French 301: Practical French Conversation

UW-Madison students can join us for lunch any day, Monday through Friday. It’s as easy as that. Come, sit and chat in French with fellow students and native speakers. Many students report that this course was a very valuable experience for them. Their spoken French improved immensely and they felt very comfortable interacting with other students and native speakers on everyday topics.


Those that can come at least 4 times per week should consider enrolling in French 301 (fall) or French 302 (spring) and receive one credit for their commitment. This credit counts towards the French major.


Lunch is served at 12:15.  Students can buy their lunch ($5 “all you can eat”), bring their lunch, or just sit and talk.


With 30-40 students and 5-10 native speakers, what’s on the menu takes a back seat to what’s on our minds. French class is great, but learning to chat, in French, about everyday topics, in a complete French immersion environment is something no student of French can pass up. Only French is spoken at the French House and most students at lunch have the equivalent of at least 4 semesters or 4 high school years of French.


Students registered for 301 (fall) or 302 (spring), here is what you need to know:

  • Arrive between 12:00 and 12:15 and stay until 12:45 or 1:00.  Each student must remain at the French House and engaged in conversation for at least 45 minutes.
  • Choose the 4 days per week that work best for you. There is some flexibility (choose 3 days one week and 5 the next, for example). The grade is based on participation (which is of course tied to attendance). A = 54+ days attended; AB= 50-52 days attended; B = 47-49 days attended; BC = 44-46 days attended; C = 39-43 days attended; D = 33-38 days attended; F = 32 or fewer days attended.
  • Absences: because of the flexilibilty with regard to scheduling, there are no excused absences. Students who have a conflict on Tuesdays and Thursdays have two options:
    1. Regularly attend the Wednesday evening dinner which is also open to the public.
    2. Audit the course.