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35 Best (And Worst) Online French Courses: We’ve Tested Them

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Whether you’ve been dying to visit the Eiffel Tower or you think it’ll be a cool language to add to your resume, I’m willing to bet that at some point in your life you’ve dreamt of speaking fluent French.

Thanks to the digital era and the dozens of online courses floating around, it has never been easier to make that dream a reality. But how do we know which ones to trust?

Luckily for you, we’ve tried and tested the best and worst courses the internet has to offer so you’ll know which ones are worth dipping into your holiday savings and which ones are best left untouched.

To make things a little simpler, we’ve grouped the courses into four tiers.

Each tier represents how strongly we’d recommend any given course. Courses falling within the same tier are generally pretty close in terms of quality and value provided.

However, even if a course falls in a lower tier, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should disregard it.

I’m sure there will be instances where we didn’t love a certain course but it could still be the best option for a certain type of student.

The courses are rated based on factors such as quality, comprehensiveness, and value for the cost.

Sometimes these things can be fairly subjective but other times, it’s clear that a course is worse than the alternatives.

Also, because this article is already ridiculously long, many useful tools haven’t been included. For example, italki is a fantastic place to find an affordable tutor to practice with, but it’s not exactly a course, so it was left off. Likewise, there are a ton of good resources that weren’t included.

If you’d prefer to jump ahead, these links will take you to the following tiers…

2nd Tier
3rd Tier
Stay Clear

Top Tier

Aka, the cream of the crop! Nothing in life is perfect (except for a hot, buttery croissant), but we think these resources come pretty close. These courses are our best bet to helping you progress on your French-speaking journey.

Pimsleur

Best for improving speaking

Price: $15 a month or $19.95 per month

Pimsleur is one of the biggest names in the language learning world and a great course for beginners. The strong focus on the oral language encourages beginners to start speaking French right away and even encourages students to be active learners by prompting them to use the language whenever they can. Win – Win!

With Pimsleur, you’ll receive five levels of French, with each level containing 30 lessons. If you commit to one lesson a day, you can finish the course (and impress your friends) within 5 months.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Great course for beginners
  • Strong focus on the oral language means you’ll be speaking quicker than with other courses
  • Subscription is affordably priced
  • Beautifully designed app with interesting images & cultural notes

Cons

  • Lessons tend to be a bit dry
  • Less focus on the written language
  • The practice activities included aren’t as comprehensive

Visit Pimsleur

 

French Uncovered

Best for lovers of story-telling

Price: $297 one-time purchase

French Uncovered takes a different approach to teaching French by throwing learners straight into a story. The course is split into 20 chapters and students cover reading, speaking and the main vocabulary and grammar points. A review quiz at the end of each chapter helps consolidate the lessons learned, however it would be better if it contained more questions.

While the methodology of story-based teaching can be fun and helps put French vocabulary in context, French Uncovered can be a bit more challenging than other courses as students are asked to read long texts right off the bat. However, you’ll find that you already know more French than you may have realized.

Overall, a fun way to approach learning French that will be great for some but not ideal for others.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Story-telling makes learning more fun and puts French words in context
  • Allows students to actively participate
  • Pretty high price, but provides good value

Cons:

  • Review quiz is too short
  • Can be difficult for beginners as you read long texts straight away

Visit French Uncovered

 

News in Slow French

Best for Intermediate Learners

Price: $19.90/mo

Don’t be fooled by the name. While news narrated at a slow pace sounds less than riveting, the content this course provides for all learning levels is incredibly engaging, fun and effective for becoming fluent in French.

The Beginner course is great for lovers of storytelling as each lesson tells part of a story that will make anyone eager to keep progressing. But for anyone who loves engaging content on French stories, grammar and French expressions, the Intermediate content is absolute gold.

Although there is a substantial amount of study material, it would be better if the lessons were more active and encouraged the students to use the French they’ve learned. The Advanced and Beginner courses, while solid, weren’t as good as the Intermediate lessons.

