I started French conversation lessons with Cafetalk & Times Car Plus!

Language study
Language study

The point was how to secure a fully private room at a reasonable price during the daytime on weekdays.

Improve your French: grammar is not enough, you need to speak!

As I’ve written several times here, I’ve been studying French with the Kumon Method for a year and a half.

https://www.yuu-koma.jp/?s=公文式

My pace has slowed down a bit, but I’m finally at the end of the F material. It is equivalent to level 3 of French proficiency test. So, can I say that I have learned the basic grammar?

It is true that I think I can read simple sentences better than before. However, my vocabulary is still limited and I haven’t practiced listening and speaking skills at all, so my “speed” is still lacking. Therefore, I have been feeling the need to start French conversation lessons.

What was important to me when I started

それは[highlight]「1. あまりお金をかけないこと」[/highlight]そして[highlight]「2. 長続きできるように工夫すること」[/highlight]の2点。基本的でありながらなかなか実現は難しかったりします。

まず「1. あまりお金をかけないこと」に関してはネットの活用が基本、つまりSkypeレッスンの一択となります。最近では数多くのサービスがあるので逆に迷うところです。いろいろと調べておおよその相場を把握、週1回の場合はワンレッスン2,000円前後といった感じでした。

続いて、「2. 長続きできるように工夫すること」も工夫が必要。コンスタントに続けるには朝や夜よりも「昼」が一番だと思っていました。会社の昼休みを利用してです。しかし、これには大きな欠点が…。それは、Skypeレッスンを選択した場合、当然ながら家にはいないので「どこで」行うのかも考えなければなりません。まさかカフェとか外とか(公園?)公共の場で行うわけにも行かないし…。

What do we do now?

The problem is getting a private room: Times Car Plus (car share) makes it happen!

カーシェアリングのタイムズカープラス:https://plus.timescar.jp

So I came up with this idea! We’re going to do it in the car. Passersby may think that there is someone speaking suspicious French in the car all the time, but the car is basically a completely private room. And there are several locations near my workplace.

The best thing about it is that you can rent it in 15-minute increments. If you have a 30-minute lesson, you can rent it for up to an hour, taking into account the time for changing and preparation.

https://plus.timescar.jp より

It’s not easy to rent a private room for 824 yen per hour in the middle of Tokyo. However, please note that there is a monthly fixed fee of 1,080 yen.

ちなみにどうしてこのアイデアが思いついたのかというと、以前どこかのネット記事で見たのですが、このカーシェアを昼寝のスペースとして利用している人がタイムズのデータから判明したとか。当初移動距離0kmという人が結構いることに担当者が驚いたことをきっかけに調べたのだそうです。これを読んで「誰にも邪魔されないスペースがあった!」と気がついたわけです。

Now you are ready to have a Skype lesson at noon.

Online French conversation with Cafetalk

肝心のオンラインフランス語会話はカフェトークを選びました。月謝制ではなくオンデマンド式であったことが最大の理由、複数のレッスンがありましたがいずれも2,000円前後であり、これも自分が思っていた相場観とマッチしていました。

カフェトーク[Cafetalk]|いつもの生活に世界のスパイスを:https://cafetalk.com/

On Cafetalk, after you register your ID, you purchase points by credit card or PayPal. 1 yen = 1 point, valid for 5 months. After that, you can search your favorite lesson and make an appointment with a tutor. You can enter your first to third choice.

When you make a reservation, it is recommended to include a message. I tried to write a message in French and English.

The teacher I chose replied to me within half a day. He said it was OK for the day and time as per my first choice. I then received a pdf with the materials for that day’s lesson, which I read through briefly.

Right away, my first lesson in French conversation with Cafetalk & Times Car Plus!

Finally, the day of the event. I took my lunch break a little early. I got there about 10 minutes early, so I waited for a while. I waited for a while, and when the time came, I locked the door.

The lock is done by touching the card to the panel in the corner of the rear side window. I was a little worried because it was my first time using a car share, but I was able to lock the door without any problems.

Then go to the car, there is a key on the dashboard on the passenger side, take this key. The announcement “Please take the key from the dashboard” was echoing in the car. I don’t want to drive for now, but it’s too noisy, so I take the key. By the way, the car’s starter is a button type, and the target car was a Suzuki Swift. I might want to drive it a little.

Then, I started up my Mac and plugged in my headphone microphone, which I had used last year during DMM English conversation and it worked fine. All I had to do was start up Skype and wait for the time to come. When the time came, the lesson finally started.

詳細は書きませんが講師は現在日本に在住しているハーフの方。ネイティブなフランス語が話せる方です。やっぱりネイティブがいいですよね。また、日本在住であることも大事、というのは昼の時間帯にレッスンが取れるから。現地の場合だと時差の関係で夜しか取れないことが多い。前述したように夜だと継続できるかどうか不安だからです。

初めということもあり、僕のフランス語力がよくわからないので初めはひたすらフランス語で話しかけてきましたが、すぐさまギブアップ。英語で「文法はひとりで勉強してきたけど会話は全然ダメなんだ」と伝えると、すぐに英語に切り替えてくれました。先生は英語も堪能らしいので安心。これも重要なポイントですね。幸い簡単なSkype英会話なら経験済みなのでためらいありません。

The lesson followed a pdf that I was sent in advance, and we talked about our hobbies in layman’s terms.

Whenever I got stuck, he would immediately type in the Skype chat box. The typing speed was fast and good, and I can read simple sentences, so this was very helpful. I can read simple sentences, so this was very helpful. The lesson ended in 40 minutes. It went by very fast. I said a quick thank you and disconnected Skype. After that, I put away my Mac, put the key back in the passenger dashboard, got out of the car, and locked the door by holding my membership card over the panel I touched when I locked the door the first time. This completes the return.

Email from Times Car Share immediately. It seems to have been returned safely. It’s certainly 0km mileage.

Afterwards, we received feedback from the teacher. I’m going to give you an excerpt, but to translate it briefly, he said, “Your grammar and vocabulary are pretty good, so let’s work on your conversation skills. You’re right.

“Je vous remercie pour votre réservation aujourd’hui. Cela m’a fait plaisir de faire votre connaissance. J’espère que le cours vous a convenu, nous pourrions donc continuer à travailler de cette façon, en utilisant un manuel comme base et en parlant librement. Comme vous voulez travailler la conversation, je pense que ce serait la meilleure manière de progresser.”

Impressions after the car sharing lesson, etc.

So, I think the lesson was successful and as I expected, or even more comfortable and inductive. Other than that, my impressions are as follows.

  • フィードバックがいい:講師のお人柄&初回かもしれないが、DMM英会話では講師によりムラが合った気がする。
  • 地下駐車場だったので暗かった:借りる場所を変える、同じ駐車場でも明るい場所があったのでそこまでクルマを移動すればOK。
  • クルマはまるまる1時間借りる必要はないのでは:カフェトークは基本30分単位での申し込みだが個別対応もできそうなので後で調査。
  • 天気が良い日などはせっかくなので、外にドライブにいってもいいかも:駐車場代別途かかりますが、いろいろ気分を変えながらのレッスンは楽しいような気もします。

まだ長続きするかはよくわかりませんが、幸先はよさそうです。話せるようになるかな、フランス語。

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