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French Upper Intermediate (Year 4) Short Course

Key information

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Delivery of this module will be online due to government-issued guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic and may be made available face-to-face subject to Public Health England recommendations. Please submit your application and, once reviewed by the module leader, you will receive more specific information about the online delivery of your module and assessments.

This upper intermediate level course will help you develop fluency in the French language, understand advanced grammatical structures and gain knowledge of French culture.

Why choose this course?

The Upper Intermediate course will enable you to communicate freely, to feel confident in everyday situations with French native speakers. Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are built upon and advanced main points in French grammar are covered. It will also broaden your knowledge of the French culture and way of life.

The full course is made up of three 10-week modules – part 1, part 2 and part 3. Enrol on the full syllabus (parts 1-3) to gain a complete knowledge of lower intermediate French at the best price. Our teaching takes place one evening a week, ideal for those with various commitments or working full-time.

Our language short courses are taught by qualified native speakers and delivered at City, University of London’s main campus, in the heart of the capital.

Course overview

Improve your oral and written fluency by reading and discussing newspaper articles, watching videos and listening to authentic audio materials. Grammar is also revised to improve spoken and written accuracy.

This course will enable you to confidently take part in discussions, give short presentations and read and write to a high standard in addition to gaining a deeper understanding of the French culture.

Is it the right level for me?

The French Upper Intermediate (Year 4) course is ideal if you have completed the Lower Intermediate (Year 3) course or you have A-level experience of French.

This course consists of three modules taught at progressive levels, starting with Part 1 in October. We only advise joining Part 2 or Part 3 if you are already familiar with the content from earlier modules (see the What will I learn? section below for module content).

You can check your level using our online guidelines.

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Please note that some Lower Intermediate topics will be revised at the beginning of the academic year. The course outline below is only a guide and topics will be studied according to students' needs and progress.

Part 1

Topics covered

Revisiting French Lower Intermediate depending on your needs:

  • Past events;
  • Work and studies;
  • Leisure activities.

Social and work situations in France:

  • Town and country, living in France;
  • Common current affairs vocabulary;
  • Idiomatic expressions;
  • Lifestyles;
  • Interviews;
  • Education in France;

Individual presentations (10' PowerPoint presentation on a topic that the student has chosen, followed by a 5-10' discussion with the group and individual feedback) + end of term assessment.

Grammatical structures

  • Revision of all tenses: present, future, conditional, perfect and imperfect;
  • Basic subjunctive present, key phrases;
  • Pronouns: possessive, simple relative pronouns qui/que/où/dont;
  • More complex interrogative structures;
  • Comparative and superlative; adverbs.

Learning objectives

  • Developing spoken fluency with prepared topics and vocabulary;
  • Talking about the future and making hypotheses;
  • Being able to give notions of time, duration, etc.
  • Enriching vocabulary to express impressions, enthusiasm, indifference, dislikes;
  • Approving, disapproving, expressing judgement and opinions, justifying a choice, expressing intention;
  • French social current affairs and modern French society.

Part 2

Topics covered

  • Travelling;
  • Interviews of expatriates;
  • Moving abroad;
  • Making choices;
  • Health;
  • Environment;
  • News and current affairs with a comparative approach + individual presentations;
  • Authentic audio and video resources.

Grammatical structures

  • Restriction: ne…que;
  • Conditional and past conditional;
  • Subjunctive present (I);
  • Consolidation of space and time connectors;
  • Advanced composed relative pronouns;
  • Impersonal forms and passive sentences.

Learning objectives

  • Developing more spoken fluency with prepared topics and vocabulary;
  • Being able to talk about the future and make hypotheses;
  • Being able to give notions of time, duration, etc.
  • Enriching vocabulary to be able to give one's impressions (enthusiasm, indifference, dislike);
  • Approving, disagreeing, justifying a choice, expressing intention;
  • French social current affairs/ learn more about French society.

Part 3

Topics covered

  • Working in France;
  • Topical issues of society, political affairs;
  • Writing letters and emails;
  • Setting up a project;
  • NGO's/volunteering projects;
  • Arts, literature and cinema;
  • Creative writing.

Grammatical structures

  • Subjunctive (II) use and irregular constructions;
  • Word order with adverbs, in negative sentences;
  • Pronouns: en, y, demonstratives, interrogatives;
  • Prepositions after certain verbs;
  • Adverbs: consolidation and adding layers in complex structures such as subjunctive, irregular constructions, and imperative.

Learning objectives

  • Taking part in discussions;
  • Acquiring vocabulary and expressions when comparing, disagreeing, expressing intention;
  • Improving listening comprehension on prepared topics, fast paced dialogues;
  • Writing letter and e-mail expressing disappointment/disagreement;
  • Complaining, expressing opinions;
  • Argumentation: developing a critical point of view on a general or specialised topic;
  • Start to have a sense of fun and creativity in the target language.



Prerequisite knowledge

The French Upper Intermediate short course is ideal if you have one of the following:

  • successfully completed French Lower Intermediate Year 3 short course
  • approximately 180+ hours of prior formal study
  • a rusty (but good) French A-level
  • some knowledge of the subjunctive, the use of gerunds and since/for/ during; able to speak quite fluently in most daily topics; understanding newspapers and being able to follow discussions on topics of current interests

Modules are taught at progressive levels, starting with part 1 in the autumn (October).

If you wish to join part 2 of the short course (in January), you must have completed part 1 or be familiar with the content taught in part 1, specified in the What will I learn? section.

If you wish to enrol on part 3 of the short course (in April/May), you must have completed both part 1 and part 2 or be familiar with the content taught in these two modules, found in the What will I learn? section.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

The emphasis in this course is on listening and speaking. The lessons focus on language that is required in authentic situations.

Classroom activities will include:

  • class room discussion;
  • pair and group work;
  • project work;
  • grammar in context;
  • role-play;
  • individual presentations;
  • assignments/homework with individual feedback.

Listening to audio clips and watching videos are an important element in our lessons. More comprehensive grammar exercises and reading texts are generally set as homework.

Progress will be assessed on an on-going basis through homework and performance in class. Students receive verbal feedback from the short course tutor when appropriate, as well as written feedback for work completed outside of class time.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Alter Ego +: Livre de l'eleve + CD-ROM B1

By: Sylvie Pons

  • ISBN 10: 201155814X / 2-01-155814-X
  • ISBN 13: 9782011558145
  • Publisher: French and European Publications Inc.
  • Publication Date: 2013

Tutor information

  • Marie-Pierre Pérez

    Marie-Pierre Pérez qualified at the Orléans University in Orléans and La Sorbonne University in Paris. She has been teaching French in London for the past eleven years at several higher education institutions such as Westminster University. She has also been providing language training at international companies.

    Marie-Pierre has a passion for theatre and has qualified at the Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique in Orléans. She has performed as leading actress and led many French drama workshops within French Institutes abroad - Morocco, Germany, Lebanon, Mexico, Switzerland.