How to choose the best French language school in France

So you’ve decided to study French in France. By now you’ve probably researched the destination, school size, course content and which cultural activities are offered by various French language schools in France. If you’re really serious about your language studies abroad, then considering these 5 factors will really help you to choose the best French language school and ensure you have a valuable study abroad experience.

1. School accreditation

We listed this as first because we believe that your language study abroad experience will highly be determined by the quality of the school you choose to attend and its accreditation. By accreditation, we mean the quality guarantee that covers the teacher’s qualifications, curriculum, the school’s facilities, the school’s business practice & policies and as well as accommodation and other student services. You will find that there are many national and international accreditations and quality assurance schemes in different countries.  Accreditation organizations generally have the same goal – to ensure that their members have high quality standards for their programs and services. That’s why they audit their member schools regularly. For example, French in Normandy is accredited by Qualité FLE, a government recognized certification that is awarded in accordance with a framework based on the following five aspects:

  • Teaching and training courses
  • Teachers
  • Hosting and support
  • Premises, safety and equipment
  • Management

French in Normandy has earned full awards in all 5 categories, making it a highly qualified French language school. The International Association of Language Centres is a global network of accredited independent language schools of which French in Normandy is a longstanding member.

2. Student Reviews

Nowadays you can easily find reviews online for just about anything, from best restaurants to hair salons, hotels and even language schools! There are various websites that provide French language school reviews by former students and French in Normandy is proud to have hundreds of top reviews as well as have been voted Best French Language School in France by our students on the Education Stars website. You can also always check out Facebook reviews for more opinions too!

3. Curriculum and levels of instruction

As you know, some schools teach only from textbooks while others don’t use textbooks at all. Accredited language schools such as French in Normandy have a well-balanced curriculum in line with internationally recognized standards and which covers all aspects of learning a language: listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar and pronunciation. When choosing a French language school, be sure that you will be tested at the start of your course, throughout your programme and again at the end of your stay so that you can measure your language learning progress from start to finish.

4. Class size

Both the size of the school and class is important, but the size of the class is probably the more important factor when choosing a language school abroad. The most common class size is 15 students but at French in Normandy, the maximum class size is 12, ensuring you have optimal attention and personal instruction from your teacher. The ideal class size is 10 – 12 students, perfect for active participation and comfort, especially if you’re a beginner.

5. Awards

What many people don’t know is that there are numerous industry awards which are given annually to the top schools worldwide in the language learning industry. For example, French in Normandy is the proud 5-time winner of the Star French Language School award, given by Study Travel Magazine and voted by partners and colleagues from around the world. French in Normandy is also the winner of the UED Award in the Best FrenchLanguage School category from UED in Turkey, The Association of International Education Counselors. These awards recognized our accomplishments in French language instruction but also reflect our outstanding relationships with agent partners around the world who are happy to recommend French in Normandy to their clients as the best French language school in France.


If you are thinking about studying French in France, get a free quote on your language course at French in Normandy!


Let’s Celebrate ! Champagne Prizes !

25th Anniversary of French in Normandy 

Pop open the bottle of champagne because French in Normandy is celebrating its 25th anniversary! This year we are giving away a birthday bottle champagne to one of our valued agents each month! Be entered into our monthly prize draw every time you send a new booking and every month FIN will randomly draw a winner to receive a bottle of French in Normandy champagne sent directly to your office! Start sending us students now to enter the prize draw!

See the highlights of our 25 years here on the blog.


January : Français en France, Germany


February : Institut français Tokyo


25 Years of French in Normandy

Since French in Normandy began 25 years ago we have had the pleasure of welcoming students from countless countries around the world. Students from all walks of life, with all different motivations have shared our passion for French language learning and teaching. A student’s success is our success and this shows in our exceptional exam pass rates and our growing network of alumni and agent partners worldwide.

Since FIN started in 1992, with no students and a dog, we have gone from strength to strength; each year striving to provide better education and service to our students.

Some of our highlights include:

Malika joining us in 1997. Our well-known and much loved operations manager who knows all the ins and outs of the school, always ready to assist in all areas with a smile.

Receiving the Qualité FLE label in 2007 for the first time, a confirmation of our exceptional teachers, curriculum, facilities and services.

Joining the beloved IALC family in 2007.

Winning Study Travel Magazine’s Best French Language School in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012! Voted by our valued partners, these awards have motivated to continue building and maintaining our important agent relationships and ensuring the total satisfaction of their clients.

In 2013 Melanie Raymond joined FIN, bringing her enthusiasm and experience to French in Normandy and taking special care of our partner’s needs.

Hosting the 2015 IALC workshop and showing off our beautiful city, Rouen.

Receiving the Qualité FLE label for third time with another three stars accreditation in 2016.

2013 – 2016. Incredible acknowledgement from our students by the way of voting us the Best Language School in France with Educations Stars for 4 consecutive years!

