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27 Best Online French Courses: We’ve Tried Them

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If you’re interested in learning French and are looking for the perfect online course, you may have noticed that it’s not an obvious choice. Fortunately, the numbers are on your side — there are more online French courses to choose from every day. There are so many, in fact, that sifting through them can quickly become overwhelming. 

We’ve taken the time to go through the extensive list of resources we’ve tried, and some we haven’t, to find the best of the best and highlight what makes them so special. Only the resources that we’ve rated at least 3.5 stars have made this list.

There’s simply no one-size-fits-all course that will be best for all learners. Your learning style, interests, past experiences, and goals all have a say in what course will work best for you. This is exactly why we’ve created this list, to provide learners with the best information to get started in the right direction.

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Rating: N/A
Price: Free
ALR-Curated-Courses-French
A Thorough Curriculum Matched with a Variety of Free Resources

This is a course that we’ve put together ourselves, and we think it has the potential to be a dream come true for the independent learner. There are plenty of ways to learn some French for free on the internet, but very few of them are prepared to take you step-by-step from the basics to a more advanced level.

The ALR French course is the pairing of a complete curriculum with a curation of quality, free resources. Each lesson clearly identifies learning objectives and provides a variety of relevant instructional and practice material.

Extra features include libraries of cultural, comprehensible input, and learning advice content as well as pre-made flashcard decks with audio and prompts for writing and speaking practice. 

No course is perfect for every learner, but the price tag, completeness, and variety of materials make this one a strong contender for many.

Pros

  • It’s completely free
  • Lessons build on each other logically
  • It provides solutions for getting practice with all language skills
  • Variety in materials could appeal to a wide range of learning styles

Cons

  • There aren’t any gamified elements
  • Casual learners or those looking to quickly learn useful phrases may be better off elsewhere
4/5
Price: from $297
I Will Teach You A Language Logo
Learn French by Reading Stories

Not a typical approach to teaching languages, French Uncovered gets learners to start engaging with a story right away. This is slightly more challenging than most other courses, as the stories are entirely in French. Though it isn’t easy, the unique method could prove rewarding to those that are able to push through the initial difficulties.

The course is split into 20 chapters, providing practice in reading and speaking as well as building vocabulary and teaching grammar concepts. Review quizzes at the end of each chapter help consolidate what you’ve learned and check for understanding, though we think these quizzes would benefit from more questions.

If you particularly enjoy interacting with stories and are looking for a challenging study program, French Uncovered could be just what you’re looking for.

Pros

  • Learning French through stories can be entertaining
  • Instruction is clear
  • There are plenty of opportunities to practice what you learn

Cons

  • There are sometimes too many unrelated grammar points in lessons
  • The material could be too difficult for beginners
4/5
Price: $19.95/Month
Well-Structured Audio Lessons for Aural/Verbal Learners

Pimsleur is one of the biggest names in the language-learning world and a great course for beginners. The audio lessons place a heavy emphasis on developing listening and speaking skills early on, which is great for developing communication skills. 

Their courses don’t provide a lot of instruction related to developing reading or writing skills, and you won’t get much in the way of explicit grammar instruction in the audio lessons. There are some supplementary activities that provide some reading and writing practice, but they’re not at all a focus of the course.

There are five levels in the Pimsleur French course, each containing 30 lessons — that’s a lot of material, and it builds on itself nicely, each lesson preparing you for the next. A subscription to Pimsleur might not be the right choice for an advanced learner, visual learners, or those interested in grammar rules, but it’s a quality course.

Pros

  • You’ll start speaking more quickly than with other courses
  • The course has a great design and is easy to use
  • There’s a variety of native speakers

Cons

  • Not ideal for visual learners
  • Some may find the lessons to be uninteresting and slowly paced
  • Doesn’t pay much attention to grammar concepts or written language
4/5
Price: Free Audio Lessons, Each Full Season is $104
Coffee Break French Logo
Learn By Sitting in on French Lessons

The Coffee Break Languages series is a great source of free educational material. The audio lessons in the French series take the format of a podcast and are free to listen to. These lessons have you listen to another student take lessons from the host, Mark. 

The atmosphere in these episodes is casual, and it’s helpful to be able to listen along and see where the learner makes mistakes while assessing your own ability to follow along. Guest native speakers also join the lessons from time to time, providing listening and pronunciation practice as well as valuable insight.

The Coffee Break French course is different from other Coffee Break courses in that there’s more content available for the language. Instead of two seasons, you can study up to four seasons and get useful practice even at the advanced level.

Paying for the extra materials means you’ll also have access to a video accompaniment of the audio lessons as well as extra practice activities in a PDF. These additions make the course more suitable for visual learners.

Pros

  • Audio lessons offer great value for free
  • Lessons include lots of explanations and examples
  • Course format is convenient and casual

Cons

  • Visual learners may struggle with the audio-only free lessons
  • There aren’t a lot of interactive practice opportunities.
4.5/5
Price: $19.90/month
News-in-Slow-French-Logo
Entertaining Content and Efficient Practice

Don’t be fooled by the name. While news narrated at a slow pace may sound less than riveting, the content this course provides is actually incredibly engaging — it’s also effective at teaching French.

This resource provides material for all levels.The beginner course is great for lovers of storytelling, as each lesson tells part of a story and is great at keeping learners engaged. While the content at the beginner level is of high quality, the intermediate course is even more impressive: it’s full of useful information on French expressions, grammar exercises, and tons of interesting material.

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, aren’t as good as the intermediate lessons.

Pros

  • The catalogue of material is extensive
  • The content is highly engaging
  • Especially good for learning grammar and French expressions at the intermediate level

Cons

  • Many of the activities don’t require you to use what you’ve learned
  • Advanced learners may be better off interacting with native content
4.2/5
Price: $12.95/month, $26.85/Quarter, $83.40/Year
Structured Practice for Beginners and Lower-Intermediate Learners

Babbel is a popular language-learning tool that’s especially useful for learners at lower levels. Logical lesson progression and excellent structure make it a solid starting point. It also makes learning French feel less intimidating by offering fun and engaging lessons. 

In addition to the thorough curriculum and quality lessons are frequent review opportunities and activities that allow you to practice a variety of different skills. The conversation exercise is particularly useful for getting used to how the language is used in natural contexts.

Potential downsides to the Babbel French course are that its speech-recognition method for providing pronunciation feedback is far from perfect and that the course content just isn’t very exciting. This also probably isn’t the right choice for more advanced learners.

Pros

  • Short lessons make for convenient practice
  • The platform is well designed and easy to use
  • Lessons teach practical language
  • The course is comprehensive and provides lots of practice

Cons

  • Exercises can get overly repetitive
  • Limited grammar review opportunities
  • The speech-recognition technology isn’t the best way to practice pronunciation
  • It isn’t the most engaging course
4.2/5
Price: From $8/Month
More Than Just a Podcast

For the subscription cost, FrenchPod101 is a surprisingly comprehensive platform for learning French. The number of audio lessons is seriously impressive, and they cover a wide range of topics at a variety of levels, from beginner to advanced.

