There are more than 270 million Francophones around the world. Learning the language can open a great number of new cultural and professional horizons for you. Use your stay in France to learn French.
Why learn French?
It will always be useful to know how to speak and write French, even after you leave France. More than 270 million people speak French around the world, and in nearly 30 countries, French is an official language, either by law or in practice.
French is also the language of diplomacy: it is one of the work and official languages of the UN and many international organisations such as the European Union and the Red Cross.
In France, there are over 1,300 higher education programmes in English. So you don't have to learn French to complete your studies in France and obtain a degree. Nonetheless, even if you are taking courses in English, you will still be living in France. Speaking French, at least to some extent, enables you to more easily integrate your community and to enjoy your stay even more.
How to learn French in your country
Outside France, there are three types of institutions that teach French:
- the French institutes and cultural centres, which depend directly from the French Embassy;
- the Alliances Françaises which are part of the Alliance Française foundation and are attached to the French Embassy;
- university French studies departments, which are attached to the Ministry of Higher Education in your country, sometimes supported by the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (Francophonie University Agency)
Find out if your country of residence is home to one of these organisations and how to register for classes.
You can also learn French online!
- To become familiar with French and the French culture, watch TV5 Monde, the international Francophone channel. On the Apprendre platform, it offers interactive exercises adapted to all levels of French learners.
- RFI Savoirs, the Francophone radio station, has exercises, informative dossiers and shows to help you learn and teach French.
- The Association Française pour la Formation des Adultes (French Association for Adult Learning) offers MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses), in particular on French as a Foreign Language (FLE) to teach beginners the basics.
- There are many Alliances Françaises that offer online French classes. Check the Alliance site for more information.
How to learn French in France
You can learn French in a large number of training centres in France. Adapted to beginners and also higher levels, for a short or long stay, you will find the class best-suited to you.
To ensure you learn French in the right conditions, we suggest the centres labelled "qualité FLE" (FFL quality). This certification for French training centres is a guarantee of quality linguistic training. You will find the list of these centres on the catalogue of short programmes and summer schools published by Campus France.
For more information on this subject, download the mobile application Immersion France which has all the information you will need for to learn French in France.
French language tests and certificates
There are several French tests and certificates to prove your level of French. They may sometimes be required when you enrol in an institute of higher education.
- The TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français Test of Knowledge of French) is the official test of the Ministry of National Education. Designed by the Centre International d’Etudes Pédagogiques (CIEP the International Centre For Studies in Education), some tests may be taken online and by correspondence in certain countries. The TCF scores are valid for two years.
- The TEF (Test d'Evaluation du français French Assessment) is an international reference created and distributed by the CCI of Paris Ilede-France. It assesses the level of knowledge and skill in French on a scale of 0 to 7. It is available in an electronic version, and the result is immediate. You can sit the TEF as many times as you like.
- The DELF and the DALF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française (French Language Study Diploma) and the Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (Further French Language Diploma)) are official diplomas awarded by the Ministry of National Education. They incorporate six independent diplomas that certify to the holder's ability in the four areas of language competence. They are valid indefinitely. Unlike the tests, the DELF and DALF are acquired for life.