Festivals in Europe this October   The British Council

Alliance Française - Parlez vous Francais?

30 September, 2008 17:09  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Welcome to the third article in easyexpat’s series on language and cultural institutes. In this issue, the spotlight is on Alliance Française, an organization whose main mission is to promote French outside its own country’s borders.

While most people can manage ‘Bonjour’ or the famous ‘Bon Appetit’, this wasn’t enough for some French lovers. Set up in 1883 by a group of eminent men including the scientist Louis Pasteur and the writers Jules Verne and Ernest Renan, this institution’s aim is to spread the French language throughout the world. A mission well accomplished with a network of over 1071 institutions in 133 countries, from far the largest in the world! From India to Australia, UK to U.S, every year approximately 440,000 students learn a few more French words at one of its many centres. In fact, so great is its success in spreading the French language and culture that in 2005, along with the Societe Dante Alighieri, the British Council, the Goethe Institute, the Instituto Cervantes and the Instituto Camões, the Alliance Française was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for outstanding achievements in communications and the humanities.

Courses offered

There are a number of courses offered and levels vary from Beginner to Advanced. At the head quarters in Paris, there are many options available including short, intensive courses or more relaxed options, evening classes or day courses. General French language courses can be combined with professional courses, customized courses and workshops.

Professional courses include courses that focus on Business French, Medical French, Tourism French and Legal French. Or you can opt for a customized course with emphasis on phonetics, private lessons or self-guided learning options. Workshops include written, oral and thematic workshops. For those who’d like to teach French as a second language, Alliance Française also offers ‘Teacher’s training’ options.

All courses end with tests. Upon successful completion of these tests, you will receive a certification recognized by ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe). The DELF (diplôme d’études en langue française) and the DALF (diplôme approfondi de langue française) are official diplomas issued by the French ministry of education to certify your command of the French language. These definitely come in handy for those applying for jobs in a French-speaking country.

Fees and Schedule

Given the wide variety of options available, fees vary widely. Fees also depend on the size of class and duration of the course. An Intensive General French Course of 20 hours per week can cost between 160 and 225 euros while an extensive course of 9 hours per week cost between 80 and 100 euros. For a more detailed look at the fees and schedules of the Alliance Francaise in Paris, log onto http://www.alliancefr.org/

For a listing of some of the other franchises in other countries, log onto http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_fran%C3%A7aise

For those of you looking to learn French, Bon chance. Give your local Alliance Française a call.



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