French Conversation


This group started in 2011 with the aim of enabling members to practise and improve their spoken French in a friendly environment.

It is positioned as ‘intermediate’ level, meaning that we assume a reasonable basic knowledge, though this may have been learnt many years ago. Most participants have something approaching ‘A’ level in French from school; very few have more than that and some have less but have sought to use French in the meantime. We do all need help, and therefore have a native French teacher, who guides, encourages and corrects us as necessary and also provides or suggests materials for discussion. Some topics are pre-arranged, enabling preparation of thoughts and vocabulary. The aim is, however, to stimulate conversation.

The group usually meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, arranged into 3 ‘terms’ with a break in August. Sessions last for 2 hours, from 12.45 to 14.45, and are held in the Robinson Room of the Seven Stars pub in Dinton (whose manager is also conveniently French). Coffee or tea can be purchased at half-time if required. In addition, at the end of the summer and pre-Christmas terms, we use the session for a full lunch in the Seven Stars dining room (in French of course).

Many of the participants have been with us from the start and we all enjoy each other’s company, even when expressing opposing opinions on controversial subjects. But we also welcome and encourage new members and are friendly and forgiving of each other’s mistakes and hesitation. Most importantly, we find that we gain enormously in confidence, simply by using the language in a ‘safe’ environment.

As we have a paid teacher, we do need to make a charge, usually £35 for a term of 6 2-hour sessions. (This may sometimes vary depending on membership numbers; we try to maintain a maximum of 12 people).

If you would like to know more, please contact Paul Dickinson on 01844 215140 or


There is currently a charge of  £35 for a complete term of 6 sessions.


Next Events

Group Meeting 8 Oct 2018 12.45 - 14.45 hrs Seven Stars, Dinton
Group Meeting 29 Oct 2018 12.45 - 14.45 hrs Seven Stars, Dinton
Group Meeting 12 Nov 2018 12.45 - 14.45 hrs Seven Stars, Dinton
Group Meeting 26 Nov 2018 12.45 - 14.45 hrs Seven Stars, Dinton
Group Meeting 3 Dec 2018 12.45 - 14.45 hrs Seven Stars, Dinton



Group Notices

Next Term

This is just to remind you that we plan to meet again on Monday 24 September - usual time (12.45) and place.
The proposed dates for the term are then as follows:
September 24
October 8 and 29 (not 22 as would be 'normal', as Odie will be away)
November 12 and 26
December 3 for lunch (thus avoiding the U3A pre-Christmas meeting on 10th)
I wish you all a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you in September (if not before).
As usual, if we keep 12 members, the expected payment on 24 Sept will be £35, but I'll let you know if this needs to change.
And, to keep you in the French spirit, you may like to read La Fontaine's fable on La Cigale et la Fourmi, for discussion when we next meet.
Best wishes,

Looking for more Group Members

The group currently has a vacancy with effect from September, which opens up opportunities for any other U3A members who may wish to reinforce thir conversational French, or perhaps to prepare for a forthcoming trip to France.

We are primarily seeking conversation (not teaching grammar etc. from basics). Having said that, none of us has more than A-level or equivalent and we do all need help. Hence we have an excellent our native French tutor Odie to assist us. It's instructive, forgiving, friendly and fun - and even occasionally includes lunch in French at the Seven Stars.

Anyone interested in joining or just finding out more should, in the first instance, contact Paul Dickinson on 01844 215140 or


Joining the Group

If you wish to join us, please contact: 

Paul Dickinson on 01844 215140 or