Recognition and support from our valued agents in Turkey, voted Best French Language School by UED from 2013 – 2016.

Through all this, we would like to thank all our host families, our partners in Normandy and abroad, and all our students past present and future for being part of the French in Normandy story.

Take a look back on French in Normandy in the gallery below…



Journée exceptionnelle dédiée à l’enseignement & apprentissage du Français Langue Étrangère

French in Normandy vous invite à une journée exceptionnelle dédiée à l’enseignement & apprentissage du Français Langue Étrangère.
le mercredi 5 octobre 2016
10h00 à 17h00 : Rencontre sur stand avec les maisons d’édition de FLE 
Toutes les heures : Présentations des collections par les délégués pédagogiques 
17h00 : Remise des Prix des Camemberts du FLE, récompensant pour les meilleures publications de FLE de l’année 
18h00 : Table ronde « SOS FLE », animée par Sébastien Langevin, rédacteur en chef de la revue Le Français Dans Le Monde, et qui réunira Jacques Pêcheur (auteur de nombreuses méthodes de FLE, ancien directeur du département de langue française de l’Institut Français), Christine Renard (Maître de langues, de l’Institut des langues vivantes de Louvain-la-Neuve), Amandine Denimal (maître de conférences en sciences du langage à l’université de Rouen) et Olivier Massé (Coordinateur pédagogique de French in Normandy, formateur de formateur et auteur de manuels).
Rendez-vous à la
Librairie L’Armitière
66 Rue Jeanne d’Arc, 76000 Rouen
Téléphone : 02 35 70 57 42
Votez pour les publications FLE :
Votre vote compte ! Plus qu’une semaine….
what is erasmus+

What is ERASMUS +: Everything You Need to Know

The old programmes Comenius and Grundtvig have gone and now EU funding for in-service teacher training is provided through an EU programme called Erasmus+.

What is Erasmus+?

The EU Erasmus+ programme is intended to support activities in a variety of fields including education, training, youth and sport in all sectors of lifelong learning (Higher Education, Further Education, adult education, schools, youth activities etc).

There is now much more money available for training teachers (and TAs, and other school support staff) and you should make your head of school and colleagues aware of this opportunity.

The grants cover all elements of the courses; training input, accommodation, subsistence and travel, so if you make a successful application there is no cost to the school or individual member of staff.

We are already working with schools that have received significant grants from Erasmus+ for their teachers to study French. It is good for your school – and for you!

what is erasmus+

Who can apply for Erasmus+?

Erasmus+ is available to a wide range of organisations across all sectors of education and training in the EU member and EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

Any public or private organisation actively involved in these areas can now apply for funding. That means if you are a teacher in a private, local authority or academy school – as long as your school applies, you can benefit!

How do we apply?

Applications are made through the ‘Erasmus + Key Action 1 for schools’ programme.

Applications are no longer for single courses for single members of staff. Applications are done through your school, and one application can cover multiple courses [for the same member(s) of teaching staff or for a range of individuals].

When is the deadline?

  • There is only one application date each year, and the next deadline for submitting completed applications will be early 2017
  • This feels like a long time ahead, but you need to start planning now to ensure you can put in a strong application
  • You need to speak to your school / institution NOW to ask if they will support a funding application for your school! As the application is made in your school’s name it is vital that you make sure that your school is prepared to support your application before you go any further.
  • If you are English speaking you can call our ‘Erasmus+ expert’, Sheelagh Connolly, who can give you more advice on making an application and, if you are UK based, can support you with it. Sheelagh is available on +44 7933 796 931 or you can contact her on [email protected]
  • You can apply for a French course with French in Normandy as soon as you have spoken to your school and decided to make an application. Contact Eleri Maitland at eleri.maitland(at) We will hold your place on the course until you have confirmed your funding application has been successful

What to do next

  1. Read the Erasmus+ information at the links we have given you below and arrange a meeting with the person responsible in your school, university, college or organisation – we recommend you arrange this now!
  2. As part of your application your school / organisation will need to submit a European Development plan for one or two years, in line with the EU 2020 Education, Training, Youth and Sport Proposal. You request a number of ‘mobilities’ (grants) for staff to attend training courses at French in Normndy. We can advise on suitable plans.
  3. Your school will need to register with the European Commission’s Participant Portal and get a PIC number here.
  4. When your funding is awarded, you and your school can then choose which French in Normandy course you would like to participate in.
  5. French in Normandy are listed in the ERASMUS+ School Educaton Gateway Catalogue. You can choose our French in Normandy Teacher Training Course.

Forms are available on the Erasmus+ web site. To help you prepare, you can look at examples of them here.


  • FRENCH IN NORMANDY PIC No. is – 932062428
  • French in Normandy’s official English speaking Erasmus+ partner is Sheelagh Connolly. You can call her on: +44 7933 796 931 or you can contact her by email at claro(at)
  • A step-by-step application guide for organisations is available on the Erasmus+ website – Click here.
  • Erasmus+ Funding Guide.
  • Find the National Agency in your country here.

