Culture & Society | Institut français du Royaume-Uni

Culture & Society

Culture & Society Courses are great for those with Intermediate to Mastery level French (B1 and above) who wish to develop their language skills and broaden their knowledge of French culture. Choose your topic: Art, Literature or Society.

Book two 2018 courses on the same day and get £50 off your second course! (£620 in total)
This offer cannot be combined with any other offer.

Courses may be cancelled if there is an insufficient number of students enrolled. We encourage our students to register at least five days in advance.

  • Except for Young Learners courses, all classes are for students aged 18 and over.
  • For more information about our level structure, please see Your Path to Success.
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Study of London Exhibitions
Intermediate to Expert (B1 to C1)
Thu | 1.30pm – 4.30pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

Polish your linguistic skills and enhance your appreciation of art.

For those with an interest in art and the history of art.

Tutor: The tutor has a degree in History of Art and Museology from the Ecole du Louvre, as well as a degree from the Courtauld Institute. She researches and catalogues French national collections, and has many years’ experience in teaching French as a foreign language.

Aims: You will develop your knowledge of art history: of artists and their works, of iconography, of patrons and collectors, of the techniques used in the artists’ works, of laboratory analysis and restoration techniques, and finally of the actual exhibition of these works (how such exhibitions are conceived, developed, displayed and catalogued).
You will develop your communication and debating skills and improve your listening comprehension using authentic documents.
Trips, research, conversations and debates – all of these activities will allow you to approach the world of art in an active and dynamic way.

Teaching approach:
Visits to five exhibitions chosen by students
Dialogue and discussion on the exhibition spaces
More extensive study of a subject of your choice relating to each of these exhibitions
Oral presentation of your study and coordination of the ensuing discussion
Sharing ideas on the topic being studied
Development of vocabulary and grammar in context

Course materials: The course will be based on visits to London exhibitions, the study of the artworks themselves, exhibition catalogues, presentation videos by experts and critical articles.

The course will aim to consolidate learners’ written and spoken French (specialised vocabulary, accent and syntax, discriminating between registers of language); to improve students’ listening comprehension; and to facilitate quick and fluent speaking.
Student’s involvement: The students will choose which exhibitions we visit. They will select the subjects that they would like to study in more depth and then present in their fortnightly communication – the topics which they wish to discuss in class. Students should allow for the cost of entry into exhibitions, though this will be reduced through use of membership cards.

18 Jan - 22 Mar 2018
18 Oct - 20 Dec 2018
19 Apr - 21 Jun 2018
Contemporary Literature
Expert (C1)
Wed | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

Learn to enjoy reading and discussing contemporary literature.

For those wishing to expand their knowledge of classical and contemporary French literature.

Tutor: Marie-Laure Balistreri is a literature expert (with a Master’s in Language and Literature) and a researcher who specialises in French literature.

Aims: This course offers an exploration of styles, themes (ideas) and diverse literary approaches.

Teaching approach: The course will be based on individual reading of the chosen novels and on active discussion of each, following a study plan which will be given at the start of the course.

Course materials for 2018: The teacher will mainly use nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels.

– “La débacle”, Emile Zola
– “Cyrano de Bergerac” Edmond Rostand
– “La débacle”, Emile Zola
– “La petite fille de Monsieur Linh”, Philippe Claudel

17 Jan - 02 May 2018
Contemporary Literature
Fluent to Expert (B2 to C1)
Thu | 10.00am to 1.00pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

For those wishing to gain insight into French society while perfecting their linguistic skills.

Tutor: Christiane Di Matteo has four masters degrees: Language Engineering, French as a Foreign Language, English and Literary Translation.

Aims: To discuss various books (mostly contemporary ) & to work on different  linguistic points.

Teaching approach: Analysis and commentary of Francophone novels  & improvement of vocabulary & grammar.

Course materials : 

Jan – Mar 2018: “Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran”, Schmitt, Eric-Emmanuel (Scolaire)

Jan – Mar 2018: “Le Gone Du Chaâba”, Begag, Azouz (Poche)

Mar – June 2018: “Le Bal”, Némirovsky, Irène (Essai – broché)

Mar – June 2018: “Entre les murs” Bégaudeau, (Folio)

Student’s involvement: Students will be asked to take part in discussions and express their point of view in a relaxed and interactive environment.

11 Jan - 15 Mar 2018
22 Mar - 07 Jun 2018
Contemporary Literature
Expert to Mastery (C1 to C2)
Thu | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

Learn to enjoy reading and discussing contemporary literature.

For those who wish to broaden their knowledge of French through studying literary works.

Tutor: Brigitte Coudino is a graduate of Sciences Po and has been a teacher for several years.

Aims: To discover different contemporary French authors.

Teaching approach: Students will be asked to read and prepare about fifty pages before each lesson, so that certain passages can be read, analysed and discussed in class.

