French for Beginners, Part 1: Au Café

Course for absolute beginners in French. Learn French online the fun and easy way with your very own French teacher.
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  • Lectures 13
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 10/2013 English

Course Description

This is a French lesson for beginners. We will start at the very beginning, learning some basic grammar and vocabulary. The vocabulary and cultural theme is "At the Café". In this lesson you will learn:

  • Café vocabulary
  • Definite and indefinite articles
  • The verb "être"
  • Numbers 1-20
  • Descriptive adjectives
  • Adjectives of nationality
  • Café culture in France

This lesson includes an introductory video, plus ten instructional videos to teach you basic vocabulary, grammar, and culture. The vocabulary and grammar sections include on the spot exercises to help you assess your knowledge right away.

In addition to the videos, there are PDF files of all of the new vocabulary and grammar lessons, as well as supplementary exercises for you to complete.

This lesson includes about one hour's worth of video instruction. A typical student will be able to finish the lesson, including the supplementary exercises, in about 3-4 hours, without rushing through the material. The lesson is structured to provide repetition, allowing the student to use vocabulary and grammar in meaningful context.

If you want to learn French, starting at the beginning is the easiest way to do it. This lesson will appeal to ages 12 - 112. You'll enjoy Jennifer's teaching style, which is simple and to the point.

What are the requirements?

  • No prerequisite knowledge required. All you'll need to complete this lesson is a notebook, a pen, and the desire to learn French!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of this lesson, you will be able to order food and drinks in a café, use the verb "to be" in sentences with descriptive adjectives and adjectives of nationality. You'll be able to ask someone what their nationality is, and what language they speak. You will have broadened your cultural knowledge by learning about "Café Culture" in France.

What is the target audience?

  • This lesson is intended for absolute beginners of French. Students don't need any level or knowledge of the French language to benefit from this lesson.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.



Here's a new video, short and sweet, to teach you how to pronounce the French alphabet. This was a request from one of my students, and I'm happy to oblige! You can always feel free to leave a comment if you would like to see something added to this course . Now that you're learning the alphabet in French, can you spell your name? When you think about it, it's something we have to do quite often. Bonne continuation à tous!

Section 1: Au Café: Introduction & Vocabulary

This lesson's theme is "Au Café". The vocabulary introduced will be according to that theme. Next, there will be several lessons covering some basic grammar. Finally, you will learn a bit about the importance of the "café" in French culture. We will focus on the four necessities for learning a language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Vocabulaire: Au Café
Section 2: Grammaire

All nouns in French are assigned a gender. They are either masculine or feminine. Nouns are preceded by an article that will vary according to gender and number (singular or plural). There are definite articles, and there are indefinite articles. In this lecture, you will learn the difference and how articles are used.


Practice using articles with nouns, getting a good review of your new vocabulary in at the same time. Use the "Articles Exercise Worksheet" PDF file in conjunction with this video.


In this lecture, learn the numbers 1-20. Pay close attention to the pronunciation, and I suggest you practice saying them aloud. Watch especially how the numbers 17, 18, and 19 are formed. Download the PDF file to use in conjunction with the video.


Before we begin to look at the verb "être" (to be), let's have a look at subject pronouns. There are a few rules that are quite different than English, but after this lecture you should understand and be ready to move on. Pay close attention to the difference between using the "tu" form of "you" and the "vous" form of "you".


The verb "être" means "to be". It's one of the most essential, and therefore most common, verbs in French. It's a verb that you will use over and over again, so practice saying the conjugation over and over until you know it like the back of your hand. Remember the function of the different subject pronouns.


Use the PDF document in conjunction with this video, which will help you practice the conjugation of the verb "être". Once you've gotten in enough practice, you may download the quiz. The answers are on the second page, so don't accidentally look at it before completing the quiz yourself. Bonne chance! Let me know how you did on the quiz!


Descriptive adjectives add richness to your sentences, and they make it very simple to start speaking right away. In this lecture you will learn a whole list of adjectives, and how to form them according to number and gender. Use the PDF files in conjunction with the video.


One of the first things people may want to know about you is your nationality and what language you speak. It may be one of the first things you may want to ask other people as well. In this lecture you will learn many different nationalities and languages. Nationalities are adjectives, so they must agree in number and gender with the noun they are describing. Use the PDF documents provided in conjunction with this video.

Section 3: Culture

Cafés are a big part of French culture. Watch this short lecture to learn about ten of the most famous cafés in Paris.

Section 4: Conclusion

Congratulations! You've just completed Part 1 of Beginner French. You already have a lot of the necessary basics for beginning to speak French. Keep up the good work, and stay tuned for Part 2: Au Voyage!

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Instructor Biography

French teacher Jennifer Crespin, Your French Teacher in the South of France

About me

Bonjour! I'm Jennifer, and I've been teaching French for close to 20 years. I was head of the French Department at St. Louis University High school, where I taught French to young men in a college prep setting for 14 years. I now live in the South of France with my family.

My native language is English, and I speak French fluently at the native level. Teaching French is my passion, and I am now the founder and lead teacher at Love Learning Languages, teaching French to people across the globe via Skype and Google Hangouts. I love to travel, and have been to most if not all countries in Western Europe with my former students from the United States.

I enjoy meeting new people and learning about cultures other than my own. Hobbies of mine include cooking, especially French food and Louisiana recipes (that's where I'm from originally), reading (Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others from the same era are some of my favorites). I enjoy blogging about my life in France, and about learning for those studying French.

Qualifications & Experience

I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French in 1995, then taught French for a year and moved to France for a year before pursuing and earning a Master of Arts degree in French.

I taught French at Saint Louis University High School, a Jesuit college preparatory school for young men, from 1999-2013.

In the summer of 2013 I relocated to France with my family, and spent the summer working as Dean of l'Académie de France in Montpellier. L'Académie de France is a French immersion program for students from around the world, put on by Oxbridge Academic Programs.

In January 2013 I founded "Love Learning Languages", an online French language school. I've been developing my YouTube Channel where I release on average a couple of French language videos per month. I now teach French full-time on Skype and Google Hangouts, and I also do French immersion classes in France.

Teaching Approach

It's up to me to guide you and help you along on your journey to learn French. Learning should be fun, and I will make sure that you enjoy yourself as you improve your listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills. Learning French changed my life, and has opened up a whole new world that otherwise would have been unattainable to me. Learning French, the only language spoken on all continents, can do the same for you!

All students have different learning styles, different strengths and weaknesses, and different levels. My job as your teacher is to use many different approaches so that you will get the most out of your class as possible.

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