Learn French

Thinking of joining one of our courses?

Congratulations!

Learning a new language at any stage of adulthood, old age included, is extremely good for improving and maintaining the memory generally.

"Because it requires intense focus, studying a new language turns on the control system for plasticity and keeps it in good shape for laying down sharp memories of all kinds. You will gradually sharpen everything up again, and that will be very highly benefical to you." 
    From "The Brain That Changes Itself" (Author: Merzenich)

Thank you for showing an interest in our courses.

Read on to see details of the prerequisites required for each of our various class levels.

Whether you be a 'real beginner' or you already have some knowledge of French and you decide to choose to join one of our classes, you will be encouraged - 'coached' - to develop and use the 4 essential skills involved in the learning and being able to use a language:

Oral skills:

  •     Being able to understand spoken French
  •     Being able to communicate in French, to make yourself understood orally

Written skills:

  •     Being able to understand written French
  •     Being able to write in French, to make yourself understood in writing

These skills imply using grammar and vocabulary. Neither are systematically taught as such. On the contrary, learners are 'led' to need and use them both in an active, interactive, relaxed and enjoyable way.

You will also get to know or know more about the civilisation of French-speaking countries and French-speaking people's idiosyncrasies.

Our tuition is in strict accordance with the 'Language European Common Reference Frame' (CERF: Cadre Européen de Référence pour les langues). See Table 3 p.26-27 of The Common European Framework of Reference For Languages.

The CERF advocates for task-focused learning, ongoing assessment, self-assessment and the awareness of the plurality of languages and cultures.

On the following pages you will find descriptions of the prerequisites for our various class levels. Please note that the levels for some of the classes currently being offered are marked with an asterisk. Read the information for each level to assist you to decide the course most suitable for you.


Absolute Beginners*

No course prerequisites except motivation, an urge to have fun learning and readiness to do a bit of 'homework'!!!!!!

Please note that if you have had some tuition in French previously,  the teacher will nevertheless go at the ‘real’ beginners’ pace.


Beginners Level 2*

Communication Skills 1:

  • Being able to make contact with somebody, to greet them formally or informally, to apologize, to spell, to count up to 100
  • Knowing when and how to use 'tu' or 'vous'
  • Getting familiar with genders (masculine and feminine) of inanimate words

Communication Skills 2:

  • Being able to introduce yourself or others and ask somebody else to introduce themselves.
  • Knowing how to fill in a form
  • Knowing the 'definite articles': le, la, les
  • Knowing all the subject personal pronouns: je, tu, etc
  • Knowing how to ask and answer questions related to name, age, address, telephone number, email address, nationality
  • Knowing how to use the verbs (conjugate),être, avoir, s'appeler, 'habiter, travailler, apprendre in the present tense
  • Knowing adjectives of nationality (masculine and feminine), names of countries and their gender

Communication Skills 3:

  • Being able to deliver personal information
  • Being able to express an opinion (penser, aimer, adorer, détester) 
  • Being able to express what we like and dislike, what our passions and dreams are 
  • Knowing how to use the negative form: ne…….pas
  • Being able to talk about our hobbies/pastimes,
  • Being able to ask somebody else to talk about themselves
  • Knowing interrogative words: qui, quand, où, quel/le, combien
  • Being able to deliver personal information about somebody else
  • Being able to express possession
  • Knowing when to use 'possessive adjectives': mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa

Communication Skills 4:

  • Knowing days of the week and months
  • Knowing the times of day
  • Knowing the prepositions + names of countries: en France, au Portugal
  • Communication Skills 5:
  • Being able to spell
  • Knowing the alphabet
  • Knowing when and how to use tu or vous
  • Knowing adjective of nationalities (masculine/feminine)
  • Knowing names of languages
  • Knowing names of countries and their genders
  • Knowing the definite articles: le, la, les
  • Knowing the subject personal pronouns: je, tu, il, elle, nous, vous, ils, elles
  • Knowing how to use and conjugate in the present tense the verbs être and s'appeler

Communication Skills 5:

  • Have some notions of what the Francophonie is

 