The audio lessons may especially appeal to aural learners, but lessons also include transcripts, notes, and short quizzes, which make it a viable option for learners that prefer visual content as well. Some lessons also have videos.

Audio lessons are centered around dialogues, which can be a good way to get accustomed to hearing and interacting with French as it appears in real life. There are also lessons with a cultural focus, something that can make your study time more meaningful.

You’ll have the option of skipping around and choosing which lessons to study, which could be ideal for learners with some prior exposure to French, but the lack of rigid structure may not suit some absolute beginners. 

Pros

  • There is both audio and visual content
  • There are a lot of lessons for learners at all levels
  • Lessons cover a large variety of topics

Cons

  • The review quizzes are too easy
  • The interface isn’t the easiest to navigate
  • Some learners may not appreciate the lack of direction in lesson progression

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

3.7/5
Price: $99.95 for Level 1, $259.90 for Levels 1-3
Comprehensive But Not Very Exciting

The bulk of practice you’ll get in the Rocket French course happens through the Rocket Reinforcement Activities, which you’ll complete after every single lesson. The high level of repetition may be effective at helping you remember what you’ve learned, but it can also get quite boring.

Most Rocket French lessons are presented in audio form and are centered around a piece of dialogue that highlights the relevant language point of the lesson. These are accompanied transcripts, lesson notes, and the aforementioned reinforcement activities. 

There are also lessons on cultural topics, which contain some valuable information, but we didn’t find them to be very well done. A speech-recognition system will help you get practice with pronunciation, but it’s not perfect.

Overall, if you can put up with the highly repetitive review activities and don’t find the lessons too boring, Rocket French could be the well-structured resource you’re looking for.

Pros

  • Effective practice activities
  • Plenty of explanations in lessons
  • Clear course structure

Cons

  • Review activities are overly repetitive
  • Lessons aren’t terribly exciting
  • It’s fairly expensive
3.3/5
Price: $9.99/Month for Premium, $13.99/Month for PRemium Plus
A Well-Structured Course with a Noteworthy Social Feature

Busuu offers courses in a number of languages, and we would have rated it higher if we were only rating its French course — mistakes in the Mandarin course are what brought the overall rating down.

The Busuu platform is well designed and easy to navigate, with solid course structure. It also has material that’s relevant for learners at just about any level, from beginner all the way up to advanced. It’s a fairly comprehensive resource, but you may find that grammar explanations and practice are lacking compared to similar resources.

A feature that sets Busuu apart from many is its social language-exchange feature. This function enables learners to submit writing and audio recordings to be evaluated by others. Getting real humans involved with feedback is far better than virtual alternatives, and you can take advantage of this Busuu tool for free.

Pros

  • Excellent course structure
  • Social feature provides quality speaking and writing feedback
  • The Busuu platform is well designed
  • Conversation lessons provide exceptionally good practice

Cons

  • Grammar practice and review opportunities are lacking
  • Some review activities aren’t designed very well
Rating: N/A
Price: Free
ALR-Curated-Courses-French
A Thorough Curriculum Matched with a Variety of Free Resources

This is a course that we’ve put together ourselves, and we think it has the potential to be a dream come true for the independent learner. There are plenty of ways to learn some French for free on the internet, but very few of them are prepared to take you step-by-step from the basics to a more advanced level.

The ALR French course is the pairing of a complete curriculum with a curation of quality, free resources. Each lesson clearly identifies learning objectives and provides a variety of relevant instructional and practice material.

Extra features include libraries of cultural, comprehensible input, and learning advice content as well as pre-made flashcard decks with audio and prompts for writing and speaking practice. 

No course is perfect for every learner, but the price tag, completeness, and variety of materials make this one a strong contender for many.

Pros

  • It’s completely free
  • Lessons build on each other logically
  • It provides solutions for getting practice with all language skills
  • Variety in materials could appeal to a wide range of learning styles

Cons

  • There aren’t any gamified elements
  • Casual learners or those looking to quickly learn useful phrases may be better off elsewhere
4.2/5
Price: From $38.58 for THree Months
An Academic Course with Lots of Practice Opportunities

Ouino may not be the most gamelike course out there, but that’s because it takes more of an academic approach to teaching French. One major strength of Ouino is that it could appeal to both visual and aural learners. Lessons are presented as text with color-coded important words as well as read aloud to provide listening practice. 

The structure of the exercises isn’t the most intuitive we’ve seen, so it may take some time to get used to, but the course is otherwise full of quality instruction and a variety of practice activities.

The Ouino French course may be ideal for learners that already have some experience with French, even if it’s very little. The course doesn’t require you to take lessons in order, meaning you can complete just the lessons you need to fill in any gaps and take your skills to the next level.

Pros

  • Content is suitable for both aural and visual learners
  • You can take lessons in any order you want

Cons

  • You’ll have to evaluate your own pronunciation
  • The lesson exercises can become overly repetitive
4/5
Price: Group classes from $56/month, Private classes from $132/month
Learn With Online Group Classes And A Curriculum

Often, the best type of language practice you can get comes from a real tutor. It’s hard to beat real-time feedback and personalized instruction. What really notches up the efficacy level of the tutor experience is when there’s also a curriculum involved. Lingoda brings the two together to provide structured, live instruction in either private or group classes.

The group classes on Lingoda are made up of two to four people and could be a good option for some learners, while others might prefer private lessons. With over 600 lessons to choose from, there’s practice to be had for learners at all levels on Lingoda. There’s also no need to take these lessons consecutively, so learners looking to fill in some gaps in their education could certainly use this to their advantage.

Lesson scheduling is fairly flexible, and it could make a good option for anyone looking to get speaking practice with a native speaker while also benefiting from the structure of a course. There are also “marathon” and “sprint” payment plans available; these offer the chance to earn money back for attending 90% or 100% of your classes.

Pros

  • It’s possible to schedule lessons at almost any time of day or night
  • Teachers mostly speak in French
  • There are many different lessons for learners at all levels

Cons

  • It’s not always possible to take the class you want when you want
  • Learning in a group setting may not be ideal for all learners
  • Materials are very similar for all lessons
3.8/5
Price: $16 – $21/hour
Live Lingua Logo
Live lessons and specialized courses

Live Lingua is a little bit different from other online tutor platforms in that its service is more specialized. Before you’re hooked up with a tutor, you’ll have a chance to communicate your goals with a personal class coordinator. You also have the chance to choose between several different Spanish courses, including standard lessons, exam prep, Spanish for priests, and more.

The majority of tutors seem to be from Mexico, but there are teachers from nine different countries, meaning you’ll be able to get practice in whatever flavor of Spanish interests you. The teachers are all native speakers and receive extra support and training from Live Lingua.

The platform doesn’t offer the same level of scheduling flexibility you might find on other online tutor platforms, and it’s a little more expensive than similar options, but the extra personalization and course focuses might make it worth it from some learners.

