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French I mini-MOOC


About This Course

This is an introductory course in French as a foreign language. It is aimed at complete beginners, particularly those unfamiliar with grammatical case. It covers French phonetics, basic grammar in the noun phrase, and basic syntax with a focus on interrogative sentences. Throughout the course, common difficulties in pronunciation, connected speech, and word order are addressed. The course is made of 6 chapters, with a time commitment of 90 minutes per chapter, totaling around 9 hours.

In the first chapter, learners discover the French text-to-speech system--the pronunciation of written French-- through comparison with the English system. (Unit 1.1). With this awareness of the differences between French and English text-to-speech systems, learners understand the usefulness of the French phonetic alphabet, which is introduced with the 34 sounds of French (Unit 1.2).

In the second chapter, learners are exposed to nominal gender (masculine/feminine) and nominal number (singular/plural). Determiner agreement is then presented: indefinite article inflection (Unit 2.1 and 2.2) and definite article inflection (Unit 2.3).

In the third chapter, learners continue to explore inflection in the noun phrase with noun-adjective agreement in gender (Unit 3.1) and number (Unit 3.2), and adjectival position (Unit 3.3), all the while deepening their familiarity with the French phonemes and features of connected speech.

In the fourth chapter, learners study the interrogative sentence in French: the relation between word order and speech register (Unit 4.1); yes/no questions (Unit 4.2); and 'What' questions (Unit 4.3 and Unit 4.4).

In the fifth chapter, learners continue learning about the French noun phrase with the expression of possession: Lea's watch becomes la montre de Léa (Unit 5.1). Possessive determiners are also introduced (my, your, his/her) (Unit 5.2).

In the sixth chapter, learners discover the use of the third subject pronouns ce/il/elle (it/he/she): in French, the three pronouns ce (c') and il/elle can refer to persons (Unit 6.1), as well as inanimate things (Unit 6.2). The first week, learners discover the French text-to-speech system - the pronunciation of written French - by comparing it to the English system. Although French and English both use the Roman alphabet, letter combinations (words) are pronounced distinctly in each language (Unit 1.1).


This course is intended for beginners in of French as a foreign language. No prior knowledge of French is required. The course uses English as the medium of instruction and draws frequent comparisons with English phonology, grammar and syntax. Adequate knowledge of the English language is the only prerequisite.

Course Staff

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Alice Moulimois

A French citizen from New Caledonia, Alice teaches French language and culture at the Education University of Hong Kong. She holds a bachelor (Hons.) from Institut d'Études Politiques de Toulouse, France, and a master's degree in intercultural communication from Institut Hannah Arendt at Université Paris Est. A graduate of Sunderland University's PGCE programme, she is registered as a teacher under the Hong Kong Education Bureau.

  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

  3. Estimated Effort

    90 minutes per chapter (1 chap/week in regular semesters; 1-2 chaps/week in summer semester).