To sum it up in terms of grammatical knowledge:

- definite (le,la, les) and indefinite articles (un, une, des) and when to use them
- how genders work: masculine/feminine
- singular/plural: changes
- verbs: how to conjugate (être, avoir, s’appeler); verbs in er (aimer, habiter, etc) in the present tense, which implies knowing the subject personal   pronouns: je, tu, il/elle, nous, vous, ils/elles
- how to use the negative form: ne……….pas
- interrogative words: quel/le, qui, où, quand


Beginners Level 3

Communication Skills 1:

  • Being able to make contact with somebody, to greet them, to  apologise, to spell
  • Knowing when and how to use tu or vous
  • Understanding and being able to use some non-verbal  communicative gestures French people use
  • Getting familiar with genders (masculine and feminine) of inanimate words

Communication Skills 2:

  • Being able to introduce yourself or others and ask somebody else to introduce themselves
  • Knowing how to fill in a form
  • Knowing the definite articles: le, la, les
  • Knowing the subject personal pronouns: je, tu, il, elle, vous
  • Knowing how to ask and answer questions related to name, age, address, telephone number
  • Knowing how to use the verbs (conjugate) être, avoir, s'appeler, habiter, travailler, apprendre in the present tense
  • Knowing adjectives of nationality
  • Knowing how to count from 1 to 69

Communication Skills 3:

  • Being able to deliver personal information
  • Being able to express an opinion
  • Being able to express what we like and dislike
  • Being able to talk about our hobbies/pastimes
  • Being able to ask somebody else to talk about themselves
  • Being able to deliver personal information about somebody else
  • Being able to express possession
  • Knowing when to use possessive adjectives: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa
  • Knowing when to use du/de la in faire de la natation or faire du tennis
  • Knowing when to use on/nous
  • Knowing how to use negation: ne....pas
  • Knowing how to conjugate -er verbs in the present tense
  • Knowing names of sports, jobs
  • Knowing numbers after 69

Beginners Level 4

Communication Skills 1:

  • Being able to make contact with somebody, to greet them, to apologize, to spell
  • Knowing when and how to use tu or vous
  • Understanding and being able to use some non-verbal  
  • Communicative gestures French people use
  • Getting familiar with genders (masculine and feminine) of inanimate words

Communication Skills 2:

  • Being able to introduce yourself or others and ask somebody else to introduce themselves
  • Knowing how to fill in a form
  • Knowing the definite articles: le, la, les
  • Knowing the subject personal pronouns: je, tu, il, elle, vous
  • Knowing how to ask and answer questions related to name, age
  • Address, telephone number
  • Knowing how to use the verbs (conjugate): être, avoir, s'appeler, habiter, travailler, apprendre in the present tense
  • Knowing adjectives of nationality
  • Knowing how to count from 1 to 69

Communication Skills 3:

  • Being able to deliver personal information both orally and in written French
  • Being able to express an opinion
  • Being able to express what we like and dislike
  • Being able to talk about our hobbies/pastimes
  • Being able to ask somebody else to talk about themselves
  • Being able to deliver personal information about somebody else
  • Being able to express possession
  • Knowing when to use possessive adjectives: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa
  • Knowing when to use du/de la in faire de la natation or faire du tennis
  • Knowing how to conjugate -er verbs in the present tense
  • Knowing vocabulary related to the family, to status (célibataire, marié/e, etc)
  • Knowing names of sports, jobs

Communication Skills 4:

  • Being able to speak about what you did in the past using verbs ending in -er, aller included
  • Knowing how  to conjugate 'e passé composé

Beginners Level 5

 See prerequisites for Beginners Level 2, plus:

Communication Skills 6:

Being able to talk about your town/village
- nowing the vocabulary related to shops, public places, etc
- knowing how to ask for and give directions
- knowing ordinal numbers: premier, première, deuxième, septième, etc
- knowing prepositions such as : à côté de, en face, derrière, devant, etc
- giving and understanding an itinerary
- knowing pourquoi, parce que and its contraction parce qu’

Communication Skills 7:

Being able to make a hotel/Backpackers, etc, booking
- asking for or reading information related to accomodation
- knowing how to thank and respond to somebody thanking you
- knowing how to talk of means of transport: aller à bicyclette, prendre le bus, descendre du train

Communication Skills 8:

Being able to write a postcard:
- giving one’s impressions on a place
- talking about one’s activities
- ask/give information about the country one is coming from or going to
- say what the weather is like

Communication Skills 9:

Being able to give personal information about one’s tastes, one’s hobbies, interests, jobs, etc
Being able to give information about somebody’s temperament and to describe them physically


Grammatical knowledge:

As for Beginners Level 2, plus:
- when to choose definite or indefinite articles:
   il y a un petit musée d’art contemporain dans ma ville // le musée d’art contemporain dans ma ville est ouvert tous les jours
- how to ask a question with ’est-ce que’
- how to use articles contractés: au cinéma, près du cinéma,
- how to conjugate: prendre, descendre, aller, faire and venir in the present tense
- demonstrative articles, when to use them, which one according to the gender of the noun which follows: ce, cette, ces
- Faire/aller + articles contractés: aller au restaurant, faire du sport 
- masculine, feminine, plural of adjectives, e.g.: grand, grande, grands, grandes
- pronoms personnels toniques, e.g.: selon moi, je vais avec toi


Beginners Level 6*

Communication Skills 1:

  • Being able to make contact with somebody, to greet them, to apologize, to spell
  • Knowing when and how to use tu or vous
  • Understanding and being able to use some non-verbal communicative gestures French people use
  • Getting familiar with genders (masculine and feminine) of inanimate words

Communication Skills 2:

  • Being able to introduce yourself or others and ask somebody else to introduce themselves.
  • Knowing how to fill in a form
  • Knowing the definite articles: le, la, les
  • Knowing the subject personal pronouns: je, tu, il, elle, vous
  • Knowing how to ask and answer questions related to name, age, address, telephone number
  • Knowing how to use the verbs (conjugate), être, avoir, s'appeler, habiter, travailler, apprendre in the present tense
  • Knowing adjectives of nationality
  • Knowing how to count from 1 to 69

Communication Skills 3:

  • Being able to deliver personal information both orally and in written French
  • Being able to express an opinion
  • Being able to express what we like and dislike
  • Being able to talk about our hobbies/pastimes
  • Being able to ask somebody else to talk about themselves
  • Being able to deliver personal information about somebody else
  • Being able to express possession
  • Knowing when to use possessive adjectives: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa
  • Knowing when to use du/de la in faire de la natation or faire du tennis
  • Knowing when to use on/nous
  • Knowing how to use negation: ne.... pas, pas... de
  • Knowing how to conjugate -er verbs in the present tense
  • Knowing vocabulary related to the family, to status (célibataire, marié/e, etc)
  • Knowing names of sports, jobs
  • Knowing numbers after 69
  • Knowing when to use on, c'est/il est
  • Knowing when to use si versus oui/non

Communication Skills 4:

  • Being able to speak about what you did in the past using verbs ending in -er, aller included
  • Knowing how  to conjugate le passé composé

Communication Skills 5:

  • Being able to talk about routines: being able to say how often you do something
  • Being able to ask somebody how often they do such or such thing:
  • Knowing the expression combien de fois and when to use it
  • Knowing when and how to use jamais, parfois, souvent,  toujours
  • Knowing how to ask questions:
- in a formal way: "Êtes-vous libre samedi?"
- using est-ce que: "Est-ce que vous êtes libre samedi?
- in a more informal way, using the right intonation: "Tu es libre samedi?"

Communication Skills 6:

  • Being able to ask somebody to do something in a formal or informal manner
  • Knowing when to use: j'aimerais, pourriez-vous? puis-je?