Dive into our full review here.

Pros:

  • Engaging content for all levels
  • High-quality lessons
  • Tons of study material so it’s good value for money

Cons:

  • The Beginner and Advanced courses aren’t quite as good as the Intermediate level
  • App only has basic functionalities

Visit News in Slow French

Babbel

Best for beginners and lower intermediate levels

Price: $12.95 a month, $83.40 a year

Babbel is an affordable language learning tool that is of great help to beginners and lower intermediate students. It’s a solid starting point and makes learning French feel less intimidating by offering fun and engaging lessons. Its main goal is to help you assimilate and remember the French language so it offers a lot of features that helps you review and practice the words you have learned in previous lessons.

However, advanced learners wouldn’t get as much value out of this course as it’s aimed at beginners. The lessons aren’t particularly unique, but it’s a solid and dependable course. 

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Solid starting place for beginners and lower intermediate students
  • Affordable and comprehensive
  • Engaging lessons and a well-designed app

Cons:

  • Not sufficient for developing conversational skills
  • Not suitable for Advanced students

Visit Babbel

Frenchpod101

Best for those looking for a one-stop shop

Price:

$8 a month for Basic
$25 a month for Premium
$47 for a month for Premium Plus

Frenchpod101 is one of the most comprehensive resources you can find for learning French. It uses audio clips and video files to cover everything from the basics to comments on social media. Unlike other French resources, it even delves deep into French values, culture and customs.

However, unlike other resources that use story-telling, there’s nothing in Frenchpod101 that motivates you to keep coming back to the lessons other than your self-discipline.

Ultimately, whether you’re looking to master the French language or just learn a few common phrases, Frenchpod101 is definitely a site worth visiting.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • A one-stop shop for learning the French language
  • Also covers French values, culture, and customs
  • Enhances learning experience through audio and video files

Cons

  • No feature to motivate you to keep coming back
  • Platform can be confusing to navigate
  • Users will need to jump around as it’s not always clear which lesson should be done next

Use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 25% on a subscription to FrenchPod101.

Visit FrenchPod101

 

Coffee Break French

Best for those looking for a free comprehensive resource

Price:

Audio lessons are free
Each season (1-4) costs $104
The whole bundle costs $335

Coffee Break French offers insightful free lessons for anyone looking for detailed explanations on vocabulary and grammar. The amount of free content they offer is very thorough for beginners to intermediate learners. It can feel like you’re really sitting in on a French class!

While there is a paid Premium version available, there is probably not enough extra material to justify the high cost unless you’re a huge fan of their free lessons. The lesson pacing can be somewhat slow as well so motivated and confident learners may prefer another course.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • It feels like you’re sitting in a French class
  • The free lessons are amazing value
  • Lots of detailed explanation of vocabulary and grammar points

Cons:

  • Premium plan is fairly expensive for the amount of extra materials offered
  • Not as interactive as other courses

Visit Coffee Break French

 

Language Transfer

Best for those wanting a free introduction to French

Price: Free

Language Transfer is another excellent introductory course to French. The content is well designed and aims to give beginners an understanding of how the French language works, the main grammar points, and the tools you need to learn French independently.

However, unlike other courses, it doesn’t provide any exercises or review quizzes to help students consolidate their learning. It’s also not intended to be a completely comprehensive course, as it doesn’t offer any French dialogue or cultural context.

Overall, it’s an effective and efficient resource for any beginners wanting to learn lots of French material in a short amount of time. The best part? It’s completely free.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Great introduction to French
  • Operates on donations so it’s free

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include exercises or quizzes
  • You don’t get exposed to native speakers

Visit Language Transfer

Lingodeer

Best for those wanting an introduction to French

Price: $11.99 a month, $29.99 a quarter, $55.99 a year or $119.99 for lifetime subscription

Lingodeer is a great introductory resource for French. The app is well designed and fairly easy to use and lessons are divided into different categories such as family, numbers, food or health. It even starts off with a comprehensive teaching of the French alphabet and focuses in-depth on the pronunciation.

