Why Learn French

French is a dominant language of international communication and diplomacy and the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. After English, French is the second most popular taught and learned language on Earth.

As a prestigious and renowned international language, French exposes students to a new world of exploration. Not only the culinary delights of French cuisine but a rich and deep culture and history that has spread throughout many communities globally.

300

Million Francophones worldwide

5th

World language

132

Million people learn French

4th

Most used language on the internet

Reasons to Learn French

1Become a Citizen of the World

French is, along with English, the only language spoken on all five continents. Nearly 300 million people around the world speak French. That’s 300 million new friends just waiting to be made. The OIF (International Organisation of La Francophonie) predicts that by 2050, over 700 million people will be fluent in French.

French is not only for France. It can help you travel around Belgium, West Africa, Canada, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Rwanda, Switzerland, Vietnam and many other places. French is a language that opens up the world.

2A language for learning other languages

Learning more than one language has shown to have many social, academic and cognitive advantages. The acquisition of French takes advantage of these developmental benefits and is a gateway language for learning other languages. As one of the Romance languages, French opens the door to, and makes it easier to, learn other Romance languages like Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

For English speakers, why stop at one language? French is incredibly similar to English. They share many cognates, (words that have a similar spelling, pronunciation, and meaning across two languages), proof of the close historical and cultural links between the two historical rivals and European partners. Learning French will not only benefit students as a second language but also enrich English speakers as well.

3An introduction to an incomparable cultural universe

France is the number one tourist destination in the world and considered to be one of the most beautiful places to visit. By learning to speak French students’ can enjoy and immerse themselves in this incomparable cultural universe from Paris to the Mediterranean.

Starting with French cuisine. Croissants, pastries, tarts, baguettes, cheese, wine, crepes, macarons, to name a few delights. By learning French, our students get their pronunciations right, leaving room to enjoy the glamorous cities, the picturesque villages, the art, culture and cinema.

4A creative language

Some cliches are true. French is the Language of Love. There is nothing more romantic than speaking French – c’est la langue d’amour. However, French is also the language of the 18th century Enlightenment and the language of reasoning and debate. This makes French an incredibly creative language. Not only to speak but also to understand a wide variety of historical, cultural and scientific resources.

French is often heard on stage and read in literature. Students of French get to explore and enjoy the works of Voltaire, Emile Zola, Jules Verne, George Sand, Victor Hugo and Olympe de Gouges. Or dive into the ideas of Descartes, Sartre and Rousseau, or the science of Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur and Jean-Baptist Lamarck.

5The language of international diplomacy and business

French is an official language of numerous international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, the WTO, the International Olympic Committee the International Red Cross and international courts. For students looking to enter public service or a career with NGOs, French is a career asset.

In business, French multinational organisations are leaders in sectors like retailing, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, telecommunications and many more. France is the world’s fifth-biggest economy and attracts entrepreneurs and the very best innovators from around the world. Bloomberg Businessweek ranked French as the third most useful language in business after English and Mandarin.

6Take advantage of the French education establishment

At IFS, and in general in the French education system, teaching is of the highest international standard. French teachers are renowned for their dynamic, inventive approach and high expectations. Students are highly motivated by their teachers to succeed.

In addition, a truly unique network of French international schools worldwide provides unparalleled access and flexibility for international families. This network makes it easy for students to make contact with French speakers of their age, as pen pals or via the Internet.

There are many different exchange programmes in France and through the AEFE that offer rewarding experiences for students.

Speaking French opens up opportunities for higher education at some of France’s best-known universities. The Sorbonne, Pierre Marie Curie University, etc. Or elite grandes écoles like HEC, Polytechnique and ESSEC.

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