Frequently Asked Questions
-What do I need to register ?
We just need a copy of your ID and to fill out the registration form.
-When can I register ?
Our courses run termly (10 weeks) for group classes, so you can register from two weeks before the start of the new term.
See below the 2018 calendar:
Term 1: 22 January – 28 March
Term 2: 10 April – 22 June
Term 3: 17 July - 28 September
Term 4: 9 October - 7 December
Or for private lessons, you are free to register at any time.
-What are the payment methods ?
We require payment upfront via cash, card or EFT. The fees are payable in full at the start of the term. There is also a compulsory annual affiliation fee of R100. If you "bring a friend", each receives 5% discount off of fees.
-Who do I contact to register?
You can call the reception directly on 031 312 9582, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com You are also welcome to come into the Alliance!
-What are the benefits of learning this language in Africa? Worldwide?
There are many!! Here are some facts:
- French is spoken by 274 million people throughout the world and is the 5th most widely-spoken language after Mandarin, English, Spanish and according to estimates, Arabic or Hindi.
- "La Francophonie" (the French speaking countries) is the 6th largest geopolitical area in terms of its population and could become the 4th largest geopolitical area by 2050.
- French is the 4th most common language on the Internet, the 3rd most used language in business, the 2nd most used language for international news in the media, the 2nd leading working language of most international organisations, and the 2nd most learned language in the world with 125 million students and a half a million French teachers abroad.
- It is a tool of international communication, serving as a working language in multilateral European and African forums (e.g. UN, WTO, OECD, ILO).
- France, the world’s 5th economic power, standing out as an important international presence of its major companies and a network of its small and medium enterprises. 75% of the turnover of French CAC 40 enterprises is earned internationally, including 30% from emerging countries.
Don’t forget that it is also a pleasant language to learn, and has a unique culture to discover!
-How long will it take me to become fluent in French?
It takes a whole lifetime for even French people to learn French. However, it depends on how much time you spend on practising the language apart from the classes - as with anything, learning a language takes practice! But don’t be scared! French has a lot in common with English, as 60% of the languages are similar! You will also reach the basics quite quickly and surprise yourself to be able to communicate so rapidly!
We also have a library where you can borrow books, cds, and dvds to help you get more exposure to the language - this has proven to be very helpful for students to improve quicker.
-Why Alliance Française is the best place to learn French?
We are the only accredited French language teaching facility sponsored by the French Embassy in Durban. Our teachers are passionate about the language and they are all graduates in teaching French for foreigners. We also have a strong partnership with a network of 835 Alliances Françaises around the world, which allow us to offer the best services in teaching with the new technology!
-What are the prices?
Classes are on:
Weekdays mornings or evenings - 2 hours twice a week = 40 hours over 10 weeks, 1 term
OR Saturdays - 2 hours once a week= 40 hours over 20 weeks, 2 terms
Fees: R3550 (tuition fees) + R655 (set of 2 books) + R100 (annual student affiliation) for the 40 hours.
-Is there free WiFi at the Alliance?
Yes, we gladly provide free WiFi in the building for everyone.
-Is there a place to eat at the Alliance Française?
We are lucky to have a great restaurant that offers good quality food inside the Alliance. French Fusion Café also prepares special menus for our events. So if you want to have an espresso or a good baguette like in Paris, you are more than bienvenue!
-Is there safe parking available?
We have safe parking inside the premises and we always make sure to provide a car guard for street parking at night.
-Do you have a library with French books?
Indeed! On request, all students have access to the materials, such as dvds, books, magazines, and cds. For non-students, you are welcome to sign up to be a member of Alliance Française de Durban!
-What are the activities aside from courses?
We organise between 80 to 100 events or activities per year. You can check our cultural program here on our website. Most of the events are free!
-Are all the teachers French?
We have a team of 12 motivated and fully experienced teachers from all around the world, such as France, Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as from South Africa!
-What if I'm not a true beginner?