Top marks for French in Normandy Qualite fle audit

FIN FLE logo sqFollowing its Qualité fle audit in January 2016, French in Normandy received the highest mark of three stars in all the areas audited.

The French government quality label audits the following areas:

  • Quality of the premises, health and safety concerns
  • Quality of the Management structure, financial management and sales and marketing
  • Quality of the Welcome service, choice of accommodation, quality of accommodation and welcome service
  • Quality of the teaching, teachers’ conditions of service
  • Quality of the courses, course content and organisation for Business and General French and French for specific purposesFrench in Normandy was also voted Best French Language School for the third year running by students on educationstars. “This is a tribute to the dedication of the French in Normandy staff and their commitment to quality, “ says Owner Eleri Maitland.

This post originally appeared on the IALC blog.


Erasmus Programme for Teachers at French in Normandy

ecbfb37cdfb585568757e539023811c5The Erasmus programme for teachers aims to help school teachers across Europe, providing them with an opportunity to increase their language level, take a look at some examples of « Best teaching practices » and innovative approaches to classroom management so as to enhance their professional skills.

The programme is designed for teachers of all levels from pre-primary to secondary and as part of the project teachers are encouraged to link up with teachers in their target language country. This year French in Normandy has so far welcomed over 50 teachers mainly from the UK as part of their in-service teacher training course and many have been part of the Erasmus project. As part of their course, visiting teachers have enjoyed observation sessions both in-house at French in Normandy as well with some of our partner schools, colleges and lycées here in Rouen. They have also enjoyed working on assignments using realia and preparing school visits to museums and historic monuments here in the city of Rouen via the excellent online and accessible educational and learning resources provided by French in Normandy.

Introducing Olivier Massé: Director of Studies

Olivier au TBI mars 2015French in Normandy now has not one but two Directors of Studies: Landry Noël remains in charge of academic administration and examinations for students and staff while Olivier Massé, who joined us from June 1st is responsible for our teaching team, our teacher training programme for in-service teachers, internal training and product development.

Olivier spent many years teaching and leading the academic team at the French Institute of Japan and he speaks fluent Japanese. During his time in Japan he was still connected to FLE (French as a Foreign Language) in France as he was the principle coordinator for the practical teaching element of French teaching degree offered by the University of Maine in West France. He was also the driving force behind an on-line shared database for French language teachers in Japan as well as working as a consultant for the Institut Français & Alliance Française network in their quality department.

French is Normandy is delighted to welcome Olivier on board especially as he is also the co-author of a series of specialised French language text-books for beginners. « We are very pleased that Olivier has joined us and see his appointment as another landmark in our commitment to ever-higher levels of quality teaching and performance » said FIN Director Eleri Maitland.

What are your first impressions of Rouen?

Olivier: The longer I spend in Rouen, the more my first impression of this city is confirmed: Rouen is the art of living “à la française”. It’s been a centre of trade for centuries, the area is full of history and culture . Visitors can enjoy a truly authentic provincial capital and unparalleled gourmet experience.  Yet the city offers the best of modern cities -it is dynamic and functional city, with the city’s rental bicycles a firm favourite with our students.  For me, after spending many years in crazy Tokyo, I do enjoy the city’s green heart as well as the welcoming kindness of the people here.

You have been at FIN since June 1st are you planning to make major changes to the school’s academic programme ?

Olivier: The school has an incredibly well structured and developed  academic profile and, as a mirror of Rouen itself, it’s quiet amazing to have such a level of organisation in language school that has managed to maintain its family feel and size.  So I won’t have to make major changes in the overall programme. My goal for the years to come is to make the classes evolve as “connected classes”, taking advantage of the cloud technology that everybody is using more and more in everyday life. We want our classes to prepare our students not just to get top DELF and DALF scores but also to be able to truly use the French language in real life situations. This is not just a French in Normandy goal but one that is clearly identified in the European Framework for Languages.

What do you hope to bring to an award winning French language school such as French in Normandy?
 Olivier: We have many exciting projects :“Interaction” is the keyword; we want more interaction between the students in class, between the classes themselves, between the students and the host families and with the teachers altogether. You’ll soon be hearing about our plans, using French and learning the language as a result – just keep your ears open!
best french language school

FIN: Education Star 2014 (Student reviews of French in Normandy)

French in Normandy staff, host families and partners are all simply delighted that students have voted us ‘Best French Language School’ for the second year running with such wonderful reviews of French in Normandy. Reading the lovely things that our students have written about us encourages us all not just to keep up the good work but to keep on striving to improve French in Normandy and the service that we offer.  We are all proud to have been awarded this fantastic recognition of our school’s commitment to our students.

reviews of french in normandy


Read reviews of French in Normandy online at EducationStars and discover what our students love about studying French with us in Rouen!