Since its establishment in 2016, l’Institut français d’Oak Park is building and connecting the local French-speaking community while creating a heightened awareness of how speaking French opens the door to a rich variety of cultures around the world.
The arrival of the coronavirus in spring 2020 forced us to switch from in-person classes on Harrison Street and conversation groups at Léa in downtown Oak Park to online meetings via Zoom. As students and teachers adjusted to changes in the world around us, many of us were surprisingly invigorated to continue to see familiar faces every week, to work together to improve language skills, and to escape virtually through French conversations and Francophone ‘travel’ during classes and Conversation Cafés. As one student said: “I’m just really grateful for all of my time at the French Institute, whether it’s been live and in person or online. It’s challenged me; it’s helped me to learn and grow; it’s helped me to connect with people; it’s helped me to learn more about myself and the world.”
L’Institut français d’Oak Park continues to offer an array of online French and Francophone courses, private lessons, and conversation groups via Zoom. Moving online has extended classes well beyond Harrison Street, with learners of French participating from Oak Park, Chicago and other suburbs to New Mexico, Texas, and Montana. Conversation Café on Thursday evenings has attracted visitors from Montreal, Colombia, and France. L’Institut français d’Oak Park looks forward to resuming in-person classes on Harrison Street in the Oak Park Arts District once it is deemed safe to do so, but classes and conversation groups will continue online permanently as we build and connect the French-speaking community both nationally and internationally.
All French classes and conversation groups are led by highly qualified instructors who have significant experience in teaching French. Courses range from beginning French covering specific subjects and areas of grammar to mid-level French conversation, culture and grammar to French literature courses in French and English. There is a class for every level of French learner or experienced speaker!
If you are seeking a different frame of mind or a new challenge, would like to brush up on dormant knowledge of French, or are curious about other cultures and languages, explore the options offered by l’Institut français d’Oak Park. Why not ask a friend or family member to enroll with you to broaden your horizons together while meeting new people? Or, get your loved one a gift card from l’Institut for the holidays.
Registration for the Winter 2021 Session is currently open, and classes will meet from January 18 through March 27. For more information, visit the Institut français d’Oak Park website at www.frenchinstitute.net or contact Stacy Fifer at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, please follow us on Instagram @institut_francais_oak_park or Facebook @institutfrancaisoakpark.