5 “Très Bon” Independent French Bookstores You Can Only Find in the U.S.


5 “Très Bon” Independent French Bookstores You Can Only Find in the U.S.


For French students and francophiles alike, Language Magazine’s list of great French bookstores in the U.S. is sure to get readers excited to explore some new cities in search of that perfect bookstore. While, unfortunately, many bookstores have closed their doors, instead of being sad readers can say c’est la vie and celebrate these independent businesses are still living in thriving across the U.S.


Albertine Interior. Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Albertine Interior. Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Albertine, NY, NY

A project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Albertine is the only bookstore in New York to carry solely French and English titles. This dreamy bookstore is located in the official landmark Payne Whitney mansion in Manhattan on fifth avenue, and features a stellar hand-painted ceiling, busts of Voltaire and other French and French-American figures, and a replica of Michelangelo’s Young Archer. The scenery is just the beginning, though. The bookstore holds a diverse selection of titles: from literature to sci-fi, to self-help, cooking, social science, and everything in-between. The store holds events which can be viewed here.


Schoenhof's Exterior. Photo Courtesy of Shoenhof's.

Schoenhof’s Exterior. Photo courtesy of Shoenhof’s.

Schoenhof’s Foreign Books, Cambridge, MA

This bookstore is not only quite old (founded it 1856) it also boasts the largest selection of foreign books in North America. While Schoenhof’s carries a plethora of language books—be it Latin, Japanese, African languages, Asian language, among many others—One of the languages most extensively covered is French. The website lists over seven thousand French titles, and has quite the range from literary classics like The Little Price, to translations of an obscure Biography of Brigitte Bardot. This quaint Harvard Square bookstore is sure to please any inner francophile.

Tempo Bookstore. Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Tempo Bookstore. Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Tempo Bookstore, Washington, DC

This unassuming bookstore in the heart of Tenleytown could appear like a mini-mart or magazine stand. Inside, though, one can find resources for many languages—French being one of them. Packed inside the cozy store are French-language dictionaries, novels, language learning tools, children’s books, and more. Not quite your quaint old Parisian bookstore, Tempo is still a gem for language books, and the cashiers will even order books that aren’t currently in stock in the shop for customers.





European Books and Media Interior. Photo courtesy EB&M.

European Books and Media Interior. Photo courtesy EB&M.

European Books and Media, Oakland, CA

This quaint Oakland bookstore is an independent book company (librairie francaise) carrying French literature, textbooks, comic books, and more. European Books and Media (formerly European Book Company) imports directly from France and supplies schools, school districts, libraries and individuals. This Bay Area staple is a resource for French speakers wanting to find new novels to sink into, and students seeking textbooks alike.


Bonjour Mama exterior. Photo Courtesy Bonjour Mama.

Bonjour Mama exterior. Photo Courtesy Bonjour Mama.

Bonjour Mama, Kensington, MD

The small town of Kensington may seem like an unlikely place for an independent French bookstore, but given that many of its residents commute to Washington, DC and return to the suburban town, Bonjour Mama has plenty of customers for its exclusively French fare. This charming bookstore, located in the back of Kensington Row Bookshop, packs a punch in a small space with loads of French titles. The bookstore’s highlight is the vast collection of French children’s books. Bonjour Mama has translated popular titles like The Hobbit along with nature guides, and language resource books. Not to worry if children’s books aren’t of particular interest; this retailer has literary and genre fiction for the adult reader too.

June 7th, 2016 | Leave your comments

Spanish Teachers: Free Trip to Castilla Leon



The Tourist Office of Spain in Los Angeles is coordinating a trip to the autonomous region of Castilla Leon, birthplace of the Castilian language, aimed at teachers, heads of modern languages departments, or administrative staff in charge of coordinating student travel abroad.

continue reading

May 18th, 2016 | 7 Comments

Touring With Class (in Mind)

 Kristal Bivona sets her mind on turning tourism into professional development

Teaching, in general, is a profession that demands ongoing professional development, be it learning about cutting-edge pedagogical approaches, new classroom technology, or new teaching standards. As language teachers, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to travel abroad for our professional development and spend time immersed in the cultures that we teach. Even seasoned teachers with a lot of experience or natives of the target languages they teach return from trips abroad with fresh ideas for the classroom. The most mundane experiences overseas have the potential to teach a language teacher about the current events and cultural phenomena of today. continue reading

May 12th, 2016 | 1 Comment

Top Tips for Students Planning to Study in the U.S.


