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! (£595 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
19 Apr - 21 Jun 2018
18 Oct - 20 Dec 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
– “Le mariage de plaisir Tahar Ben Jelloun
– “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 : 

Oct – Dec 2018:

“Le Château de ma mère”, Marcel Pagnol

“Le Chapeau de Mitterrand”,  Antoine Laurain

Jan – Mar 2019:

“D’après une histoire vraie”, Delphine de Vigan

(suite de Rien ne s’oppose à la nuit)

“Et puis, Paulette…”,   Barbara Constantine 

Apr – Jun 2019: 

“La Chatte”, Colette

“L’Article 353 du code pénal”, Tanguy Viel

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
11 Oct - 11 Dec 2018
French cultural icons
Fluent to Expert (B2 to C1)
Tue | 10.00am - 1.00pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

Do you know L’Abbé Pierre, Belmondo, Coco Chanel, Catherine Deneuve, Coluche, la dictée, Perrier, la Cocotte-minute, Canard Enchaîné, les grandes écoles,  ‘Métro, boulot, Dodo’, la 2CV, Sempé, la pétanque, la rentrée, le Tiercé, Victor Hugo?
Improve your communication with French people
Join in everyday conversation in France with confidence
Understand the underlying cultural message of your French counterparts

Aims: Enrich your cultural knowledge through reading, speaking and watching documentaries and film excerpts.

Tutor: With more than twenty years of teaching experience Cécile has had the opportunity to teach a wide range of courses both in Higher and Continuing education. After her graduation in translation (Master’s degree), she specialised in Teaching French as a Foreign language in France. She went on to further study teaching and learning and holds a Master’s degree in Higher and Professional Education (London).

Teaching approach: You will read and watch materials related to iconic symbols (celebrities, gastronomy, institutions, daily life and language). You will discuss icons with the support of quotes, opinions and questions.

Course material: Written materials, films and documentaries’ excerpts.

Student’s involvement: You will be encouraged to read and research the cultural symbols and related vocabulary studied in class, give presentations and take part in discussions.

Summer term
Tue | 1.00am - 4.00pm
12 Jun - 10 Jul 2018
17 Jul - 14 Aug 2018
Over 5 weeks - £168
(No early booking discount)
09 Oct - 11 Dec 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 Summer 2018:
1. 1st session: “Les mots” Jean-Paul Sartre, collection Folio
2. 2nd session: “Black Bazar” Alain Mabanckou, collection Points
3. 3rd session: “Pastel” Olivier Bleys, collection Folio
 Student must have the book for the first lesson.
18 Jan - 03 May 2018
06 Sep -13 Dec 2018
Summer Term
Thu | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
10 May - 07 Jun 2018
14 Jun - 12 Jul 2018
19 Jul - 16 Aug 2018
Over 5 weeks - £112
(no early booking discount)
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
03 Sep - 10 Dec 2018
Fri | 9.30am – 12.30pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
12 Jan - 16 Mar 2018
23 Mar - 08 Jun 2018
12 Oct - 14 Dec 2018
Summer term
Mon | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
14 May - 11 Jun 2018
18 Jun - 16 Jul 2018
23 Jul - 20 Aug 2018
Over 5 weeks - £112
(No early booking discount)
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 2018 – 2019:

Thursday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm:

– “Petit Pays”, Gaël Faye

– “La promesse de l’aube”,  Romain Gary

– “Un certain M. Piekelny”, François-Henri Désérable

Tuesday from 10am to 1pm:


 – “Le testament français” Andrei Makine

– Prix Médicis 1995 et Prix Goncourt des Lycées 1995

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
09 Oct - 11 Dec 2018
Thu | 1.30pm – 4.30pm
11 Jan - 15 Mar 2018
22 Mar - 07 Jun 2018
11 Oct - 13 Dec 2018
Tue | 1.30pm – 4.30pm
09 Jan - 13 Mar 2018
20 Mar - 05 Jun 2018
09 Oct - 11 Dec 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
04 Sep - 11 Dec 2018
Summer term
Tue | 7.00pm – 9.00pm
08 May - 05 Jun 2018
12 Jun - 10 Jul 2018
17 Jul - 14 Aug 2018
Over 5 weeks - £112
(no early booking discount)
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
24 Mar - 09 Jun 2018
13 Oct - 15 Dec 2018
Summer term
Sat | 10.00am – 1.00pm
16 Jun - 18 Aug 2018
Fashion in French
Elementary to Intermediate (A2+ to B1)
Wed | 2.00pm - 4.00pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
£335 (£301.50 early booking discount)

For students who have reached A1 Level and would like to carry on up to the level A2-B1 whilst speaking about fashion for professional or personal purposes.

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

Aims: Learn key French grammar and French fashion terminology for talking about fashion. The course covers the themes of fashion schools, stylism and textile design such as:

 – your studies and training in fashion
– changes in fashion, seasonal trends…
– clothes: describing them and how to wear them
– a designer’s inspirations
– accessories
– the catwalk
– a shop
–  board of trends
At the same time you will improve the grammatical skills required to express your ideas.
The course will focus also on the main designers in France from the 20s to today, on foreign designers and on the different ‘savoir-faire’ in Haute Couture and crafts related to fashion.
Course materials: you will need to buy the book ‘Parlons Mode’  A2-B1 Cle International
18 Jan - 03 May 2018
05 Sep - 12 Dec 2018
Summer term
Wed | 2.00pm - 4.00pm
09 May - 15 Aug 2018