Structuration and development of French language in Ethiopia,

a program run by the Embassy of France in Ethiopia

in collaboration with the Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa

French language, a foreign language strongly rooted in Ethiopia

There is a long tradition of historical and linguistic cooperation between France and Ethiopia, which has started in the early 19th century when French language benefited from its first place as a foreign language. Currently, currently, several institutions in Addis Ababa and all over the country provide a French program, such as: International schools, private Ethiopian schools, Universities and vocational training institutes.

Furthermore, the French cooperation network in Ethiopia enjoys the presence of powerful French institutions, like the French Lycée Guébré-Mariam – the only international school offering education in French with a curriculum implemented by French Ministry of education – or both Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Abeba and of Dire Daoua, that disseminate French language and train thousands of French speakers every year, including private sector, Ethiopian administration (MOFA) or NGO and International organizations (African Union).

French language dissemination: a challenge of employability for the Ethiopian youth

 French language dissemination in Ethiopia is not only a challenge for the Embassy of France, this is first and foremost an opportunity for Ethiopian youth. In a globalized context as well as in the local Ethiopian context, multilingualism seems an essential choice to open-up to better life chances and employment. Languages are connected to culture, history, people and knowledge. Learning a new language is a way to expand one’s horizon, develop a critical thinking and have a better access to job opportunities.

French language is spoken on each continent. French is an international language being the sixth most spoken language in the word and serving as an official language to 26 countries. While regional economic integration is one of the priorities of the African Union, French language skills have never been so important.

Therefore, the French Embassy and the Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa are providing support to universities eager to launch a French Language Center. In contrast to French department offering an academic education through Bachelor’s degree in French, these French language Centers offer pragmatic skills through credit French courses to students from different departments. This framework provides a way of teaching French adapted to the needs of students where the language becomes an asset to mobility and employability.

A Quality Label “French teaching in Ethiopia”, that harmonizes the French teaching Sector in Ethiopia and recognizes officially the quality of French teaching in your institution

The Embassy of France in Ethiopia is building up a real network among these establishments that are willing to increase the French teaching by providing courses based on quality. The spirit of the Quality Label “French teaching in Ethiopia”, offered by the Embassy of France and the Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa consists in upgrading the quality of French language through the increasing of the teaching skills.

This Quality label is based on 4 criteria: (1) recognition of the French language level of French teachers, (2) recognition of the French language level for all students through international certifications, (3) initial training for French teaching as a foreign language for the French teachers and (4) the learning methods based on the European framework of references for languages.

Launch of French language Centers with the support of the Embassy of France and the Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa

Without any center focused on the training of French as a foreign language teachers in Ethiopia, the Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa is sharing its expertise about curriculum and help institutions to design their own course offer.

For each criteria of the Quality Label, the Embassy of France in collaboration with the Alliance Ethio-française provide a specific support for all partner institutions:


What do we offer in terms of trainings for French language teachers? 

  • Linguistic trainings to improve their skills to B2 level;
  • Didactics and punctual pedagogical trainings in collaboration with the French University of La Réunion and the Association of French Teachers in Ethiopia (APFE);
  • Capacity building trainings to reinforce the steering capacities of pedagogical teams in collaboration with France Education International (trainings center of the French Ministry of Education);
  • Initial training in didactics of French as a foreign language: University Degree of Teaching French as a Foreign Language (DU FLE) delivered by the University of Le Mans (France)

Implemented by the Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa, this French University degree is the only initial training in didactics of French as a foreign language delivered in Ethiopia. Therefore, the Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa is considered as the unique training center of French teachers in Ethiopia.

What kind of curriculum and learning methods do we use?

The Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa uses structured methods based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), aimed at harmonizing practices and levels. With this task based approached, the learning program is constructed around academic or professional context and is emphasized on communication skills (writing, listening, reading and speaking).

All partner institutions of the Embassy of France are equipped with digital methods based on the CEFR and their pedagogical team benefits from trainings about these methods.

What do we offer in terms of certifications?

DELF – DALF diploma are international certifications that recognize the level in French language for employment and academic mobility. Those certifications are valid for life and recognized worldwide. There are delivered by the French Ministry of Education through the Alliance ethio-française of Addis Ababa.

For students, these diplomas give them the opportunity to increase their employability and to speed up their mobility.

The attractiveness of the French language, a challenge shared by all our partners

Being a part of the French Embassy network and by being committed to provide a French teaching based on quality, all institutions are involved in the promotion and the implementation of French program in Ethiopia.

This is made possible through different actions:

  • A network of French teachers thanks to the Association of French Teachers in Ethiopia (APFE) launched in September 2018 (with more than 100 members);

A network of French learners and French speakers in Ethiopia through activities around French language and cultural events;

Development of professional opportunities for French learners thanks to curricula based on employability, organization of Job’s Fair for French learners, creation of an employment platform and create more links with French companies from the CAFE (French companies’ network).

Development of innovative tools to learn French, especially digital course like Langbot, which is an app based on artificial intelligence aiming at starting learning French through Messenger.

A network of institutions linked to the Embassy of France with a privileged access to French Higher education Institutions.

Since the implementation of this project « Structuration and development of French language in Ethiopia” in 2018, the Embassy of France and the Alliance Ethio-française of Addis Ababa have signed cooperation agreements with 11 universities and vocational training institutes, 3 private Ethiopian schools and 1 international school. In October 2019, the German Embassy School has been the first school to be rewarded with the Quality Label French Teaching in Ethiopia.

This project will strengthen the dissemination of French language that will maintain its specific place in Ethiopia.

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