The Staircase Method seems to put a heavy emphasis on translation from English-French as their learning method. They provide “Courstories” for all levels, which basically consist of a series of translation prompts in the form of a story. Once you have provided your translation, you may both listen to an audio clip and read various acceptable translations. Even total beginners will learn to construct French sentences through these stories and, in theory, because the story guides your learning, you may be more likely to see it to the end.
There is no automated software, as the program believes in basing its content on “human intelligence and creativity”. Consequently, when you type in your translations, it’s up to you to decide whether it matches one of the suggested translations. This makes the Staircase Method somewhat unique, as there are often several options you can choose from to best suit your “French voice”.
At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate in the mail, hand-signed by the author.
Although the site is personable and learner-centred, it’s not clear whether the stories will keep you engaged. However, if you manage to check out their site while they are providing free access, it may be worth your time. Their free blog may also be worth checking out, as it provides voice recordings with transcriptions to practice listening comprehension.