Screenshot from video of two people greeting each other.

Elementary French I[Enter Course]


Elementary French I is a carefully sequenced and highly interactive presentation of French language and culture in a media-rich course environment including new video shot in France and Québec with young professional actors. It is designed to be used as a full course of study.

To successfully use this course, you should be a motivated student with a sincere desire to learn about French language and francophone cultures, and be comfortable with computer technologies. The time commitment will typically average 6-8 hours per week.

For information on studying French online vs. in person, see Who should study French Online? in the course introduction. You will be prompted to create an account to access the course introduction, but you may click the “Look Inside” button to view the course without creating an account.

Additional Course Details

Topics Covered:
Introductions, Origins, Studies, Age, Appearance, Personality, Preferences, Activities, Time, The Family, The Home, Work, Meals, Restaurants, and Shopping.
Estimated Time to Complete Course:
15 weeks. The course is divided into fifteen thematic lessons. Each lesson is designed to take one week to complete so working through an entire course will take the average student approximately fifteen weeks. Completing this course and Elementary French 2 will require two semesters or roughly thirty weeks at the university level. These courses have also been used successfully at the secondary level where they can be extended to cover two years or more.
Additional Software or Materials Required:
Chat environment and videoconferencing software if the student is working with an instructor in a distance-learning situation.
Course Last Updated Date:
August 2017
Changes in This Update Include:
Addition of final exam using extensive question pools.
Maintenance Fee (per student):
Free to independent learners; $25 for academic students.

In-Depth Description

Each lesson opens with a video dramatization that sets the context for the lesson. Parts of the video are then replayed in a variety of interactive activities and tutors. Each video in the course was written specifically to serve as the foundation for the lesson in which it is used. These high quality videos were produced with French actors on location in France (Nantes) and Quebec (Montreal) so the speech, movements and contexts are authentic.

The beginning of each lesson is always a set sequence, from simple recognition of language in a video dialogue, through explicit learning of grammar and pronunciation, to written and spoken production of variations on that language. After this ordered beginning, a number of activities are offered to the student in which the language learned is used in understanding new texts, sounds or videos or in creative production (conversation or writing). Lesson tests and final exams, generated from extensive question pools (portions of which are automatically graded), are available to students enrolled in instructor-led courses. The Learning Dashboard allows for at-a-glance evaluation by instructors of student progress based on each lesson’s learning objectives.