French Language Center

“I become much more confident in my ability to speak conversationally rather than just academically in French. It was also great having someone to proofread my work and help me constantly improve my writing.”
– Ella Lesher, Georgetown University

Even for advanced learners of French, the path to fluency can feel daunting. CUPA’s French Language Center makes that process compelling and engaging for students by providing them with the tools to take ownership of their progress.

CUPA students are required to sign a pledge to speak French at all times, be it during class, during a CUPA-sponsored activity, with friends or in a homestay. Our long-time expertise has also shown that to perfect a foreign language, one-on-one learning is the gold standard. To this end, we have designed our French Language Center and Methodology training to provide students with language instruction that takes into account each student’s interests, both academically and personally. It is thanks to this holistic approach that our students are able to transition seamlessly between a philosophical debate with a French peer and an informal conversation with their host family.

French essay

French essay

© Olivier Combre

Taking advantage of the
French Language Center

Building self-confidence is the key to CUPA’s approach. The French Language team encourages students to embrace the linguistic challenges of the immersion environment, by setting specific goals with them, thus empowering them to become the masters of their success.

To us, learning French should reflect your personal interests. Instead of just focusing on grammar and syntax the French Language Center allows students to hone their skills through real-world projects.


  • To help students advance from proficiency towards actual fluency in French
  • To build self-confidence, attenuate difficulties and improve their skills
  • To help them embrace the challenges of the immersion environment
  • To assist them in setting specific objectives
  • To encourage them to take charge of their progression in the language
  • To further their knowledge of language-learning processes

Examples of Projects

Creative writing

Individual writing exercises or projects, with extensive revising and refining in order to arrive at the “perfect” text. Depending on the specific project (for example, creation of a manga, short stories, Oulipian constrained writing exercises…), several short narratives or a single longer text are composed over the course of the semester.

Political discourse

A weekly press review or a political speech drafted then delivered on a given theme, in order to work in depth on grammar and oral skills, while analyzing the rhetoric of French political discourse.

Public health

Weekly analysis of French press/scholarly articles and/or videos dealing with public health, in order to build upon field-specific vocabulary, work on grammar and aural skills and comparison of the semantics of French vs. American discourse on Public Health.

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