Aux Petits Soins™ – filling a cultural gap in Metro Lansing
My name is Gaëlle and I am a native French speaker. I took time off from work after my first child was born in 2014 to devote to his development. As I began taking him to various mother-and-baby groups in the area, something remarkable began to happen.
I only speak in French to him because I want him to be bilingual and multicultural, and to my surprise, other parents who heard me speaking to him started asking me if I would speak to their children, too. I didn’t realize how many people in the U.S. were interested in the French language and culture. This gave me the idea to start a French language immersion class for babies.
I buried myself in research reports about the benefits of immersion learning and studied effective teaching strategies. Based on my research, I developed an effective new three-step language immersion system called Listen. Absorb. Speak.™ It was designed to help children and adults learn French the same way they learned their native language. In April 2015, I launched Aux Petits Soins™ (oh puh-TEE swah), a French idiom that means “to take tender care of.” Aux Petits Soins is more than a language center, it’s little slice of Paris right here in Lansing.
A rapid expansion
I started with 11-week sessions teaching nursery rhymes that I learned as a child and making up songs to fit certain learning activities. Both parents and children responded well right away to the curriculum. Because of demand, I created programs that could accommodate children up to age 12. Classroom activities range from basic exercises for the babies to having full conversations in French for the older students.
I soon outgrew my temporary space, and in October 2015, I moved into a dedicated full-time teaching space.
Adults join in
Based on multiple requests, I launched the Adult Program in 2017, which became a combination of classroom time and social events.
And we’re not done adding programs! If you want to keep up with our latest growth, please subscribe to our quarterly newsletter here.