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Build a Strong Core

Finally overcome the intermediate plateau!

You got this far
but now you're stuck

There’s no denying it: learning a new language can be tough sometimes.

The beginning is usually fun. You just learn ready-made sentences and soon enough, you’re able to talk about your family, describe your weekend etc. You’re progressing quickly so your motivation is high!

However once you reach the intermediate level, things get messy.

You know how to build basic sentences, but whenever you try to say something slightly more complex, you find yourself trapped in a minefield of errors.

You see those “en“, “dont” and “y” everywhere, but you don’t know how to use them.

There are so many tenses that you start to believe French people live in a different time dimension.

But the worst part is that you have no idea what you should learn next

Salut, c'est Hugo!

For seven years, I’ve been helping intermediate French learners become confident French speakers.

I started my career at the French Institute in Warsaw, Poland, and decided to learn Polish to better understand my students.

But just like them, I ended up getting stuck at the intermediate plateau. I knew all the grammar rules and enough vocabulary, yet I couldn’t use the language to have meaningful conversations.

Everything changed when I discovered a Polish podcaster named Piotr. Instead of teaching grammar, Piotr was simply talking about interesting topics in an easy way so that listeners could learn the language naturally.

After listening to him for just a few months, I realized I was finally able to understand Polish people and talk to them with confidence.

That experience was so eye-opening that I decided to create my own podcast to teach French through topics that matter.

Today the innerFrench podcast has over 10 million downloads and it has helped tens of thousands of French learners.

How is this course different
from the podcast?

After some time, listeners told me they enjoyed the podcast but they had questions about grammar and vocabulary that I wasn’t able to address, both because the podcast wasn’t the right format and I didn’t have enough time to reply to all of them.

It took me months to figure out a way to teach grammar without giving up on what made innerFrench different in the first place.

I finally found the right formula: a mix of interesting topics, grammar in context and fun exercises to practice. And, most importantly, a clear roadmap to go from intermediate to advanced.

The Build a Strong Core course was born!


Karen, United States

I loved this course and looked forward to it everyday! It gave me the structure I needed to improve my French listening as well as overcome those common, nagging grammar mistakes. Not only did I learn about the French language but also French history and culture. And Hugo’s kindness and encouragement shone through each lesson!

Why learn French
with this course?


A clear roadmap to finally overcome the intermediate plateau


Daily lessons so you don't waste time looking for what to study next


Fun quizzes, exercises and interactive activities to develop your skills


Fascinating stories about the French society and French-speaking world

Grammar lessons to avoid common mistakes made at the intermediate level


Patient teachers who will answer all your questions*

Build a Strong Core is designed to help you make learning French a habit. 

But you don’t have to complete a lesson everyday.  The course is self-paced so you can take as much time as you need to finish it.

Mai Japon

Mai, Japan

“After studying French for a few years, I was finding it difficult to make progress as an intermediate student. And then I started this program – and thought “this is exactly what I needed!”. 

It clarified a lot of grammatical topics that I always struggled to understand fully; it had a good mixture of lectures and exercises; and (maybe most importantly) it taught me how to get into the habit of learning French everyday. Because each lesson was so interesting and fun, it was easy to keep my motivation to go through it till the end!”

What does a lesson
look like?

In every lesson, you will find different activities to develop the skills you need to move to the advanced level:

• A story about the French-speaking world to learn some interesting facts and new vocabulary in context.

• A grammar section to address the most common mistakes made by intermediate learners and how to fix them.

• A phonetics section to understand the pronunciation differences between formal and informal French.

• Interactive exercises to test yourself and make sure that you understood everything.

Nare Krmoyan

Nare, Armenia

The program was very well-structured and easy-to-follow. It contained various nuanced points on grammar that other courses/books usually disregard, but that commonly cause mistakes among not only beginner but also intermediate level learners.

I especially appreciated the little shortcuts for remembering some tricky little grammar points easily (e.g. genders, prepositions, pronouns, etc.). The downloadable cheat sheets were super helpful as well.

A glimpse of what you'll learn
in the course

Week 1

Learning to learn

• Why French people speak so fast, and what strategies you can implement to better understand them.

• How to overcome your fear of speaking French and improve your pronunciation.

• The most efficient ways to study grammar and memorize vocabulary.

Week 2

The French Society

• Three paradoxes about the French that they’re not even aware of.

• Why they were ranked as the most pessimistic people in the world

• How to use que, qui, dont, to stop sounding like a robot.

When to pronounce the “s” in “plus“.

Week 3

France and its regions

• Why some French regions want to become independent.

• Why Paris could look like an urban jungle in 2050.

• Why some French suburbs are seen as powder kegs.

•  How to finally nail “en” and “y” .

Week 4

The French speaking world

• Why Africa is becoming the epicenter of the French-speaking world.

