Practicalities for the USI community

Choix Goncourt de la Suisse

The Modern languages laboratory, Università della Svizzera italiana's language centre, offers French language courses during both autumn and spring semesters. All members of the USI community are invited to participate free of charge.


Modern languages laboratory

Team Modern languages laboratory


As part of its educational activities in the field of French language and culture, the Laboratory of modern languages offers all interested students the opportunity to be part of the jury that each year awards the Choix Goncourt de la Suisse prize, which is related to the most important French literary prize, the Prix Goncourt.


Lecturer of the course
Dr.ssa Regina Bollhalder Mayer


The Choix Goncourt de la Suisse Prize

The Choix Goncourt de la Suisse prize is organised by the French Embassy in Switzerland in collaboration with nine other Swiss universities, including USI. It is supported by Payot Libraire, Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, Fondation Catherine Gide and AMOPA (Swiss section). Its aim is to contribute to the promotion of French-language literature and the dissemination of the pleasure of a critical and disinterested reading of contemporary works. It is inspired by and linked to the Prix Goncourt, the most important French literary prize, awarded to the "best work of imagination in prose" from the Académie Goncourt.


Reading circle

Students form a reading group which then reads the works of the 15 authors in the running for the Prix Goncourt, discuss them and makes an initial selection. A USI delegation then meets with delegates from other Swiss universities to choose the winner of the Prix Choix Goncourt de la Suisse.


Objectives and content

This language and civilisation course is aimed at students who have acquired level B2 and wish to continue learning French and deepen their knowledge of French culture and literature. The course aims to develop reading comprehension and oral production skills based on contemporary French and Francophone literature. The reading of novels from the first Prix Goncourt selection will be the starting point for individual and interactive activities, including summarising, argumentation and oral presentation.

The students will participate in the new edition of the "Choix Goncourt de la Suisse" (in collaboration with other Swiss universities). They will read the 15 authors nominated for the Goncourt Prize, discuss them and make a first choice (short list). A delegation from USI will meet with delegates from other Swiss universities and together they will vote on a book. This will be the 'Swiss Goncourt Prize'. The winner will be announced at the French Residence in Berne, in the presence of the French Ambassador to Switzerland.
In addition to the choice of the Goncourt, participants will be introduced to the history of the Goncourt Prize, the challenges of literary prizes and the French publishing market.
The optional course is open to the entire community of students and researchers at Università della Svizzera italiana.

Timetable and location

The course takes place on the Lugano Campus, the classroom will be communicated to participants a few days before the start of the course.

Course Starting level Where When Hours ECTS
Choix Goncourt de la Suisse B2+ Campus di Lugano

Autumn semester, Wednesdays 17:30-20:00 (9 classes)

28 hours of in-presence classes    0


CEFR level B2+

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Self-assessment grid


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Register online by clicking on the following link:


Lugano Campus - Semestre Autunnale - Corsi semestrali





Updated on: 28 May 2024