American stadium with confettiThe Institute for International Education’s new book offers insight to students, educators, advisors, and parents.

continue reading

May 12th, 2016 | 1 Comment

English is Great

IMG_0042 (Edited)The UK is an exciting place to live too, with a rich mix of history, culture, global influences, and opportunities to learn and progress in any chosen career. This year is particularly exciting politically, thanks to the “Brexit” referendum in June, which will decide whether or not Britain remains in the European Union. One advantage for international students is that the uncertainty has weakened the UK’s perennially strong currency—the pound.

In Brazil, there’s also a new campaign to attract even more students. English is GREAT: Speak to the World is a major, multichannel English UK campaign to promote the UK to Brazilians as the world’s premier English-language-learning destination. Funded by the GREAT UK Challenge Fund, this campaign aims to reach more than 17 million people through traveling classrooms, two video competitions, social media, and a digital video wall of current and prospective Brazilian students sharing “what English means to me.”

continue reading

May 12th, 2016 | Leave your comments

Familiarization Trip to Spain

Beautiful Valencia

Beautiful Valencia

The Tourist Office of Spain in Los Angeles, along with the Valencia Tourism Board and Fedele (Spanish Federation of Associations of Schools of Spanish as a Foreign Language) are looking for 8 U.S. agents that sell Spanish language courses in the U.S. or U.S. study abroad advisors to join a complimentary familiarization trip to Valencia, Spain from May 22nd thru May 28th, 2016.
Accommodation, food, and land transfers in Valencia are fully covered. Participants will receive a $500 voucher to cover part of the cost for the round trip flight to Valencia. The remaining cost of the flight will have to be covered by the participant.
Here is the tentative itinerary:

· Sunday 5/22: US-Valencia outbound flight.
· Monday 5/23: Arrivals in Valencia
· Tuesday 5/24: Guided tour of the city of Valencia. Visit to the City of Arts and Science and the Turia Gardens.
· Wednesday 5/25: Workshop with Fedele “Spanish Federation of Associations of Schools of Spanish as a Foreign Language).
· Thursday 5/26: Day trip to a town outside Valencia and/or visits to language schools (TD).
· Friday 5/27: Day trip to another town outside Valencia (TD)
· Saturday 5/28: Return to the US.INBOUND FLIGHT VALENCIA-US

Should you or any decision maker in your company/institution be interested, please email


May 9th, 2016 | 1 Comment

Trading Places


Judy Heflin assesses the option of teaching English in China while learning Chinese

China has been busy promoting its language and culture worldwide, and President Obama is hoping for a million Americans to learn Mandarin Chinese by the year 2020. But, while we know that learning Chinese is a great investment for the future, few of us have the resources to commit to truly immersing ourselves in the language. One of the best solutions is to teach English in China while gaining experience, traveling abroad, and being immersed in the language and culture. For those who are interested in teaching English in China, it is important to go through reputable programs to ensure a safe and positive experience. Here is a list of trustworthy organizations that have programs for teaching English in China. The requirements for each program vary, but all include competitive salaries, opportunities to travel throughout the country, and Mandarin Chinese language classes.

continue reading

March 7th, 2016 | Leave your comments

Tags: , , ,

Grants to Encourage Study Abroad in the Americas

blog2 image100,000 Strong in the Americas has announced that its Competition 6, the second funded with support from Santander Bank, will open January 15, 2015 and close March 6, 2015. Competition 6 is open to Higher Education Institutions in all countries in the Western Hemisphere without any thematic restrictions.

The last competition (#5: Promoting Study Abroad Focusing on Health and Nutrition) awarded eight 100K Strong Americas Innovation grants of $25,000 each.

There are several new and revised pages on the website of interest to you to prepare for this competition:

The  Request for Proposal (RFP), or guidelines for writing the proposal, are now accessible. Click here or visit click the “Apply for a Grant” Button.

If you have questions once you have had read the RFP, submit them by January 29, 2015. Questions can be submitted here or by copying to your browser Answers will be posted no later than February 5, 2015.

In addition to being able to ask questions there will be two informational webinars. The webinars were created for the Santander Universities network but will be open to representatives from all higher education institutions in the Western Hemisphere.

  • The first webinar will take place on January 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM EST and will be in English. To read more about it and to register click here.
  • The second webinar will take place on February 3 at 12:30 PM EST and will be in Spanish. To read more about it and to register click here.



January 12th, 2015 | Leave your comments

Obama & Peña Nieto Agree to Boost Student Exchange

187014827Building on the recently announced 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, Mexico’s President Peña Nieto and U.S. President Obama agreed to boost student exchange between the two countries during last week’s trilateral conference with Canadian PM Stephen Harper in Toluca, Mexico.

