French (3rd Language)

Spoken on every continent, from Quebec in Canada to Vietnam in Asia, French is a language of international importance, French is not just the language of 60 million citizens living in France.  Indeed, there are more French-speaking people living in Africa than in France!  105 million, in fact.  (That’s twice the entire population of South Africa!) No small wonder then, that out own President Thabo Mbeki said “South Africans, we must speak French.  I don’t believe that one can be African and not speak French.”  So why not join the 83 million people worldwide who are currently learning French…

If I take French for matric, what can I do with it after school?
French paves the way for many job opportunities, some of which require further study.  Most universities in South Africa offer graduate and post graduate degrees in French.  The Alliance Française offers a variety of courses, and you can obtain the internationally recognized DELF and DALF diplomas from any Alliance Française world-wide.  But why not consider studying French in France?  There are over 200 institutions in France which are specifically geared for the foreign language student.  There are also business diplomas (DFA), tourism and hotel trade diplomas (TH), management and secretarial courses and French legal studies available.  But, apart from the many study opportunities available, French is needed and important in the following careers or areas.

Aerospace industry: French Airbus (the world leader in the production of passenger airplanes, Ariane rocket, Aerospatiale

Air travel: air hostess, pilot

Au pair work: work and live in France

Broadcasting: TV and radio.  The French channel TV5 is broadcast to 120 million homes – check it out on DSTV, channel 90!  Radio France International broadcasts to 50 million listeners, many of whom are African.

Business Travel: with 55 countries belonging to the Organisation International de la Francophonie (French-speaking or francophone countries)- knowing French is a huge advantage!  No matter what business you=re in – it is always better to communicate in the language of your client.

Catering and restaurant business: it is often compulsory to do French as part of the course.

Chemicals industries: Air Liquide, Rhodia

Civil Engineering and public projects: as South Africa engages in trade and dialogue with francophone Africa, so the demand for South African French-speaking civil engineers increases.  French constructioncompany Bouyges is ranked No. 1 in Europe.

Cosmetic industry: a huge industry (Pantene, L’Oreal, Clarins Lancome, etc)

Diplomatic Service, Legal work, Banking sector: French is one of the official working languages of the United Nations, the Paris-based UNESCO, the International Monetary Fund, the International Labor Bureau, the International Olympic Committee, the Council of Europe, the European Community, the International Red Cross, the European Council of Justice and the European Tribunal of First Instance.

Dubbing and sub-titling:  French films are highly regarded and of considerable international importance.

Export and import business:  rapidly expanding to meet the commercial needs of Africa. The International Chamber of Commerce and industry headquarters is based in Paris. France is the world’s 4th biggest exporter.  A good knowledge of French is essential in the export / import business.

Fashion design and Haute Couture:  Paris is the hubof the fashion world (Chanel, Dior, St Laurent, Hermes)

Hotel Industry

Interpreting: earn from R1300 per day.  All transport, food and accommodation are paid by the company which hires you.

IT:   French is the second language of the Internet.

Journalism: Have you noticed how we are getting more and more news on Africa?  With 31 French-speaking African countries and islands (like Congo and Madagascar), French will stand you in good stead!

Lecturing and teaching: French art, language, literature, history, culture.

Medicine and medical research: Médecins sans Frontières, International Red Cross.

Modelling: photographic and ramp.  Paris is a vital part of the modelling world.

Motor vehicle industry: Peugeot, Citroën, Renault, Mack trucks.

Perfume industry: France is a world leader in the creation and export of perfume and perfume ingredients.  Even local South African beauty products have ingredients imported from France.

Personal travel: even just for the pleasure of your own travel experiences, speaking French gives you the edge, from Switzerland and Belgium to Mauritius and the Seychelles!

Pharmaceuticals: France is ranked the 4th largest producer world-wide.

Tourism: There is a rise in the number of French tourists visiting South Africa.  Outbound tourism to French-speaking countries is an important business area to harness.  France is the most visited country in the world (70 million tourists per year) and ranks 3rd world-wide in tourism revenues.

Translation: The demand for translation of legal, technical and engineering documents is growing.


  • To enable the students to communicate in French and to equip them with the basic tools to enhance employment opportunities.
  • To develop a love for and an appreciation of the French language, literature and culture.
  • There is greater emphasis on oral work, i.e. reading, role plays and dialogues.  The enjoyment factor is important, i.e. play and learn, sing and learn.

To develop an awareness of the value of French in both the African and European contexts, especially   in view of trade links with Africa (French is the official language of many African countries.)


Grade 10:    Listening skills are developed.  Consolidation of work begun in Grades 8 & 9.  Introduction of new tenses, etc., so that students are able to successfully manipulate the language.  Outing to a French restaurant as “La Cuisine” forms part of the vocabulary studied.  Students are invited to sit the DELF exam at the Alliance Française which leads to an internationally accepted certificate.  

The ‘Concours de Théâtre’ is a highlight of the Grade 10 year and prizes vary from C.D players to C.D’s to books.
Exciting new software has been purchased to encourage computer-aided learning.

Grade 11:
    Reading and listening comprehension are emphasised.  Oral work is important, especially useful, communicative French.  Written French is further developed and refined.  The study of literature is introduced.The top candidates in the DELF exam are given a free trip to Reunion Island by the French Embassy.  There is also an exchange programme with a school in Reunion/Mauritius in place.  A highlight is a quiz evening at Hilton College where we test our general knowledge of France and the French.

Grade 12:     Poems and short stories are prescribed. The study of literature stimulates the student’s logical and analytical thinking and  develops the student’s own sense of values and ability to think critically.  There is no formal Oral examination and the final mark is based on continuous assessment.  Creative writing is assessed by way of a portfolio. Comprehension skills are emphasised.  Opportunities for travel to and around France are made available to students.

ASSESSMENT:  Assessment will be similar to that in Grades 8 & 9 and will be portfolio based.  In line with assessment in O.B.E, there will be self-assessmentpeer assessmentgroup assessmentobservation-based assessmenttest-based and task-based assessment.