The Coffee Break French Masterclass

Take your first steps to becoming a
Master of the French language today!

  • Six monthly modules covering the areas of French you need to know
  • Multimedia lessons presented by expert teachers and native speakers
  • Exercises, challenges and checklists
  • Practise with the Masterclass community in our forums

How does it work?

We've been listening carefully to the comments of the Coffee Break French community and we've built this brand new course to address your needs. With our regular, friendly lessons which fit your lifestyle we'll help you build your knowledge and develop your range of expression with the Coffee Break French Masterclass.

The course is structured in six modules, each module lasting one month. Over the course of the month we'll make available lessons and activities to help you plan your learning and build on what you've learned previously. If you can spend just 20 minutes on your learning two or three times a week, the Masterclass is perfect for you.

The Masterclass fits your schedule: you'll be able to start whenever it suits you. You'll not be overwhelmed from day 1: your first lesson in your first module starts when you're ready to start.

  • Regular audio lessons

    The Masterclass is built around our regular audio lessons, and in each module there will be five main lessons. As usual, the audio lessons are presented by our expert teachers joined by native speakers, and in addition to learning content and original dialogues, you’ll also benefit from our translation challenges and worked examples.

  • Exercises and challenges

    We’ve also developed a set of exercises and challenges for each module which will help you consolidate the language you learn in the lessons. Some of the exercises are based around translations between English and French, and our challenges will involve you putting your language skills to the test with some writing practice.

  • Join the community

    Our private members’ forum will allow you to share your learning with the Masterclass community. You can ask a question about a particular aspect of the module lessons, or try out your language skills and get feedback from the community. The forum is not open to the public, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re working with a dedicated group of fellow language learners.

Course outline - Masterclass Season 1

Access a free lesson

We’d love to send you a sample lesson from the Masterclass. Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.

Vous avez des questions?

Who is the Masterclass for?

We’ve developed the Masterclass specifically for learners who are at an intermediate level. If you’ve already completed Seasons 1 and 2 of Coffee Break French, then it will be the perfect way to develop your range of expression and build on what you’ve previously learned. The materials covered in each lesson will also be perfect if you’re currently working on Season 3. If you’ve already completed Season 4 we’re sure that you will still find lots of useful materials in the Masterclass to help you consolidate what you’ve already learned. However, some students of Season 4 have found that the Masterclass materials may be a bit too easy.

How do I access the Masterclass?

It’s a bit different from our other courses because this is a monthly membership, running for 6 months. Since it’s an online course you’ll be able to access the audio and video material which is streamed on the website. Please note that there will not be a podcast feed for audio or video elements of the Masterclass. However, it is possible to download the audio and video episodes to your computer or device as they become available.

How does the membership work?

The Masterclass is a monthly recurring membership: you’ll have access to the materials for as long as you continue to make monthly payments. If you decide the Masterclass is no longer for you, you’ll be able to keep any content you have downloaded during your membership. However, you will no longer have access to the online content or the interactive forum. You can cancel at any time. Please note, however, that if you cancel after Module 3, you can’t start again at a later date at Module 4.

How much does the Masterclass cost?

The Masterclass costs £33 GBP (including VAT) per month for UK subscribers. The price will vary slightly for other EU customers based on the current VAT rates of EU states. The approximate price per month in USD will be approximately $42.00. The exact rate will be calculated at time of purchase and repayment and based on the exchange rates of the payment processor. For the Masterclass we will be using Stripe payments. On signup, the first payment will be taken. Subsequent payments will be made for the next five months automatically every 30 days unless the customer cancels.

Hear from previous Masterclass students

This is a terrific program. I can work at my own pace, am always learning something new, I enjoy being connected with a community of learners, and I profit from the feedback. The content is logical and sequential. Each lesson builds upon and reinforces the last. The video reviews and checklists are very helpful as are the quizzes.

Caroline Evans
Masterclass Student

I have really enjoyed Masterclass so far. It has helped to stay focused on my study of the French language. It's format allows for different skills i.e. Listening, reading and writing. I particularly value the video and checklist at the end of the module which is really useful for a quick recap of the main points without going through the entire module.

Lesley Lamb
Masterclass Student

I like the in depth analysis of the different topics, the use of audio, video, and written material and the opportunity to enjoy the input of other French learners, as well as receiving expert feedback. All of which makes for a comprehensive and enjoyable learning experience, which is nothing less than what I have come to expect from Coffee Break French.

Michael Maher
Masterclass Student

I really enjoy the timing of the modules being delivered. It makes it easy to choose when to complete them to fit in with everyone's busy lives. Not too much but just enough to have regular practice.

Jackie Morris
Masterclass Student

I felt I was not ready to join CBF Masterclass with my beginning level of French and was a bit intimidated. However, I was eager to learn and give it a try anyway and am very happy I did. I have learned so much in these few months from the course, the Masterclass team as well as the other members. The course is at a doable pace, the content is relevent, and I enjoy listening to the spoken French. I'm anxious to see where the following months lead me!

Barbara Wallraff
Masterclass Student

After completing CBF seasons 3 and 4 I decided to give the CBF Masterclass a try and have not regretted it. I find it amazingly enjoyable. The lessons are so well structured and presented and, in my opinion, would suit learners of French on any level from beginners to more advanced. The modules, being targeted on one certain aspect of language, allow one to concentrate and get to grips with the presented theme. At the same time there is excellent opportunity to glean a multitude of extra vocabulary and idioms from the spoken paragraphs. Here the fact that Mark and native French speakers present the paragraphs, read both at normal and also slower speed, gives the perfect opportunity for fine tuning one’s aural comprehension. These I find invaluable, also with respect to the fact that there is a progression in each module which utilises themes presented in earlier modules thus re-enforcing the learning experience. The forums and exercises I really do enjoy as they not only allow for consolidation but in addition the contributions from the other equally eager participants are most helpful and the fact that there are corrections, if we wish, is yet another bonus of enjoyment and learning.

Aileen Murdoch-Larsen
Masterclass Student

D'autres questions?

If you have any other questions, please post a comment here and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!

38 responses to “Introducing the Coffee Break French Masterclass (Old Version)”

  1. Hello,
    I am very interested in your new course! I am living in New Zealand. Is it possible to join the Masterclass? We do have a bank account & credit card in our other home country of Switzerland, if payments can only be European or American based?

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Kind regards
    Remaliah Lacombe

    • Bonjour Remaliah! Yes, you’ll absolutely be able to join the Masterclass from New Zealand. It’s an online course so you can follow each module on our website. We should be able to take payments from customers all over the world. We’ll keep you posted with the developments and let you know when the course is ready to begin!

  2. Bonjour dAustralie où il fait très beau et chaud pour le Noël!
    Je suis intéressé de connaître de le nouvelle cours.
    Cependant. Je vais voyager en France pendant 3 mois cette année et pendant cette fois je ne pourrais pas étudier le cours. Est- ce qu’il est possible de commencer le premier module et puis recommencer quand je retourne en Australie. En courant j’étudie CBF season 3.

    • Salut Felicity! Je vais répondre en anglais pour que tout le monde comprenne. Bravo pour ton français! Felicity is asking if she can start the first module and then put the course on pause for 3 months while she spends time in France. Unfortunately at this stage this wouldn’t be possible as the option to pause a membership is not built into our system. However, it is possible that by the time you return from France it may be possible to start the course at module 2, though we don’t have an ETA for that functionality. We’ll keep in touch anyway and update you on how things develop. Bonne continuation!

  3. The Masterclass sounds intriguing. However, I currently listen to CFB lessons on my iPod while running or traveling. Will I be able to listen to Masterclass audio tracks that way or will I have to be sitting at a computer to do so? Also, I download the PDF versions of the lessons to my iPad. Will that convenience continue?

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Joe. The main functions of the Masterclass will happen “on site”, but there will be the possibility of downloading lessons for use on the go. Likewise we’ll produce checklists and summary sheets in PDF format which will help you learn on your iPad, although I should say that the course site looks fantastic and works perfectly on the iPad! Hope that helps.

  4. The streaming method doesn’t suit my study time. I listen to episodes while commuting on the train and streaming can be problematic during rush hour. Could you please provide a download alternative?

    • Hi Russell. Thanks for your question. The main functions of this course will be on-site, so the notes and the content itself will be provided on course pages and the discussion items and tasks will take place on the forum. We’re currently looking into the best way to provide the materials for download and will be able to provide an update by the time the course launches. Hope that helps.

    • We’re looking at the best ways to continue to support our advanced learners and CBF5 is definitely something we’re considering. However, for the time being we’re focusing on the Masterclass which will also provide useful review content for learners who have completed Season 4. CBF5 will come along at some point soon!

  5. Hi
    I too get the most use of CBF in the podcast format. The new format sounds great but I’m concerned that I would not have the time to devote to learning that way. I would therefore encourage u to somehow make the content “portable.” Thanks

    • Thanks, Steve. We will indeed be looking at ways to ensure that those signed up to the Masterclass will be able to use the content in a ‘portable’ way, but it is true that as an online course it’s a slightly different style of learning: while you can learn on your own with downloaded audio content and notes, we hope that we can encourage the community to do a bit of ‘joined-up learning’ in the forums. Hope that helps.

  6. I also prefer the podcasts as I learn while running and driving which occupies just my hearing. I never used any PDFs nor online content. However I would like to give it a try and see if it works for me. I have already completed all Seasons, including Season 4. How many hours per week do you envisage for keeping up with the course and maximizing the benefit?

    • Salut, Margaret. We think that if you can spend 20 minutes working on the course just 2 or 3 times a week you’ll be able to make real progress. However, if you have more time to dedicate to listening to the episodes and working on the associated activities then that should help even more. Thanks for your comments.

  7. Hello again, How might I know if I am at the right level for the Masterclass? I haven’t followed CBF consistently, but am married to a French native and lived in the French-speaking part of Switzerland for four years, learning by listening to family and friends around me & TV. I can understand almost everything, communicate in French well but have not learned French formally apart from the podcasts I’ve listened to by CBF. I realise this question is probably difficult to answer!

  8. Mark,

    Unfortunately, I currently study 2-3 times per week for 2-3 hours per session to pass the professional engineering exam in April. If I were to join the masterclass in April, would all of the discussion on the forum be about module 4? Will the forum be structured in such a way as to group learners of the same module together? It’s one of the disappointing things about being “behind” on the podcasts. When you ask for community participation, I know mine won’t count because the next 20 podcasts are already out.


    • Hi Samantha. We envisage learners joining throughout the year and there will be specific forum areas for each module. Needless to say, we’ll be active in the forum supporting learners at whatever stage they are. Indeed as a result of this new course system we’re hoping that there will be a greater sense of community participation than there has been with the podcasts because more people will be working on module X at any one time. Hope that makes sense! Good luck with your engineering studies!

  9. Hi Mark,
    This is such exciting news! It’s exactly what I’ve been hoping for in terms of in-depth exploration of the language. Can you give an estimate of how long the audio and video materials might be? Streaming is not feasible at my house, but I could possibly go to another location to access better internet.
    Thanks! Eliza

    • Hi Eliza. Thanks for your positive comments. The audio and video materials will be around 15 minutes in length. We’re looking into the possibilities for a non-streaming option at the moment and will be able to update you in the next couple of weeks. Make sure you’ve signed up to be kept up to date with the developments.

  10. Hi Mark, I am excited about the new masterclass plans. However, due to very unreliable web services, I am dependent on a podcast-download model being available. Should I delay joining the Masterclasses until a portable service is working? I am guessing that the proposed model will be more like the High Five model which I have subscribed to for the last year in order to follow it with my 7-year old granddaughter. I’m afraid we have had little or no use of this otherwise excellent course because of our poor internet. We have all but given up on it though I see it was auto-renewed this month. We have not been able to see most of the videos and really can only reliably get the transcripts. I really wish ‘high five’ had some podcasts/audio files for download so that I didn’t have to be online to follow the course.
    Otherwise, thanks for all your other great programmes!

    • Hi Suzanne. Thanks for your comments and sorry to hear that the streaming model for High Five isn’t working for you. It appears that for some listeners with data transfer limits large downloads are not ideal. For others, streaming options don’t seem to work as well. We will be looking further into the best ways to address these issues in the next two weeks before we launch and hope to have clearer information by the time the Masterclass goes live. If you’ve asked us to “keep you posted” by entering your email in the box on this page then we’ll let you know as soon as we have further information on that point.

  11. Looking at ‘tricky verbs’ all over again does NOT sound particularly exciting :\
    We did that thounsands of times on CFB 1&2 & ‘verb fix’.
    And all you’ve said so far about Masterclass is not really what I enjoy Coffee break french for. We look at all that kind of stuff in formal classes (eg. at school or uni) and I think the point of the original idea of cofee break french is its authenticity and credibility! I would MUCH prefer to listen to other stories about Sylvie, her mom Monique, Gabrielle and her friend Mathieu. I really hope you take that into account and pas faire une bêtise pareil.
    P.S. Pierre-benoit is such a cuite :3

    • Thanks for your comments, Nathalie. We agree entirely that focused study on language and grammar is something that many learners can access through formal classes, but there is a huge section of our community who are not able to access such formal classes. We’ve created the Masterclass based on what our listeners have asked us for, so we hope that this structured study of grammar will work well for the community. Of course, we do intend to continue further seasons of the ‘traditional’ Coffee Break French lessons: Masterclass will provide an additional element for some listeners. It’s also important to point out that the content of our Masterclass lessons will also be engaging and fun, with lots of lively dialogues and interesting presentation of language throughout. And Pierre-Benoît will make an appearance too!

  12. HI Mark! I have finished the CBF season 4 podcasts, and I downloaded and finished the CBF season 4 Coffee Break French Companion, book 1. It is really helpful in reviewing the idioms and interesting vocabulary. Will there be a Companion book 2, 3 and 4 that will cover all the lessons from season 4?

    • Hi Dennis. Sorry for the slow reply. Yes, there will indeed be Companion books 2-4. We’re finalising book 2 at the moment and it will be available very soon.

  13. Bon Noel Mark,
    Je vous Merci pour votre CBF!
    En Australie il fait tres chaud, une canicule. 35C 45C.
    J’espere que je sois en Europe.

    I am really looking forward to the new Masterclass ,
    Wishing you and your family and the coffe break team all the best for 2016. Love your work .

  14. Will it be possible to ‘freeze’ the classes as the year goes on? It’s never much fun, or very helpful, to have to rush to catch up if one has been away on holiday – and out of reach of the internet, emails & the like – for a fortnight or so. It would suit me fine to be able to pause the regular flow of materials from you until I’m in a position to take them up again.

    • David, sorry for the slow reply – things were very busy over Christmas and the New Year with the launch of the Masterclass. Unfortunately it’s not possible to ‘freeze’ the classes as the year goes on. However, in the course of one month we provide just five audio lessons plus three additional activities. We’re recommending 3×20 minute sessions per week, so it’s not a huge amount to catch up on. I hope that helps.

  15. Hi Mark. I’m a big fan of cbf and have subscribed to each series so far. Whistle streaming is possible for me, I’d like to support those others who have stressed the importance of downloadable material. I do most of my listening on the move one way or other and I’m not sure I’d get full value out of a solely streamed course – particularly at what is quite an expensive sucription rate. It sounds as if you are looking into this, so I’m just adding my support to that. I’m keen to support the idea of the masterclass but doubt I will without a clear downloadable dimension. Best wishes. Mark

  16. Hi Mark!

    I am very interested and excited about this new Masterclass subscription!

    I am concerned about the “Forums.”. Will interaction in the Forums be a significant part of this program? I don’t like Facebook or posting comments on blogs. Are the forums just a place for people to post questions about the content? What portion of the Masterclass will be requiring or encouraging Forum participation and what exactly will that be? While I like to have a chance to ask the occasional question, I don’t want to be forced to interact with other learners. I don’t really have time for that sort of social interaction – I want to focus on my French learning! Thank you for clarifying.

    In reading the comments above, I would like to share that I, too, would like to have some downloadable materials. It is extremely helpful to have some content that one can take along remotely – in the car or working out, etc. Then I go back to my desktop to reinforce the material and work with the documentation.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Jennifer. Thanks for your comments and apologies for the slow reply on here. As you’ll have seen in other comments and replies we have indeed included the possiblity of downloading the episodes. Regarding forums, it’s entirely up to you: you can contribute if you want, but equally you don’t have to. We set a challenge in each lesson for you to put the language you’ve learned into practice. For some, posting on the forums is one way of doing this, but we would simply encourage you to try to use what you’re learning in order to consolidate it further. Hope that helps.

  17. Just to add another voice to the lobby for downloadable materials. I frequently travel back and forth to France where I do not have internet access. Thus my learning programme would be spasmodic and interrupted. PLEASE make downloading possible!! I really don’t want to miss out or be left behind. I need all the help I can get!!

    • Hi Anne. Apologies for the delayed reply. We have indeed made downloading the lessons possible. You can now download the audio lessons and lesson notes for each lesson to allow you to access this where and when it suits you. Hope that helps.

  18. Je m’intéresse pour la Master Class French. Je voudrais savoir en avance combien ça coûte en euros – j’habite en Autriche – et de quel moyen de paiement on s’emploie. Merci pour votre aide !

    • Apologies for the slow reply, Isobel. The cost will be approximately €36 per month. You can pay by any major credit card. Hope this helps.

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