Frequently asked questions about English in Toulouse

What is English in Toulouse?

We are an English and French conversation group. We meet regularly for drinks in the Toulouse city centre and currently have over 1400 registered members of many nationalities. The group is ever changing as people come and go. Some are here just for a few weeks, some for several months, and of course there are those who are here permanently. It's a network of friends, whether you've been in Toulouse all your life or have just arrived.

Who is the group for?

The group is open to native or fluent English speakers and most of our members are bilingual (French/English) or even tri-lingual speakers (German, Spanish, Polish etc).

Our aim is to develop a network of English speakers in Toulouse for conversation, and to provide an easy way to meet people with similar interests (travel, language, different cultures etc) while bringing English and French speakers together.

What is the average age of the group?

The age range varies widely and is different at every meeting. Everyone is welcome, regardless of how old or young you are — we're a friendly bunch!

How much does it cost to join the group?

English in Toulouse is a free club, but you must support the venue by buying at least one drink/something to eat, per hour you attend and you must pay at the time of ordering. You can also buy Narelle a drink if you're feeling generous and would like to say thanks for organising the group. :-)

How do I participate in the next meeting?

Anyone can come to any of our regular meetings. Just check the date, times and location of the meeting you are interested in on the web site and come along at whatever time suits you.

When and where do you meet?

We have something for everyone! Whether you're free during the afternoon and fancy a quiet conversation in a tea salon, like writing, are a parent who would like to meet other parents, or maybe you're into the Friday night after work scene? Here's what's on:

Every Tuesday afternoon: Tea Tuesdays
Join us for Tea Tuesdays. Tea and cake every Tuesday afternoon from 3pm and conversation in French and English.

1st Tuesday of the month: Writing Workshop
Join us for Writing Workshop. Unleash the writer within you (in English) and join us for a one hour writing session with creative exercises and stream of consciousness exercises.

Every Friday night: Toulouse English Group
Join us for Friday nights. Drinks and tapas every Friday from 7pm 'til late our weekly pub night with conversation in English. It's a popular event!

What's on this month?

Picture of a calendar
View the calendar

Are there any extra events?

Yes! We regularly have extra events like restaurant and cinema nights, hiking trips and wine tours. We also have annual events like the Halloween costume party, the Christmas in July BBQ and our end of year Christmas dinner.

To find out what's coming up, you can join the mailing list by registering on the forum and keep an eye on our calendar. Got a good idea? Make a suggestion on the forum.

You can also see the photos of past events on our photo gallery.

How do I join the group?

You don't have to be a member to attend meetings, but it's a good idea to join the group through our Web forum. It's free and you'll receive meeting reminders and special event invitations.

How do I leave the group/unsubscribe from the mailing list?

If you want to unsubscribe from the mailing list, you just need to delete your account on the English in Toulouse forum. If you would like help doing this, just follow these simple steps. If all else fails, you can e-mail us (please be nice if you write to us to delete your account: we're only here to help and we do it for free :-) )

Who organises the group?

We have currently no formal organisation (we are not an "association loi 1901"). Instead, it is members that enjoyed the group enough to volunteer to organise new events, or keep existing regular events running. You can meet our regular hosts on the hosts page, and contact us if you want to take part and organise something!

How did the group get started and why?

Photo of NarelleWhen Narelle lived in Edinburgh, she started a French meetup group (which is still going strong!) and enjoyed it so much that when she planned to move to Toulouse she wanted to be part of a similar group here. Not finding anything that matched what she was looking for, she started a Web site. Before long, some people signed up and we had our very first meeting the week she arrived in Toulouse, in April 2005.

Our first meeting attracted six people and we met in a tea salon in the city centre. There were a few subsequent meetups at cafes on Capitole and then things stopped for a couple of months while she went to Paris to get her teaching qualifications, came back and learnt French and got married.

Around September 2005 she really got to work on organising the group and learnt all about la rentree. With a fixed monthly meetup time and venue, people started coming regularly and word spread. By December we had an average of 15 people coming to every meeting and were filling up the entire coffee shop — we had out-grown our first venue!

Over Christmas drinks at the Crowne Plaza in December 2005, we decided to move the group to a bigger venue. This became Crowne Plaza Nights.

