New French language course to be offered to foreign workers

French as a foreign language is to be offered as an option under the government’s lifelong learning scheme which is open to all workers.

Published Last updated

Self-employed people pay the training tax contribution à la formation professionnelle (CFP) - see The average training budget for every micro-entrepreneur is €1,000 a year but many do not know they have this and miss the opportunity. Thibault Viguier, founder of online training provider Ecole Française, offers vocational courses that can be paid for via the fonds mutualisés de la formation professionnelle.

He said: “We’re a private school, but people doing courses with us are eligible for the government’s lifelong learning scheme. It means job-seekers, employees, self-employed people, disabled people, or those in retraining can study with us and the fees are paid. Ninety-nine per cent of our students pay nothing because tariffs of courses are aligned with government prices.”

French you don't learn at school: quand même

What courses are on offer?

Courses last two to four weeks, and can be done online. Subjects include Photoshop, marketing, interior design, English, Excel, management, building a website, sales, using social networks, and editing videos. There are plans to launch a new course, French as a foreign language, next year.

Mr Viguier said courses are short because they are practical and make people operational fast. They are very specific. The French as a foreign language course will be for those who have some French but want to improve their oral comprehension. “We use real conversations, break them down, then speed back up so people can understand French when it’s spoken faster and faster, and we also use prepared conversations over the phone with a teacher.”

At the end of the course, the students face an exam, usually online, to get a professionally recognised qualification. Mr Viguier said he used to sell the courses via employers but noticed that the ones people wanted to do were not necessarily ones their employers wanted them to do, so decided to sell directly to individuals.

Our pick of best new books about France to read this August