The great thing about Lingodeer is that lessons are taught using a variety of exercises, which keeps things interesting and helps students become more well rounded by testing multiple skills. There’s no doubt you’ll learn a lot just by completing the lessons.

However, there’s less focus on the conversational skills and Lingodeer alone won’t be enough to take you to fluency. Those wanting to advance their skills would eventually have to rely on another resource.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.lingodeer

Pros:

  • Great introduction to French
  • A variety of interesting exercises
  • Well designed and easy to use app

Cons:

  • Insufficient for developing conversational skills
  • Unlikely to take you past the intermediate level

Visit Lingodeer

Second Tier

These courses aren’t as shiny as our top tier picks, but they’re still valuable contenders. Who knows? You might find your perfect French course here, after all.

edX and Coursera

Best for Intermediate students wanting a University style course

Price: Free to enroll and access course materials, but there is a fee if you choose to receive a certificate

For those looking to take their French to the next level, these courses are for you. These two platforms are very similar, with both offering university courses on tons of different topics, including French. Those at an advanced level could also take classes on a wide variety of subjects in French.

edX offers a free course for Intermediate students that is designed to prepare you for AP French classes. The course is taught by an experienced French teacher and covers a review of grammar points, verb conjugations, and how to structure a composition for the French AP exam. Perfect for those looking for a challenge!

Coursera also offers a free French Intermediate course, which is aimed at students wishing to pursue higher education in France. Through course videos and texts, this course aims to digitally immerse students in the French-speaking world.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Great for Intermediate students wanting to advance to the next level

Cons:

  • No courses for beginners

Visit edX

Visit Coursera

 

Rocket French

Good for covering all aspects of the French language

Price: $99.95 for Level 1, $259.90 for Levels 1-3

Rocket French is a comprehensive course which covers a lot of solid material. Each lesson is divided into Interactive Audio, Language, Culture and Survival Kits. By the end, you should have a comprehensive understanding of how to speak, write, read and listen. Rocket French even allows you to track your progress by setting benchmarks so you can see how far you’ve come.

However, some users may find the lessons a bit bland and the exercises too repetitive. All the exercises are the same style in every lesson and it may be hard to continue studying if you’re the type to lose motivation easily.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive lessons with lots of explanations
  • Strong emphasis on speaking skills

Cons:

  • Lessons are a bit bland and too repetitive
  • Fairly expensive

Visit Rocket French

 

French Today

Best for immersive learning and story-telling

Price: $20-$70 for audiobooks

French Today offers a variety of different products such as audiobooks, Skype lessons and immersion homestays in France. The Skype lessons and immersion homestays are very expensive and you’re more likely to find cheaper, high-quality teachers elsewhere for a fraction of the cost.

The audiobooks are a great resource as it immerses you in the French language and helps you learn vocabulary and comprehension through story-telling. The content is quite in-depth and dialog based, which is extremely relevant to real-life situations.

However, there’s a lack of proper exercises to consolidate your learning and it also doesn’t develop your speaking skills.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Immerses students in the French language
  • In-depth content
  • Offers a free 2.5 hour audiobook

Cons:

  • Not a very structured course
  • Lack of proper exercises to consolidate your learning
  • Less focus on speaking skills

Visit French Today

 

Memrise

Best as a supplementary tool for learning vocabulary

Price: User-created courses are free, $8.99 a month for courses from the official site

Memrise is a popular language learning tool as it’s a gamified flashcard app that also offers a range of courses. Flashcards are great tools for remembering new words, and Memrise’s strong use of mnemonics make the vocabulary easier to memorize.

A subscription with courses created by Memrise costs $8.99 per month. However, user-created courses are available for free. There are plenty of high-quality free courses covering tons of different topics, so it’s probably not worth paying for a subscription.

Overall, Memrise is best used as a free supplementary tool to other comprehensive courses in order to gain a basic foundation of French vocab.

