Free French Class Program

The registration period for our September 2017 - June 2018 session has ended. Please, return here in August 2018 to apply to the September 2018 - June 2019 free French classes. We will not receive 'late applications'.

From September to the end of June, Saint-Esprit offers free French lessons on Sunday mornings from 9am to 10am and 10 am to 11 am in classrooms at 109 East 60th Street, next door to the church.

Yes, these French classes really are free! We have offered this as a service to our fellow New Yorkers since 1884. If you are accepted in our classes, we only ask that you purchase your textbook (click here to access the Amazon page of the book we currently use). The current session of French Classes this year is held from Sunday September 18th 2016 to June 18th 2017.

An introduction by the Rev. Nigel Massey


[Please, note that the levels can be changed from one year to another.  Edits will happen during the registration period (month of August)]

Complete beginner

Beginner (fast-pace)

Intermediate and Intermediate+

Conversation Immersion

Beginning and Advanced Conversation 


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Complete Beginner


Léon: I'm a French, literature and Humanities professional teacher with over 10 years experience, working in large urbain schools and college. I'm the sacristan, a teacher and the French classes coordinator at Eglise Française du St-Esprit. I use to live and study at Paris (France). I teach French as "langue étrangère" to students in one-one-one sessions and in groups. My students say that I'm a very patient and very caring teacher. Besides French is my native language, and already possessing advanced degrees in Humanities, I embarked on French Studies at New York University and at Paris, at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development of Adults Education for advancing my teaching career. Please, download my beginner's class syllabus and have it with you in class.

About the class

All motivated students are always welcome for a new open-mind adventure. Only for strict beginners.

What is expected of students

To attend class, be on time, and participate. You are expected to know the previous week's lesson when you come to class (study) and have done your homework.

French 1 Complete Beginners Syllabus

Beginner (fast-pace)


Philippe: Philippe is a native French speaker and French citizen.  He was a business manager working in the cosmetic ingredient business until he retired a couple of years ago to explore new career opportunities.  He was born in the United Kingdom to French speaking parents and educated at the French Lycée in London.  As a child, he would spend the long summer breaks in France, either in Burgundy, Poitou-Charentes or Aquitaine with his relatives, exploring the landscape and culinary culture!

About his class

We skip the basics (alphabet, numbers, the auxiliaries) and go a little faster than the regular beginner's class. It is better suited for grammar-savvy people.

What he expects of his students

To attend class, be on time, and participate. You are expected to know the previous week's lesson and have done your homework when you come to class.



Nigel: I'm the Rector (Priest) of St. Esprit, where I have been working for almost twenty years.  Before coming to America I lived and worked in Paris and London after graduating from Birmingham University (UK) and Oxford University (UK) in Ancient Egyptian, Theology, Ministry and Islamic Studies.

About his class

10am: Our basic text will the same book as Léon's class (Ultimate French, Random House). I will assume that you have already covered chapters 1 - (passé composé). We will quickly review the passé composé and the imperfect, and move on to study the compound tenses, the future and the subjunctive.  Grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and conversation exercises will often be taught through supplementary handouts and audio-visual materials.

9am (Intermediate+): This class will be the intermediate class with some emphasis on beginning to converse in French.

What he expects of his students

Consistency in attending the classes, as we frequently build on materials from previous weeks to speed up conversation proficiency.  Complete sentences in replying to questions (not just "Oui" or "Non" !) And not to forget to bring previous weeks' handouts to the class!

Conversation - Immersion


Kathleen: Paroissienne de Saint-Esprit avant l'arrivée du Rev. Nigel Massey. J'apprécie d'avoir l'occasion de fournir l'ooportunité à mes étudiants d'améliorer leurs compétences en français. Je travaille actuellement en conformité juridique, où j'uttilise mes compétences en français, italien, et espagnol.

About her class

Nous ne parlons QUE LE FRANÇAIS. Nous discutons de sujets choisis par les étudiants allant de la musique pop francophone aux expériences de la vie actuelle de nos étudiants.

What she expects of her students

J'attend de mes étudiants qu'ils soient investis (participent en classe, aident à ranger avant et après la classe, ...), et qu'ils participent au choix des sujets discutés.

Grammar in Conversation and Advanced Conversation


Frédéric: I was born and raised in Paris, France. I graduated in Applied Foreign Languages from the university of Paris West University Nanterre while completing my last year at San José State University (CA). I am the Parish Administrator at Saint-Esprit, and also a musician and a visual artist.

About his class

"Grammar in Conversation" is at 9am. IT IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS. This is a class for people who master the grammar and vocabulary from the Beginner and Intermediate levels but need to start practicing their oral skill and pronunciation.
"Advanced Conversation" is at 10am. This class is for people who are fluent in French and want to practice. A lot of students know all the rules and how to speak but get lost when hearing French people speak. My focus will be on preparing people for the real world oral French of France.

What he expects of his students

For both class, we will have topics to practice in advance and discuss during the class. I will correct mistakes but I won't teach the rules. If you don't know the grammar rules, please register for the appropriate class (Beginner or Intermediate). Students are expected to come prepared. Please, be respectful of others and do your part. If you are supposed to read a text or watch a video and prepare 5 questions and answers and didn't do the work, the person you will be paired with might end up losing on valuable time and you would not want to be in this situation as well.