FREN101

Beginners’ French I

Course type: Hybrid | A hybrid course may involve a combination of synchronous activities (done in “real time”) and asynchronous activities (done in one’s own time). The course will be delivered online.


A continuation of the A1 level work begun in FREN 101 and its journey into the French language and around the Francophone world. With an approach that is communicative and collaborative, and inductive and interactive, the course develops understanding and the mobilisation of knowledge as savoir-faire.

French grammatical structures studied include: common verbs in past and future tenses, reflexive verbs, personal and relative pronouns, and comparatives. These will be applied in practice through:

  • listening: understanding everyday communication about yourself, your family, and your immediate and concrete environment
  • reading: understanding familiar vocabulary in simple communicative structures; such as advertisements, signs, menus
  • speaking: asking questions for information or about familiar or everyday topics, and engaging with others in simple conversation
  • using simple sentences and expressions to describe places, people, objects, and concepts
  • writing: short descriptions and narratives; making comparisons and discussing cultural differences; giving advice and making plans; and expressing opinions, ideas, emotions, and sensations

FREN 101 (summer version) involves six hours per week of classroom work. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand simple communication and to communicate simply about familiar and frequently-encountered topics: events and experiences; food and its socio-cultural practices; music and cinema, books and writers, and entertainment and leisure; environment and climate; and life “à la française.”

Classes are mostly conducted in French, with some English as needed for explanation. If you are unsure whether this is the appropriate level of French course for you—for example if you have already learned some French—please read Guidelines for Placement in French Language Courses.

Prerequisite: FREN 101 or equivalent

Note: Not available to students with the prerequisite for FREN 102.

The sequence of French language courses FREN 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302, 401, and 402 is designed for non-native speakers. FREN 101 cannot be taken concurrently with 102 or other French courses. UBC’s French course sequence should be taken in order and one course at a time: FREN 101 then 102, followed by 201 and 202, and so on.

The Department of FHIS reserves the right to refuse enrollment to any of its language courses to a student who has, in the view of the Department, a level of competence unsuited to that course. Enrollment at or below the level the student has already attained is not permitted.


A course based on the A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference, introducing the French language and Francophone cultures, and opening up their understanding in a worldwide context. With an approach that is communicative and collaborative, and inductive and interactive, the course develops comprehension and the mobilisation of knowledge as savoir-faire.

French grammatical structures studied include: common verbs in the present tense, subject pronouns and adjectives for descriptions, prepositions for talking about places, simple negation, and asking questions. These will be applied in practice through:

  • listening: understanding everyday communication about yourself, your family, and your immediate and concrete environment
  • reading: understanding familiar vocabulary in simple communicative structures; such as advertisements, posters, menus
  • speaking: asking questions for information or about familiar or everyday topics, and engaging with others in simple conversation
  • using simple sentences and expressions to describe places and people
  • writing: short observations and portraits of people and places; completing forms and questionnaires; discussing cultural differences; and expressing opinions, ideas, and dreams

FREN 101 involves three hours per week of classroom work. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand simple communication and to communicate simply about familiar and frequently-encountered topics such as personal information, work, everyday life, identity, tastes, activities, travel, geography, and ecology.

Classes are mostly conducted in French, with some English as needed for explanation. As this course is for students who have never learned any French before, it assumes no prior knowledge of French. If you are unsure whether this is the appropriate level of French course for you---for example if you have already learned some French: please read Guidelines for Placement in French Language Courses.

Required text:
Nathalie Hirschsprung and Tony Tricot. Cosmopolite 1. (Paris: Hachette, 2017).

This textbook is used for both FREN 101 and FREN 102.

Recommended text:
Sylvie Poisson-Quinton. La grammaire du français en 44 leçons et plus de 230 activités, niveau A1. (Paris: Éditions Maison des langues, 2014).

Recommended for both FREN 101 and FREN 102.

Prerequisite: None

Note: Not available to students with the prerequisite for FREN 102.

The sequence of French language courses FREN 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302, 401, and 402 is designed for non-native speakers. FREN 101 cannot be taken concurrently with 102 or other French courses. UBC’s French course sequence should be taken in order and one course at a time: FREN 101 then 102, followed by 201 and 202, and so on.

The Department of FHIS reserves the right to refuse enrollment to any of its language courses to a student who has, in the view of the Department, a level of competence unsuited to that course. Enrollment at or below the level the student has already attained is not permitted.