Pros:

  • Great for beginners
  • Free version provides lots of value and is fairly fun
  • Helps with memory retention
  • Incredible tool for learning vocab

Cons:

  • Not sufficient on its own to become fluent in French
  • Only a handful of courses are created by Memrise while the others are user-created

Visit Memrise

 

Comme Une Francaise

Best for learning every day, insider tips about French

Price: $199 for each course

The Comme Une Francaise School is taught by Geraldine Lepere, a Paris-born woman who has a passion for sharing her love for French language and culture. Her YouTube channel has over 138,000 subscribers and she offers tons of free videos focusing on everyday French topics and useful French vocabulary.

For those wanting a more structured course, Geraldine offers many paid courses on Comme un Francaise such as an ‘Everyday French Crash Course,’ a ‘Master Spoken French Program,’ and even courses for beginners. However, enrollment for courses isn’t available all-year-round so you may have to wait for your opportunity. Geraldine’s courses are notable for teaching students the different nuances in the French language and the uniqueness and charm of the French people.

If you’re interested in learning more about her teaching style, you can try her free 10-day course, ‘Everyday French Crash Course,’ to determine if it’s a good fit for you.

Pros:

  • Free content on the Comme un Francaise YouTube channel
  • Lessons focus on the nuances in the French language and explore French culture

Cons:

  • Paid courses aren’t available all-year round

Visit Comme Une Francais

 

Lingoda

Best for those who enjoy learning with others in a classroom environment

Price: $109 a month for 10 group classes, $139 a month for 5 private classes

Lingoda is an online language learning platform that offers private or group classes 24/7. There are lessons for absolute beginners through to advanced learners, and you get to learn from actual teachers.

The platform is very well put together and Lingoda offers you tons of flexibility by allowing you to schedule your own lessons. Those who enjoy interacting with others face-to-face are more likely to enjoy Lingoda as you get to engage with teachers and other students directly on Zoom, a platform similar to Skype.

Group classes vary between two to four other students and it can be enjoyable to learn with other people around the world. However, your experience may vary for each lesson as it depends on the confidence of the other students in your class and your teacher.

If you’re interested, you can try their taster session along with a week-long trial to see if this style of learning is the right fit for you.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Opportunity to learn alongside other students from around the world
  • Lessons available for beginners through to advanced
  • Classroom style teaching means you get feedback and have your questions answered in real time

Cons:

  • Group class experience varies depending on the teacher you have and your other classmates
  • If someone has a bad internet connection it could cause some lag for everyone

Visit Lingoda

 

Speechling

Best for practicing speaking and listening skills

Price: Free, Unlimited Plan costs $19.99 per month

Speechling is more like a useful tool than a course, but it’s a valuable resource worth mentioning. As the name suggests, it aims to improve your speaking rhythm and pronunciation by making you mimic native French speakers. The paid premium version also allows you to record your speaking and get feedback from a native speaker within 24 hours.

Speechling also helps you practice your listening skills thanks to the dictation exercises. This cool feature allows you to listen to a few recording sentences, then test what you’ve heard.

Although Speechling is an incredible resource, it isn’t as useful for absolute beginners. Those new to French should try to learn the basics of the language using other courses before coming to Speechling to practice their speaking and listening.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Makes it very easy to improve speaking and listening skills
  • Encourages you to practice French aloud
  • Paid plan provides feedback on your speech
  • Free plan provides lots of useful features

Cons:

  • Not best for absolute beginners
  • Speechling points out your mistakes, but not how to fix them. Students would have to learn how to make the sounds of French elsewhere.

Use the promo code “ALR123” to save 10% on Speechling’s Unlimited Plan.

Visit Speechling

 

Francais Authentique

Best for Intermediate and Advanced learners

Price: 49 Euros for Pack 1, 99 Euros for Pack 2, & 149 Euros for Pack 3

Francais Authentique aims to improve your vocabulary and speaking skills by completely immersing students in the French language. By becoming accustomed to hearing French, you’ll ultimately be able to speak it confidently and accurately. As a result, absolutely everything is in French and students are sure to pick up tons of useful phrases and real life expressions.