Pros

  • You should be able to find lessons that meet your specific needs
  • Tutors are from a variety of different countries

Cons

  • Lesson scheduling happens via email
  • Limited flexibility in choosing a teacher
4.6/5
Price: €129 – €149
inner-french-logo
Popular Courses for Dedicated Learners

We haven’t had the chance to test the innerFrench courses out ourselves, but they’re highly popular and seem to be of good quality. The paid courses are different from many others in that you’ll have to enroll in a course during the enrollment period; this is so that you have access to support while taking the course.

There are two courses on offer: the Build a Strong Core course is designed to help A2-B1 learners get over the “intermediate plateau” and prepare to make the transition to B2. The Raconte Ton Histoire course is for B1-B2 speakers and teaches learners how to tell their own story.

Both of the paid courses include interactive exercises and a well-planned curriculum. There are also innerFrench podcasts and videos that are available for free. In these lessons, founder Hugo covers topics such as French culture, health, and relationships all in French while speaking clearly enough to be understood by intermediate learners.

Pros

  • Courses designed for specific levels
  • Access to support while taking the course
  • Purchase of a course grants lifetime access

Cons

  • You’ll need to enroll during the enrollment period
  • It’s more expensive than other courses
4.3/5
Price: Free
Learn to Think in French for Free

There are two main reasons this course is so notable. One is that it’s totally free to use, no strings attached. The other is its unique approach to language instruction.

The Language Transfer course on French consists of 40 audio lessons in which founder Mihail directs lessons with another student. In the introductory lesson, you’re encouraged to simply listen along and attempt to respond to prompts without taking notes or really doing anything else throughout the entire course. The idea, Mihail explains, is that you’ll get accustomed to thinking your way through French rather than simply memorizing a bunch of words or grammar constructions.

While this course is remarkable in its own way, it’s certainly not for everyone. The course really only serves as an introduction to French, and it’s only relevant for English speakers. It’s also probably not a good option for anyone that struggles with lessons that are purley audio.

Pros

  • It’s completely free
  • Provides a great foundation in French for the right learner

Cons

  • It isn’t ideal for visual learners
  • It won’t take you past a beginner level
  • There’s no reading or writing practice

FSI and DLI

4.3/5
Price: Free
Free and Thorough but Dated

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) and the Defense Language Institute (DLI) both offer multiple courses that are exceptionally thorough. They were developed to help diplomats quickly reach a professional working proficiency in French, and as such are very well thought out.

The courses are now available for free on a number of websites, some of which we’ll link to below. There are some sources that attempt to sell this material, but remember that it is easily available for free! 

The FSI and DLI materials were created in the middle of the 20th century, which means you’ll be navigating some less-than-shiny PDFs —  the subject matter isn’t the most up-to-date you could find, either. That said, the lessons and accompanying audio are still fantastic sources for the self-directed learner.

DLI courses place more of an emphasis on military terms at higher levels, but its courses are otherwise fairly similar to those by FSI.

Pros

  • Course materials are completely free
  • Courses are thorough and well designed
  • There is accompanying audio
Cons
  • Course materials may be outdated
  • The courses are dry and certainly not the most engaging options
4.3/5
Price: 49€/quarter, 299€ for lifetime access
Lingoni-French-logo
Lots of Extra Features for Beginner and Intermediate Learners

The Lingoni French course contains a wide variety of materials: videos, audio lessons, worksheets, a podcast, and interactive activities are all advertised on the Lingoni website. The course contents are designed to help learners in the A1 – B2 CEFR levels get relevant practice in a variety of skills.

The interactive activities in the lessons will have you performing translations, taking part in listening activities, building sentences, and correcting French writing samples. The podcast also has an accompanying worksheet that you can complete to practice listening comprehension.We haven’t tried out Lingoni’s paid content yet, but you’ll be able to sample some of their material for free on the Lingoni French YouTube channel.

Pros

  • Variety of practice activities
  • Content is presented in both audio and visual formats

Cons

  • The material isn’t suitable for higher levels
4.3/5
Price: Free
A Free Immersion Video Course for Beginners

French in action is a video series that makes use of the Capretz Method, meaning you’ll be exposed to content that is entirely in French right away. The award-winning videos were created in the 1980’s, so they do feel slightly dated, but they’re still a great place to get quality practice.

The narrator and developer of the Capretz Method, Pierre J. Capretz, guides listeners through the videos, prompting them to repeat after different characters. Lessons also include brief explanations in English, dialogues, and lists of key vocabulary.

Absolute beginners may find the 100% French dialogue difficult at first, but it should be possible to catch up by participating in the video lessons and exercises. It isn’t the most modern or exciting course, but it’s hard to beat for free, entertaining listening comprehension practice.

Pros

  • It’s free to use
  • You’ll get practice opportunities in a number of skills

Cons

  • The videos are a bit dated
  • More advanced learners won’t get relevant practice here
4.3/5
Price: Freemium, Subscriptions Start at $35/month
Video Course with Plenty of Extras

This video course is more than just videos. It’s a complete course with 40 core lessons that provide relevant practice for learners at every level, from absolute beginner to advanced. The course contains videos, audio lessons, quizzes, worksheets, and access to live lessons in which you can ask Alexa questions directly.

We haven’t had a chance to try out the full paid course, but Alexa offers quite a few videos for free on her YouTube channel. Her friendly demeanor and extensive teaching experience make her a great source of instruction, and some may find her lessons provide the perfect level of engagement.

The video and audio lessons with Alexa are less expensive and more flexible than live lessons with a teacher you can talk to, but they don’t provide the same opportunity for practicing speaking. You may find lots of quality practice with Alexa’s course, but you’ll have to supplement with other materials to really develop your speaking skills.

Pros

  • There are lessons for every level
  • Video lessons and interactive exercises provide a variety of practice opportunities

Cons

  • There aren’t opportunities for realistic speaking practice
4.3/5
Price: $11.99/month, $29.99/quarter, $55.99/year, $119.99 for lifetime
An Engaging Introduction to French

It’s tempting to compare Lingodeer with its more popular peer, Duolingo. They both take a gamified approach, utilizing points and appealing graphics to support lessons that are short and sweet. Many learners find this type of practice is especially appealing because it’s fun and incredibly convenient. Picking up an app to get some practice whenever you have a few spare moments can fit into just about anyone’s lifestyle.

It’s important to recognize that Lingodeer differs from Duolingo in some important ways. It’s not free to use like Duolingo, but it does boast courses that are generally of higher quality. The audio used in the lessons is of native speakers instead of text-to-speech technology, there are a greater variety of practice activities, and there are better explanations.

If you like the sound of a convenient, engaging platform that’s a step above Duolingo, you should seriously consider Lingodeer. If you mainly want to improve your conversational skills or are looking for more advanced practice, however, look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Engaging activities
  • High-quality audio
  • The app is enjoyable to use

Cons

  • It isn’t sufficient for getting communication practice
  • You’ll need to look elsewhere if you want some higher-level practice
4/5
Price: Freemium, $8.99/month
Courses With A Vocabulary Focus

Much of the content on Memrise is user-created and free to use. These materials cover a huge range of study topics and vary quite a bit in terms of quality. Some contain audio and pictures, some are essentially just flashcards of words with translations.

