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Alliance Française
Founders Louis Pasteur, Ferdinand de Lesseps, Jules Verne, Ernest Renan, Armand Colin
Type Cultural institution
Founded 1883
Headquarters Paris, France
Area served Worldwide
An Alliance Française office in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Alliance Française in Mindelo, São Vicente Island, Cape Verde.

The Alliance Française (AF) is an organisation whose mission is to promote French language and culture outside France. Its primary concern is teaching French as a second language. It is headquartered in Paris.

The Alliance was created in Paris on 21 July 1883 by a group of eminent men, including the scientist Louis Pasteur, the diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps, the writers Jules Verne and Ernest Renan, and the publisher Armand Colin.

It finances most of its activities from the fees it receives from its courses and from rental of its installations. The French government also provides a subsidy covering approximately five percent of its budget (nearly 665,000 in 2003)

More than 440,000 students learn French at one of the centres run by the Alliance, whose network of schools includes:

  • a centre in Paris,
  • locations throughout France for foreign students and
  • 1071 locations in 133 different countries.

The organisations outside Paris are local, independently-run franchises. Each has a committee and a president. The Alliance française brand is owned by the Paris centre. In many countries, the Alliance française of Paris is represented by a Délégué général.


Certificates and diplomas

The Alliance Française also offers certification in French, with its own series of certificates and diplomas.

  • Certificat d'Études de Français Pratique 1 (CEFP 1): Level 1 at ALTE and level A2 at the CEFR
  • Certificat d'Études de Français Pratique 2 (CEFP 2): Level 2 at ALTE and level B1 at the CEFR
  • Diplôme de Langue (DL): Level 3 at ALTE and level B2 at the CEFR
  • Diplôme Supérieur - Langue et Culture Françaises (DSLCF): Level 4 at ALTE and level C1 at the CEFR
  • Diplôme de Hautes Études Françaises (DHEF): Level 5 at ALTE and level C2 at the CEFR

Individual locations also may offer testing sessions for diplomas and exams from other organizations (i.e. DELF, DALF, TCF and TEF).

For all students who cannot attend regular classes at The Alliance Française, the Indian Network has launched an e-learning course for beginners (A1) called ClickOnFrench in partnership with the French embassy. For more information,


In 2005, along with the Società Dante Alighieri, the British Council, the Goethe-Institut, the Instituto Cervantes and the Instituto Camões, the Alliance française was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for outstanding achievements in communications and the humanities.

See also

Further reading

  • Bruézière, Maurice (author) " L ' ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE, HISTOIRE D'UNE INSTITUTION 1883-1983", 1983 Librairie Hachette, Paris. ISBN: 2.01.009341.0.
  • Ürményházi, Attila J.(author)" UN CENTENAIRE DE RAYONNEMENT DE LA CULTURE FRANÇAISE " the abridged version of the AF's history to include Une Célébration de l'Alliance Française en Tasmanie, 2004. National Library of Australia, Canberra (Australian Collection) Np 943.9052 U77.

The French Government also run 150 French Cultural Institutes, that exist to promote French language and culture.

External links

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