Peña Nieto explained the plan, “Specifically, we talked about education.  We have set a goal of having more academic exchanges so that more Mexican students can study in the U.S. and, reciprocally, students from the United States come to study in Mexico.  The number of students so far is somewhat low, considering the potential that we have.  And, from the 14,000 students from Mexico that go to the U.S. to study, we plan to increase that figure year by year and reach 100,000 Mexican students a year that study in the U.S., and 50,000 students from the U.S. to Mexico.”

“We want more students from the United States studying throughout the hemisphere, and we want more students from places like Mexico and Canada studying in the United States — so that they’re developing familiarity and partnerships and friendships that will serve them and serve our countries well for decades to come,” added President Obama.

February 26th, 2014 | 2 Comments

Celebrate Spain’s Cultural Diversity

There’s never been a better time to take that much-anticipated study trip to Spain

The economy is on the rebound, so there’s optimism but prices are still relatively low. And a positive aspect of the recession is that it has led the people of the country back to the roots of their culture.

Spain announced last month that it has retaken the number-three spot in world tourism in 2013, overtaking China by welcoming a record 60.6 million international visitors. Foreign tourist arrivals surged by 5.6% in the year, the government said, boosting the economy after a long recession.

“The new figures for 2013 allow our country to retake the number-three position in this indicator after having overtaken China,” Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy boasted.

Spain now stands behind only France, with 83 million international tourist arrivals, and the U.S., with 67 million, Rajoy said.

Income from foreign tourists hit record levels, too, a significant contribution to the Spanish economy, which has just emerged from five years of stop-start recession that left the nation with a 26% unemployment rate.

Spending by international tourists in the first eleven months of 2013 surged by 8.7% from the same period last year to 55.9 billion euros, government figures showed.

Even without the official figures for the whole year, it is already possible to say that 2013 was a record in terms of tourism spending, Rajoy said. The tourism industry accounted for 10.9% of Spain’s total economic output in 2012 and 11.9% of all jobs, the prime minister said. Its tourism industry association Exceltur predicts the industry will grow by 1.8% in 2014.

Spain’s economy emerged from a two-year downturn by posting 0.1% growth in the third quarter of 2013, and it expanded by 0.3% in the final quarter, Spain’s prime minister said.

Spain’s diversity makes it a cultural powerhouse. Size doesn’t hurt. It’s Western Europe’s second-largest country (after France) in terms of area, and the world’s third-largest exporter of wine, fruits, and vegetables. And it’s the incredible diversity of its people and passions that holds the key to understanding Spain’s eternal appeal.

After the dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975, a new, ultra-liberal constitution broke up centralism by handing over sweeping autonomy to the country’s 17 regions. The result was a reinvigorated sense of regional pride that had a ripple effect on every form of culture. Each region has its own distinctive personality and characteristics, which can be seen in monuments and cities, during festivities, and in traditions and gastronomy.

Spain’s Most Popular Regions for Spanish Immersion
Andalusia is a land of culture, history, fiestas, nature areas, and excellent food. Along with its outstanding monuments and wide variety of different natural landscapes, the region offers visitors the chance to take part in several unique popular events and sample a range of delicious gastronomic products. One way to discover the culture of Andalusia is by exploring the sites which have been awarded the UNESCO World Heritage designation. In Granada, there’s the Alhambra palace, the Generalife gardens, and the mediaeval Albaicín neighborhood; in Cordoba, its historic center with its great mosque; in Seville, the cathedral, the Alcázar palace, and the Indies Archive; and in Jaén, the monumental sites of Úbeda and Baeza. There are also festivals such as Easter Week, the Carnival in Cadiz, El Rocío pilgrimage in Huelva, and the April Fair in Seville. Landscapes range from the beaches of the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz, and Almería to the extensive olive groves of Jaén, as well as the Doñana National Park — also declared a World Heritage Site — and the snow-laden Sierra Nevada.

Castile-La Mancha is a land famous for its arts and crafts, for the unique monuments to be seen in its towns and cities, and for being the setting for the adventures of the famous literary hero Don Quixote of La Mancha. Any trip to this area in inland Spain should definitely include a visit to its World Heritage cities, such as Cuenca with its famous hanging houses and Toledo with its cathedral and Alcázar fortress. Some of the oldest examples of rock art in Spain can be found at Castile-La Mancha’s four archaeological parks, and the region is one of the territories in Europe with the largest number of officially designated nature reserves, nature areas, and national parks, including the Tablas de Daimiel and Cabañeros.

