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Lyon: Teaching

We hope this information helps you understand how the Lyon school works and how they will help you achieve your French language goals.  If you have any questions please contact the CESA staff for assistance. Whether your French course lasts two weeks or six+ months, you will find that they measure your progress in French, and you will go home certain that the French school teaching staff have done all they can to assist you.

French course content

You will cover the four core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, with plenty of grammar and vocabulary work included in order to develop all the essential French language skills.

Each group level is arranged around a teaching programme which has been carefully planned over a series of weeks.  This ensures the achievement of the main linguistic objectives – grammatical, lexical and communicative – and provides every student with a clear vision of their individual progress.

A student of average linguistic ability should allow four weeks to complete the Beginner level on the Intensive Course, and six weeks to complete the Elementary level, covering basic grammatical structured knowledge to be able to communicate in the practical situations of daily life plus an introduction to French customs. Approximately six weeks will be required to complete the Intermediate level with its emphasis on grammar with reference to the past tenses and development of conversation skills. An additional eight weeks covers the Advanced level (deepening grammatical skills, providing fluency in conversation and a deeper knowledge of French culture, also written expression and the creation of texts. Finally, a further eight weeks to complete the Higher level with a specialised level of grammar and the study of French literature, art, sociology and the history of France.

Beginner = A0
Elementary = A1
Upper Elementary = A2
Intermediate = B1
Upper Intermediate = B2
Advanced = C1
Superior = C2

Course work in Lyon is designed to meet the needs of students across all abilities, in a range of different group classes and in private tuition classes. Teaching is based on original, specifically adapted and updated material over six language levels and is designed to help each student reach their full potential, given the time available.

In reality students choose to attend a programme according to their linguistic goals, personal wishes and time constraints.

Rate of Progress

 A1  A2  B1  B2  C1  C2
DELF A1  4 wks  2 wks
DELF A2  10 wks  6 wks  2 wks
DELF B1  16 wks  12 wks  6+ wks  2 wks
DELF B2  22 wks  18 wks  12+ wks  6+ wks  2 wks
DALF C1  26 wks  22 wks  18+ wks  12+ wks  6+ wks
DALF C2  32 wks  28 wks  24+ wks  18+ wks 12+ wks  6+ wks

Are you interested in French DELF exam qualifications?

If so please note that each DELF / DALF exam level requires the following hours of tuition in the French language school in Lyon for the average student (following an Intensive or French DELF preparation course):

DELF A1: 60 lesson from Beginner level
DELF A2: 160 lessons from Beginner level (100 lessons from DELF A1)
DELF B1: 310 lessons from Beginner level (150 lessons from DELF A2)
DELF B2: 490 lessons from Beginner level (180 lessons from DELF B1)

DALF C1: 690 lessons from Beginner level (200 lessons from DELF B2)
DALF C2: 890 lessons from Beginner level (200 lessons from DALF C1)

The school is not a DELF exam centre but they will help students register and prepare for the exams.
The DELF/DALF course consists of a mix of group and private tuition lessons each week.


The French school in Lyon allow a maximum of 12 students per class (very exceptionally 13 students).

Class level changes

If a French language course level is too easy or to difficult for you or if you progress faster or slower than the other students in your group – no problem. The school will change you to a different level which suits you better.

Language Testing

Students are asked to complete a language test in advance of arrival. CESA will provide the details once you’ve enrolled.
On arrival there will be a short oral test.
At the end of each week there will be an evaluation and skills test set by the teachers to confirm students have sufficiently mastered the material covered, before progressing further.

First Day

Only on the first day of your studies are you asked to arrive early (08:00 am) to take part in a presentation on the French language school. After the presentation you will be introduced to your French teacher and start your French language course. In the afternoon of your first day there will be an orientation tour of Lyon showing you the beauty of the city but also providing you with additional practical information.


All classes are held from Monday to Friday and last 45 minutes.
Classes are held entirely in French and translating is discouraged. Please be aware that students must be punctual to all classes non-attendance can result in expulsion.
Afternoon groups may also be timetabled where necessary, depending on student numbers and class placements.

Intensive / 25 lessons
Monday/09.45 – 13.45 hrs Rest of the week/09.00 – 13.00 hrs
Monday/14.00 – 16.15 hrs Rest of the week/13.30 – 15.45 hrs

Standard / 15 lessons
Monday/09.45 – 12.00 hrs Rest of the week/09.00 – 11.15 hrs
Monday 14.00 – 16.15 hrs Rest of the week/13.30 – 15.45 hrs

Additional Free Tutoring

Students are welcome to join the free workshops focusing on grammar, oral and written practice at all levels. Details available once in Lyon. These classes are taught by intern French language teachers studying at Master 1 or 2 (FLE) level, and are subject to availability, however if you can join in, they offer terrific added value for the student!


Each students will be provided with a certificate of attendance, showing the level reached at the end of their course. If this is important to you, make sure you tell the staff on the final Thursday of your programme, so that you can collect a copy on Friday.

French Teachers

In order to reach your language targets, the French language school provides specially trained teachers whose mother tongue is French. All of the French teachers hold a special degree to teach French as a foreign language. The school work with between 10 and 25 French teachers, depending on student numbers and requirements throughout the year. They emphasise oral and written communication skills of the modern French language. The French teachers, who use a wide variety of authentic documents obtained from newspapers, TV news and documentaries as well as radio, involve all of the students actively in the classroom.

French Language Students

Every year more than 1500 students from over 60 countries – students, professionals, adults learning French for pleasure, seniors etc. choose to study in Lyon. Students are able to practise their French language skills with new friends inside and outside of school.

Students are welcome from 18 years of age.  The average age of the students is 25 years of age.

Nationality mix:  German speakers (35%), English speakers (17%), Spanish speakers (10%), Eastern European (10%), Italian (8%), Japanese/Korean (7%), Brazilian (5%) and the others from all over the world (8%).