one at a time.

The sprinkles on top of this Coucou gâteau (cake) would be the events they host within the community and with their students. Léa told me about Mardi Gras parties, trips to upstate New York for a wine tasting, and other French-centric events that help make Coucou truly different from any other language experience.

If your like me and you just want to continue to expand your brain capacity I recommend learning a new language. I then recommend you learn French because it’s the prettiest language to listen to and its associated with the most beautiful country in the world (in my opinion, but also I’m right and you know it). THEN I recommend you go to Coucou to learn all you need to become a sophisticated, French-speaking human. You’re welcome.