Communication Skills 7:

  • Being able to talk about one's own plans and to ask somebody else about their own plans in a near future
  • Knowing when/how to use the immediate future: aller+ infinitive
  • Knowing how to use the imperative to give orders: va/allez, etc
  • Knowing how to form the plural of nouns
  • Knowing when/how to use il y a
  • Knowing all the subject pronouns: je/tu/il/elle/on/nous/vous/ils/elles
  • Knowing how to conjugate pouvoir, vouloir, aller, and reflexive verbs, e.g s'appeler, in the present tense

Elementary Level 2

Communication Skills 1:

  • Being able to make contact with somebody, to greet them, to apologize, to spell
  • Knowing when and how to use tu or vous
  • Understanding and being able to use some non-verbal communicative gestures French people use
  • Getting familiar with genders (masculine and feminine) of inanimate words

Communication Skills 2:

  • Being able to introduce yourself or others and ask somebody else to introduce themselves
  • Knowing how to fill in a form
  • Knowing the definite articles: le, la, les
  • Knowing the subject personal pronouns: je, tu, il, elle, vous
  • Knowing how to ask and answer questions related to name, age, address, telephone number
  • Knowing how to use the verbs (conjugate) être, avoir, s'appeler, habiter, travailler, apprendre in the present tense
  • Knowing adjectives of nationality
  • Knowing how to count from 1 to 69

Communication Skills 3:

  • Being able to deliver personal information
  • Being able to express an opinion
  • Being able to express what we like and dislike
  • Being able to talk about our hobbies/pastimes
  • Being able to ask somebody else to talk about themselves
  • Being able to deliver personal information about somebody else
  • Being able to express possession
  • Knowing when to use possessive adjectives: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa
  • Knowing when to use du/de la in faire de la natation or faire du tennis
  • Knowing when to use on/nous
  • Knowing how to use negation: ne....pas
  • Knowing how to use: oui/non/si
  • Knowing how to conjugate -er verbs in the present tense
  • Knowing names of sports, jobs
  • Knowing numbers after 69

Communication Skills 4:

  • Being able to talk about routines: being able to say how often you do something
  • Being able to ask somebody how often they do such and such a thing
  • Knowing the expression combien de fois and when to use it
  • Knowing when and how to use jamais, parfois, souvent, toujours
  • Being able to speak about what you did in the past
  • Getting familiar with the passé composé, e.g ., nous avons visité Paris, nous avons adoré!, using verbs ending in -er, aller included

Communication Skills 5:

  • Being able to ask somebody to do something in a formal or more informal manner
  • Knowing when to use: j'aimerais, pourriez-vous?, puis-je?

Communication Skills 6:

  • Being able to talk and to ask somebody else about one's plans in a near future
  • Knowing when/how to use the immediate future: aller + infinitive
  • Knowing how to use the imperative to give orders: va/allez, etc
  • Knowing how to form the plural of nouns
  • Knowing when/how to use il y a
  • Knowing all the subject pronouns: je/tu/il/elle/on/nous/vous/ils/elles
  • Knowing how to conjugate pouvoir, vouloir, aller and reflexive verbs in the present tense, e.g., s'appeler
  • Knowing the days of the week, the months of the year
  • Knowing expressions with avoir, e.g: avoir faim, avoir de la chance, etc.

Communication Skills 7:

  • Being able to suggest, refuse, accept an invitation
  • Being able to ask/say what time it is
  • Being able to indicate the date
  • Being able to make an appointment
  • Being able to express one's opinion, one's likes and dislikes in a formal/informal way
  • Being able to 'negotiate' in order to come to an agreement
  • Knowing how to ask questions:

         - in a formal way: Êtes-vous libre samedi?
         - using est-ce que: Est-ce que vous êtes libre samedi?
         - in a more informal way, using the right intonation: Tu es libre samedi?

