Café des Langues

Language learning beyond the classroom

Since December 2023, the idea of a Café des Langues (Language Café) event has grown from the need for language practice and new and differentiated encounters. Although language-learning centers are abundant in Rennes, after the training ends, opportunities for further language practice are limited. With help from associations like BlaBlaExchange and other Café des Langues across the Brittany and Pays de la Loire regions, as well as partnerships with The Roof (Hôtel Dieu), Rennes School of Business and ESS Cargo et CIE at Rennes 2 University, the Rennes Café des Langues was born and has quickly grown in reputation and in number.

Organization of the first Café des Langues, 15/3/2023

If you are new to the event, here are two resources to help you get acquainted with it.

  1. The introductory interview about the Café des Langues in Rennesclick here
  2. The official Facebook page of the eventclick here
  3. The first blog post about the eventclick here
  4. The second blog post about the event – click here

The first Café des Langues (15/03/2023)

On March 15th, 2023, the first Café des Langues in Rennes took place at Rennes School of Business. A four-hour event that led to 31 participants (a 300% increase in participation from usual “first Café des Langues” participation rates) plus the organization team of 6 people, and 7 languages spoken. Although English and French were practiced the most, conversations or words in Breton, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese were also heard.

Below is a compte rendu of the first Café des Langues without data analysis (at the time of this post’s publication, only half of the participants responded to the questionnaire). Photos of the event can be found on the Facebook page.


The second Café des Langues (28/4/2023)

At the end of April, the second Café des Langues took place in the sunshine at the Thabor park. Taking the form of a language picnic on blankets, then at the park café near the end of the event, there were:

  • 12 participants, 6 men and 6 women who
  • Spoke 4 languages (English, Italian, German, and Dutch),
  • The youngest participant was 20 years old, and
  • The oldest participant was 84 years old.
  • The event was 3 and a half hours long, with 9 participants staying until the end.

From this Café, participants discussed their desire to expand the Café to include different activities and workshops, including zoom videoconferencing with people from around the world.

Moving forward, two Café events will occur each month in two different locations: an on-campus Café and another Café in the center of town; one over the weekend and one during the week.

Below is the compte rendu of the second Café des Langues. Photos of the event can be found on the Facebook page.


Preparing for a virtual Café des Langues: (Autumn 2023)

  • Experience space design
  • Non-academic interactions
  • Success and types of contemporaneous workshops
  • Participant needs and analysis, implications for the virtual world
  • Questionnaires after the first 6 Cafés: analysis of evolution
  • Perspectives for a virtual Café des Langues
  • Success of intergenerationality during each Café

Café des Langues introductory concept design
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