 Course material for January 2018:
1. “Palafox” Eric Chevillard, collection double Editions de Minuit
2. “Boussole” Mathias Enard, collection Babel
 Student must have the book for the first lesson.
18 Jan - 03 May 2018
Language and French Society
Fluent to Expert (B2 to C1)
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking)

Improve your language skills & discuss current cultural and social issues.

For those wishing to gain insight into French society while perfecting their linguistic skills.

Tutor: Brigitte Coudino (Monday) / Joelle Miguet (Friday)

Aims: To discuss various themes (news, politics, culture, education, work, leisure, etc.) to better understand the different faces of contemporary society and improve linguistic skills (spoken production and listening comprehension).

Teaching approach: Analysis and commentary of authentic audio and written materials, presentations and discussions, guided reading of literary texts.

Course materials: Press articles, surveys, excerpts from radio, TV, films, books, adverts, songs, etc.

Student’s involvement: Students will be asked to take part in discussions and express their point of view in a relaxed and interactive environment.

Mon | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
15 Jan - 30 April 2018
Fri | 9.30am – 12.30pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
12 Jan - 16 Mar 2018
23 Mar - 08 Jun 2018
Language and French Society
Expert to Mastery (C1 to C2)
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

Improve your language skills & discuss current cultural and social issues.

For those wishing to gain insight into French society while perfecting their linguistic skills.

Tutor: Christiane Di Matteo has four masters degrees: Language Engineering, French as a Foreign Language, English and Literary Translation.

Aims: To discuss various themes (news, politics, culture, education, work, leisure, etc.) to better understand the different faces of contemporary society and improve linguistic skills (spoken production and listening comprehension).

Teaching approach: Analysis and commentary of authentic audio and written materials, presentations and discussions, guided reading of literary texts.

Course materials for January to March 2018:

Tuesday and Thursday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm
– “Alabama Song” (biog), Gilles Leroy
– “Corniche Kennedy” (Marseille) ou autre MdK, Maylis de Kerangal  – “Le testament français”. Goncourt 2015 (Ac Fr), Andreï Makine

Tuesday from 10am to 1pm
– TBC

Student’s involvement: Students will be asked to take part in discussions and express their point of view in a relaxed and interactive environment.

Tue | 10.00am– 1.00pm
09 Jan - 13 Mar 2018
20 Mar - 05 Jun 2018
Thu | 1.30pm – 4.30pm
11 Jan - 15 Mar 2018
22 Mar - 07 Jun 2018
Tue | 1.30pm – 4.30pm
09 Jan - 13 Mar 2018
20 Mar - 05 Jun 2018
Language and Current Affairs
Expert to Mastery (C1 to C2)
Tue | 7.00pm – 9.00pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

For those who have a good grasp of French and wish to broaden or keep up their knowledge of the language through studying and discussing the news and its portrayal in the written press and broadcast media.

Tutor: Isabelle Ayma has a good knowledge of socio-cultural differences, teaching French as a Foreign Language and lots of enthusiasm to help students get to know Francophone culture.

Aims: You will develop your communication and debating skills and you will improve your listening skills with the help of authentic documents. Conversations, debates and activities will be used to tackle the news actively and dynamically.

Teaching approach:
The student will present a topic of interest (economics, politics, culture, society, health, etc.) for a few minutes and other members of the group will participate through questions, quizes, etc.

Review of the written and oral language through its use in different contexts.

Development of vocabulary and grammar in context (interactive exercises: e.g. front pages of newspapers, newspaper headlines, piecing together articles)

Sharing thoughts on the topic. Discussions on French and international news.

Course materials: We will use authentic documents, newspaper articles, magazines, radio and television clips and blogs. This will consolidate the learner’s written and oral language (correcting accent and syntax, differentiating between language registers, grammar, word games) and facilitate fast and fluent speaking.

Student’s involvement: Students will be asked to do some research on topics of their choice at home to be able to give an interactive presentation on an article every week.

16 Jan - 01 May 2018
Language and Current Affairs
Fluent to Mastery (B2 to C2)
Sat | 10.00am – 1.00pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

For those who have already mastered the French language and wish to deepen and broaden their knowledge of current affairs as they are presented in the news.

Tutor: Catherine Gaitte is specialised in teaching French as a foreign language and has extensive knowledge of French and British media.

Aims: To develop your communication, debating skills and to improve your listening comprehension using authentic documents. Through conversation and debates, you will approach current affairs in an interactive and dynamic way.

Teaching approach:

Revision of written and spoken language
Vocabulary and grammar in context
Exchanging ideas on varied topics
Diverse activities to develop skills
Discussion of French and international news

Course materials: The course will be based on authentic documents, from newspaper articles, to online magazines, documentaries, and extracts from radio and tv programmes.

Student’s involvement: Students will stay informed about current affairs. They will research topics, give presentations and share ideas in a relaxed class atmosphere.

