Latest News – French Courses

The Institut français will participate to the Language Show from 16-18 October at Olympia.

Save the date and visit us!

> Click here for further info

Open Day BQB

Our renovated Children’s Library has reopened under the name Bibliothèque Quentin Blake. Come and visit us!

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Language Centre Summer Hours

Open Day in Kentish Town

9 Sept from 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Visit us to our North London branch and discover our range of courses.

For further info click here

Summer Closure

Please note that La Médiathèque will be closed until Tue 1 Sept noon. The Institut français – Ciné Lumière & Le Bistrot – and the Language Centre are open as usual.


The “European Pack for Complementary Training”

The “European Pack for Complementary Training” is aimed at graduates studying for a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) teaching modern languages and foreign language assistants new to the UK. The partners are the Consejería de Educación, the Consolato Generale d’Italia, the Institut français and two university education departments from King’s College London and St Mary’s University London. This project is supported by the British Council, the Centre International d’Etudes Pédagogiques (CIEP), the European Commission Representation in the UK and the Goethe-Institut.

Another appearance on the BBC Breakfast Sofa!

Primary French Project Consultant, Catherine Cheater, was invited again on 22 June to appear on BBC Breakfast, this time to discuss from the perspective of primary schools the feasibility of increasing the number of lesser-taught languages in the UK education system. This was in response to the CBI report in which UK businesses stressed how important it is that employees be able to speak a European language, and that there is an increasing demand for lesser-taught languages such as Mandarin and Arabic.
Catherine put forward her personal view that continuity at transition between key stages and schools is important. The Primary French “Niveau Multicolore” aims at helping the secondary teachers to understand the experience of MFL teaching in Primary schools and seeks to keep pupils interested in learning a MFL.

Pictured on the BBC Breakfast sofa are Roger Johnson, Catherine Cheater, James Kent and Naga Munchetty.

French language prized by the English firms

According to a recent study led by the UK’s premier business lobbying organisation, the CBI, there is a growing need of foreign-language skills in business. Nearly two-thirds of around 300 UK firms surveyed by the CBI said they preferred staff with these skills. Although Arabic and Mandarin are more and more valued, French remains the most useful foreign language for these firms. Last year a report by the British Council urged schools to teach a wider range of languages and to give these skills the same status as science and maths.

The Into Film Festival 2014

Tue 4 – Fri 21 Nov

For a school trip that’s educational, exciting, fun — and free — look no further than the Into Film Festival 2014, the world’s largest film festival for children and young people, taking place from the 4-21 November.

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South Ken Kids Festival

Mon 17 – Sun 23 Nov

Our children’s literature festival is back with the best authors and illustrators from both sides of the Channel! To book workshops in your school or events at the Institut français, email Milène Josse at

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Language Show

Fri 17 – Sun 19 Oct
Join us at the Language Show to find out more about what the Institut has to offer schools and teachers. Free to attend, it’s your chance to sample the latest language tools for your classes. Stop by our stand for freebies and special offers!

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The “Concours des 10 mots” in partnership with the Tate

The contest “Le concours des 10 mots” initiated by the French Ministry of Culture is organised every year for the Francophonie Week. Pupils learning French are invited to work on ten words in a creative way. In partnership with the Tate, the Institut français organised a contest highlighting the relations between art and language. The theme for 2014 was “Dis-moi dix mots à la folie” and the words were: ambiancer, à tire-larigot, charivari, enlivrer (s’), faribole, hurluberlu, ouf, timbré, tohu-bohu, zigzag.
Pupils were encouraged to create a collective artistic piece of work inspired by one or more words of the selection. The London-based Reay Primary School won the 1st Prize and its contribution will be featured on the BP Art Exchange website in autumn 2014.

The theme for 2015 is “Dis-moi 10 mots que tu accueilles” and exemplifies the mixed nature of French language. The ten words reflect linguistic diversity: amalgame (Arabic), bravo (Italian), cibler (Alemannic), grigri (used in Africa and in West Indies), inuit (Inuktitut), kermesse (Flemish), kitsch (German), sérendipité (English), wiki (Hawaïan), zénitude (from “zen”, Japanese).

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British Academy Awards 2015

Win £6000 for your French teaching from the British Academy

Does your school, college or partnership have a project which increases numbers or attainment in French? You should apply for a British Academy Schools Language Award! See

Deadline for applications: 30 June 2015.
Register your interest by Mon 4 May (by emailing and we’ll help you with your application.