Having never skied i booked a ski lesson through ESF Chamonix the same day that i arrived in Chamonix. Ski lessons in the valley were not cheap however i booked a private instructor for the afternoon for around $200.00.
I met the instructor at le Savoy, in the Le Brevent area. The lesson eventually paid off on the last day after a few days practice and i was able to ski down a slope.
I'm studying french at Insted Language School in Chamonix. It is a good option for visitors that would like to stay over a season in Chamonix and combine their skiing with french studies.
I find the classes quite good as a beginner and every weekday I study 4 hours whilst I ski the rest of the time. The teachers are from Université Stendhal in Grenoble and the language courses are given by their institution for French as a foreign language, Centre Universitaire d'Etudes Françaises (CUEF). I feel the level of education is very good for me as a beginners.
Minimum course length in 2 weeks (which I'm doing) and most of the people in my class study a full season of 13-15 weeks of french. Like I said... Studying french is a good paralell activity to motivate a full season of skiing in Chamonix.