About Alliance Française de Singapour

Alliance Française de Singapour was founded in 1949. It is a local non-profit educational and cultural organization, affiliated to the international network of Alliance Française. With more than 800 locations in 132 countries, the Alliance Française is undoubtedly the world’s largest network of any cultural association.

With a strong Board and a mixed team of Singaporeans and French, and more than 4,000 members of all ages, the Alliance Française de Singapour fulfills its mission of teaching the French language and the promotion of French and Francophone cultures by offering various actions in its language centre, its gallery, its theatre and its mediatheque.

The language centre boasts more than 20 well-equipped classrooms. The teaching team is composed of highly qualified teachers. The Alliance offers courses rich and varied: private tuition or in groups, in-house or in companies, general French language or specific objectives, for adults, adolescents or toddlers (from 12 months). It is the only centre in Singapore to offer diploma-awarding examinations by the French Ministry of Education. Each year, around 600 candidates sit for the examinations at the Alliance.

The theatre with 236 seats, recently renovated and computerized, the gallery (130m2) and the mediatheque rich with 16,000 documents offer a great array of cultural events. The cultural strategy of the Alliance is geared towards cinema, photography and comic books. Each year, hundreds of events are organized for around 15,000 to 20,000 persons: exhibitions, cinema (Ciné-Club every Tuesday night, Ciné-Kids one Sunday a month in the afternoon, Ciné-Plus and Festivals), exchange sessions with directors, actors or producers, workshops with French artisans, concerts, story-telling or meet-the-author at the mediatheque, etc. The 5 major events of the year are the Francophonie Festival (in March, in partnership with the Lycée Français and the Francophone embassies in Singapore), the French Animation Film Festival (3 days of screenings for children and adults followed by meet-the-industry-professional sessions and masterclasses, end May), the International Music Day (around 21 June), the French Film Festival (10 days of French films coorganised with the French Embassy in November) and the Fashion Artisan Week in December.

The Alliance also offers a certified translation service, organizes social events such as the Bastille Day or the French Fridays, rents its premises and houses a café-restaurant.

Alliance Française de Singapour carries highly its values everyday: excellence, expertise and professionalism, creativity and conviviality, innovation and diversity … providing the French language and Francophone cultures, for everyone: Singaporeans or not. It carries its nickname the French hub well.

A Brief History of the Alliance française de Singapour

The Alliance française de Singapour is founded by a group of French-speaking residents headed by Paul Clerc. There are only 20 students and 50 members. Conversation classes are held twice a week in the evening and there is only one French language class and no teaching material. The Alliance is considered more of a social club than a language school.

The first Director of Courses, Jacques Le Mercier arrives from Paris. Three years later, 100 Singaporean and European students register.

The Alliance is located at 23 Chatsworth Road – a colonial bungalow with a large garden, reception hall for cinema, an office, a library and 2 – 3 classrooms.

Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew visits the school and meet the 350 registered students.

Tan Sri Runme Shaw visits the Alliance. The Alliance acquires its first modern cinema projector to replace the one borrowed from the Alliance in Paris.

Alliance française moves to 34 Scotts Road to a well-situated, spacious building located in the center of town.

The Alliance receives the full support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tan Sri Runme Shaw becomes President of the Alliance française de Singapour. 650 students are registered.

The Runme Shaw Challenge Cup is created by Tan Sri Runme Shaw to reward the best student in French language.

The ‘Lien’ is published for the first time and has a circulation of 1,000 copies. 2,300 students register this year, almost double the amount from the previous year. The library has more than 8,500 books. The Alliance opens a branch at the Golden Mile Shopping Centre in the presence of French Minister of Foreign Trade, Norbert Segard.

For the first time, a total of 1,000 registrations is recorded in the first trimester. The Alliance has more than 350 members and the library contains more than 10,000 volumes.

The Alliance moves to 4 Draycott Park. There is a large reception area and administrative offices, 16 classrooms, a teacher’s room, a language lab, a darkroom, an audio-visual room, a printing room and a small bookshop.

The Alliance introduces intensive French courses and classes for children. 700 people are members. 12 exhibitions are organised and Ciné-Club presents 46 films at the RELC.

2 new types of memberships are introduced: life membership and corporate membership. The Alliance opens a new library in a separate building with 12,000 books.

The Alliance française is now known as Alliance française de Singapour.

Dr Shaw Vee Meng becomes President of the Alliance française. Former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and his wife visit the Alliance. The 100th edition of the Lien is published with a circulation of 3,000 copies.

The Alliance organizes its first French Film Festival.

The Alliance moves to 1 Sarkies Road to a much larger, well-equipped, modern building with four floors. The official opening takes place on 17 October 1995.

4,000 students are registered at the Alliance.

The Singapore French Film Festival celebrates its 20 years.

The Alliance is completely transformed with new transparent coloured panels on its façade, a larger library, a more visible open-concept gallery.

The Singapore French Film Festival celebrates its silver jubilee.

Alliance française celebrates its 60th anniversary. More than 5000 students are registered for courses at the Alliance.

The Singapore French Film Festival takes on a new name: Société Générale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous with French Cinema. 10 French celebrities – actors, actresses and directors grace the opening night of the festival at the Grand Cathay.

The 1st French Animation Film Festival is organised.

The Alliance organises its first Cine-Kid screening in September and the first French Friday gathering in December. Online services are largely developed. The first electronic newsletter is sent out in September.

The Alliance organises for the first-time ever an Open-House day for children and an International Women’s Day celebration.

The first Ciné-Plus is organised. The theatre is renovated with new seats and carpet.

The Alliance celebrates its 20 years of fruitful partnership with Singapore Airlines.

Widely inspired by the “3rd place” library concept developed in France, the library (la médiathèque) is completely renovated. With a great diversity of ages, activities and nationalities, it reveals the quintessence of the Alliance Française – “the French hub” . It has in brief a dynamic collection of 17,000 French documents, both for kids and adults, including more than 1,000 resources for learners of French, about 2,500 persons registered and more than 40,500 loans last year.

The 1st fashion show is organised during the Fashion Artisan Week.

Jacky Deromedi becomes President of the Alliance. Dr Shaw Vee Meng becomes President Emeritus.


The premises are fully renovated with 3 new classrooms, new teacher’s room and administration offices, new language centre registration desk and new reception desk. A new French café opens at the lobby.

Le Lien magazine becomes Le Lien programme.

Alliance Française de Singapour
1, Sarkies Road – Singapour 258130
Tel: +65 6737 8422

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