Looking to improve your French as an older learner — or study it for the very first time — but concerned about landing at a large institution filled with much younger students and a high school vibe?
Welcome to CLÉ
A French educational boutique founded in 1985 providing small-group language instruction to adults from around the world, ages 25 and up (18 is the minimum), for like-minded learning and social/cultural activities!
Since opening our centre more than 35 years ago, we have offered quality teaching and a warm welcome. It’s what we’re known for and take great pride in! Four French ministries have recognized our approach with the highest marks and the “French Foreign Language” Label of Quality. Additionally, thanks to excellent online reviews from our students, CLÉ has also been named the “Best French Language School in France” for 2019.
“You’re making the effort to come and learn our language, we therefore take care to ensure you have the best stay possible with personal attention.”Learn more about CLE and its history
While we know that everyone who comes to CLÉ has an interest in improving their French, we also realize that everyone arrives with their own motivations. Some are focused specifically on the work of study; others seek to mix it up with a reasonable measure of play. In either case, there’s a place for you here! We do our part by providing a focused learning environment — along with a good measure of fun — while also endorsing your social/cultural exploration. Get involved in as much or as little as you like! (We hope this always includes finishing your homework, but we won’t hold it against you if you don’t.) As adults we know we’re in charge of own decisions; the experience we get is often the one we create. Whatever your journey, it’s all here for the taking. It’s part of what makes CLÉ unique.
Priority is given to oral skills as this is most often what students who come to CLÉ are interested in developing — for travel, education, and business purposes — or just for fun! Whatever your motivation, we’re here to accommodate at the group level or one-on-one. If you’re curious about a focus of study that you don’t see offered, please ask us.
When your day at CLÉ is done, you will leave the school and find yourself in one of the most beautiful squares in the historic centre of Tours. Students can continue their conversations on the terraces of many nearby bars and restaurants, or during the optional after-class activities/excursions that are presented each week.
Whether you’re at CLÉ specifically to study or to mix it up with extracurricular activities, there’s something here for everyone — do exactly what you’d like. A school for adults where there experience is yours for the taking! It’s all part of what makes CLÉ unique.Discover Your Future French School!
A historical and cultural city with a human dimension, where our students immediately feel at ease.
Tours is conveniently located in the heart of the Loire Valley, 1 hour and 15 minutes from Paris by train.
Châteaux, gardens, vineyards, and more—take advantage of your free time to discover this incredible area, officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage destination!
Learn about all it has to offer:
Choose the accommodation that suits you best: Stay with a local family (arranged by our team), rent a flat (AirBnB with ease), book a hotel — we’re happy to help you get everything lined up!
Find out more about life at CLE on YouTube
CLE 2018 As an American student learning French in a university setting, I knew that the opportunity to travel and study in an immersion srtting would be indispensable. I decided to enroll for 2 weeks at the CLE in Tours, France— and it was the best choice I could have made! From the moment I arrived, the staff was welcoming and encouraging. In and out of class, the professors were dynamic, kind, and always willing to answer questions related to schoolwork or simply about fun things to do in and around Tours. In my case, it took the first week to find the appropriate level, so I would recommend to prospective students to consider a minimum of 3 weeks—though I think one month would be ideal. In class, we worked on a variety of grammar points and discussed a wide variety of usedul themes, which boosted my conversational ability in French. The emphasis on listening comprehension was greatly appreciated, and I recommend signing up for private lessons. In my provate lesson, I got a personalized plan of study, and felt that this was where I made the greatest progress. My time passed so quickly, and at the end of my 2 week stay, I wished so badly that I could have stayed another week or two! I’m looking forward to returning next summer, and this time for a bit longer.
Andrew, USA, 2018
CLE is the key to learning French I have just returned to New Zealand after 2 wonderful weeks at CLE in Tours and I will definitely go back. The teachers were excellent and the lessons were varied with fresh new material and a lot of opportunities for speaking and getting to know the other students with games etc. The school itself is very attractive and in a delightful part of town and my homestay was superb. I liked the way the classes could offer in -detail grammar to students who needed written French for their job and also give plenty of oral practice to people like me for my work as a tour guide. There were some nice social activities suggested as well to meet other students and it was great to mix so many interesting people from all over the world.
Louise, New Zealand, 2018
The course far exceeded my expectations! I recently attended a two-week course at the CLE in Tours and just loved my time there. There was a test on the first morning that ensured that I was placed with other students who were of a similar level. All the teachers were full of vitality and had obviously done a lot of preparation for each class. There was a mixture of written and oral work and we covered lots of different topics during the week. Although the students were all motivated to learn, you could choose whether to do the homework or not. Most importantly, the lessons were fun and we had lots of laughs in all of our lessons. Morning coffee was taken as a group which helped people to get to know each other and many of the students met up and had lunch together. In addition to the afternoon lessons and visits, there were groups that met for dinner and other social or sightseeing activities. The school had a wonderful atmosphere. Almost everyone was really enthusiastic to improve their skills and even on these social gatherings, they continued to speak in French. Being 67, I assumed that I would be the oldest person on the course, but to my surprise, there were people of all ages - all enjoying their time at the CLE. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their written or spoken French. I can understand why people return year after year!
