English / French conversation groups

We have a young group meeting on Wednesday evenings for two hours. So far we have had general discussions based around what is in the press, movie night, hangman, boulles, scrabble - both languages. We are looking for ideas to bring to the table. Some suggestions on how to improve the number of French people would also be welcome. All suggestions welcome. Looking forward to anything quirky even. Thanks

Hi Jayne, Thanks for the reply. It's good to know that we are not alone in suffering low attendance from French people. Similar experience where they come along for a few evenings and drop out. We have questioned whether we should start earlier but some don't finish work 'till late, not like UK when everything stops for the rush hour. We have now reduced the time from 18:30 - 20:30 to 18:30 - 20:00 because dinner needs to be prepared and TV progs start at 20:30 onwards.

We might have difficulty finding a room on Fridays but I will float the idea among the members with your recommendation.

Thanks for the advice.

Hi Joe. It seems really difficult sometimes to get the French to these groups. A few of us tried to set a group up in the south of the Creuse. The first group was well attended and then they just dropped out. Then we tried a "coffee" session which some of my friends still go to but as the ratio is just one French person to the rest of the Brits, I dropped out as I felt I wasn't learning anything.

I now travel 40 minutes north to the Indre to another conversation group which was started by a French lady and is very successful. There are often more French than English. We meet in a cafe once a week and chat for an hour and a half. For guidance on subjects we use newspapers but often print off an exercise or two from www.francaisfacile.com.

The English is bad but it works well because we correct it and we both correct each other's pronunciation. (I am afraid that is my major weakness, pronunciation!)

It seems that to attract French people it always needs to be on a Friday. We are always triple booked on a Friday! They enjoy card games like Belote (not sure if I spelt that right), so perhaps that might work.

Have you thought of contacting a school to see if any of their senior students may be interested? Or even going in to the school to speak to the students (we done that here with some young children and they loved it).

I hope this helps a little and good luck with your group.

By "young group" I mean the group is young. Although we like to think we are :)