So, you want to learn French? Congratulations! We’re really proud that you have made the decision to try it. And, wherever you are in the country, we are going to help you out as much as we can to find the right French teaching for you.
But why is it you want to learn this foreign language? Is it because you are head over heels and madly in love with a French person? Is it because you are really interested in French culture, French literature or cuisine, and want to explore it further? Or is your boss sending you away on work and you need to brush up on those language skills you once had at school?
Whatever the reason – and whether you actually want to or not – you’ll find that you’ll really enjoy the whole experience. We promise.
Because there is nothing better, honestly, than that first time you can crack a proper conversation in a new language. That time when you can walk into a Parisian café, say ‘bonjour’, and not be replied to in English. Being fluent in a language that you learned from scratch is just a really wonderful achievement.
And remember, developing some fluency in a second language will put you in the minority of people in the UK. Because whilst bilingual and multilingual people are well in the majority across the world, English speakers don’t tend to like learning different languages very much. This is a great big shame, and the more people we can get to improve their knowledge of other languages, the happier we are.
That’s why, here, we run through some of the options for you to learn French across the UK. The more options the better – because different people learn in different ways. We hope you find something that works for you!
The border between the UK and France!
But first, let’s run through some of the things that you’ll gaining from joining a French language course. Because learning a language is not just about the French vocabulary, the pronunciation, the subjunctive, and all the grammatical stuff like tenses and adjectives.
Rather, learning a language is learning a different way of seeing the world, and articulating and understanding the things you see and feel. Language and culture are so entwined that you’ll find yourself learning more about French people, the way that they think and understand.
This is the great thing about learning a different language. It is not just a way to talk to different native speakers or whatever. It’s rather a window onto a way of life for millions of different people.
Because there are millions of people who speak French – nearly three hundred million in fact. It is the official language of over thirty countries, and it is one of the major world languages, being used for all sorts of commercial and political business between countries and people. English and French are similar in this way, as they are both a lingua franca, a language spoken between speakers of different languages. Learning it unlocks a whole load of new opportunities for friendships, business partners, and acquaintances.
If you are looking for a French course to start, then the UK is probably one of the best places in the world to do it – apart, obviously, from those countries that are actually native French.
But the UK has world class educational institutions – from universities offering language programs to the best array of language school opportunities potentially in the world. So, whether it is a conversational French class you want, intensive French language training, or you want to pursue French to degree level and beyond, you’ll have the opportunity to do them all.
And further, the UK has more qualified French teachers than you’ve probably had hot meals – or indeed hot and cold meals combined. This is owing to the fact that there are a huge number of French people living in the UK.
On Superprof, we have over seven thousand tutors available to teach French – and, among them, you’ll find the right French teacher for you.
So, let’s break it down. We’ll show you some of the best opportunities for French learning in the UK.
The highest mountain in France – Mont Blanc!
Let’s start with London, often cited as France’s sixth biggest city. That’s because there are some four hundred thousand French people living in the city – that’s more than in cities like Bordeaux and Strasbourg.
You couldn’t really be anywhere better for learning a language, because, as is its reputation, London is truly a properly global city. Here you’ll find prestigious educational institutions such as University College London, well-known language studies centres – such as Covent Garden’s International House – and an array of private tutors, French conversation classes, and community centres offering basic French lessons.
There’s also the Institut Francais du Royaume-Uni, the official home of French culture in the UK. They offer French classes too, obviously – and of course you’ll have a native speaker for a teacher.
For more information, visit our article on French lessons in London!
Then there’s Edinburgh, the graceful capital of Scotland. This in itself is a hugely diverse, international city – with one of the highest number of Europeans per capita in the UK.
And, luckily for you, it’s the sort of city that you can walk around and find a language school on every street corner. You’ll find French for beginners, intermediate French, and advanced French lessons for those who want to make sure they keep on top of their existing language knowledge.
Try out Scotland’s own French institute – which of course offers French language lessons – or try the French language school at inLingua on Shandwick Place.
For more detail, check out our article on French classes in Edinburgh.
Glasgow is Scotland’s great bustling city, where Edinburgh is a little sleepier. You might say they are sort of rivals. But whichever one you’re living in, you’ll find the French training you deserve.
The city has a great array of universities to choose from, if you are interested in pursuing a degree in any of the romance languages – but most of them do evening classes too for those French learners who are more keen on a more casual language study.
There’s an outpost of the Alliance Francaise in Glasgow too – the official organisation for the promotion of French language and culture. And these do very professional language courses, at which you can practice your reading and writing and all the other things that learning languages is about.
Check out more information in our article on French lessons in Glasgow.
For those of you in Northern Ireland, you’re also pretty lucky. Like any major city in the UK and Europe, there are plenty of options to keep your linguistic needs fulfilled. And that’s for someone who speaks the language already and just wants a regular slot to practice French, and those who want to start right from beginner French.
From the famous Queen’s University to the organisations like the Crescent Arts Centre, there’s a very broad range of institutions offering French lessons.
Find out more about French classes in Belfast.
The classic French Riviera.
In Cardiff, an increasingly diversifying city with a lot more international business links, the industry of foreign language classes is growing. With an increasingly well-regarded university attracting people from all over the world – and over ninety languages spoken in schools across the city – Cardiff is a great place to be to learn languages.
Check out the language classes at the University of Cardiff. You can do these either on a casual basis in the evenings – just to brush up on your French knowledge or to build it from the beginning – or you can take a fulltime degree in French.
For more opportunities, read out article on learning French in Cardiff.
Like any other city in the UK, Birmingham has plenty of opportunities to learn French.
As ever, your best bet for classes is the University of Birmingham, which runs casual evening classes for those learning for fun. There is also Brasshouse Languages, which operates out of that massive new Library of Birmingham. Both are great options.
If you want private tuition however, you know where to look: Superprof!
For more information, check out our article on French classes in Birmingham.
Finally, Leeds. Leeds too has an Alliance Francaise centre – the official centre for the promotion of French language – which runs French classes to suit any learner’s needs.
There’s also Cactus Language Courses, which offers a great array of classes in the romance languages from the centre of the city.
As ever, for more information, check out our article on French courses in Leeds!