Coucou French Classes opens new headquarters in Manhattan, moving from Williamsburg’s backyard soirées to Nolita’s boho apartment aperitifs.
These French language classes began in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2013. “There was a niche in the market,” remember Marianne and Léa Perret, French expats, cousins, and founders of the project. “We wanted to create a linguistic and cultural center that stood out from what was already in New York.” Five years later, they opened new locations in Los Angeles and in Minneapolis, and moved their New York teaching space to Manhattan to access a larger audience. More than 200 people each week receive what varies between private lessons and conversation-based meet-ups to learn French.
Coucou founders Marianne and Léa Perret in their new headquarters in Manhattan. © Justine Creteur
“We created a space that was more modern, updated and current. In the end, we created our own methods of teaching to make learning an activity that you want to do.” Coucou French Classes does not follow the institutionalized academic training to learn the language, but rather embraces local examples New Yorkers can relate to. They use sentences and expressions from daily life. According to the two founders, it takes about a year for an adult student to learn French through their seven academic levels.
The students tend to be from ages 25-35, mostly Americans, and eager francophiles. The classes incorporate French news articles, cultural outings, and social events like movie screenings and wine-tastings. Other events will include a Bastille Day party on July 14, and a cheese workshop at Murray’s Cheese on July 18. “Some students that come to our classes just want a social environment to meet new people that have the same interest in the language”, says Marianne Perret. “Most of them are now friends outside of the classroom.”
Coucou French Classes
253 Centre Street
New York, NY 10013