The official Memrise courses, on the other hand, have some more structure and offer significantly more value, especially at lower levels. These courses aren’t free, but they come with high-quality audio, a logical structure, and even videos of native speakers.

One of the things that makes Memrise effective is that it uses a spaced repetition system (SRS) to help learners efficiently commit new items to long-term memory. This and the fact that the platform is easy and fun to use make it a good place to quickly build your French vocabulary.

Pros

  • The SRS makes for efficient practice
  • There are tons of free, user-created courses
  • The app is fun to use

Cons

  • You’ll need to look elsewhere for more advanced practice
  • Website navigation is slightly clunky
  • There aren’t a lot of opportunities for practicing communication skills
4/5
Price: Free
Free and Engaging Practice

Duolingo just might be the most popular language-learning app out there. It’s incredibly appealing for a number of reasons: it’s totally free to use, there are courses in a ton of different languages, and using it feels more like a game than serious study.

For all its perks, there are some downsides to studying French with Duolingo. For one, the course doesn’t have the best audio recordings out there. It relies on text-to-speech technology rather than recordings of real people, which means you won’t get the most realistic listening practice. Also, the gamified approach, while engaging, doesn’t leave much room for in-depth explanations or super thorough lessons.

It’s hard to deny that Duolingo can serve as a great resource for supplementary practice or for a casual first introduction to a language, but you probably won’t want to rely on it as a course that will take you anywhere near fluency all on its own.

Pros

  • It’s free to use
  • Practice is convenient and fun

Cons

  • The audio isn’t the best
  • You won’t get to produce your own sentences
  • Lacks useful practice at higher levels
4/5
Price: $10.99/mo, less for longer subscriptions
Convenient Practice and a Clear Curriculum

WLingua offers French practice in the form of bite-sized lessons that make up a larger, well-structured curriculum. You can get quite a bit of practice for free with WLingua, but full access to all of the material requires a monthly subscription.

The course is a great place for convenient, focused practice whenever you’ve got a few moments to spare — something it shares with resources like Duolingo and Lingodeer. In comparison with Duolingo, WLingua offers some better grammar explanations and includes more detailed instruction in its lessons.

We haven’t had the chance to fully test this one out, but its grammar practice, thorough curriculum and amount of free material make it worth considering.

Pros

  • High-quality audio from native speakers
  • The course structure is clearly laid out
  • Short, convenient lessons
  • Valuable grammar practice

Cons

  • There isn’t much speaking or listening practice
  • The free version requires you to complete lessons sequentially
4/5
Price: €49.90 for French e-course
assimil logo
Learn French Through Phrases and Detailed Lessons

Assimil has been around for quite some time, and it’s still relevant today. Originally offering courses through physical books and CDs, you can now purchase the Assimil French e-course, which is downloadable and accessible entirely from your computer.

The company produces most of its educational material for native French speakers looking to learn another language, but the courses for English speakers are just as good — they boast excellent lesson structure, an intuitive layout, lots of listening and grammar practice, and some handy extra features.

Some learners may not find the translation-based learning approach to be ideal, but you’ll get exposed to French as it’s used in context, which can be very helpful in getting you comfortable with using the language.

Pros

  • The extra cultural notes are very well done
  • Grammar explanations are in-depth without becoming overwhelming
  • The audio quality is excellent

Cons

  • The mobile app design isn’t the best
  • You’ll have to evaluate your own pronunciation
  • The exercises aren’t terribly engaging
4/5
Price: $187-$378
Video Lessons With an Academic Slant

This may be one of the best options for learners who prefer an academic setting but would like the convenience and relative affordability of an online course. The lessons that make up a Fluenz course are presented in video format, simulating the experience of a one-on-one lesson. You won’t be able to respond to your virtual tutor, but you’ll receive thorough explanations and instruction that is specifically tailored to speakers of English.

What makes Fluenz more than just a really good YouTube channel? Excellent course structure, interactive exercises, and in-depth lessons. The interactive exercises and flashcard feature provide good practice and complement the lessons nicely, but don’t expect anything too engaging.

The academic, serious approach that Fluenz takes won’t be for everyone. The activities can become overly repetitive, the pace may be too slow for some, and it isn’t the cheapest course available. With that in mind, serious learners looking to simulate the one-on-one tutor experience could have a hard time finding something better.

Pros

  • Excellent course structure
  • Thorough, in-depth explanations and instructions
  • Podcast provides additional practice

Cons

  • The pace may be too slow for some
  • Activities can become overly repetitive
3.8/5
Price: Courses starting at €49
francais authentique
Thorough Course 100% In French

Beginners may find this course a bit daunting or unrealistic, as it’s completely in French, but learners already around an intermediate level could get lots of useful input here. It places an emphasis on developing listening and reading skills rather than speaking and writing skills, but the course founder believes this will in turn improve your productive skills.

The course is mostly made up of audio lessons and PDFs, though there is also some video material available in one of the courses. The PDFs contain transcripts of the dialogues in the audio lessons, which you’ll listen along to and repeat when prompted. The method is highly immersive and is more about absorbing French than practicing producing it.

Lessons don’t go into much depth with grammar concepts or provide lists of vocabulary, as these are things you will supposedly pick up naturally. This approach won’t work for everyone, but it could be a good choice for those that are looking to dramatically increase the amount of French that they’re exposed to.

Pros

  • Instruction is very clear and detail oriented
  • Activities are appropriately challenging
  • Audio recordings are sourced from native speakers with a variety of accents

Cons

  • You may need to supplement speaking and listening practice with other resources like tutors or podcasts
3.7/5
Price: Free
Learn French from Dialogues

This completely free method of learning French involves interacting with a number of level-appropriate dialogues. Each dialogue is in text form and accompanied by a high-quality audio recording. There are also translations, grammar explanations, extra notes to help keep you on track, and slow versions of the recordings at the beginner levels.

The platform isn’t the most modern or stylistic, so learners looking for something that’s exceptionally engaging or in a slick app won’t be satisfied. That said, there’s a lot of useful content here for free.

While there is content for learners at all levels, the bulk of useful material with French by French is at the intermediate and lower levels. It may not be for everyone, but some will appreciate the systematic approach and dialogue-based lessons.

Pros

  • The lessons build on each other logically
  • Lots of free material
  • High-quality audio

Cons

  • There isn’t enough material for advanced learners
  • It isn’t the most modern or engaging resource
3.7/5
Price: From $23/Month
Self-Study Combined with Live Lessons

Chatterbug does things a little bit differently than most other online courses. It combines a fully developed course that you can progress through at your own pace and live lessons with real tutors. These live lessons are clearly structured and are relevant to the progress you’ve made in the course.

