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French School Vocabulary (List Of 100+ Classroom Terms)

French School Vocabulary (List Of 100+ Classroom Terms)

French school vocabulary includes: une école (school), un collège (middle school), un lycée (high school), un étudiant (student) and un professeur (teaher). This page offers a complete vocab list with words broken down by the following categories: Classroom words, teachers and students and verbs.

French classroom vocabulary

The is a complete list of classroom terms and school supplies. In France, kids carry a pencil case which is referred to as “une trousse”. Kids also carry school or book bags called “un cartable”. In the olden days all kids wrote with a fountain pen, which is called “un stylo plume”.

  • l’aquarelle watercolors
  • l’encre (f) ink
  • le baccalauréat, le bac high school diploma (in France)
  • la carte du monde world map
  • la colle glue
  • la craie chalk
  • le drapeau flag
  • le papier paper
  • les ciseaux scissors
  • les devoirs homework
  • tableau blanc whiteboard
  • taille-crayon pencil sharpener
  • un atlas atlas
  • un bureau teacher’s desk
  • un cahier notebook
  • un carnet assignment book
  • un classeur binder
  • un compas compass
  • un cours lesson
  • un crayon pencil
  • un dictionnaire dictionary
  • un examen exam, examination
  • un globe (terrestre) globe
  • un livre book
  • un livre de classe/cours, un manuel scolaire textbook
  • un ordinateur computer
  • un ordinateur portable laptop
  • un pupitre desk
  • un rapporteur protractor
  • un règle ruler
  • un rétroprojecteur overhead projector
  • un sac d’écolier, un cartable school bag
  • un stylo pen
  • un stylo à bille ballpoint pen
  • un stylo-plume fountain pen
  • un surligneur, un stabilo highlighter
  • un tableau interactif smart board
  • un trombone paperclip
  • un vidéoprojecteur projector
  • une agrafeuse stapler
  • une calculatrice calculator
  • une carte map
  • une étagère bookcase
  • une expérience experiment
  • une gamelle lunchbox
  • une gomme à effacer eraser
  • une interrogation, interro test, quiz
  • une note grade (A through F, etc.)
  • une perforatrice, perforeuse hole-puncher
  • une punaise thumbtack
  • une trousse pencil case

Teachers and students

French has a variety of terms for teachers and this can cause some confusion. At the elementary school (école primaire) level the following terms are used: maître/maîtresse and instituteur/institutrice. At the middle school and high school (collège and lycée) level, the following term are used: enseignant, enseignante. At the high school level the term professeur is used.

  • un(e) assistant(e) assistant
  • une classe d’étudants class of students
  • un entraîneur coach
  • un maître, une maîtresse elementary school teacher
  • un(e) étudiant(e) d’échange exchange student
  • un écolier/une écolière grade school student
  • un onseiller d’orientation, une conseillère d’orientation guidance counselor
  • un lycéen/une lycéenne high school student
  • un professeur high school teacher
  • un gardien, un(e) agent(e) d’entretien janitor
  • un(e) bibliothécaire librarian
  • un(e) enseignant(e) middle school teacher
  • le directeur, la directrice principal
  • un(e) élève pupil
  • un(e) camarade d’école/de classe schoolmate, classmate
  • un(e) secrétaire secretary
  • une étudiant(e) student
  • un(e) prof (slang) teacher

Verbs for school

In French, the term used for passing an exam is “réussir à un examen”. Interestingly, the term used for taking an exam is “passer un examen”. There are two verbs used for flunking an exam: “louper un examen” and “rater un examen” and “échouer à un examen”.

  • aller/assister à l’école to go to school
  • apprendre to learn
  • avoir une leçon to have a class, lesson
  • comprendre to undersatnd
  • échouer à un examen to fail an exam
  • écrire to write
  • enseigner to teach
  • être absent(e) to be absent
  • être present(e) to be present
  • étudier to study
  • faire l’appel to take attendance
  • faire l’ecole buissonnière to play hooky
  • faire les devoirs to do homework
  • lire to read
  • passer un examen to take an exam
  • poser une question to ask a question
  • prendre des notes to take notes
  • recevoir une education, une formation to get an education
  • répéter to repeat
  • résoudre un problème to solve a problem
  • réussir à un examen to pass an exam
  • réviser to review
  • sécher un cours to skip class
  • suivre un cours to take a course, class, subject
  • tricher to cheat
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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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