In July 2006 a few of us started meeting up regularly at Bapz, a tea salon. By September it had become our 'Friday thing'. For many expats, opportunities to speak French outside of the classroom are few and far between and so we called this meetup French Fridays with the aim of speaking both French and English on a weekly basis. Often after our French Friday meetings those who would still be chatting at 7pm-ish would move on to a pub or grab a bite to eat and by October 2009, it had become an official weekly night out.

In December 2006, again over Christmas drinks (hmmm!), someone suggested an extra pub outing in January to mark our first meeting for the new year. We had our first meeting at De Danu in January 2007 and had so much fun we decided to make it a regular thing — this meeting became known as Irish Pub Nights and we met there on the last Wednesday of the month until April 2009 when Irish Pub Nights became known as Last Wednesdays and we moved to a new venue, Le Sylene (60 rue de Metz) in May 2009.

In April 2009, English in Toulouse held a logo competition and in May the official English in Toulouse logo was voted in.

In January 2010 we had officially become too big a group to continue meeting at the tea salon, Bapz, on Friday afternoons and we found a new venue in March 2010. Sadly that venue went out of business a couple of weeks later and the group started meeting at a Spanish tapas bar called Le Delicatessen. From there, it gradually turned into a Friday night pub meeting which replaced Friday afternoon tea.

With the immense success of our Friday night meetings, averaging between 30 and 50 people every week, in the summer of 2011 we axed our Wednesday night pub meetings and a new event was added to our regular meetings to counter-balance the pub nights. Christened Tea Tuesdays, this new event started in June 2011. It started to gain popularity in September 2011 and continues to attract an average of 10 to 15 people coming for tea and cake every Tuesday afternoon at Le Nouveau The on rue Tolosane.

2012 has been a big year for English in Toulouse. With a strong membership (1,364 in November 2012), and a loyal bunch of fun and active members, we now have more events than ever before! French Fridays got a new home during the summer (Le Bistrologue in Saint Cyprien) and Tea Tuesdays is going very well (mostly thanks to Michael the Canadian who kept it going every week of the year when I had to work and couldn't attend).

2012 also saw the launch of two new events: Creative writing group: an event for writers and aspiring writers, and Playtime: an event for parents and kids.

How many people are in the group and how many come to the meetings?

There are over 1400 members in English in Toulouse. The number of people, the average age and the nationalities attending events changes at every meeting, depending on the time of year, time of day, location of the event and people's availability. It's a lively group and you're bound to find someone with whom you have something in common!

I'm not fluent in French/English, can I still join?

Yes. If you can hold a conversation without using a dictionary (even if you make mistakes), then that's good enough for us! If you lack confidence or can't make yourself understood, try doing a language exchange (see below) until you are confident enough to take part in the group.

Tell me about language exchanges

  1. Register on the English in Toulouse forum
  2. Advertise or find people for a language exchange.
  3. Arrange a time and date to start communicating: E-mail, call, chat online or meet in real life. Learn from each other by doing an hour or so in your language and an hour or so in theirs.
English in Toulouse has a no advertising policy and does not promote other businesses or clubs. On the other hand, if you are a regular and active member of the group, a link to your business Web site from the English in Toulouse links page can be added on request.

Questions or comments?

General questions should be posted on the forum where they'll have a better chance at getting a useful answer than if they are sent to just one person. To post a question, you must first register on the forum.

For press enquiries or questions specifically for the organiser, please contact Narelle.

Question/Answer etiquette

I am happy for you to e-mail me and introduce yourself and of course I'm willing to answer members' questions. But, please do your own research first. You'll find that this Web site, the forum, Wikipedia and Google probably answer most of your questions already.

Questions I will not answer:

English in Toulouse in the press

For press enquiries, interviews and ready-to-download high resolution images, please visit our press page. Also, please advise Narelle if you plan on publishing a story about English in Toulouse or using our photos or logo.

Chicks Power Magazine In September 2007 we were featured in French women's magazine Chicks'Power. We're on page 68 and 69 in the article entitled Do you speak English?. Download a copy of the magazine (It's 25MB so may take a while to download).
French Property News MagazineRead the article on English in Toulouse in the May 2007 edition of French Property News — or see the whole page in colour (harder to read but better for the pictures!).

Got a question?

Narelle receives lots of e-mails every day. Before you contact her with a question she's already answered, please read the frequently asked questions, do a search of the website, check the forum and post your question on the forum. If all else fails, and it's not one of these questions you may send an e-mail.