French for Beginners
At a Glance
- Classroom course
- Tuesdays 18:00 - 20:00
- 20 weeks: January to July
- Tutor: Laurence Zanier
- Fees from £280 to £470
French is one of the most popular languages to study amongst adult learners. It is one of the Romance languages that emerged from common Latin at the end of the Roman Empire in Western Europe after the fifth century CE, and is the language of our nearest continental European neighbour. It is a popular language to learn for many reasons, whether you plan to holiday in France or Belgium, settle in either country or simply do business with the francophone world. Or maybe you are just fascinated by French culture.
Whatever the reason, as a language French is spoken as the first language by 77 million people worldwide, with an estimated 321 million French speakers when you include those who speak it as a second-language. In addition to France and Belgium, it is also the lingua franca (almost literally!) in parts of Switzerland, parts of Canada and many parts of Africa, amongst others.
The classes we offer at Imperial College are designed to help you develop your language skills quickly and effectively, in a friendly and supportive environment led by expert tutors.
This introductory course for applicants with no or very little prior knowledge of French will provide a general foundation in the language and culture of French speaking countries so that you can deal with a range of predictable, everyday communicative situations, interacting at a very basic level, orally and in writing.
Our approach following communicative and active learning methodologies ensures that you engage with a wide range of tasks and activities covering all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). These activities will include pair work and groupwork; discovery and formulation of grammatical rules; work with texts and audio-visual material.
Upon completion of the course you should be able to perform at Level A1.1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
You will gain a practical understanding of essential grammar terminology, recognise familiar words and very basic phrases about yourself, your family and immediate tangible surroundings. You will be able to understand simple questions and information and interact in a very basic way with native speakers in a situation of routine and predictable situations. You will be able to extract key information from short and very simple written documents (messages, notices, instructions, brochures etc.) and write very short messages and emails. You will also gain initial insight into of the culture of France and French-speaking countries.
On this course, you will cover the following linguistic structures: present tense; reflexive verbs; modal verbs (vouloir, devoir, pouvoir); imperative; near future; introduction to past tense (perfect); articles; possessives; agreement rules of nouns and adjectives. These linguistic structures will be applied to social interactions, everyday life, home and the family; holidays and leisure, travel, eating and drinking; giving and understanding information and expressing preferences; selected cultural areas and personalities of the French-speaking countries.
Where applicable, textbook details will be provided by the tutor. Course textbooks need not be purchased before the first course session.
This course will be taught face-to-face in the classrooms at our South Kensington Campus in London. To take part in the course you will need to be able to attend our South Kensington Campus each week on the day and time shown above.
These classes are not recorded
Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate
Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment
What language level should I choose?
Choosing the right language level
It is very important to book onto a course which is a good match for your level of ability, and we aim to make the process of deciding which is the right course level for you as simple as possible.
If you are a complete beginner you should, of course, enrol on a Beginner's course.
If you have some experience in the language you wish to study please first review our course descriptions to try to identify the course level which should be most suitable for you. Especially if you are out of practice in a language, or have been out of formal education for a while, please be reasonably sure and realistic about your level of proficiency prior to proceeding with enrolment.
Even if you know you have only a basic knowledge of French, please use the Level Check Website to complete an online assessment of your French language level before proceeding with enrolment.
Please contact our Assistant French Coordinator with any questions about your level: Dr Tatiana Codreanu, email@example.com
Course Fees and Discounts
|Hours||Weeks||Standard Rate||Internal Rate||Associate Rate|
|40||20||£470 (£11.75 p/h)
||£280 (£7 p/h)||£370 (£9.25 p/h)|
|All fee rates quoted are for the whole 2-term course. Part-payments are not possible. Equivalent to hourly rate is shown for comparison guidance only, it is not possible to pay pro-rata hourly rates.|
Rate Categories and Discounts
- Available to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.
- Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
- Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
- Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
- Students, staff and Governors of Woodhouse College and the IC Mathematics School
- Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
- Austrian Cultural Forum staff
- City & Guilds College Association members
- Co-operative College members
- Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
- Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
- Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
- Friends of Leighton House/ Sambourne House
- Friends of the Royal College of Music
- Harrods staff
- Historic Royal Palaces staff
- Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
- Members of the Friends of Imperial College
- Members of the Kennel Club
- Members of the London Zoological Society
- Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
- Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- National Health Service (NHS) employees
- Natural History Museum staff
- Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
- Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
- Royal Geographical Society staff
- Science Museum staff
- Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
- Students (non-Imperial College)
- Teachers and other staff of UK schools
- Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
- Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
- Victoria and Albert Museum staff
It is possible to enrol on many of our adult education courses after the course has already started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.
Friends and Family Scheme
This course is eligible for the Friends and Family scheme, allowing Imperial College students and staff to share their discount with their friends and family.
Term Dates 2022-2023
|Hours||Weeks||Spring term||Summer term||Summer School|
|40||20||Week commencing 16 January to week ending 25 March 2023 (10 weeks)||Week commencing 1 May to week ending 8 July 2023 (10 weeks)*||n/a|
|*Term 1 and 2 are separated by the Easter break.|
For Spanish Intermediate Plus please note: Mondays 1st, 8th and 29th May 2023 are Bank Holidays. The teacher will decide with the group whether class takes place as normal or whether the dates will be replaced with 3 classes to be added at the end of the course in July
Web enrolment is now open
Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:
- Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
- If you are a first-time eStore user you will need to create an account before enrolling. You can do this by entering an email address and password. This account can then be used for any future enrolments via the eStore.
When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:
|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Is sent straight away following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Is usually sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
If you have any questions about the academic content or teaching of these courses please contact our Assistant French Language Coordinator, Dr Tatiana Codreanu, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions about your enrolment or payment processes please contact the Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi, email@example.com