Lessons are offered via audio clips and there is even a thriving and supportive online community where you can practice your French. However, there’s less focus on developing your speaking and writing skills so it may need to be supplemented with another course.

As the whole course is in French, it’s not suitable for beginners. Instead, it’s great for Intermediate or Advanced learners wishing to progress their French.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Immerses students in French so they become more confident speakers
  • Provides access to a supportive online community

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Less focus on reading and writing skills

Visit Francais Authentique

 

Duolingo

Best for language learning hobbyists

Price: Free, with the option to remove ads and download offline lessons for $9.99 a month.

Duolingo is another popular French resource as it’s effective in motivating learners to study a little bit each day. The content is structured in a very simple way and lessons come in the form of questions that covers Writing, Speaking, Listening and Reading. Duolingo even also offers features that allow you to compete with friends, which motivates you to keep coming back day after day.

It’s perfect for those who want to learn the basics of French in a fun, easy and free way, however, the content isn’t very in-depth. Those wanting more comprehensive lessons should consider another course.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Fun, engaging and motivating
  • Free and offers great value

Cons:

  • Lessons aren’t very in-depth
  • Those wanting to learn French faster would benefit from other resources

Visit Duolingo

 

Learn French with Alexa

Not to be confused with Amazon’s Alexa.

Price: $89 – $149

Learn French with Alexa is taught by – you guessed it- Alexa herself, a real French teacher with over 20 years of professional experience. Now, she’s packaged up all her unique experience and shared them online for French lovers everywhere to benefit from.

Alexa offers tons of free content on her podcast and her YouTube channel which boasts over 625,000 subscribers and over 500 videos. There, she teaches basic French, such as numbers, greetings and days of the week.

Alexa also offers paid plans on her website for those wanting more in-depth, thorough lessons. She promises that her course will give you a solid foundation for the French language and that you’ll speak like a true French citizen. She even provides email and phone support, where her team can help guide you.

Pros

  • Provides lots of online support
  • Provides lots of free content
  • Engaging and relatable teaching style

Cons:

  • Paid plans are a bit pricey

Visit Learn French with Alexa

 

Fluenz

A slow but academic approach

Price: $187- $378

Fluenz isn’t the most exciting course around – there are no games, points, awards, or anything like that. It also teaches French at a pace that’s quite a bit slower than many other courses. But, having said that, their approach could still be perfect for some.

They include lots of thorough explanations and the teaching style is a bit more academic than a lot of other courses on the market. The lessons are scaffolded quite well and users will have ample opportunities to practice what they’ve learned in the videos.

Pros:

  • Thorough explanations
  • Podcasts give extra listening practice
  • Well-designed lessons

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Can be slow and relatively boring
  • Repetitive activities

See on Amazon

 

Third Tier

These courses still get a bronze medal for effort, but they’re not as engaging or as high quality as our higher tiers.

Foreign Service Institute

Good as a free, comprehensive resource

Price: Free

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) develops a variety of language courses, including French. The lessons are mostly conducted via audio clips and there is often a PDF attached which is in a similar format to a textbook. The content in these courses can feel very dense and old, however, it contains a lot of solid material.

Overall, they’re not the most exciting courses, but they’re free and comprehensive. While the usability is lacking, there’s a lot of great content here.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Covers a lot of material via audio clips and the attached PDF

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to get through by yourself
  • Very dense and outdated

Visit FSI French

 

Glossika

Okay for practicing speaking and listening skills

Price: $30 per month

Glossika is an audio course which focuses primarily on getting students to listen to native speakers and repeat after them. By doing so, the aim is to help you pick up the grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and language structure naturally.