The live lessons are great opportunities to get valuable listening and speaking practice, something that’s sorely missing from many other online courses. These one-on-one lessons are also a little bit different than you’d find on other platforms: they’re structured and include on-screen activities and speaking prompts to work through.

A Chatterbug subscription could make sense for someone that’s looking for a clearly structured course that they can work through on their own time with the benefit of teacher-led lessons. Note, however, that you won’t get the best reading or writing practice with this resource, and we weren’t blown away by any of its extra features.

Pros

  • There’s limited reading and writing practice
  • The interface can be difficult to navigate

Cons

  • Relatively high price
  • Activities can become repetitive
  • The course has a fairly slow pace
3.5/5
Price: $7.99/Month For One Language, $17.99 For All Languages
A Course for Beginners That Don’t Mind Repetition

First off, Mango Languages courses are often available for free at public libraries and other community organizations, so be sure to see if you can take advantage of free access before making a purchase. 

The Mango Languages French course has a slick design that makes practice more enjoyable, but there isn’t much material that’s suitable for learners past the intermediate level — this one’s for beginners.

Practice happens through a great deal of drilling: listening to and repeating words and phrases. The language you’ll end up repeating is practical, and it’s surely quality practice, but the endless drilling can get old. There are also useful cultural and grammar notes that add value to the lessons.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use and has an appealing design
  • There are some quality explanations and cultural notes
  • You’re likely to remember what you learn through frequent drilling

Cons

  • There’s no material for learners beyond the intermediate stage
  • The heavy reliance on drilling makes the course overly repetitive
  • Grammar practice is lacking
4.6/5
Price: €129 – €149
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Popular Courses for Dedicated Learners

We haven’t had the chance to test the innerFrench courses out ourselves, but they’re highly popular and seem to be of good quality. The paid courses are different from many others in that you’ll have to enroll in a course during the enrollment period; this is so that you have access to support while taking the course.

There are two courses on offer: the Build a Strong Core course is designed to help A2-B1 learners get over the “intermediate plateau” and prepare to make the transition to B2. The Raconte Ton Histoire course is for B1-B2 speakers and teaches learners how to tell their own story.

Both of the paid courses include interactive exercises and a well-planned curriculum. There are also innerFrench podcasts and videos that are available for free. In these lessons, founder Hugo covers topics such as French culture, health, and relationships all in French while speaking clearly enough to be understood by intermediate learners.

Pros

  • Courses designed for specific levels
  • Access to support while taking the course
  • Purchase of a course grants lifetime access

Cons

  • You’ll need to enroll during the enrollment period
  • It’s more expensive than other courses
4.5/5
Price: $19.90/month
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Entertaining Content and Efficient Practice

Don’t be fooled by the name. While news narrated at a slow pace may sound less than riveting, the content this course provides is actually incredibly engaging — it’s also effective at teaching French.

This resource provides material for all levels.The beginner course is great for lovers of storytelling, as each lesson tells part of a story and is great at keeping learners engaged. While the content at the beginner level is of high quality, the intermediate course is even more impressive: it’s full of useful information on French expressions, grammar exercises, and tons of interesting material.

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, aren’t as good as the intermediate lessons.

Pros

  • The catalogue of material is extensive
  • The content is highly engaging
  • Especially good for learning grammar and French expressions at the intermediate level

Cons

  • Many of the activities don’t require you to use what you’ve learned
  • Advanced learners may be better off interacting with native content
4.3/5
Price: Free
Learn to Think in French for Free

There are two main reasons this course is so notable. One is that it’s totally free to use, no strings attached. The other is its unique approach to language instruction.

The Language Transfer course on French consists of 40 audio lessons in which founder Mihail directs lessons with another student. In the introductory lesson, you’re encouraged to simply listen along and attempt to respond to prompts without taking notes or really doing anything else throughout the entire course. The idea, Mihail explains, is that you’ll get accustomed to thinking your way through French rather than simply memorizing a bunch of words or grammar constructions.

While this course is remarkable in its own way, it’s certainly not for everyone. The course really only serves as an introduction to French, and it’s only relevant for English speakers. It’s also probably not a good option for anyone that struggles with lessons that are purley audio.

Pros

  • It’s completely free
  • Provides a great foundation in French for the right learner

Cons

  • It isn’t ideal for visual learners
  • It won’t take you past a beginner level
  • There’s no reading or writing practice
4.3/5
Price: $11.99/month, $29.99/quarter, $55.99/year, $119.99 for lifetime
An Engaging Introduction to French

It’s tempting to compare Lingodeer with its more popular peer, Duolingo. They both take a gamified approach, utilizing points and appealing graphics to support lessons that are short and sweet. Many learners find this type of practice is especially appealing because it’s fun and incredibly convenient. Picking up an app to get some practice whenever you have a few spare moments can fit into just about anyone’s lifestyle.

It’s important to recognize that Lingodeer differs from Duolingo in some important ways. It’s not free to use like Duolingo, but it does boast courses that are generally of higher quality. The audio used in the lessons is of native speakers instead of text-to-speech technology, there are a greater variety of practice activities, and there are better explanations.

If you like the sound of a convenient, engaging platform that’s a step above Duolingo, you should seriously consider Lingodeer. If you mainly want to improve your conversational skills or are looking for more advanced practice, however, look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Engaging activities
  • High-quality audio
  • The app is enjoyable to use

Cons

  • It isn’t sufficient for getting communication practice
  • You’ll need to look elsewhere if you want some higher-level practice

FSI and DLI

4.3/5
Price: Free
Free and Thorough but Dated

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) and the Defense Language Institute (DLI) both offer multiple courses that are exceptionally thorough. They were developed to help diplomats quickly reach a professional working proficiency in French, and as such are very well thought out.

The courses are now available for free on a number of websites, some of which we’ll link to below. There are some sources that attempt to sell this material, but remember that it is easily available for free! 

The FSI and DLI materials were created in the middle of the 20th century, which means you’ll be navigating some less-than-shiny PDFs —  the subject matter isn’t the most up-to-date you could find, either. That said, the lessons and accompanying audio are still fantastic sources for the self-directed learner.

DLI courses place more of an emphasis on military terms at higher levels, but its courses are otherwise fairly similar to those by FSI.

Pros

  • Course materials are completely free
  • Courses are thorough and well designed
  • There is accompanying audio
Cons
  • Course materials may be outdated
  • The courses are dry and certainly not the most engaging options
4.3/5
Price: Free
A Free Immersion Video Course for Beginners

French in action is a video series that makes use of the Capretz Method, meaning you’ll be exposed to content that is entirely in French right away. The award-winning videos were created in the 1980’s, so they do feel slightly dated, but they’re still a great place to get quality practice.

The narrator and developer of the Capretz Method, Pierre J. Capretz, guides listeners through the videos, prompting them to repeat after different characters. Lessons also include brief explanations in English, dialogues, and lists of key vocabulary.

Absolute beginners may find the 100% French dialogue difficult at first, but it should be possible to catch up by participating in the video lessons and exercises. It isn’t the most modern or exciting course, but it’s hard to beat for free, entertaining listening comprehension practice.

