Placement in a specific level is determined by language proficiency. All students, except for complete beginners, take a language assessment prior to the start of the program. The language assessment is not part of the application process.

Explore our course catalog to see the courses offered in past years.

Level 1: Beginning French

French Level 1 is intended for students with no or minimal previous experience with the French language. The course emphasizes communicative proficiency, with special attention to the development of oral and listening skills, self-expression, and cultural insights. Classroom activities are varied and interactive and are focused on acquiring all four language competencies (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) simultaneously-always in the context of a cultural narrative. Each lesson begins with a rapid flow of authentic French presented in realistic, everyday circumstances, supported by video presentations and a comprehensive workbook. Free-form classroom interactions are balanced with structured grammar and vocabulary drills. By the end of this seven-week immersion program, students will be able to easily navigate a variety of real-world situations.

Students in Level 1 take four classes a day, awarding a total of three units of credit. The courses are: Grammar in Action I, Grammar in Action II, Oral Production and Applied Phonetics, Written Expression and Civilisation. Coursework is supported by a required daily hand-on tutoring session.

Level 2: Early Intermediate French

Level 2 is an integrated, intensive program for students who have received little previous instruction in (or exposure to) French, but who have reached only minimal proficiency and are not yet able to function independently in full immersion. Level 2 focuses on the following:

  • Developing listening comprehension, oral competence, and socio-cultural communicative proficiency.
  • Systematic acquisition of strategies for oral and written expression through progressive practice, with topical review of basic morphological and syntactic structures.
  • An overview of various cultural aspects of French-speaking communities worldwide, through readings and recordings.

Students in Level 2 take four classes a day, awarding a total of three units of credit. The courses are: Grammatical Structures, Oral Production and Applied Phonetics, Written Comprehension and Expression, Introduction to Francophone Cultures and Literatures. Coursework is supported by a required daily hand-on tutoring session.

Level 2.5: Intermediate French

Level 2.5 is aimed at students who have had previous instruction or exposure to French and whose results on the placement test indicate that they have reached an intermediate level of proficiency. Typically, the students in this level have studied the fundamentals of the language but need further instruction in the language skills of written and oral comprehension and written and oral expression. Level 2.5 therefore focuses on the following:

  • Developing listening comprehension, oral competence, and socio-cultural communicative proficiency.
  • Systematic acquisition of strategies for oral and written expression through progressive practice, with topical review of basic morphological and syntactic structures.
  • An overview of various cultural aspects of French-speaking communities worldwide, through readings and recordings.

Students in Level 2.5 take four classes a day, awarding a total of three units of credit. The courses are: Communicative Grammar, Oral Expression and Phonetics, Lexical Development and Expression, Francophone Cultures and Literatures.

Level 3: Upper Intermediate French

Level 3 is for students who have had significant previous instruction in French and are already able to function independently in full immersion. Typically, students at this level demonstrate textual/writing ability beyond the sentence level. The individual components of the program are designed to complement one another, and all include intensive study of the language. Students will also arrive at a broader appreciation of French and Francophone cultures and literatures. The four course segments share the following common objectives:

  • Develop aural/oral proficiency through the use of video and audio-based media, movies, songs, TV programs, and drama.
  • Develop ease, fluidity, and efficiency in oral expression through the medium of theater and integrate the characteristics of non-verbal language into communication in French (gestures, posture, facial expression, voice inflection, etc.).
  • Review selected grammatical structures in close coordination with topics and activities taught in class.
  • Provide a broad introduction to French and Francophone culture, literature and literary styles through the study of short stories, poems and excerpts from novels.

Students in Level 3 take four classes a day, awarding a total of three units of credit. The courses are: Communicative Grammar, Vocabulary and Written Expression, Phonetics and Oral Expression, Developing Oral Communication, Introduction to the Francophone World.

Level 4: Advanced French

Students in Level 4 take four classes a day, awarding a total of three units of credit. The level comprises two required courses and two electives.

All students at this level take a course in Advanced Grammar and Composition and a course in Oral Production and Pronunciation.
Additionally, students elect two courses in the areas of contemporary Francophone Culture and Society and/or Literature.

Required Courses

  • Advanced Grammar and Composition
    This course develops a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of the French language in order to improve students’ writing skills. Grammatical structures will be analyzed in three types of texts (narrative, descriptive and expressive).

  • Oral Production and Pronunciation
    This course is designed to improve oral communication and pronunciation of modern standard French for advanced-level students. Through a variety of activities, students will improve their phonetic production (focus on vowels, consonants, cadence, nasalization, liaison, elision, intonation, phonetic alphabet) while developing vocabulary and the capacity to express ideas in a myriad of functional settings. Topics may include: French culture, current events (from French-language newspapers, magazines, and TV programs), travel, music, and sports.

Elective Courses

(Courses are subject to change)

  • Young People and Politics in France and Beyond
  • The Great Speeches of French Political Rhetoric
  • Cinema of the Maghreb and Immigration
  • The Regions of France: History, Folklore and Culture
  • Heroes and Women
  • Autobiographical Writing
  • Health and Societies in Africa