Zoe 2019, Australia,
An excellent French school for group or private lessons I recently completed 2 weeks of French education at CLE. I opted for a private instructor to focus on my individual language learning goals. While more expensive than the group classes, it suited my needs. I wanted to devote half of my time to the study of French phonetics at a deeper level. In advance of my arrival, I communicated with the school in some detail regarding how I wished the curriculum to be structured (e.g., how much time I wanted to spend on phonetics vs. grammar vs. cultural studies). The school staff and my teacher took great care to ensure that my educational objectives were met. I got exactly what I asked for and the quality of the instruction exceeded my expectations! I heard the same sort of feedback from students who were enrolled in the group classes. I would highly recommend CLE for anyone who is looking to level up their French.
Corey, USA, 2019
If as an adult, you have wanted to learn or improve your French, and have never heard of CLE, now you have, and you are in for a real treat! One of the very best experiences of my life (and this is not hyperbole!) is the time I spent taking French lessons at this wonderful school in Tours, France. This is an accredited, high quality institution with excellent teachers, where students learn French in an effective and fun environment. Also, it is a small institution, which creates a real feeling of community. CLE first evaluated my level of French knowledge, and then offered me some course options at my level. The warm and friendly staff always made me feel welcome, and CLE came to feel like a kind of "second home" to me. In addition, the school, in this beautiful area of France, offers excursions that students can sign up for if they wish, and during which they can get to know each other and the staff socially. I cannot recommend this school highly enough!
Donna, USA, 2020
Immersive French Language Experience A lovely school! If you're looking for an immersive French experience to improve your French language skills, look no further! I was only able to spend a week (and wish I had the time to stay longer), but I had a fantastic experience. Even after such a short period of time, I felt much more confident speaking French and noticed that my oral comprehension also greatly improved. Would love to come back in the future! The school also arranges for students to stay with a host family if they wish. I got on really well with my host mother, and we had lovely chats each evening about our lives and current events in France and the world over a home cooked dinner (a great way to sample French culinary culture) . I highly recommend CLE anyone looking for a quality and cost effective method to improve their French language abilities!
Bronwen, USA, 2020
Online learning Fantastic way to brush up my French over the summer break. Having previously been fortunate enough to experience CLE first hand in Tours as a student (which I would also thoroughly recommend), I was paired back up with my previous tutor who could target my numerous grammar weaknesses. Interesting homework activities and great feed back. I'll be heading back to work more confident with my French, having learnt (and relearnt) grammar lessons and hopefully having corrected my most frequent errors! Thank you Isabelle, my tutor Anne-Sophie and the whole CLE team.
Hannah, England, 2020
I highly recommend CLE in Tours and its online classes. Homework and individual lessons are tailored to my needs, making learning fun, trustworthy and effective. All CLE instructors are amazing and extremely competent. The price is the best value for money. I really like the online format.
Andrey, USA, 2020
The best of the best! I have just returned from a fantastic week of private lessons at CLE. This was my third visit to CLE and I have loved it every time. Isabelle and her team of talented teachers offer an experience which combines exceptional teaching with cultural and other activities which enable students to meet, practise their emerging French language skills and immerse themselves in the French way of life. I was fortunate to stay this time with a local host arranged by CLE and, as I have observed with other students at CLE, Isabelle did an excellent job in matching me with a welcoming host who made me feel at home in Tours. The added dimension of speaking French outside of school hours provided a real boost to my French learning. I have always been very impressed by the standard of teaching at CLE and my teacher this week, David, was truly exceptional. As I require French for my job in Australia, there were some specific things I needed to work on. David tailored my lessons to address all these requirements, while making sure that the lessons were interesting, fun and always delivered with both professionalism and humour. I cannot recommend him, and CLE in general, highly enough! I have, in the past, visited two other highly rated French "immersion" language schools in France. As the fact that I keep returning to CLE shows, I think what CLE offers is by far the best of them all. Thank you as always to everyone at CLE and I hope to return soon!
Liz, Australia, 2020
We are really enjoying the on-line class we are taking as a couple. The teachers at Cle are fantastic – professional but also convivial. We are always amazed at how well they can hone in on our specific needs in just an hour of on-line conversation. With this skill they are able to tailor exercises and techniques to meet our needs through preparatory and evaluative videos each week. This results in an efficient all-around learning experience that strengthens our pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and written and oral expression– all while having a great time. And we have the joy of visiting France every week!
John and Anamaria, USA, 2020
I highly recommend my school in Tours that is now doing online classes. The price is great and the teachers are fabulous. So much fun. Just finished an oral comprehension on champagne! I am doing this three days a week. One hour of video chatting and a couple of hours of homework each day. I have to say, the homework does not feel like homework. It is so engaging and fun. Check it out.
Sarah Nash, USA, 2020
Average length of stay
years in business