• Why l’Académie française sees the feminization of the names of professions as a mortal danger.

• How to master the dreaded subjunctive.

•  When to use “à” or “de” after a verb.

... and a lot more !


Christina, Australia

“Since retiring I have been trying to resurrect the French I knew at school. I have found lots of resources online and elsewhere, but InnerFrench has been quite different.

The materials were varied and interesting, Hugo’s video lessons were clearly spoken, and the explanations of grammar and common errors cleared up several things I was confused about.

Hugo also explained the reasons for some of my frustrations and how to deal with them, such as why ‘normal’ spoken French is still so hard to follow in spite of all I have learned.”

Is this course
for you?

✅ Yes if...

  • You’re at a lower intermediate level (end of A2 – B1 on the CEFR scale).

  • You can understand the first episodes of the innerFrench podcast without too much trouble (with or without the transcripts).

⛔️ No if...

  • You’re at an advanced level (B2 or above on the CEFR scale).

  • You find the innerFrench podcast too easy/slow.

  • You don’t want to practice grammar.

Geoff, United States

The lessons cover a number of topics that I needed to learn to improve my French. Thanks to this course, I’ve already seen a significant improvement in my ability to understand and communicate in French. It’s the perfect combination of challenge and encouragement.

What's inside
the course

Lifetime Access

Use the course for ever + get all the future updates

30 Lessons
+ Bonuses

Fascinating stories with a sprinkle of grammar

7 Hours of Video

+ downloadable MP3 files and transcriptions

Over 120 exercises

Quizzes to practice and track your progress

Jessica Lee

Jessica, Hong Kong

I’m glad I bought this course and I think the price is very reasonable! Not only did I learn the grammar rules and vocabulary, but I also found ways to continue my learning.

I know that I still make grammatical mistakes, but at least I have already written 22 journal entries thanks to this program and I have been speaking French regularly for six months. I was dreaming of such progress!

Lifetime Access
€199 one-time payment

If you’re not 100% satisfied with the course, let us know within 30 days and you’ll get your payment back, no questions asked.

Your teachers

Gravatar 2020


I’ve been teaching French since 2015, first at the Institut français in Warsaw, Poland, then online by creating the innerFrench Podcast and YouTube channel.

Anna 2020


I completed my Master’s Degree with a double specialization in French didactics and literature, then taught in several language schools before joining the innerFrench team in 2020.


Aditya, India

Prior to joining the course, I had been studying French for 1.5 years, just dragging myself and finding it hard to continue. However, joining this course was one of my best decisions in my language journey. It offered me a one-stop portal to stick to over the last 4 to 6 weeks for learning French grammar, vocab and culture in context. The discussion topics covered were of varied interests and engaging.”

Why this program is different
from other French online courses

The Build a Strong Core program doesn’t promise to make you fluent in 3 months. Instead, it will help you make a bit of progress every day and feel more confident as you practice your French

It is also designed to help you make learning French a daily habit and build your own routine—a routine that you will stick with long after you complete the course. Because at the end of the day, this new habit will be the key to helping you reach fluency.

Contrary to most online courses, this program is built around the content, not the grammar.

Instead of reading dialogues about Jean-Pierre’s thrilling adventure at the bakery, we will cover interesting topics related to French people, their society, and the rest of the French-speaking world. If you like what I talk about on the innerFrench Podcast, then you’re going to love these lessons.


Jon, United States

This is a wonderful program with fun, engaging content and a very effective design that’s really helped me make progress in French. The lessons are full of helpful learning strategies and interesting explorations of French life and culture, and Hugo is great at making complex grammar easy to understand and calling attention to important nuances in the way people actually speak.

Train your ear

Since you probably understand me pretty well at this stage, it’s important to get used to different accents.

That’s why we’ll also work with videos made for native speakers. But don’t panic: I’ll be there to help you along the way.

Thanks to these exercises, not only will you get a better grasp of spoken French but you will also discover some fascinating speakers

Carolyn USA

Carolyn, United States

“This is exactly the course I was looking for! I had been frozen in place in my French learning for years — but Hugo managed to light the match! His challenging and stimulating lessons have filled in the crucial gaps in my learning, and he’s boosted my confidence to put what I know into practice!”

Frequently Asked

My courses go a lot more in depth than my free content. They are designed to get one big step closer to the advanced level so the lessons are organized with a clear progression, targeted grammar sections and plenty of activities to practice.

The program is designed for lower-intermediate students (between upper A2 and B1 on the CEFR scale). As a rule of thumb, if the first 40 episodes of the innerFrench Podcast are at the right level for you, then this program will be the right level, too. To get a better idea of the difficulty, you can watch an excerpt from a lesson here.

You’ll get access to your first lesson as soon as you sign up. Then you can go through the lessons at your own pace and take as long as you need to complete the program.