Pros

  • It’s free to use
  • You’ll get practice opportunities in a number of skills

Cons

  • The videos are a bit dated
  • More advanced learners won’t get relevant practice here
4.3/5
Price: Freemium, Subscriptions Start at $35/month
Video Course with Plenty of Extras

This video course is more than just videos. It’s a complete course with 40 core lessons that provide relevant practice for learners at every level, from absolute beginner to advanced. The course contains videos, audio lessons, quizzes, worksheets, and access to live lessons in which you can ask Alexa questions directly.

We haven’t had a chance to try out the full paid course, but Alexa offers quite a few videos for free on her YouTube channel. Her friendly demeanor and extensive teaching experience make her a great source of instruction, and some may find her lessons provide the perfect level of engagement.

The video and audio lessons with Alexa are less expensive and more flexible than live lessons with a teacher you can talk to, but they don’t provide the same opportunity for practicing speaking. You may find lots of quality practice with Alexa’s course, but you’ll have to supplement with other materials to really develop your speaking skills.

Pros

  • There are lessons for every level
  • Video lessons and interactive exercises provide a variety of practice opportunities

Cons

  • There aren’t opportunities for realistic speaking practice
4.3/5
Price: 49€/quarter, 299€ for lifetime access
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Lots of Extra Features for Beginner and Intermediate Learners

The Lingoni French course contains a wide variety of materials: videos, audio lessons, worksheets, a podcast, and interactive activities are all advertised on the Lingoni website. The course contents are designed to help learners in the A1 – B2 CEFR levels get relevant practice in a variety of skills.

The interactive activities in the lessons will have you performing translations, taking part in listening activities, building sentences, and correcting French writing samples. The podcast also has an accompanying worksheet that you can complete to practice listening comprehension.We haven’t tried out Lingoni’s paid content yet, but you’ll be able to sample some of their material for free on the Lingoni French YouTube channel.

Pros

  • Variety of practice activities
  • Content is presented in both audio and visual formats

Cons

  • The material isn’t suitable for higher levels
4.2/5
Price: From $8/Month
More Than Just a Podcast

For the subscription cost, FrenchPod101 is a surprisingly comprehensive platform for learning French. The number of audio lessons is seriously impressive, and they cover a wide range of topics at a variety of levels, from beginner to advanced.

The audio lessons may especially appeal to aural learners, but lessons also include transcripts, notes, and short quizzes, which make it a viable option for learners that prefer visual content as well. Some lessons also have videos.

Audio lessons are centered around dialogues, which can be a good way to get accustomed to hearing and interacting with French as it appears in real life. There are also lessons with a cultural focus, something that can make your study time more meaningful.

You’ll have the option of skipping around and choosing which lessons to study, which could be ideal for learners with some prior exposure to French, but the lack of rigid structure may not suit some absolute beginners. 

Pros

  • There is both audio and visual content
  • There are a lot of lessons for learners at all levels
  • Lessons cover a large variety of topics

Cons

  • The review quizzes are too easy
  • The interface isn’t the easiest to navigate
  • Some learners may not appreciate the lack of direction in lesson progression

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

4.2/5
Price: $12.95/month, $26.85/Quarter, $83.40/Year
Structured Practice for Beginners and Lower-Intermediate Learners

Babbel is a popular language-learning tool that’s especially useful for learners at lower levels. Logical lesson progression and excellent structure make it a solid starting point. It also makes learning French feel less intimidating by offering fun and engaging lessons. 

In addition to the thorough curriculum and quality lessons are frequent review opportunities and activities that allow you to practice a variety of different skills. The conversation exercise is particularly useful for getting used to how the language is used in natural contexts.

Potential downsides to the Babbel French course are that its speech-recognition method for providing pronunciation feedback is far from perfect and that the course content just isn’t very exciting. This also probably isn’t the right choice for more advanced learners.

Pros

  • Short lessons make for convenient practice
  • The platform is well designed and easy to use
  • Lessons teach practical language
  • The course is comprehensive and provides lots of practice

Cons

  • Exercises can get overly repetitive
  • Limited grammar review opportunities
  • The speech-recognition technology isn’t the best way to practice pronunciation
  • It isn’t the most engaging course
4.2/5
Price: From $38.58 for THree Months
An Academic Course with Lots of Practice Opportunities

Ouino may not be the most gamelike course out there, but that’s because it takes more of an academic approach to teaching French. One major strength of Ouino is that it could appeal to both visual and aural learners. Lessons are presented as text with color-coded important words as well as read aloud to provide listening practice. 

The structure of the exercises isn’t the most intuitive we’ve seen, so it may take some time to get used to, but the course is otherwise full of quality instruction and a variety of practice activities.

The Ouino French course may be ideal for learners that already have some experience with French, even if it’s very little. The course doesn’t require you to take lessons in order, meaning you can complete just the lessons you need to fill in any gaps and take your skills to the next level.

Pros

  • Content is suitable for both aural and visual learners
  • You can take lessons in any order you want

Cons

  • You’ll have to evaluate your own pronunciation
  • The lesson exercises can become overly repetitive
4/5
Price: $19.95/Month
Well-Structured Audio Lessons for Aural/Verbal Learners

Pimsleur is one of the biggest names in the language-learning world and a great course for beginners. The audio lessons place a heavy emphasis on developing listening and speaking skills early on, which is great for developing communication skills. 

Their courses don’t provide a lot of instruction related to developing reading or writing skills, and you won’t get much in the way of explicit grammar instruction in the audio lessons. There are some supplementary activities that provide some reading and writing practice, but they’re not at all a focus of the course.

There are five levels in the Pimsleur French course, each containing 30 lessons — that’s a lot of material, and it builds on itself nicely, each lesson preparing you for the next. A subscription to Pimsleur might not be the right choice for an advanced learner, visual learners, or those interested in grammar rules, but it’s a quality course.

Pros

  • You’ll start speaking more quickly than with other courses
  • The course has a great design and is easy to use
  • There’s a variety of native speakers

Cons

  • Not ideal for visual learners
  • Some may find the lessons to be uninteresting and slowly paced
  • Doesn’t pay much attention to grammar concepts or written language
4/5
Price: from $297
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Learn French by Reading Stories

Not a typical approach to teaching languages, French Uncovered gets learners to start engaging with a story right away. This is slightly more challenging than most other courses, as the stories are entirely in French. Though it isn’t easy, the unique method could prove rewarding to those that are able to push through the initial difficulties.

The course is split into 20 chapters, providing practice in reading and speaking as well as building vocabulary and teaching grammar concepts. Review quizzes at the end of each chapter help consolidate what you’ve learned and check for understanding, though we think these quizzes would benefit from more questions.

If you particularly enjoy interacting with stories and are looking for a challenging study program, French Uncovered could be just what you’re looking for.