13 Jan - 17 Mar 2018
13 Oct - 15 Dec 2018
24 Mar - 09 Jun 2018
POLITICS, ECONOMICS, AND BUSINESS NEWS
Expert to Mastery (C1 to C2)
Sat | 1.30pm to 4.30pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

 

This course is aimed at business professionals or students looking to work in a French-speaking environment who already have a good general level in French but wish to develop and expand their terminology applied to Socio-economic and Business subjects while discovering the French business language and culture and discussing current geopolitical, economic and business subjects.

Tutor: Martial Quéro is originally from Brittany (France) and graduated in International Trade at Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Rennes. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists with a long experience as a business and legal translator-interpreter. He has been teaching Economic, Legal and Business French in a wide range of UK companies and sectors, professional firms and Government Departments.

Aims: This course aims to help learners gaining confidence when speaking French in a work environment. It will also help them expanding their business, economic and financial terminology.

At the end of the course students should have developed a better understanding of French and other Francophone business cultures, being able to discuss current business topics more confidently and with accuracy and to produce written documents. (presentations, minutes, reports) at a professional level. It is looking to make learners progress on skills according to criteria specified by the CEFR – C1/C2 Level (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) applied to Socio-Economic and Business language.

Reading comprehension: become able to understand most press articles about the subjects studied in class

Written production: become able to draft and present ideas, or report on documents in a concise, accurate and structured way.

Listening comprehension: become able to follow and understand conversations/debates on business topics and write a report/minutes about what they have understood.

Verbal production: become able to communicate with a high level of fluency about geopolitical, business/economic subjects and to make structured presentations confidently to an audience using adequate terminology and language register.            

Course subjectsSome of the course subjects for discussion will include:

  • The French institutional, macro- and microeconomic, consumer/market environment
  • Industry sectors and main stakeholders
  • The legal framework and life of French companies
  • The banking system and financial markets
  • The welfare and tax systems
  • Current International geopolitical and socio-economic issues having an impact on businesses
  • Current business and socio-economic issues in various French speaking countries

 Teaching approach: The course is based on a communicative approach so the learner will be encouraged to interact and participate actively during classes and research subjects in the French speaking press between classes. It is also aiming to develop the student’s writing skills, acquiring new terminology, developing listening and reading comprehension. It is looking to make the student progress according to criteria specified by the CEFR – C1/C2 Level applied to politics, international affairs, business & economics.

Course materials: There is no specific manual for this course apart from researching articles from the Business press like Le Nouvel Economiste, La Tribune, L’Expansion, Capital, Les Echos, Courrier International or from the press of other countries illustrating the course subjects. They will be discussed, analysed, summarized or translated in class. Internet, audio/video materials on geopolitical, economic current affairs will also be used as a base for listening comprehension and discussion/debate.

Student’s involvement: Students will be asked to participate and debate actively during classes giving their opinion about geopolitical, economic or business issues. They will be encouraged to share their experience or expertise about the studied subjects and asked to prepare/make short presentations.

Self-study and writing assignments between classes will also be recommended (writing summaries of documents), reading relevant articles/materials and watching/listening to business programmes in the news to become familiar with the French speaking business environments and cultures.

13 Jan - 17 Mar 2018
24 Mar - 09 Jun 2018
FRENCH PLAYS FROM MOLIERE TO THE 21ST CENTURY
B2 to C2 (Fluent to Mastery)
Mon | 2.00pm - 4.00pm OR 6.30pm - 8.30pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£330 (£301.50 early booking discount)

(Re)discover famous French playwriters throughout the centuries by studying some of their most significant plays.

Tutor: Kevin has been a French tutor in London for the past 2 years. He graduated in linguistics and French language, with a special interest for litterature and plays.

Aims: Students will develop their knowledge of French culture through famous French plays and playwriters. They will also develop their understanding of the social and historical context and its influence on cultural production. Students will also have the opportunity to improve their vocabulary and pronunciation.

Teaching approach: Each week we will focus on a specific play/playwriter. We will discuss the linguistic and artistic aspects of selected extracts, as well as the playwriter work and the historical/social context. We will also practice pronounciation and vocabulary by reading the plays and watch contemporary adaptations.

Course material: Introduction to French drama ; « L’école des femmes », Molière (1663) ; « Phèdre », Racine (1677) ; « Oedipe », Voltaire (1719) ; « Le jeu de l’amour et du hasard », Marivaux (1730) ; « Le barbier de Séville », Beaumarchais (1775) ; « Ruy Blas », Hugo (1838) ; « On ne badine pas avec l’amour », Musset (1861) ; « Cyrano de Bergerac », Rostand (1897) ; « On purge bébé », Feydeau (1900) ; « La machine infernale », Cocteau (1934) ; « Antigone », Anouilh (1944) ; « Juste la fin du monde », Lagarce (1990) ; « Le dîner de cons », Francis Veber (1993) ; « Le Dieu du carnage », Yasmina Reza (2006)

Student’s involvement: Each week, students will be asked to read the selected extract to be able to take part in discussions and express their point of view in a relaxed and interactive environment. Each week, one student will also be asked to do a short presentation about the playwriter and his work.

15 Jan - 30 Avril 2018