Unfortunately no as it would mess up the onboarding process. But you can try the course for 30 days and ask for a full refund if you don’t like it.

The program is entirely in French, just like my podcast and videos. Translations are provided in the transcriptions for tricky words and expressions, but the lessons and the grammar explanations are in French. I break things down into digestible pieces to make sure you get everything.

As a teacher, my goal is to see my students make actual progress. So if you don’t get results after joining the program, I offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

You can access the course on your laptop, smartphone or tablet, as long as you have an internet connection.

If you have a question related to this program, feel free to write to me at: hugo@innerfrench.com. Merci!

No, it doesn’t. The lessons are recorded. But Anna and I will be available to answer all your questions during the course.


Neringa, Lithuania

Being a language teacher myself, I know how important it is to improve as many skills as possible (which I did have a chance to do).

What I appreciate most about this course, though, is a certain attitude: being passionate about what you do. I strongly agree that discovering the pleasure of learning and curiosity are the main keys to successful learning. With Hugo’s material and attitude, it’s a piece of cake!”

Course syllabus

Contenu Cours

Tout Afficher

Bienvenue !

Semaine 1 – Apprendre à apprendre
Semaine 2 – La société française
Semaine 3 – La France et ses régions
Semaine 4 – Le monde francophone
"I was a bit skeptical, but the online format and 30-day program was really good. On the couple days when the content was dense, it allowed me to take some extra time and continue when I was ready. It was great for flexibility in my schedule."
United States
"I had a series of questions before I started and I'm very, very happy because they were all answered. The topics were exactly at my level and Hugo explained everything in a structured, clear and simple manner."
"I've been studying French for a number of years: in high school, in adult classes or with some independent programs... During these years, I always had questions! Like a magician, Hugo read my mind and created the course I was looking for!"
United States
"It really was an excellent and enjoyable course. I particularly liked the fact that it covered some tricky concepts that were hard to understand in a way that made sense, and combined this with interesting cultural information. And I really like that I can go back over the course and the exercises again to reinforce my understanding anytime that I like."
"Thanks to Hugo, I have regained my confidence. I've gotten over my fear of speaking and have also started attending conversation groups."
United States
"Thanks to this course, I've enjoyed learning French and it's become a daily routine that I love! Thank you so much for helping me improve my French in such a pleasant way, thanks to your many useful tips!"
"I really like the structure of the course: lessons with stories, grammar and quizzes."
United States
"I enjoyed this course, especially the videos and the content on the cultural aspects of French and all things Francophone. I don't really like grammar, but I know it's necessary!"
United Kingdom
"I enjoyed the lessons on informal language, pronunciation... In short, the modern language!"
"Build A Strong Core was a great course for understanding French grammar in a way that improves my comprehension and expression. I spent a year in France as a young man and worked in ski shop where I had to speak French all day long without having a grammatical base. I am little embarrassed looking back about how bad my French really was. It’s actually better now, particularly with some grammatical underpinning."
United States
"The highlight of the program was Hugo, who made everything interesting and clear! I don't want to sound like the teacher's pet, but the program was a big challenge and I needed something inspiring."
United Kingdom
"‘Build a Strong Core’ was everything I'd been looking for: enriching, fascinating and, what's more, fun. Who could have imagined that even the grammar would be so interesting? Thank you so much!"
"‘After listening to almost all of Hugo's podcasts, I finally decided to sign up for the "Build a Strong Core" course. Good decision! This course was not only very enjoyable, but I found it very well designed to present, in an easy-to-understand way, those particular areas of grammar and constructions that I think challenge many of us. It definitely helped me to progress. !"
"‘This program gave me the tools I needed to improve my French and enabled me to continue my learning using research-based strategies!"
"I found it a pleasant combination of effort and relaxation. The useful grammar sections help avoid silly mistakes and make it easier to communicate in French. I worked hard and had fun at the same time."
"16 years of studying French in school wasn't able to give me as much understanding and confidence as Hugo has. With Hugo's help, guidance, and clear instruction, I've been able to surpass a level I never thought I would. 100000% recommend!"
"The course is very well constructed, easy to follow and there was a lot to learn; especially facts, which are hard to find elsewhere. Now at the end of the course, I think I've improved my French a lot."
"Each lesson topic was interesting, with new vocabulary sprinkled throughout, and the grammar lessons were useful, relevant, and easy to follow. There was nothing to "skim past" because everything in this course was useful or answered questions I had. Hugo's organized approach kept me very motivated, and I looked forward to each lesson because I didn't have to create that schedule for myself. Throughout taking this course I felt that I could truly enjoy "mon apprentissage" while learning about French history and culture. I could trust the process, and I came out feeling as though I learned so much."
United States
"The course was very nice and engaging. It is well designed so as not to be tedious. I will continue to take the advanced course and also the podcast."
