French has been taught in the Australian school system and at university since the 1880s.
For a long time, there was little choice in Australia for students who wanted to learn a second language — German, Latin, Italian or French were the only subjects on offer. Over time, more and more language options have been introduced and although the current Australian Curriculum lists 16 languages (more if you include every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language, and each classical language, that falls under their broad categories), French remains the fifth most commonly offered language in school, and the most popular language to learn after compulsory schooling.
What has kept the 'language of love' at the top of the desirable list when it comes to language learning?
And, more importantly, if you want to take French lessons in Australia, where do you go? What is better — formal courses, online lessons or a French tutor?
Superprof has the answers for you.
The Beauty of Learning French
Une nouvelle langue est une nouvelle vie.A new language is a new life.
What's your reason?
Or, it may be that you haven't yet decided to learn French but you know you want to learn a language. If that's the case, here are five more reasons why learning French can be a wonderful experience.
1. French is the official language of 29 countries
When you're travelling, being able to speak even just a few words or basic phrases in the native language makes all the difference to your experience. Taking a few French lessons, or practising with a native speaking French tutor is like getting a ticket to 29 countries where you'll understand native speakers.
2. Many English words have French origins
Nearly a third of our English words have their origins in the French language. This means it should be easy (or easier) to speak, read and understand French if you are a native English speaker.
3. A lot of your favourite celebrities can speak French
You might be surprised to learn how many celebrities were students of French and now speak the language fluently — Shakira, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jodie Foster to name but a few.
4. L’Académie Française Protects the Integrity of the Language
Founded in 1634 by Cardinal Richelieu, this academy is tasked with overseeing the language and approving new words and any changes to grammar and spelling. Other languages have something similar — but not English.
5. French wasn't popular in France
This is just a fun fact but you may be surprised to learn that, until the 19th Century, French was more widely spoken in Germany and Holland than it was in France.
Becoming a Francophone in Australia
A 'Francophone' is often used to refer to a native speaker of French, but is also an umbrella term for 'French speaking'. So, if you have the motivation and commitment to devote time to your studies of French, and improve your speaking, writing and grammar skills, you too can become a Francophone in Australia.
Alternatively, if you're looking to improve your knowledge of an aspect of the culture, such as your cooking or art skills, you also have ample opportunity to pursue this through courses, classes and private tutoring, online or face-to-face, anywhere in Australia.
Either way, the first thing to do is decide what level of studies you want to work on, the skills you want to develop and improve and your reasons for learning. This will help you narrow down where to start looking for lessons — high school, university, language school, community courses or a private French tutor.
If, for example, you want a professional career that will be boosted by speaking and writing skills in French plus knowledge of culture, you will probably want to investigate university courses. If you are looking to improve your skills or knowledge in any particular culture-based subjects, you can find some great free lessons online.
Or, if you need targeted lessons to improve your speaking or writing skills, whether at a beginner level or advanced level, you may want to consider hiring a private French tutor. Tutors are easy to find if you know where to look. Superprof is a great place to start with over 600 tutors throughout Australia who offer tutoring services, both in-person and online.
French Classes in Canberra
We'll start with Canberra — the capital of Australia and home to The Alliance Française, a not-for-profit organisation offering teaching and tutoring for every age and level. The Alliance also work to promote relations between France and Australia.
Canberra is a popular study destination for students with great university facilities, French pre-school and bilingual school and an active native French community.
Of course, Canberra is also home to the Embassy of France which partners with The Alliance to run film festivals and art shows.
Check out the range of French classes available in Canberra.
Learning French in Brisbane
Next, we have Brisbane, the capital city of the Sunshine State (Queensland) and another popular destination for both national and international students.
Studying in Brisbane offers the best of both worlds — university courses that are world-class and an easy and affordable lifestyle, with beaches at your doorstep.
You don't have to roam far in Brisbane to find a language school or French tutor who can cater to your level, whether you're after beginner, intermediate or advanced lessons with tutors or just a brush-up on your grammar skills.
French Lessons in Perth
The capital city of Western Australia, Perth, might seem a long way from the likes of Sydney and Melbourne, but in all honesty — who cares? In Perth, and throughout Western Australia, you will experience cultural diversity like nowhere else, with over 200 nationalities, speaking 170 languages, residing in the region.
Not only are the school and university facilities and courses top-class but the lifestyle is conducive to your studies and there are non-stop opportunities to experience world culture through festivals and various cultural events all year round.
Experience the best French lessons in Perth.
Study French in Adelaide
Home to some of the best French cuisine in Australia, the capital city of South Australia, Adelaide, has hosted the Musée Extérieur (Outdoor Museum), featuring a curated outdoor art trail celebrating France. Complementing your studies, whether at university, high school or as an adult learner with a private tutor, the Adelaide branch of the French conversation Meetup is active and always looking for new members.
Classed as one of the world's top ten most liveable cities, particularly for a student, you will find Adelaide easy to navigate and the perfect location to find tutors and focus on your studies.
Find a French course in Adelaide to suit your needs.
Enrol in a French Course in Hobart
Last, but not least, we have Hobart — the southernmost city in Australia and capital of 'The Apple Isle', Tasmania. If you're into bushwalking, mountain biking or photography, along with learning French, Hobart is the city for you.
Easy to navigate and safe, Hobart offers one of the most inspiring environments for your studies, whether you are completing a university degree, or a 6-week intensive grammar and conversation course. Plus, being so small, the bonus of day and weekend trips to other locations, while you're taking a mini-break from your subjects, is an added bonus.
Consider taking French courses in Hobart.
A Few Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your French Lessons in Australia
No matter where you choose to undertake your French studies, who you are studying with, or whether you are doing online classes or face-to-face tutoring — fluency and meeting your goals is not an automatic given. Here are a few quick and easy pointers for making the most of your French lessons.
- Take every opportunity to speak
The most successful students quickly get past shyness and the fear of making mistakes to speak and practise their new grammar and vocabulary skills at every opportunity. From volunteering answers during your classes to organising and participating in a conversation group — the more you speak, the quicker you'll learn.
- Ask questions
There's no such thing as a silly question. If you're not sure about a grammar point, if you want to know more about an aspect of culture — ask questions. Better still, ask them in French!
- Engage a French tutor or do a language-swap with a native French speaker
If you're enrolled in classes or courses at university, you'll probably find the pace quite fast and the tutorial time really only scratches the surface when it comes to practising. If this is you, engaging a French tutor to help you consolidate the content you're learning in your university subjects can be the difference between a pass and a distinction.
Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid. (Little by little, the bird makes its nest.)
Persevere with your studies, but make sure you have fun learning, too.