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.

Please check the available discounts here

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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Learn French with games and fun activities
Fluent to Expert (B2 to C1)
Thu | 10.00am to 1.00pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 early booking discount)

 Learn the language via games and a variety of fun activities

 For students who have reached A2 level and like to learn while playing. You will practice your French using various games such as dominos, board games, flashcards, trivial pursuit, consequences, tabou, devinettes, and theatrical activities like role plays, mimes, interviews, and also authentic documents like comics, film extracts, videos and songs.

Tutor: Elsa is passionate about her native language and culture and regularly uses games in the classroom as a relaxed and fun way of learning. She has a Degree in English and a Masters in teaching French as a foreign language with over 15 years teaching experience

Aims: This course offers a wide range of games and fun activities to learn through play in a lively and modern way.

Teaching approach: The course will cover all the topics, grammar and vocabulary of A2 level

Course materials: The teacher will use a variety of both well known and self created games and activities

Student’s involvement: Students will be asked to interact with their peers in an active and fun environment.

Topics / objectives:

 – To introduce oneself, guess information and ask each other questions using various structures and materials

– Daily life activities and reflexive verbs

– Food and authentic situations at the restaurant and the market

– Sports & nutrition, give advice and express purpose in the context of health and wellbeing

– Accommodation and household

– Clothes and shopping

– French culture and civilisation

– Express certain feelings with words, gestures and/or intonations

– Various tenses : Present, passé-composé, futur proche and futur simple.

17 Oct - 19 Dec 2019
Summer course
15 hours over 5 weeks
21 June - 19 July 2017
£175 (no early booking discount)
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
£343 (£308 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.

17 Jan - 21 Mar 2019
2 May - 04 July 2019
17 Oct - 19 Dec 2019
Contemporary Literature
Expert (C1)
Wed | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 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

09 Jan - 17 Apr 2019
Contemporary Literature
Elementary to Intermediate (A2 to B1)
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 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:

Jan – Apr 2019:

1. Dans la nuit brune, Agnes Desarthe, collection Points
2. Odette Toulemonde, Eric Emmanuel Schmidt, Livre de Poche
Thu | 6.30pm – 8.30pm
10 Jan - 18 Apr 2019
Fri | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
11 Jan - 12 Apr 2019
2 hours to be rescheduled due to the bank holiday
Language & 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
£343 (£308 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.

17 Jan - 21 Mar 2019
28 Mar - 13 Jun 2019
17 Oct - 19 Dec 2019
French cultural icons
Fluent to Expert (B2 to C1)
Tue | 10.00am - 1.00pm
15 hours over 5 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£172 (£No 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 course
18 Jun - 16 Jul 2019
10 Sep - 08 Oct 2019
CINEMA AND SOCIETY
Intermediate to Expert (B1 to C1)
Sat | 10.00am - 1.00pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 early booking discount)

Take a French look at cinema. Explore and discuss modern releases. Enrich your vocabulary in general French and film analysis through discussion of a variety of topics.

Public: For those wishing to gain insight into French cinema while perfecting their linguistic skills.

Tutor: Master in Politics, Bachelor in cinema and INA formation in Editing.

Aims: Discover three contemporary movies that will introduce you to the French society. Afterwards, through these movies we will also discuss current topics of public interest. During this first session, topics will be education, immigration and the penitentiary system. After watching the movies, we will analyse them on two different aspects: technical (shots, camera movements, use of colours and music) and substantive (the message).

Teaching Approach: Analysis and commentary of French movies as well as working on different linguistic points. Improve your understanding in French language and practice your oral skills (vocabulary, expression, grammar, phonetic).

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

Course material: 3 movies « Entre les murs » by Laurent Cantet / « Samba » by Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache / « Un prophète » by Jacques Audiard.

19 Jan - 23 Mar 2019
Feminism in French Literature & Society
Fluent to Expert (B2 to C1)
Thu | 10.00am to 1.00pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 early booking discount)

Learn about key feminist French authors from the pioneers to contemporary writers.

