The city that never sleeps.
The Big Apple.
Concrete jungle where your French dreams are made of.
You know that New York City has long been a place to experience other cultures and languages, French one of the first among them.
So there’s no reason New York’s French learners need to stick to studying solo.
I’ve put together a list of nine amazing NYC French conversation groups that are perfect for New Yorkers looking to socialize and improve their French speaking skills at the same time!
Why Join a French Conversation Group?
For starters, joining a language conversation group is usually a ton of fun and you’ll no doubt meet lots of interesting people and make new friends along the way.
On the practical side of things, conversation groups are typically quite affordable. They’re certainly some of the cheaper options for in-person French learning.
Plus, if there’s any fee at all, it’s normally paid per group session, so you don’t need to fret if you have to miss a meeting.
In addition to being flexible, conversation groups tend to be a less formal way of learning, which can make you feel comfortable when participating. Essentially, if you’re learning in an informal environment, you’re less likely to worry about making mistakes—which means you’ll spend more time actually practicing speaking.
Lastly, the typical mélange (mix) of language levels at a conversation group can benefit you by ensuring exposure to more advanced learners. Chances are, the strongest French speakers will rub off on you in no time.
Where to Find the Best French Conversation Groups in NYC and Start Talking Now
While finding a great French conversation group can sometimes be a challenge, New York City is full of fantastic opportunities. Below, you’ll find a guide to nine top-notch French conversation groups in the Big Apple!
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ABC Languages Conversation Group is a great choice for those looking for a slightly more structured meet-up.
Each session is accompanied by professional language teachers who monitor the conversation and keep it going by asking questions and prompting discussions. This is particularly helpful for those who are new to conversation groups and it ensures that the topics continue to benefit French learners.
Each class lasts one hour and is held at the ABC Languages building in Chelsea, Manhattan. The cost is $10 per session.
The group is recommended for intermediate and advanced learners. Those interested can sign up online.
French Language Salon has many class options available for French learners, two of which are conversation classes. These classes are geared toward those who prefer a traditional classroom setting.
The first conversation class is called Conversation Courante (Current/Everyday Conversation) and focuses on speaking in French spontaneously.
Learners aim to master specific grammar points, such as using the future tense, through discussions of various topics. The introduction and use of French idioms is another class priority.
The second conversation class is called Conversation Niveau Avancé (Advanced Level Conversation). It’s a teacher-facilitated, round-table discussion of current events and important news.
The conversation classes are held once per week for 10 weeks and cost $385.
This group and the three below are the best NYC French conversation groups available on Meetup, a popular site for organizing events all over the world. As its name suggests, Free French/English Language Exchange is free to join.
Group events include picnics, movie nights and conversation meet-ups at restaurants, bars and parks.
During these conversation events, the group switches between English and French every 30 minutes, so that both sets of native speakers have an opportunity to improve their foreign language skills.
Another wonderful option hosted on Meetup, French New York City is also free to join, and their group hosts weekly events such as networking and meet-and-greet sessions on Mondays, and French workshops on Wednesdays.
Aside from their weekly meetings, the group leads museum tours in French at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and puts together social outings to French-owned bars for happy hour drinks and French conversation.
French New York City welcomes all levels of French speakers as long as you’re interested in learning while having fun.
The NYC French Social Meetup Group is for anyone who speaks French and/or likes French culture. Like French New York City, this Meetup group welcomes all levels of French speakers.
Among their many activities, they host French parties, movie nights and book discussions. They also attend many French cultural events in New York City as a group.
The last group that made it into my top four on Meetup is French Conversation Française, which is hosted by a native French speaker and educator.
This group meets in a cafe for one-hour conversation sessions guided by the group host. There are different French level conversation groups offered and each costs $10 per person.
Conversation Exchange is a site where users create profiles listing the languages they know and those they’re learning. The platform facilitates connections with others in your area to find language exchanges or just informal practice opportunities.
Since New York City is so big, there are tons of locals using the site who would like to meet up and practice French.
It’s free to make a profile on Conversation Exchange, and from there, you can start chatting with others and find some people with whom to start a local conversation group.
The French Embassy in the U.S. runs a cultural events website where they continually put information up regarding French language events all over the U.S.
Simply filter the events page to show only those activities happening in New York City to find information on French film and music festivals, holiday celebrations, the occasional conversation group and more.
Though you may not think of checking libraries for French conversation groups at first, the Brooklyn Public Library hosts tons of great events, including language conversation groups.
You’ll need to check back frequently to see if any French conversation sessions are scheduled, but the good news is that the library tends to book these events far in advance, so you’ll have plenty of time to arrange your calendar.
The other wonderful thing about using the library for learning resources such as French conversation groups is that it’s free, and they usually book qualified teachers to guide their educational events.
Now that you’ve been introduced to some great conversation groups in NYC, it’s time to go out, meet some new people and talk the talk, French-style!
Camille Turner is an experienced freelance writer and ESL teacher.
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