Where to learn French in Singapore?

haute couture

“Haute Couture” is French for “high fashion”

There are many good reasons to learn French. It’s the language of fashion, arts and gastronomy, and a working language of organisations like the UN, WTO, FIFA, EU and many more.

French is a relatively popular European language to learn in Singapore, and thus it’s no surprise that our directory sports a good selection of French courses.

Which one to pick? It depends on your objectives and situation.

Three French-only language schools in Singapore

Alliance Française logoI have witnessed many conversations where one person said they were thinking of learning French, and the other responded with: “Then you should sign up with the Alliance Française (AF)”.

A cultural institution supported by the French government and established in 135 countries worldwide, AF has been established in Singapore since 1949 and runs its own centre including a library, exhibition space and a theatre.

French Toast logoSounds excellent, doesn’t it?

What’s less known is that several other specialised French schools have been founded in Singapore in the past years, and they seem to be doing well.

In order of founding: French Toast (FT, since 2010) at Upper Thomson, French studio (FS, 2012) at Katong and French Language Academy (FLA, 2014) at Ang Mo Kio.

You could see the relative “youth” of these schools as a disadvantage, but on the flip side, they are freer to innovate and since they are owned by private individuals, the principals have a lot of reasons to try and do better every day.

At the time of writing, French toast for one has garnered over a 140 excellent reviews on Yago.

Agape logoAnother school to consider would be Agape at Novena. While this school offers several languages, their principal is French and an accomplished French teacher.

Don’t have the illusion that you’ll somehow get better teachers in one school than the other; it’s a very small world, and many French teachers move between schools, or sometimes teach at different schools at the same time.

In fact, if you are looking for a beginner French class, there are even more options: all larger language schools offer French courses. You can find them in our directory here.

Want to learn French full-time?

If you have the opportunity to make time for studying French full-time, I highly recommend it, especially when just starting out. French Toast, AF and French Studio offer intensive French courses. These courses are either full-time or take place several times a week for a more intensive learning experience.

French wine

Will wine taste better when you speak French? Only one way to find out…

What is your level?

If you’re not a beginner, I strongly recommend that you pick one of the three specialised schools (AF, FT, FS, FLA).

In language schools that teach several languages, it is hard to find advanced or even intermediate French classes. This is because the student population tends to thin quickly after the first beginner course.

Can you stick to a regular schedule?

If you join a French class, it’s important that you can be there almost all of the time.

If you miss a lesson and join in the next session, you will be behind. It’s very hard to catch up again after missing 1-2 lessons.

You may not have a choice due to business travel, irregular work schedules or other obligations. If you can’t stick to a regular schedule, consider private French lessons or take an online French course for more flexibility. These classes have the advantage that if you ever have to postpone a session, you can pick up where you were after you’re back. Find them in our directory: http://yago.sg/directory/french.

French for children: in lieu of mother tongue

Under certain circumstances, the Ministry of Education allows French as an alternative mother tongue language.

AF, FT, FS and Agape all offer specific classes to support your child in learning French in lieu of mother-tongue. It can be a bit of a thin market though, so when you contact them, do establish whether the mother-tongue replacement class is confirmed to start, and what the age range will be for the class.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 10.26.26 pmFor one-to-one tuition, French Faster can be an attractive option too. They allow your child to learn French online through Skype with teachers in Mauritius, probably the only place in the world where both English and French are spoken as a mother tongue.

Besides being very budget friendly (around S$ 20/hour), taking lessons online also saves a bunch in going back and forth to the school, especially if you don’t drive.

If you think French Faster sounds familiar, you are right; until 2009, it was operating as a language school in the Bugis area.

Conclusion

There are more options for learning French in Singapore than meets they eye. The schools that I particularly recommend you to consider are:

I hope this has given you a good idea of where to look! If you have any questions, please post a comment below and I will find you an answer!

About Guus Goorts

Guus has traveled widely and has lived in The Netherlands, Ghana, Belgium and Singapore. In descending order of fluency, he speaks Dutch, English, Mandarin, German and some rudiments of Spanish, French and Italian. Guus lives in Singapore with his wife and two young children. He settled in Singapore in early 2006 from his native country The Netherlands. After working in a job for corporate training, he founded Yago Languages, Singapore's guide to language learning.