Since the emphasis is on speaking and listening, students would have to rely on supplementary courses for a more in-depth understanding of the French language. It is also unsuitable for beginners, however, intermediate students are likely to pick up new vocabulary and improve their speaking rhythm.

Glossika is available in many different languages and the content is the same in each language. Because of this, the cultural context is ignored. However, if you’re interested in studying multiple languages at once, it can be a great resource.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Improves speaking and listening skills
  • Repetition helps reinforce language skills
  • Available in lots of languages

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Expensive for what is offered
  • Not a very in-depth or thorough course
  • Felt hastily put together

Visit Glossika

 

Lawless French

Good for those looking for free additional resources

Price: Free

Lawless French is a free online French learning site created by Laura K. Lawless, an American native who now lives in France. She offers many free resources for students of all levels and promises to teach grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation lessons, along with listening and reading.

Her courses are mostly self-study and also includes assorted listening exercises and quizzes along the way. It appears to be fairly comprehensive and well structured, so you’re likely to end up with a good overview of the basics. Lawless French also offers French proficiency tests so you can figure out which course suits you best.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Materials and lessons are reasonably comprehensive and well-structured
  • Offers many courses for different types of learners eg French for travelers

Cons:

  • It’s a self-taught course so there’s nothing to motivate you or encourage you to keep going
  • It’s not as well-designed as most of the paid courses 

Visit Lawless French

 

French by French

Good for those who are self-motivated

Price: Free

A free website that promises to take you from knowing very little French to acquiring an aptitude for reading, writing and speaking. Beginners are exposed to a brief introduction explaining the French alphabet before starting the lessons. Lessons include an audio file containing dialog, and it takes you through the everyday life of a family.

Overall, there’s lots of material for beginner levels through to advanced. You’re likely to come away knowing the basics of French, including basic grammar points. However, the website does appear very old and only offers basic functionalities.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Takes you through a story which encourages you to keep progressing
  • Lessons for beginners through to advanced

Cons:

  • Old website with basic functionalities
  • Not very engaging or interactive

Visit French by French

 

Udemy

Good for those wanting a cheap French language course

Price: $10+ (They offer regular discounts which lower all courses to $10)

Udemy is a platform containing user-created courses on a variety of skills, including languages. There are a lot of French courses for users to choose from, such as focusing on phonetics or a beginners guide. Most courses also boast great reviews and ratings and you can see what the structure of the lessons are like before purchasing a course.

However, since it’s user-created, the content and quality can vary significantly between each one. The prices for different courses varies, however, Udemy has tons of sales. If you add a course to your cart and wait a day or two, you’ll almost certainly be given a coupon code.

Pros:

  • Courses are relatively cheap
  • Large variety of courses focusing on different things

Cons:

  • Courses are user-created so quality and content will differ

Visit Udemy

 

Mango Languages

Okay for beginners or those who wish to study multiple languages

Price: $19.99 a month

Mango Languages is a good resource for learning a variety of different languages ranging from Dutch to Yiddish. The resource offers lots of exercises to prepare students to start speaking in a natural environment and you can expect to gain confidence in your conversation skills and grammar.

The lessons allow students to practice their speaking and reading skills and even provides cultural notes so you can understand the language better. Beginners and lower intermediate levels are likely to gain a lot of value from Mango Languages, however, it won’t be much use to more advanced students or those who wish to develop writing skills.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Cultural and grammar notes help you better understand the language
  • Subscription gives you access to over 70 languages

Cons:

  • Not enough grammar practice
  • Not suitable for Advanced learners

Visit Mango Languages

 

Frantastique

Okay for trying immersive lessons

Price: $65 a month

Frantastique is a unique resource which uses AI to immerse students in the French culture and caters lessons to your needs. It does this by judging your performance in the lessons and will adjust the difficulty for the next one, accordingly.