"What I really liked about the course was that it was about the French language and culture. Not just words, not just grammar, but everything together. At the same time, I learnt methods to improve my French. I have had many of my questions answered."
"This course was amazing! Thank you so much to Hugo and team for making it not only a great learning tool, but also something super interesting and engaging that I wanted to keep coming back to."
United States
"The content is interesting, the explanations are clear and the exercises are both useful and fun. I recommend it!"
United Kingdom
"This course was the best I have ever attended. If I would have had this style of teaching in school, I would have been fluent in French long ago. I appreciate you sharing also your "private you" in teaching, it makes me feel I know you in person and lessons feel more private. This encourages me to continue."
"Diverse approach, rich content, not monotonous and better organized than other online courses I followed."
"Hugo’s knowledge of language acquisition made this class excellent in content, structure, and organization. His explanations are clear, succinct, and easy to assimilate into your working knowledge of French. This was a fantastic review of a variety of details to help learners grow in their proficiency in French."
United States
"These are the best grammar lessons I've found: very clear and concise, and the quizzes are very well done. Also, Hugo speaks slowly, but not too much, his pronunciation is perfect, easy to understand and gives students confidence."
United States
"I like the course because it contains a lot of very interesting videos and also because it is well structured. I've learned a lot of very important things. But the most important thing, in my opinion, is that it can be repeated. Because it's impossible to learn everything the first time. And it combines well with podcasts. I recommend taking a little time to listen to and read the podcasts, noticing excerpts that contain grammar from the course to understand everything better. "
"I liked the structure of the course as well as the way grammar points were clearly explained."
United States
"I just redid this excellent course as preparation for the next one. I'm a big fan of Hugo, his videos, his podcast, but especially "Build a Strong Core"! The course is worth every penny and I highly recommend it."
"I have tried and purchased most of the main French online programs and see that this course is by far the most inspirational, detailed, clear, and the best value. What I really liked is Hugo’s encouragement and honesty about acquiring the language. I appreciate his sense of humor, personal stories and opinions, and his deep thoughts about a variety of topics. Also the obvious amount of work and resources and attention to details he has provided."
"I wanted to refresh my French, which I had studied in Hamburg 30 years ago. I succeeded. Even more: I have brought my beloved French back into everyday life. I listen to French music and podcasts, read French newspapers and watch French videos. Through the course, my French has improved a lot. I understand so much more. I follow various French people on Instagram and can understand a lot."
"Hugo and Build a Strong Core have helped me improve the French I can speak and, even more importantly, understand. For me there are two big problems when learning French: comprehension and especially grammar. I have to say that all the lessons have addressed these problems. Since doing this course, I can understand more podcasts and even understand little things on French TV."
United States
"I loved the course and learned a lot of new things about the French-speaking world while improving my French. You're a genius and I'm happy to be part of your growing family."
"I listened to all the episodes of the podcast and was very happy with them. However, I realised that I needed to know a bit more about the language rules and formalities, which is why I signed up for "Build a Strong Core". This course has been a very pleasant and beneficial journey for me."
"The course didn’t feel like yet another chore. I did it with great enthusiasm and desire. It is addictive and I will redo certain parts over and over again before proceeding to the next level. I definitely feel my core strengthened 😉"
"I'd forgotten most of the A level French I studied decades ago - this course was a perfect, and always engaging, refresher."
United Kingdom
"This course is fantastic - it is the perfect blend of comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar. Anna and Hugo are quick to respond to questions and I love the community of learners that I met along the way."
United States
"This course made me want to learn French instead of feeling like I was working 😀"
United Kingdom
"I really enjoyed the grammar explanations. Thank you for this wonderful course!"
"What I liked about the course: the structure and content (cultural, historical and social), the warm, friendly tone, its flexible format, which allowed me to do it at my own pace"
"I liked this course which helped me to clear up a lot of doubts I had. I found the grammar lessons very well structured and easy to understand, as well as the pronunciation notions. But above all, Hugo helped me to find my own way of taking advantage of the resources available online to stay motivated in my learning."
"I liked learning things that were very important and useful in the real world. In my lessons at the Alliance Française, I found that we were learning things that weren't very useful, and we were learning too slowly. In this course, I also liked practicing listening comprehension because that's the thing in the language that's most difficult for me."
"I found the topics very interesting and I like the grammar explanations (because grammar is difficult for me)."
"Hugo concentrated on aspects of French that are confusing, for English speakers at least, such as "en", "y", "plus," "lequel/duquel/auquel" etc. The exercises are presented in varying formats, with cultural subjects relating to France, and are brief and easy to fit into the day."

Learning French is a Fantastic Adventure!

But it’s also a long journey that can feel overwhelming sometimes.

This course will be your roadmap to move past the intermediate plateau and feel more confident in French.

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