17 Jan - 21 Mar 2019
28 Mar - 13 Jun 2019
17 Oct - 19 Dec 2019
Summer course
15 hours over 5 weeks
20 June - 18 July 2019
£175 (no early booking discount)
Contemporary Literature
Expert to Mastery (C1 to C2)
Thu | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 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 Autumn 2018:
1. “La prisonnière” de Marcel Proust (fin du livre), Collection Folio
(Please note that we will study the second part of the book, new students must have read the beginning of the book until page 200 before joining the first lesson).
2. “La petite Chartreuse” de Pierre Peju, collection Folio
10 Jan - 18 Apr 2019
Summer course
10 hours over 5 weeks
02 May - 30 May 2019
06 June - 03 July 2019
11 July - 08 Aug 2019
£115 (no early booking discount)
12 Sep - 19 Dec 2019
Language and French Society
Fluent to Expert (B2 to C1)
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 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
7 Jan - 15 April 2019
09 Sep - 16 Dec 2019
Fri | 9.30am – 12.30pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
18 Jan - 22 Mar 2019
29 Mar - 14 Jun 2019
18 Oct - 20 Dec 2019
Summer course
Mon | 1.30pm – 3.30pm
10 hours over 5 weeks
02 May - 30 May 2019
06 June - 03 July 2019
11 July - 08 Aug 2019
£115 (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
£343 (£308 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
15 Jan - 19 Mar 2019
26 Mar - 11 Jun 2019
15 Oct - 17 Dec 2019
Thu | 1.30pm – 4.30pm
17 Jan - 21 Mar 2019
28 Mar - 13 Jun 2019
17 Oct - 19 Dec 2019
Tue | 1.30pm – 4.30pm
15 Jan - 19 Mar 2019
26 Mar - 11 Jun 2019
15 Oct - 17 Dec 2019
Language & Contemporary Literature
Fluent (B2)
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 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.

Wed | 1.30pm – 4.30pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
16 Jan - 20 Mar 2019
27 Mar - 5 June 2019
Language & French society
Fluent (B2) to Expert (C1)
Mon | 6.30pm to 8.30pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 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: Brigitte Coudino

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.

7 Jan - 15 April 2019
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
£343 (£308 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.

8 Jan - 16 Apr 2019
10 Sep - 18 Dec 2019
Summer course
10 hours over 5 weeks
30 Apr - 28 May 2019
04 June - 2 July 2019
09 July - 06 Aug 2019
£115 (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
£343 (£308 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.

19 Jan - 23 Mar 2019
30 Mar - 15 Jun 2019
19 Oct - 21 Dec 2019
Summer course
15 hours over 5 weeks
27 July - 24 Aug 2019
£175 (no early booking discount)
IMPROVE YOUR FRENCH THROUGH CREATIVE WRITING
Fluent to Mastery (B2 to C2)
Tue | 10.00am – 1.00pm
30 hours over 10 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 early booking discount)

For those wishing to combine language learning with creativity and imagination.

Tutor: Dominique Pourtau-Darriet began leading writing workshops at the Institut Français in 2005. She is taking a sabbatical to write a novel. Laetitia Kouzmenkov, who studied journalism and attended Dominique’s workshops, will lead the class. She has been teaching French to adults since 2002.

Aims: Be inspired to write your own French texts (fiction, poetry, plays, biographies etc.), discover writing techniques, and develop your vocabulary and grammatical knowledge in a creative and enjoyable environment.

Teaching approach: The workshop will focus on activities which promote creativity – imitation and modification of texts, the use of stimuli or ‘triggers’ (photos, short news items, extracts from published authors), literary games followed by discussions on the work produced – and which combine oral and written skills.

Course materials: Anything which can stimulate and inspire us in our writing..

Student’s involvement: Students’ progress will be assessed through rewriting tasks, completed at home and then marked by the teacher.

 

15 Jan - 19 Mar 2019
26 Mar - 18 Jun 2019
No class on 16 and 23 April 2019
10 Sep - 8 Oct 2019
15 hours over 5 weeks
£172 (no early booking discount)
15 Oct - 17 Dec 2019
NEW – CROSS CULTURAL TRAINING: LIVING AND WORKING IN FRANCE
Fluent to Master (B2 to C2)
Wed | 6.30pm to 8.30pm
30 hours over 15 weeks
Up to 15 students
South Kensington
£343 (£308 early booking discount)

Ensure a successful move to France by acquiring cultural understanding and improving your language skills.

Aims: By the end of this cours, in the following domains, by the end of this course, you will be able to:

–          General/Daily life:

o   Differentiate between tu or vous in various contexts (at work, when meeting new people, at the gym etc.)

o   Understand and use some typical French gestures

o   Become familiar with administrative procedures in France

o   Be aware of Health and Safety regulations

o   Become familiar with the French customs of holiday making (faire le pont, juilletiste/aoûtiens etc.)

o   French people’s attitude to buying

o   Understand the French media (their readership, their political trend etc.)

–          At work:

o   Understand how French people interact in the workplace

o   Write professional emails in a French manner

o   Behave and interact in a meeting

o   Understand French attitude to team work

o   Become familiar with a French management style

o   Take part in a French appraisal

o   Understand the various legal status of French companies

o   The different training options in France

Teaching approach: Mini-lectures, discussions and interactive / participatory

Course materials for 2019: Some resources provided by the tutor (you may be asked to buy a book in the first class).

Summer course
10 hours over 5 weeks
01 May - 29 May 2019
05 June - 3 July 2019
£115 (no early booking discount)
11 Sep - 18 Dec 2019