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WE’D ALL LOVE TO SPEAK a sec­ond lan­guage. But few of us have the time or in­cli­na­tion to go back to the class­room. The so­lu­tion? Learn the lingo while you’re on hol­i­day.

That’s the idea be­hind Provence-based lan­guage-teach­ing pro­gramme Live and Learn. Based in a small town just east of Mar­seilles, it of­fers home­s­tay French cour­ses with the em­pha­sis on learn­ing the lan­guage through leisure, sport, touris­tic and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, rather than hours spent in the class­room.

This one-woman out­fit was set up last year by lan­guage teacher Brigitte Mi­ra­mont. She of­fers week-long stays at her home on the Provence coast, tai­lored to the in­ter­ests of her guests. “You want to play ten­nis or golf?” she sug­gests. “You want to go horse-rid­ing, surf­ing, boat­ing? You’re in­ter­ested in his­tory, na­ture, shop­ping, arts, mu­sic, food and wine? How about a cook­ing class?”

Cru­cially, Mi­ra­mont ap­pre­ci­ates that tourists have no de­sire to spend pre­cious hol­i­day time in a class­room. For that rea­son, she prefers to teach through ac­tiv­i­ties and conversati­on. “Im­mer­sion hol­i­day” is how she de­scribes it. “Teach­ing should be in­di­vid­u­alised. Per­sonal mo­ti­va­tion is the driv­ing force for all learn­ing.”

She says she’s al­ways on the look­out for ac­tiv­i­ties out of the or­di­nary. “A sun­set hike into the Calan­ques to pop a bot­tle of cham­pagne, maybe?” she sug­gests.

Brigitte Mi­ra­mont, founder of lan­guage school Live and Learn

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