Castile-La Mancha hosts a wealth of traditional celebrations, including the Corpus Christi in Toledo, Easter Week in Cuenca, the Albacete Fair, and the Drum Festival in Hellín. And as befits a land of traditional customs, it also produces a variety of typical gastronomic products, such as honey from La Alcarria and marzipan from Toledo, as well as being home to numerous wineries where visitors can enjoy tasting a range of wines, including the world-renowned Valdepeñas.

Castile-León offers probably the greatest diversity of natural landscapes in Europe, as well as spectacular monuments and a varied and abundant gastronomy. It has a whole host of places well worth visiting, including towns like Avila, Salamanca, and Segovia (all three World Heritage cities) and unique attractions such as Burgos Cathedral and the Atapuerca archaeological site, which contains traces of the first settlers in Europe. The famous Way of Saint James also runs through the region and is one of the world’s most important pilgrim routes. There are nearly 40 protected natural spaces, such as the Picos de Europa National Park, with some of Spain’s finest Atlantic forests. All these areas are perfect for climbing, cycle touring, and kayaking.

The regional capital is the city of Valladolid, which is the setting for the Easter Week religious processions, declared of international tourist interest. The city also hosts a well-known film festival, the Seminci International Film Week. The province of Valladolid is also famous for being a land of castles. There are over 30 in total, including the castles of Peñafiel, Íscar, and Medina del Campo.

Each year, thousands of students come to Salamanca to learn Spanish, turning this city into a point of reference as far as language tourism is concerned.

Salamanca is a vibrant, friendly, dynamic, safe, and well-looked-after city. The prestige and tradition of its university, one of the oldest in Europe, along with its accredited teaching centers, make it the perfect destination to learn Spanish. It’s no coincidence, therefore, that the University of Salamanca is in charge of the DELE certification, an examination that is sat in over 50 countries and issued by the Spanish Ministry for Education.

Catalunya offers spectacular beaches in areas such as the Costa Brava, world-class gastronomy, and the works of famous artists such as Gaudí and Dalí. Culture abounds, from unique buildings in Barcelona (known as “the capital of Modernism”) like the Sagrada Familia Cathedral or the Palau de la Música Catalana auditorium to the outstanding archaeological site at Tarraco, the monastery of Poblet in Tarragona, the churches of the Boí valley in Lleida… all declared World Heritage sites by UNESCO. What’s more, visitors can opt to enjoy a whole range of events thanks to the programs of world-class museums like the National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres.

Visitors to this area in northeast Spain should also make a point of stopping off at the spectacular beaches of the Costa Dorada, Costa Barcelona, and Costa Brava, with such internationally renowned resorts as Salou, Sitges, Tossa de Mar, Cadaqués, Lloret de Mar, and Roses. Catalonia also has numerous marine resorts, and for outdoor types, there are the Catalan Pyrenees (with plenty of ski resorts) and the National Park of Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici.

Madrid is not only Spain’s capital city but also an autonomous region. The capital city is home to some of the most frequently visited museums in Spain, and its surroundings offer the chance to visit several outstanding monumental sites. The city of Madrid is open and welcoming, modern yet traditional, stately yet popular, lively yet peaceful… But more than anything else, it is a cultural paradise. It is home to what is known as the Triangle of Art, which contains within a limited area the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Art Center, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Tourists can also visit such impressive monuments as the Royal Palace, explore places with their own particular charm like the Plaza Mayor square or the grand avenue known as the Gran Vía, or enjoy what is considered the most exciting nightlife in Spain… as well as wander in large green spaces such as El Retiro Park and drop in to typical bars and taverns to sample a range of delicious tapas. The surrounding Madrid region offers more, such as the cities of Aranjuez, Alcalá de Henares, and San Lorenzo de El Escorial, all of which have been declared World Heritage sites, or small picturesque towns such as Chinchón, and charming mountain villages.

Spain’s other regions are just as inviting, and each offers visitors its own, unique flavor.

February 21st, 2014 | 1 Comment

Vista Chat


Newsletter Sign-Up

Banner Campaign
Banner Campaign

Want to predict the future? Analyze what people are saying now!


Language is the march of empires. Learn to be aware of developing situations as they occur. For instance, we printed in: August 2007: Moscow Moves to Promote Russian Half of Ukrainian citizens want legalization of Russian language; May 2008: Possible One-State Language for Ukraine July 2009: Ukraine House Speaker Calls for Acceptance; October 2011: Russian language in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova; January 2012: Ukraine Language Policy Approved; April 2012: Ukraine Considers Making Russian Official; July 2012: Ukraine Passes Russian Bill amid Clashes

Sign up now for breaking global language news alerts and more.