Pros

  • Learning French through stories can be entertaining
  • Instruction is clear
  • There are plenty of opportunities to practice what you learn

Cons

  • There are sometimes too many unrelated grammar points in lessons
  • The material could be too difficult for beginners
4/5
Price: Free Audio Lessons, Each Full Season is $104
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Learn By Sitting in on French Lessons

The Coffee Break Languages series is a great source of free educational material. The audio lessons in the French series take the format of a podcast and are free to listen to. These lessons have you listen to another student take lessons from the host, Mark. 

The atmosphere in these episodes is casual, and it’s helpful to be able to listen along and see where the learner makes mistakes while assessing your own ability to follow along. Guest native speakers also join the lessons from time to time, providing listening and pronunciation practice as well as valuable insight.

The Coffee Break French course is different from other Coffee Break courses in that there’s more content available for the language. Instead of two seasons, you can study up to four seasons and get useful practice even at the advanced level.

Paying for the extra materials means you’ll also have access to a video accompaniment of the audio lessons as well as extra practice activities in a PDF. These additions make the course more suitable for visual learners.

Pros

  • Audio lessons offer great value for free
  • Lessons include lots of explanations and examples
  • Course format is convenient and casual

Cons

  • Visual learners may struggle with the audio-only free lessons
  • There aren’t a lot of interactive practice opportunities.
4/5
Price: Freemium, $8.99/month
Courses With A Vocabulary Focus

Much of the content on Memrise is user-created and free to use. These materials cover a huge range of study topics and vary quite a bit in terms of quality. Some contain audio and pictures, some are essentially just flashcards of words with translations.

The official Memrise courses, on the other hand, have some more structure and offer significantly more value, especially at lower levels. These courses aren’t free, but they come with high-quality audio, a logical structure, and even videos of native speakers.

One of the things that makes Memrise effective is that it uses a spaced repetition system (SRS) to help learners efficiently commit new items to long-term memory. This and the fact that the platform is easy and fun to use make it a good place to quickly build your French vocabulary.

Pros

  • The SRS makes for efficient practice
  • There are tons of free, user-created courses
  • The app is fun to use

Cons

  • You’ll need to look elsewhere for more advanced practice
  • Website navigation is slightly clunky
  • There aren’t a lot of opportunities for practicing communication skills
4/5
Price: Group classes from $56/month, Private classes from $132/month
Learn With Online Group Classes And A Curriculum

Often, the best type of language practice you can get comes from a real tutor. It’s hard to beat real-time feedback and personalized instruction. What really notches up the efficacy level of the tutor experience is when there’s also a curriculum involved. Lingoda brings the two together to provide structured, live instruction in either private or group classes.

The group classes on Lingoda are made up of two to four people and could be a good option for some learners, while others might prefer private lessons. With over 600 lessons to choose from, there’s practice to be had for learners at all levels on Lingoda. There’s also no need to take these lessons consecutively, so learners looking to fill in some gaps in their education could certainly use this to their advantage.

Lesson scheduling is fairly flexible, and it could make a good option for anyone looking to get speaking practice with a native speaker while also benefiting from the structure of a course. There are also “marathon” and “sprint” payment plans available; these offer the chance to earn money back for attending 90% or 100% of your classes.

Pros

  • It’s possible to schedule lessons at almost any time of day or night
  • Teachers mostly speak in French
  • There are many different lessons for learners at all levels

Cons

  • It’s not always possible to take the class you want when you want
  • Learning in a group setting may not be ideal for all learners
  • Materials are very similar for all lessons
4/5
Price: Free
Free and Engaging Practice

Duolingo just might be the most popular language-learning app out there. It’s incredibly appealing for a number of reasons: it’s totally free to use, there are courses in a ton of different languages, and using it feels more like a game than serious study.

For all its perks, there are some downsides to studying French with Duolingo. For one, the course doesn’t have the best audio recordings out there. It relies on text-to-speech technology rather than recordings of real people, which means you won’t get the most realistic listening practice. Also, the gamified approach, while engaging, doesn’t leave much room for in-depth explanations or super thorough lessons.

It’s hard to deny that Duolingo can serve as a great resource for supplementary practice or for a casual first introduction to a language, but you probably won’t want to rely on it as a course that will take you anywhere near fluency all on its own.

Pros

  • It’s free to use
  • Practice is convenient and fun

Cons

  • The audio isn’t the best
  • You won’t get to produce your own sentences
  • Lacks useful practice at higher levels
4/5
Price: $187-$378
Video Lessons With an Academic Slant

This may be one of the best options for learners who prefer an academic setting but would like the convenience and relative affordability of an online course. The lessons that make up a Fluenz course are presented in video format, simulating the experience of a one-on-one lesson. You won’t be able to respond to your virtual tutor, but you’ll receive thorough explanations and instruction that is specifically tailored to speakers of English.

What makes Fluenz more than just a really good YouTube channel? Excellent course structure, interactive exercises, and in-depth lessons. The interactive exercises and flashcard feature provide good practice and complement the lessons nicely, but don’t expect anything too engaging.

The academic, serious approach that Fluenz takes won’t be for everyone. The activities can become overly repetitive, the pace may be too slow for some, and it isn’t the cheapest course available. With that in mind, serious learners looking to simulate the one-on-one tutor experience could have a hard time finding something better.

Pros

  • Excellent course structure
  • Thorough, in-depth explanations and instructions
  • Podcast provides additional practice

Cons

  • The pace may be too slow for some
  • Activities can become overly repetitive
4/5
Price: $10.99/mo, less for longer subscriptions
Convenient Practice and a Clear Curriculum

WLingua offers French practice in the form of bite-sized lessons that make up a larger, well-structured curriculum. You can get quite a bit of practice for free with WLingua, but full access to all of the material requires a monthly subscription.

The course is a great place for convenient, focused practice whenever you’ve got a few moments to spare — something it shares with resources like Duolingo and Lingodeer. In comparison with Duolingo, WLingua offers some better grammar explanations and includes more detailed instruction in its lessons.

We haven’t had the chance to fully test this one out, but its grammar practice, thorough curriculum and amount of free material make it worth considering.

Pros

  • High-quality audio from native speakers
  • The course structure is clearly laid out
  • Short, convenient lessons
  • Valuable grammar practice

Cons

  • There isn’t much speaking or listening practice
  • The free version requires you to complete lessons sequentially
4/5
Price: €49.90 for French e-course
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Learn French Through Phrases and Detailed Lessons

Assimil has been around for quite some time, and it’s still relevant today. Originally offering courses through physical books and CDs, you can now purchase the Assimil French e-course, which is downloadable and accessible entirely from your computer.

The company produces most of its educational material for native French speakers looking to learn another language, but the courses for English speakers are just as good — they boast excellent lesson structure, an intuitive layout, lots of listening and grammar practice, and some handy extra features.

Some learners may not find the translation-based learning approach to be ideal, but you’ll get exposed to French as it’s used in context, which can be very helpful in getting you comfortable with using the language.

