La Maison Française

The French & Francophone House @ Penn
Tweets from + about the French and Francophone House @PennFFHouse!

As its fellow Modern Languages Programs,

the French (language) and Francophone (cultures) House at Gregory

is a laid-back, welcoming hub dedicated to widening French learners’ conversational and cultural horizons.  Diversité lies at the FFH’s core : diversity of language skills, of learning styles and goals, of personalities, of (often unexpected) outcomes ; most crucially, of the many cultures Francophonie is made of. The program offers a large range of activities and events, open to both for-credit / not-for-credit attendees.

Many of the events hosted by the House will be open to the whole Penn community, but Gregory residents have priority.

Whether or not you’re on the Gregory listserv, *** always check the Gregory online calendar *** – some events (including the weekly Conversation hours) do, or will soon, have a sign-up sheet.

Spring 2015

As we move toward a different format,
the French House tweeting activity comes to a provisional halt.

Make sure to check out @PennFFHouse's Twitter account if you haven't yet, and to use it as the invaluable resource it has become over the semester!
Favorites and followed accounts may prove particularly useful,
whether you're looking, in no particular order, for additional grammar exercises, political headlines, health-related vocabulary, cross-cultural debates, in-French but non-French content, literary quotes, visual goodies...
et plus si affinités!
Spring 2015 at the French House 

French House activities do not include traditional Conversation hours this
semester. Rather, they are two-fold:

Participants in the Francophone Community Partnership project -

a pilot program designed in collaboration with the Netter Center, Lea Elementary School staff and students - meet weekly with a group of French-speaking / -learning youth (ages 12 to 20), most of which are recent immigrants from one of five West African countries.

A unique opportunity to concretely shape a lasting partnership, this program also requires a steady (read: weekly) commitment.


"Cette semaine en France", on the other hand, focuses on the contemporary French scene. Attendees engage in a weekly discussion with Prof. Philippe Met, based on a news or op-ed article picked by the latter.

New participants are welcome!

Excited about one or the other program?
Please get in touch as soon as

Fall 2014

All Fall 2014 French House newsletters may be accessed here


All Francophonie enthusiasts, whether wannabe or proficient, hesitant or extrovert speakers, are encouraged to attend FFH events, even just to passively benefit from linguistic and cultural immersion… and hang out with their friends!  

Students enrolled for credit, however, must actively participate, which requires a minimum speaking ability, in addition to readiness to commit.  

Complete beginners as well as native / near-native speakers are more than welcome to attend! The latter may enrol for credit under certain conditions. 


+++ More resources and details about the credit option in the

French 180 Syllabus!

Please note that ONLY Gregory residents may earn credit.


The French and Francophone House
semester in a nutshell :


A September exclusive

Read about Yoga-in-French in the DP! 

Beginner and intermediate Iyengar yoga classes taught by French studies Ph.D. and French instructor Ian McConnon!

  • In French, but open to all Gregory residents.
  • Mats will be provided – please bring a large book and a towel to use as prop / blanket.
  • For more details, go to the calendar and click on one of the Yoga sessions listed! 

* Spaces are limited ! Please sign up online (see September calendar) for one of the 16-ish spots available each time no later than the night before class.


Beginner Yoga RSVP Form

Intermediate Yoga RSVP Form

Le 6 à 7

a.k.a. the French Conversation hours


Starting August 28, Tuesdays / Thursdays, 6 to 7pm, generally in the Greenhouse (Gregory, Class of ’25 building).

  • Open to all Penn students as long as we can maintain reasonable group size.
  • An online registration form may be implemented by mid-semester. Stay tuned - and in the meantime, just drop by!

Courtesy of Wikipedia : in France, « cinq à sept » (« literally, "five to seven" - pronounced "sank-ah-set" ») was « originally used as a synecdoche for a visit to one's mistress, derived from the time of day Frenchmen would make such a visit. » Promising, isn’t it ? :)

Our « six à sept » has actually more to do with the Canadian version of « cinq à sept », that is, « a social gathering that takes place after work and prior to the dinner hours ». No wine nor cheese served, but a BYOM policy (Gregory oblige), the occasional overloaded tray of cookies, possible trips to the Commons & West Philly African restaurants (see calendar), and French chat all over !

  • Come as you are : motivated beginner, advanced or native speaker- as long as you are bringing along a willingness to share, listen, try, stumble, freeze, try again and laugh, you will be warmly welcome. Have a great French / Francophone playlist? Bring it too!!
  • All participants are expected to address one another in French most, if not all, of the hour. Supposedly « silly mistakes » (loads of) considered part of the process !
  • Please be reminded that the Conversation hours are NO substitute for language courses, but a space for informal, unstructured practice. Beginners should consider enrolling in an introductory French language class (see the Penn Romance Languages Department page), and using the Conversation hours as a stress-free progress booster.

The (two-headed) Francophone Film Series

Film only : starting October 5, (almost!) every Sunday, from 6 to 8pm, in Gregory’s main Film Lounge (Van Pelt building).

  • All movies in French, with English (and in one case French) subtitles.

Film + Chat : on selected Mondays, from 6 to 8pm, in Gregory’s “baby” Film Lounge (C’ of ‘25 building). Screenings followed by scholar-run discussion : the Prof. picks the movie, we react, s/he debriefs !

  • All movies in French, with English (and in one case French) subtitles ; depending on audience, discussion either in English or French.

The Francophone Talk Series


We will be visited by members of Philly’s Francophone community – non-profit leaders, humanities scholars, scientists, Wharton alumni, recent exchange students, restaurant owners, and more !

  • Talks may either be in French + revolve around a topic of general interest, or in English + focus on a Francophone issue (check event calendar entry for more information).
  • Dates and rooms TBD.

The Francophone Workshop Series

The House will host a small number of hands-on workshops – expect creative writing, Créole speed-learning, French CV formatting... and, YES, FOOD!

  • Gregory residents will have priority.
  • Resident or not, you will be asked to register 24h prior to event using provided sign-up sheet (see event calendar entry).
  • Dates and rooms TBD.

Got an event / topic / format / film you would LOVE to see hosted / discussed / implemented / screened at the FFH ?

Any question (unanswered above / in the FREN 180 Syllabus)?

Tell Fiona, the FFH Program Director:

No promise… but she’ll do her best, together with the awesome Gregory team, to make it happen !

Follow us ! @PennFFHouse


Photo credit: Qui sommes-nous? Diversité et population en Ile-de-France, Arcadi / Trajectoires, 2012

Maison française Calendrier

August 2015

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