The Instituts Français promote French culture all around the world. One of their missions is to provide quality French language training. As part of a partnership and in order to complement their face-to-face lessons, some branches of the IF work with Gymglish to provide e-learning services.
We interviewed one of our partners, Franck Chabasseur, Head of Training at the Institut Français of Greece, to find out more about the needs of their students and the benefits of taking up an e-learning course.
Hello Franck! Could you tell us more about the role of the Institut Français of Greece and your target audience?
We offer a very active French-speaking environment which allows Greek people to be exposed to French and French culture throughout the year. Our program includes a French film festival, literary, economic and educational conferences, exhibitions, and concerts. We also offer French language courses, taught by a team of experienced teachers, qualified in teaching French as a foreign language.
One third of our 1,600 to 1,700 learners are young, aged between 5 and 17. The rest of our students are adults who want to give an extra boost to their careers. We also teach senior citizens who love French culture and enjoy participating in French-speaking activities and events.
Greece is a multilingual country, and Greek is only really spoken in Greece and Cyprus, so it is quite natural and paramount for the population to learn foreign languages. The most common language learned is English, closely followed by French and German. In terms of teaching facilities, pretty much every neighborhood has a language school, a place where generations come together to learn new languages,and enjoy face-to-face courses.
So part of your core activity is teaching French via face-to-face lessons?
Exactly, we are recognized locally as the best center for learning French. We have been offering face-to-face lessons for many years but have always been interested in e-learning. In 2019, we started offering online classes because we wanted to encourage people who lived far from the Institut Français to start or continue learning French. This initiative wasn’t a roaring success, as Greek people have a marked preference for face-to-face lessons. But that changed less than a year later with the 2020 pandemic and confinements. Despite the crisis, we were delighted to see that our students remained determined to maintain their goals. They stayed motivated and continued (or started) their language-learning process. Really, it was our duty to provide them with new tools to support their efforts.
So you quickly had to find Blended Learning solutions?
Yes, there was pressure to respond, but fortunately we had already started thinking about e-learning.
Gymglish arrived at just the right time. With Frantastique (online French lessons), we have found the ideal tool: short daily lessons that can be completed at any time of the day. The tone of the courses is also very good, with humor and cultural references, making it an innovative product. We are proud to showcase Frantastique in our course portfolio.
Of course, we still have requests for face-to-face lessons, but Gymglish’s e-learning approach is innovative, the program adapts to students’ progress and the personalization of the teaching is very finely tuned.
I would certainly say that this partnership has contributed to improving our brand image. We are recognized as one of the best places for learning French and the fact that we are associated with this product, which stands out within the sector, is clearly an advantage for us. The dedicated space for partners is what makes all the difference for us. We can see at a glance how many students are enrolled, their level and their participation rate. It’s a great time saver and demonstrates the many benefits of using Frantastique.
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