Part of a worldwide network, the Institut français in London encourages cross-cultural exchange and presents the best of French culture.
We are part of the Institut français worldwide network promoting French language and culture and encouraging cross-cultural exchange and cultural diversity.
Founded in 1910, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni comprises a language centre, a cinema (Ciné Lumière), a multi-media library (La Médiathèque), a children’s library (Bibliothèque Quentin Blake) and a café-restaurant, and welcomes 200,000 people each year.
At the heart of the Institut français’ mission is the teaching of the French language. The Language Centre, which attracts 7000 students every year, offers traditional language courses as well as online French courses, business French and courses on various aspects of French culture and current affairs. The Institut also collaborates with schools in the UK on educational cooperation programmes to promote French language learning and organise teacher training, so that French can remain the UK’s top choice for foreign language study.
The multimedia library, La Médiathèque, a distinctive Grade II listed venue, is also a window on contemporary France and holds the largest free-access collection of French material in the UK, covering all aspects of French culture and society. Visitors can access about 50,000 items ranging from novels, comic books to feature films and magazines. Its digital platform, Culturethèque allows audiences across the UK to access an extensive digital library with over 25 000 documents, completely free of charge.
Dedicated to helping children learn and discover new aspects of culture, the Institut offers year-round activities and resources for kids, families and schools, in addition to its annual festival dedicated to children’s literature, the South Ken Kids Festival.
Each year, the Book Office organise this children's literature festival to celebrate French & British children's writing, illustration, translation and children's books. As well as public events, the festival has a programme for schools, both British and French, from nurseries to secondary schools.
We offer workshops and meetings with authors in the schools, and some events at the Institute (film screenings, theatre, etc.). Currently working in 16 London boroughs, we are seeking to reach out to new schools, across London and beyond. In certain cases, our means-based outreach programme "SK+" allow schools with limited financial resources to participate in the Festival's school events free of charge, or with help towards author or school group transport costs.