UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Level 1

Prerequisite for entry

For complete beginners or those who have had only very little contact with the language.

Term duration

10 x 2-hour classes.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the course is to enable students to function at a basic everyday survival level (basic vocabulary, grammar, morphology, syntax and phonetics). Students should be able to communicate in and understand French on a number of practical everyday matters.  Language learning skills, including autonomous learning and how to approach some authentic material will be enhanced.  Some transferable skills will also be covered.


  • Greetings, introducing yourself and others.
  • Meeting people
  • Talking about yourself and your family
  • Likes/dislikes
  • Describing a person
  • Describing your home (living room/bedroom)
  • Shopping in a clothes shop
  • Ordering/buying drinks in a café

Course content

Main topics/themes to be covered:

  • First contacts around nationality
  • Politeness (formal or informal/familiar)
  • Introduction of closer acquaintances (family, friends)
  • Occupation and centres of interest
  • The family
  • Numbers, days of the week, months
  • Home (objects, furniture)
  • The clothes, colours

Linguistic Structures/ Phonetics

Basic rules of the pronunciation of spoken French


  • Gender and number of French nouns/some adjectives
  • Negative and interrogative structures
  • Definite and indefinite articles
  • Prepositions + countries/cities
  • Possessive and demonstrative adjectives
  • Present tense of regular verbs in –er
  • Basic prepositions and linking words
  • Present tense of a few irregular verbs (être, avoir, aller)

Learning resources


  • Course book: Le nouveau Taxi 1. Hachette  (Up to lesson 8).
  • Tutor’s material
  • In addition there is a wide range of language learning materials for self-study in the Self-Access Centre.

Bilingual Dictionaries (Collins/Robert) Pocket edition

Useful websites