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PodcastDavid Tolman

In this Podcast Jeff Steiner talks with David Tolman. David lives in Morlaix near the northern coast of Brittany.
David works for a software company and also has a web site for learning French.

"Ask the good questions."

David starts by explaining where he lives in France - Morlaix what the weather is like and what brought him there. He moved from Lyon where he found property expensive. Next, David talks about how long he has lived in France - 10 years, finding a job and starting a new career. He talks about his background in management, how he wanted to and did start a business - FluentFrench.com and how he decide what type of work to do in France. He remarks that many of his skills were general and that he need to and did develop specialized skills to find work in France. David says, it's very helpful in the French job market to be a specialist. David suggests that those thinking of moving to France find out and develop a specialized skill like working with SAP. David did a bilan de compétence - skills assessment with the ANPE, now the Pôle Emploi. He then started learning about accounting software and found a related entry level job. Before this, when he just arrived in France David worked as an English teacher.

Following this, David talks about the importance of the word Bonjour. David mentions that at his work he greets each person every morning when he arrives. And then is greeted in the same way by anyone arriving after him. Moving on, David talks about learning French and a good technique for pronunciation. David says that there are two types of listening, understand what is being said and hearing the nuances of pronunciation. David says that when he really started becoming fluent in French was when he repeated French recordings. He talks about a feedback loop between the mouth and ear. He was once told "you'll never be able to speak French until you can hear French correctly."

Then, the podcast moves on to suggestions for moving to France, David says: think about getting a job and ask yourself if you need to move to France right away. Why not spend some time in France before making a permanent move and for example asking at employment agencies what type of skills you would need. But don't worry about negative feedback. David comments that there are agencies in Paris that specialize in English speakers and that the French speak good English but not sometimes well enough in a business context. David ends by talking about the book "What Color is My Parachute", how he changed his resume from what he had done to what he could do (he organized his resume around his skills) and how he went from a manger before living in France to working a minimum wage job, but that helped him get the skills he needed for the job he has now.


mp3 file: Podcast-David-Tolman.mp3

Baie de Morlaix and Château du Taureau

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