Pros

  • The extra cultural notes are very well done
  • Grammar explanations are in-depth without becoming overwhelming
  • The audio quality is excellent

Cons

  • The mobile app design isn’t the best
  • You’ll have to evaluate your own pronunciation
  • The exercises aren’t terribly engaging
3.8/5
Price: Courses starting at €49
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Thorough Course 100% In French

Beginners may find this course a bit daunting or unrealistic, as it’s completely in French, but learners already around an intermediate level could get lots of useful input here. It places an emphasis on developing listening and reading skills rather than speaking and writing skills, but the course founder believes this will in turn improve your productive skills.

The course is mostly made up of audio lessons and PDFs, though there is also some video material available in one of the courses. The PDFs contain transcripts of the dialogues in the audio lessons, which you’ll listen along to and repeat when prompted. The method is highly immersive and is more about absorbing French than practicing producing it.

Lessons don’t go into much depth with grammar concepts or provide lists of vocabulary, as these are things you will supposedly pick up naturally. This approach won’t work for everyone, but it could be a good choice for those that are looking to dramatically increase the amount of French that they’re exposed to.

Pros

  • Instruction is very clear and detail oriented
  • Activities are appropriately challenging
  • Audio recordings are sourced from native speakers with a variety of accents

Cons

  • You may need to supplement speaking and listening practice with other resources like tutors or podcasts
3.8/5
Price: $16 – $21/hour
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Live lessons and specialized courses

Live Lingua is a little bit different from other online tutor platforms in that its service is more specialized. Before you’re hooked up with a tutor, you’ll have a chance to communicate your goals with a personal class coordinator. You also have the chance to choose between several different Spanish courses, including standard lessons, exam prep, Spanish for priests, and more.

The majority of tutors seem to be from Mexico, but there are teachers from nine different countries, meaning you’ll be able to get practice in whatever flavor of Spanish interests you. The teachers are all native speakers and receive extra support and training from Live Lingua.

The platform doesn’t offer the same level of scheduling flexibility you might find on other online tutor platforms, and it’s a little more expensive than similar options, but the extra personalization and course focuses might make it worth it from some learners.

Pros

  • You should be able to find lessons that meet your specific needs
  • Tutors are from a variety of different countries

Cons

  • Lesson scheduling happens via email
  • Limited flexibility in choosing a teacher
3.7/5
Price: $99.95 for Level 1, $259.90 for Levels 1-3
Comprehensive But Not Very Exciting

The bulk of practice you’ll get in the Rocket French course happens through the Rocket Reinforcement Activities, which you’ll complete after every single lesson. The high level of repetition may be effective at helping you remember what you’ve learned, but it can also get quite boring.

Most Rocket French lessons are presented in audio form and are centered around a piece of dialogue that highlights the relevant language point of the lesson. These are accompanied transcripts, lesson notes, and the aforementioned reinforcement activities. 

There are also lessons on cultural topics, which contain some valuable information, but we didn’t find them to be very well done. A speech-recognition system will help you get practice with pronunciation, but it’s not perfect.

Overall, if you can put up with the highly repetitive review activities and don’t find the lessons too boring, Rocket French could be the well-structured resource you’re looking for.

Pros

  • Effective practice activities
  • Plenty of explanations in lessons
  • Clear course structure

Cons

  • Review activities are overly repetitive
  • Lessons aren’t terribly exciting
  • It’s fairly expensive
3.7/5
Price: From $23/Month
Self-Study Combined with Live Lessons

Chatterbug does things a little bit differently than most other online courses. It combines a fully developed course that you can progress through at your own pace and live lessons with real tutors. These live lessons are clearly structured and are relevant to the progress you’ve made in the course.

The live lessons are great opportunities to get valuable listening and speaking practice, something that’s sorely missing from many other online courses. These one-on-one lessons are also a little bit different than you’d find on other platforms: they’re structured and include on-screen activities and speaking prompts to work through.

A Chatterbug subscription could make sense for someone that’s looking for a clearly structured course that they can work through on their own time with the benefit of teacher-led lessons. Note, however, that you won’t get the best reading or writing practice with this resource, and we weren’t blown away by any of its extra features.

Pros

  • There’s limited reading and writing practice
  • The interface can be difficult to navigate

Cons

  • Relatively high price
  • Activities can become repetitive
  • The course has a fairly slow pace
3.7/5
Price: Free
Learn French from Dialogues

This completely free method of learning French involves interacting with a number of level-appropriate dialogues. Each dialogue is in text form and accompanied by a high-quality audio recording. There are also translations, grammar explanations, extra notes to help keep you on track, and slow versions of the recordings at the beginner levels.

The platform isn’t the most modern or stylistic, so learners looking for something that’s exceptionally engaging or in a slick app won’t be satisfied. That said, there’s a lot of useful content here for free.

While there is content for learners at all levels, the bulk of useful material with French by French is at the intermediate and lower levels. It may not be for everyone, but some will appreciate the systematic approach and dialogue-based lessons.

Pros

  • The lessons build on each other logically
  • Lots of free material
  • High-quality audio

Cons

  • There isn’t enough material for advanced learners
  • It isn’t the most modern or engaging resource
3.5/5
Price: $7.99/Month For One Language, $17.99 For All Languages
A Course for Beginners That Don’t Mind Repetition

First off, Mango Languages courses are often available for free at public libraries and other community organizations, so be sure to see if you can take advantage of free access before making a purchase. 

The Mango Languages French course has a slick design that makes practice more enjoyable, but there isn’t much material that’s suitable for learners past the intermediate level — this one’s for beginners.

Practice happens through a great deal of drilling: listening to and repeating words and phrases. The language you’ll end up repeating is practical, and it’s surely quality practice, but the endless drilling can get old. There are also useful cultural and grammar notes that add value to the lessons.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use and has an appealing design
  • There are some quality explanations and cultural notes
  • You’re likely to remember what you learn through frequent drilling

Cons

  • There’s no material for learners beyond the intermediate stage
  • The heavy reliance on drilling makes the course overly repetitive
  • Grammar practice is lacking
3.3/5
Price: $9.99/Month for Premium, $13.99/Month for PRemium Plus
A Well-Structured Course with a Noteworthy Social Feature

Busuu offers courses in a number of languages, and we would have rated it higher if we were only rating its French course — mistakes in the Mandarin course are what brought the overall rating down.

The Busuu platform is well designed and easy to navigate, with solid course structure. It also has material that’s relevant for learners at just about any level, from beginner all the way up to advanced. It’s a fairly comprehensive resource, but you may find that grammar explanations and practice are lacking compared to similar resources.

A feature that sets Busuu apart from many is its social language-exchange feature. This function enables learners to submit writing and audio recordings to be evaluated by others. Getting real humans involved with feedback is far better than virtual alternatives, and you can take advantage of this Busuu tool for free.

Pros

  • Excellent course structure
  • Social feature provides quality speaking and writing feedback
  • The Busuu platform is well designed
  • Conversation lessons provide exceptionally good practice

Cons

  • Grammar practice and review opportunities are lacking
  • Some review activities aren’t designed very well

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