Frantastique’s lessons are conducted entirely in French and rely heavily on the sink or swim principle. As a result, it’s geared towards people with a basic understanding of French. While it’s a unique style of learning, the high price doesn’t justify the fact that you’re only allowed to access five lessons per week. It also doesn’t include any speaking exercises, and students would have to rely on other resources.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Personalized lessons for the students
  • Immersive learning experience

Cons:

  • Can only access 5 lessons a week
  • Incredibly expensive

Visit Frantastique

 

Busuu

A fun app that lacks some essential features

Price:$9.99/month for Premium and $13.99/month for Premium Plus

Busuu is yet another language learning app that offers multiple languages, however, it doesn’t provide as much value as similar resources. Probably the biggest flaws with the app is that it doesn’t provide a lot of support for grammar explanations and some lessons are missing necessary translations leaving you wondering if you truly understood the content.

However, the social part of the app can be very useful as it gives you the opportunity to have your speech and writing corrected by a native speaker. This is the only real benefit of Busuu, and luckily, this feature is free.

Ultimately, despite the easy-to-navigate design of the app there are other much better courses you can learn from for free or for a similar cost.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Provides an opportunity to have your writing and speech corrected by a native speaker for free
  • Has a clean and intuitive interface

Cons:

  • Doesn’t provide as much value as similar apps
  • Glosses over important grammar explanations

Visit Busuu

 

Mondly

Only good for those wanting to try their AR and VR features

Price: $9.99 a month

Mondly is similar to apps such as Duolingo, Babbel and Lingodeer, and offers a variety of languages. However, the quality of their French course is below average and not suitable for those who want to properly learn a language. It’s better for those wanting a quick crash course in French before going on holiday, but even then, I prefer other courses.

While it includes daily lessons, quizzes and monthly challenges that encourage you to practice every day, the content is the same for all languages and it isn’t a well-structured course. The interface and user experience is also very disappointing.

Still, it may be worth trying to test out their AR or VR components.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Includes features such as monthly challenges to encourage users to practice
  • Perhaps the only resource with AR and VR

Cons:

  • Content is the same for all levels and languages
  • Not well structured
  • Low quality compared to other alternatives

Visit Mondly

 

Live Lingua

Okay for lessons with a teacher

Price: $29 USD per hour

Live Lingua takes a variety of free French courses from FSI and conducts them via private 1-1 lessons over Skype with a native French tutor. While $29 per hour isn’t outrageously expensive, you’d almost certainly be better off heading over to italki where you can find a tutor for less than half that price. After all, Live Lingua uses the free FSI courses, so you can use those and find your own tutor, saving you lots of money. Live Lingua does have some specialized courses that you probably would have a hard time finding elsewhere so if they have one that interests you then Live Lingua could certainly be beneficial.

If you’re interested, you can try a free 60-minute lesson over Skype.Live Lingua Logo

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Opportunity to learn from a real French teacher and get feedback in real-time
  • Free resources available to learn French

Cons:

  • There are far cheaper alternatives for finding French tutors
  • Free courses are the same as you can find elsewhere

Visit Live Lingua

 

Steer Clear

Don’t bother opening your wallets. These courses may have been good back in the day, but we believe you’ll find better, higher quality and cheaper courses above. If you still want a sneak peek at what didn’t make the cut, keep on scrolling.

Rosetta Stone

Only good for those who like the immersion approach

Price: $36 for 3 months

Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous language learning resources out there and relies heavily on immersive learning. Although the course covers a lot of material, its repetitive nature and lack of explanations means that it can quickly become monotonous. Students would definitely have to use other resources for a more in-depth education as no cultural context or conversation practice is included.

While Rosetta Stone has its positives, you’d be better off using a different course.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Lots of material covered
  • Very easy to use and navigate
  • Students would be able to improve their language skills

Cons:

  • Main units are very repetitive
  • Heavy reliance on pictures without explanation or cultural context
  • Too expensive

Visit Rosetta Stone

 

Transparent Language

Only good for learning unique languages

Price: $187- $378

The Transparent Language course aims to help absolute beginners engage and interact with French, however, the teaching methodology and material covered is very low quality. The grammar points and structure of the language is mostly disregarded and words are only learned in isolation and without context.