  • Knowing how to use je pense que, j'espère que
  • Knowing the pronouns after a preposition: avec lui, chez moi
  • Knowing how to conjugate: être, avoir, venir, savoir, connaître, pouvoir in the present tense
  • Knowing time and date
  • Knowing the days of the week and the months

Communication Skills 8:

  • Being able to express one's opinion: both positive and negative and to ask for somebody else's one
  • Being able to express quantities
  • Know when to use the definite articles:le/la/les or the partitive ones: du/de la/des
  • Know how to express quantities in the negative: pas.....de
  • Know how to use expressions like: un peu de, beaucoup de, etc
  • Know how to ask questions related to quantities: combine de/qu'est-ce que
  • Know how to use the pronoun en
  • Know how to conjugate prendre in the present tense
  • Know vocabulary related to food, drinks, meals

Elementary Level 5

 See prerequisites for Beginners Levels, plus:

Being able to talk about on’s plans for the future and to ask somebody else about theirs:
a near future
- knowing when/how to use the immediate future: aller+ infinitive
- knowing how to use the imperative to give orders: va/allez, etc
- knowing when/how to use il y a
- knowing how to conjugate pouvoir, vouloir, prendre, boire, payer, offrir in the present tense
Being able to ask somebody to do something (formal way)
Being able to order/request and stop somebody from doing something
- knowing how to use : imperative: il faut, devoir,
Being able to offer/accept/refuse an invitation
Being able to make an appointment over the phone
- knowing how to ask/give time
- knowing how to say the date
Being able to give one’s opinion: both positive and negative and write a review
Being able to ask for prices, order a meal in a restaurant

Being able to give advice

Being able to recount past events

Grammatical knowledge:
As for Beginner level 5, plus:
- all possessive adjectives, gender and number
- mon/ma/mes, ton/ta/tes, etc
- how to conjugate l‘impératif: affirmative and negative
- 3 ways of asking questions: Viens-tu?/est-ce-que tu viens?/Tu viens?
- savoir/connaître: when to use one or the other
- pronoms personnels toniques: moi, toi, soi, nous, vous, eux
- pronoms personnels compléments d’objet direct: me/m’, te/t’, le/l’, la/l’, nous, vous, les: il me plait, tu les vois quand?
- when to use le ‘passé composé’ and its conjugation according to the verb used: je suis allée en France en juillet, j’ai découvert l’Ardèche avec ma soeur, nous avons adoré!
- conjugation and use of plaire/faire plaisir
- expression of quantity: un peu de , beaucoup de, etc


Elementary Level 9

The level of that class corresponds to the B1 level in the CEFR: The Common European Framework of Reference For Languages
'In this class, students are expected to be able to 
- understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, shopping, leisure, travelling, etc. 
- deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. 
- produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
- describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.'

In term of grammatical knowledge* it translates in 
a) knowing when and how to use the following tenses: 
- le présent de l'indicatif
- les futurs: proche et autre
- l'impératif présent
- le passé composé and know the rules of 'agreement'
- l'imparfait de l'indicatif and have a notion of when to use one (le passé composé) or the other (l'imparfait de l'indicatif)
b) in having a notion of 
- le conditionel présent 
- le présent du subjonctif
c) in knowing when and how to use 
- les pronoms personnels compléments 'object pronouns'
. d'objet direct 'direct objects' (me, te, le, la, l', nous, vous, les)
. d'objet indirect 'indirect objects' (me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur)
. toniques 'disjunctive pronouns' (moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, elles/eux) 
* not exhaustive

For a self assessment , you can go to TABLE 2 Common Reference Level: self-assessment grid, page 35 of The Common European Framework of Reference For Languages For Languages: learning, teaching, assessment. 


Upper Intermediate Level 

Be able to interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.

Conversation*

Prerequisites: Upper Intermediate Level

Improve your conversational French and keep it ’alive’ . We will be using different media: newspapers, magazines, newsreels, videos, films, etc, and you will be able to participate in stimulating exchange of opinions about everything French or related to the ‘Francophonie’ and also about any subject matter you wish to debate. 

Note: In this course the teacher is more a 'facilitator' allowing conversation to flow as naturally as possible.

 

Upcoming Events

French Conversation at Miss Lizzie's, Lismore
  Mon 23rd Jul/2018
    5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Mini French Film Festival
  Fri 24th - Sun 26th Aug/2018
    12:00 am - 12:00 am

Local Radio

French radio programmes

  • "French Connection" with Melissa
    Monday, 8-10pm on RiverFM 92.9