French 1: Beginners


This interactive course provides an introduction to the language and culture of the French-speaking countries. It is for complete beginners as well as those who have learnt some French expressions and phrases through travel or socialising.

The course content is equivalent to level A1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The topics and grammar knowledge will enable students to communicate in a basic range of everyday situations relating to personal needs, and the cultural information will help understand simple references to the most common aspects of the culture and everyday life in the countries where French is spoken.

The class activities will focus on listening, speaking and the exploration of culture; and students will be encouraged to practise reading and writing skills in their own time. There will be plenty of opportunities to interact in the target language, leading to the development of the four language skills as well as learning basic grammar structures.

Programme details

Week 1:   Greetings and leave taking. Introducing oneself. Basic social pleasantries.  Numbers 1–20. The alphabet.

Week 2:   Basic informtion about the self: where you live, where you come from and your nationality. Numbers up to 69.

Week 3:   Finding out about people: asking and answering questions. Numbers up to 100.

Week 4:   Giving personal information. Discussing dreams and interests.

Week 5:   Describing your town. Locating places in a city. Asking and giving directions.

Week 6:   Enquiring about accommodation. Describing a stay abroad.

Week 7:   Leisure activities. Expressing likes and dislikes.

Week 8:   Talking about family.

Week 9:   Telling the time. Habits and timetables.

Week 10:  Arranging to meet. Christmas traditions and celebrations in France.


Recommended Websites;

1. TV5MONDE includes grammar exercises, listening activities and games suitable for A1 learners.

2. Podcastfrançaisfacile is a free website with lots of exercises suitable for this level and lots of simple dialogues with script:

3. Duolingo: a fun method to practise simple key phrases, retention and consolidation of vocabulary and for revision of basic grammar concepts.


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £220.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Ms Odile Rimbert

Odile is a French language teacher and coordinator at the University of London. She has contributed to the launch of a Creative Writing in French course which has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Innovation and Excellence in the Arts Awards. 

Course aims

The course aims to provide students with little or no previous knowledge of French an introduction to simple everyday language and culture of the French-speaking countries.

Course Objectives:

  • To develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing for simple interaction in French
  • To equip students with basic information about the culture and daily life of the French-speaking countries
  • To familiarize students with basic vocabulary and grammar structures to understand simple short texts such as notices and adverts

Teaching methods

This course will consist of a weekly, two-hour session with 50% of the session being pre-recorded and made available to students during and after the live sessions. 

The real time interaction will focus on listening, speaking, grammar and the exploration of culture, and students will be encouraged to practise reading and writing skills in their own time.

Class activities, exercises, and tasks will be conducted in the target language. English will be the medium of instruction and may be used to explain new concepts, vocabulary items, grammar rules, or the methodology behind an activity.

The emphasis in class is on interacting in the target language, practising listening, speaking and grammar structures, as well as exploring the culture. Students are encouraged to develop their reading and writing skills in their own time.

Learning outcomes

The following are brief indicators of what students should be able to do in each of the skills

Speaking (S), Listening (L), Reading (R), and Writing (W) by the end of the individual stages:


S - Participate in simple everyday conversation made up of familiar language

L - Understand simple messages and conversations

R - Obtain specific information from simple written texts

W - Produce simple short texts using limited structures and vocabulary items

Assessment methods

Most tutors will set weekly assignments to consolidate learning and allow students to study at their own pace. Some of these assignments, which may include testing listening and speaking skills, will count towards formally assessing the students' progress.

In general, students are required to submit for assessment a variety of exercises and/or shorter pieces of work. They will also have the opportunity to complete one or more optional tasks to benefit from tutor feedback.

Credits gained from the successful completion of this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education in other subjects.

Students must submit a Declaration of Authorship form when submitting their final piece of assessed work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.


Each course will close for enrolments 14 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (14 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands