Overview of French language in Malaysia

The French Embassy strongly supports the policy of the Government of Malaysia in its aim to widely increase the number of pupils attending French courses.

French language in secondary education

English and Malay are the medium of teaching in public education, and in some schools, it happens to be Mandarin or Tamil. Some international languages can be chosen as an elective course in most schools. Pupils can choose between Japanese, French, Korean, Arabic and German.

In 2019, more than 15 000 pupils were learning French in public secondary schools. In January 2019, 101 public secondary schools (boarding and daily) were offering French.


Pupils who chose French will study the language for 5 years at the end of which they will reach an A2 level. Their level is assessed by the DELF scolaire, a diploma on French Language adapted for pupils. This diploma evaluates the four communication skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Delivered by the Ministry of Education in France, it is a worldwide recognised diploma. Nearly 3000 students from public secondary schools sat for the exam in 2019, a figure that has been stable for 4 years.

Regarding private education, apart from the Lycée Français de Kuala Lumpur, more than 20 other international schools offer French courses.

The Education department, in partnership with France Education International and the Ministry of Education Malaysia, has contributed to finalise a curriculum for the teaching of French language in Malaysia. The curriculum has been implemented in 2017 in all the schools teaching French and enhanced the high quality teaching of French language in the country.

French language in higher education

In higher education, French is taught in different contexts.

  • It is offered in some fields such as tourism, engineering, fashion or defense. We estimate at 5 800 the number of students learning French as an option.
  • Two universities have a bachelor in French language and linguistics; Universiti Malaya and Universiti Putra Malaysia. We believe that about 150 students take it as a major in each university.
  • The IPGKBA (institute for future teachers) trains the future public education French teachers. Each cohort is about 15 students.

In total, it is about 30 universities, colleges and institutes which offer French courses.

Latest modification 24/01/2020

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