Overall, the whole course amounts to an endless exercise in repetition and memorizing word lists. You’d be better off learning from another resource that actually teaches you the structure of the language.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • Offers a large range of languages
  • Can potentially learn the basics of reading and writing

Cons:

  • Grammar and structure of the language are ignored
  • Ignores cultural context
  • Very repetitive and ineffective

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Michel Thomas Method

Only good for those who like to be discouraged

Price: $11.99 – $100

Michel Thomas is a famous linguist and a household name whose lessons involve an instructor teaching French to two beginner students. In theory, this structure allows you to hear the students’ answers and learn from their mistakes.

Unfortunately, we wouldn’t recommend it at all. The pacing of the lessons felt rushed and the atmosphere sounded tense as Michel Thomas would often get frustrated and berate his students when they made a mistake. Instead of building confidence, Michel Thomas’s abrasive and discouraging manner was enough to put anybody off.

The content itself was also severely lacking and his lessons barely taught students how to read or write or even hold a conversation as words and phrases are taught without context. In fact, the lessons are conducted almost entirely in English.

In our opinion, your best option is to steer clear from this course entirely.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • They offer one free lesson for you to try
  • An amazing case study on how not to teach a language

Cons:

  • The teaching method is discouraging and aggressive
  • Monotonous lessons conducted mostly in English
  • One of the worst courses I have ever worked through

Visit The Michel Thomas Method

 

Language101

Just not good

Price: $147-$342

Language101 is an online course that’s available in ten languages and is supposed to take your speaking and comprehension skills from beginner to intermediate. It’s also a colossal waste of time.

The confused course progression consists of messy lessons that immediately require you to begin parroting phrases in French. There are no explanations, and it’s really the only type of practice you’ll get with the resource. On top of it all, you’re also expected to progress through the lessons much too quickly.

Anyone interested in grammar, reading, or writing practice of any kind will have to (and should) look elsewhere.

Check out our full, in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • They offer literal translations of phrases

Cons:

  • There is only one, terribly ineffective, practice activity
  • There are no explanations for anything
  • It is extremely expensive

Visit Language101

 

 

Final Thoughts

It has never been easier to make your dreams of speaking fluent French a reality. Now more than anytime before, you can access high-quality courses that fit your own personal learning style, budget, and preferences. 

Regardless of the course you end up deciding on, it’s essential that you set some time aside each day to study. By creating the habit of studying French, you’ll be well on your way to speaking French naturally. You can also take a look our best French apps page for more resources to learn or improve your French.

Looking for more resources? Check out our posts about French Podcasts or YouTube Channels.

Learning a language doesn’t have to cost money.

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Comments (3)

I think you need to reconsider and send Geraldine LaPere’s Comme Une Francaise into the top tier, for several reasons. The first just has to be Geraldine’s charm, enthusiasm and just general presence. I’ve been on several other sites where the presenters are bored and half asleep. You’ll never find Geraldine giving anything short of 110 percent. Second, her course focus heavily on “street French,” the way everyday French people speak, which is incredibly different from formal classroom French. Third, she has an incredibly diverse range of topics, unlike most sites. She delves into culture, fairy tales, dirty words, food, trivia quizzes, all kinds of interesting stuff. Have I mentioned she’s charming and fun? She’s charming and fun.

Michel Thomas’ method is fantastic. Pretty much everything written in the review above is false. The only complaint I have about MT is that he doesn’t use the proper grammatical terms. He uses his own names for all the tenses as mnemonic devices, but he does a brilliant job at teaching the actual language. Way better than many of the programs in the first tier.

I would most certainly recommend everyone explore the programs in the 3rd and 4th tier for themselves as the person writing the review of the Michel Thomas Method clearly doesn’t have the foggiest clue what they’re talking about.

Thank you so much for this super helpful, detailed review of programs out there, and for including a lot free resources! Much appreciated!

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