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  • Paris: Sacre Coeur

    Paris: Sacre Coeur

Learn French in Paris (Les Halles): Teaching

The college’s key concern is to get you to speak and comprehend French!

Language Levels & Rate of Progress

The college divides students into six theoretical levels of ability.
Studying for 12/14 weeks sequentially enables the average student, working consistently to complete the Intermediate level (B1), starting as a Beginner.

Assuming a student follows a 15 lesson per week Mini Group course the school would anticipate the following rate of progress.
Of course in reality progress varies from student to student.

No knowledge of French
 (Approx 4 weeks to Level One)
Level One
A1 Elementary
Understanding simple and concrete situations related to everyday life. Simple communication if the conversation is slow
 (Approx 4 weeks to Level Two)
Level Two
A2 Upper Elementary
Elementary command of the language. Understanding isolated phrases on a familiar topic and producing simple messages in everyday life
  (Approx 4 weeks to Level Three)
Level Three
B1 Intermediate
Efficient but limited command of the language: understanding clear and standard language about a familiar topic. Relative autonomy during overseas trips, ability to talk about one’s interests and to give brief explanations abut a project or idea
 (Approx 6/8 weeks to Level Four)
Level Four
B2 Upper Intermediate
General command of the language: getting the gist of complex tests and expressing general topics
 (Approx 6/8 weeks to Level Five)
Level Five
C1 Advanced
Good command of the language; permitting well-structured expression in social and professional situations
 (Approx 6+ weeks to Level Six)
Level Six
C2 Upper Advanced
Excellent command of the language, permitting structured and coherent expression in all situations

In reality a student chooses to attend a group or private course according to their linguistic goals, personal wishes and time constraints.

Teaching method

The course is built around a two-teacher system, so students hear two voices and experience two personalities and different teaching styles and therefore have a broader learning experience. Courses are highly interactive with a strong emphasis on communication and practise through real life situations and discussions.

The teaching methods used are tailored to each class level and will be established according to the group’s needs at the beginning of each week.

The teachers have been trained in a wide variety of teaching theories for teaching French as a foreign language  (direct, audio-oral, structural, communicative and notional-functional).  However the teachers are encouraged to utilise each and all of these methods to best meet the needs of each class level.  Students arrive with diverse prior experience of language study and linguistic and cultural backgrounds, this requires teachers to vary their approach to tuition on a group by group basis.

Beginner and elementary students have to cover structural and grammatical exercises, both oral and written, in order to develop all the essential French language skills. At more advanced levels, grammar is taught in a variety of ways taking into account the ability of the group but a more communicative style is used, and grammar is seen as a tool, rather than an end in itself. The work of each group is tailored to each class’s ability level in French. The college encourages group interaction and the work is very much student-based, role-play, simulations and pair work is used to develop learning strategies to promote student self-development. Course workshops are more game-like and open-ended, students work at their own pace, in a more creative manner and diverse talents and personalities can express themselves.

Student oral participation is encouraged by the relaxed atmosphere, the very small class sizes and by the tutors and progress is closely monitored and tested and with the help of the tutors students will be able to analyse their personal needs and progress throughout their study.

Private Tuition

Participants can decide on the content of their private tuition themselves or ask their teacher to devise a programme most suited to their needs. All students taking private tuition are asked to provide details of the areas they wish to cover in advance of arrival so their French lessons may be planned accordingly.

Levels and Groups

To guarantee adequate progress, it is vitally important that students are placed in a group that corresponds with their knowledge of French. This is only possible if the language school guarantees groups of all levels of learning. After making a careful initial evaluation of each student’s ability, the French School in Paris (Les Halles) follows up their placement with regular control testing.


Students are asked to prepare work each evening to ensure they are ready for class the next day, and have revised the material covered in class each day.

Class Size

There are no more than TEN students per class.
Therefore it’s quite likely you could find yourself in a class of 3, 4 or 5 students, depending on the students present that week and their language level.  The teacher attention for each student is therefore much greater than in many language schools.  Yes, you pay extra for this, but in terms of teacher contact time you get fantastic value for money!

Class Duration

Each lesson = 45 minutes duration

First Day

Students are asked to take an assessment test on the first day.
Timetable for lessons starts slightly later on Monday to allow for this.

09.00 hrs: Level assessment
09.30 hrs: Coffee whilst the teachers arrange class groups
10.00 hrs: First day lessons start
11.45 hrs: Break (and personalised timetables are given to students)
13.00 hrs: End of morning classes

Timetable: Mini Group Course

Morning classes:
Monday 10.00 to 13.00 / Rest of week 09.00 to 12.00

or Afternoon classes:
Monday 14.00 to 17.00 / Rest of week 13.15 to 16.15

End of Course Certificate

Each student can collect an end of course certificate stating the level of French reached and the dates studied.

Paris (Les Halles) School Teachers

All of the teachers are native French speakers and they are all trained to teach French as a foreign language.

Paris (Les Halles) School Students

Students come from all over the world, predominantly Europe, but also from as far afield as Australia, China, Japan and the USA. Fundamentally, if you want to learn French – you’re welcome. Age wise there a real mix of students, predominantly older students (20 yrs of age +) but especially in the European holiday periods, there are also some students in their teens (half-term and Easter holidays) but older students are regularly welcomed (and feel comfortable) on the main course options which is why CESA includes this school as an option for our Over 50s course students.

There are many students that stay for one or two weeks and increasingly there are students who study for longer, up to 12 weeks+. The longer you stay the better your French language skills will be!

Student Profile:

Switzerland: 16%
Germany: 11%
Japan: 10%
USA: 9%
UK: 10%
Italy: 5%
Brazil: 3%