In order to find the most suitable class for you, we provide a free assessment test on request. You will need to make an appointment, where the test lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.
-Do you have classes for all levels?
Yes! We offer group, private and conversation classes. There are also classes which are specifically tailor-made, such as corporate classes for business.
-Is it possible to join a beginner level at any time?
Yes, but if you have had a little bit of experience already, you will have to take an assessment test to see which level is more suited to you. You may be better than you think…
-Can I take private lessons?
Of course! Private lessons can be planned to adapt to your needs of the language. Timetables are also more easily established to suit you and the teacher around your schedules.
-How many students are there per class?
In order to provide the best quality classes and to make sure everybody participates and communicates, we cannot accept less than 5 or more than 15 students per beginner class.
-Which teaching program do you follow?
We are following the newest techniques of language teaching, which are based on communication and interaction in order to make the students use the language as fast as possible. We are following the levels of the CECRL (Cadre Europeen Commun de Référence pour les Langues), which are recommended by the Council of Europe. We also use the Les Loustics books for children, Adosphère for teeanagers, and Alter Ego+ for adults. These books are well renowned around the world for their seriousness and quality of their content.
-Do you offer other languages?
Yes! We are proud to provide isiZulu lessons, and we also have a partnership with Instituto Camões which provides Portuguese classes.
- IsiZulu classes run termly for all levels:
Weekday or Saturday: 2 hours a week = 20 hours over 10 weeks, 1 term
Fees: R1870 (tuition fees) + R200 (course materials) + R100 (annual student affiliation)
- Portuguese classes run termly only for beginners:
Weekday: 1.5 hours per week = 15 hours over 10 weeks, 1 term
Fees: R1410 (tuition fees) + R655 (set of 2 books) + R100 (annual student affiliation)
-Is there a diploma at the end of my course?
You will be given a certificate at the end of each session on request. We also offer various official exams, such as the DELF, the TEF and the DFP. These diplomas can be used for immigration to France or Canada, for those who wish to study in those countries, or just if you want to certify your abilities in French.
-Which diplomas do you propose?
The Alliance Française de Durban offers different kind of diplomas :
The DELF was created by the French Ministry of Education and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It certifies your level in French from the A1 level to the C2. The prices depend on the level you are passing. The costs are from R450 to R800. Different options also exist for children (DELF Prim) and teenagers (DELF Junior). Don’t hesitate, these diplomas last for life! If you want more information, check out this website:
The DELF and DALF are diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education to prove the French-language skills of non-French candidates. There are six independent diplomas, which correspond, respectively, to the six levels of the Council of Europe' s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).
The DELF calendar is here!
The TEF is provided by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris and the Canadian Minstry of Immigration. You can take this exam to get points on your file for Canadian immigration, to apply for French nationality, or to study in France or Canada. Four competency tests will be evaluated (written comprehension, oral comprehension, speaking and listening). The price of the exam for all four sections is R4000. You can find out more information on this website:
Test for Evaluating French (TEF) - Le français des affaires
Created in 1998 by the Paris Ile-de-France CCI, the Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) [French Proficiency Test] is an international benchmark test that measures your level of knowledge and skills in French.
The TEF calendar is here!
The DFP is a new exam provided by the Alliance, which was created by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris. It confirms your skills in French for specific purposes, such as engineering, medicine, law, etc. It can be an asset if you want to work in a French speaking context. You can find more information on this link:
You can directly contact our course coordinator for the calendar: firstname.lastname@example.org
How many session do you have per year?
Email our course coordinator for the DFP calendar: email@example.com
-How much do they cost?
For the DELF, the price depends on your level. They start from R450 to R800.
For the (full) TEF, the price is R4000.
For the DFP, email our courses coordinator for prices: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Can I prepare for an exam with a teacher?
Of course! You can have tailor-made classes adapted to you to help you pass the exams with success!
-Are they recognized in South Africa? In Africa? Internationally?
Oui! The DELF, TEF and DFP are internationally recognised exams!