- Posted by Amelie
- On November 20, 2017
- 0 Comments
When you learn French online you set your own pace to best suits your busy lifestyle.
Learning a language is extremely demanding.
Going to classes, visiting a tutor, going out and buying books take a lot of time.
And I know that as a parent, as a partner and with your everyday job and life, it’s not always possible.
Well, in fact, it can sometimes be totally impossible.
However, this should not mean that you should give up on your will, on your dream to learn French. How can you juggle everything then you might ask?
Your best option is to lean French online from the comfort of your own home.
Peacefully in your pyjamas on your sofa with a coffee.
That’s because it is not only would it make your life easier and stop you from running around to be here, there and everywhere trying to squeeze everything in, it would also provide a familiar and reassuring environment.
In these conditions, you would feel much more relaxed and mentally more ready to learn. Your brain would memorize information so much better and quicker if you simply feel mellow rather than stressed out!
A peaceful mind maximizes your learning capacities. Moreover, learn French online from home would make you a self-directed learner.
You would take responsibilities of your own learning and be in charge of your learning program!
So how can you do this then?
Where should you start?
Your starting point should definitely be the Internet!
It is a wonderful source of information which contains so many useful and interesting resources. So many though, that’s often the problem!
You could easily get lost in the amount of information available on the web. In this blog, I will guide you towards some apps, podcasts, PDF, YouTube videos and websites I find particularly good and helpful.
1) Learn French fast with these apps
Learning a language used to be synonym of carrying loads of textbooks and very heavy dictionaries … and pay for them obviously!
Well not anymore!
Like most people, you more than likely own a smartphone.
This little technological wonder is all you need and it will get you to speak the language of love in no time!
All you have to do is to download an app.
Before I tell you about a few apps I like, let me list some benefits of studying French with apps rather than with a more traditional method using books or going to classes.
First of all, you can learn whenever you want and wherever you want!
Going to work using public transport?
Make the most of this dull journey!
Click on your app and start learning.
Not only would this save you from being bored, it would also stop you from wasting your time. Why do nothing when you can pass the time doing something useful such as studying?
Our phones are always with us so it seems normal to use them intelligently, doesn’t it? A lot of people (including me…) tend to go on their phone before going to sleep (yes we are so addicted to our phones it can sometimes be worrying…).
Why not revise some French vocabulary or grammar structures just before bed?
Another advantage is that you are not constrained to attend a course on such a day at such a time. Instead, you can learn French on your own pace whenever your mind and body feel the readiest for it.
Traditional methods seem, for most of us, boring and therefore not very effective. Methods using new technology, pictures, videos and sounds are however a lot more fun and consequently much more motivating.
Let’s now see a few good apps.
1. Apps for Android
- “Memrise: Learn Languages” has been awarded the best 2017 app. Download it and you’ll understand exactly why. It does make studying and learning very fun and will more than likely help you progress in no time!
- “Learn French” is a free app mainly aimed at beginners and travelers. It contains about 800 commonly used French words and expressions. It also allows you to work on your pronunciation as you can listen to these terms in an authentic pronunciation and repeat them. You can store your favorite sentences too.
- “Learn Languages: Rosetta Stone” is another free application for Android. Its method is based on first language learning. Its creators help you to learn French the way you learnt your native tongue: without translation. You start speaking French straight away. You also get feedback on your pronunciation.
- “Learn French 6,000 Words” is a free and easy app to learn new vocabulary. It contains illustrated words, phonetic transcriptions and pronunciation recordings by native speakers as well as games which makes it very fun!
- “Learn French with Babbel” is a free innovative app which includes a wide variety of courses designed by experts and a speech recognition. It is made for all students so whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced learner, this app should help you to acquire an even better level in French!
2. Apps for iPhone
- “French 101, by 24/7 Tutor” includes interesting interactive programs. As part of its various features, it contains puzzle games, flash cards, multiple choice quizzes and write-in tests. It also lists vocabulary in categories such as family, friends, travel, home and more.
- “French Audio Flashcards” by Declan Software. This app is amazing to work on your pronunciation as it has over 4,400 words and phrases said by native speakers. It also helps you to develop some memorization techniques thanks to its many flashcard reviews and exercises.
- “Lingopal French-talking phrasebook” by Lingopal. The first advantage of this app: you access it without an Internet connection. It is specially designed for those who need phrases to get by. It includes audio files.
- “AccelaStudy French”, by Renkara Media Group, Inc. One of the best features of this app is that you can keep track of your learning thanks to its automatic statistics so you know exactly how well you’re progressing which is very motivating!Furthermore, it includes audio files made by native speakers (great to work on your pronunciation), over 2,400 words (all levels, from beginners to more advanced ones), quizzes, flashcards and a dictionary.
- “iSpeak French”, by Future Apps. This iPhone app basically is a speaking dictionary. Type any word or phrase and it will translate them and tell them out loud in French.This is great to learn how to pronounce perfectly and very handy when traveling as you can just write what you need to know and simply repeat correctly the translation you’ve just heard or even cheat a little and just ask the person you’re speaking to to listen to the translation…
2) Learn French fast with these Podcasts
Before I start, let me very briefly define what a podcast is.
Basically, a podcast is an Internet radio on demand. It allows you to listen to it whenever you want which is perfect when you have a very busy schedule!
That way, you can study and revise when it suits you best, when you’re the most inclined to learn in a relaxed and calm environment or when you’re on the go headphones in!
Why exactly should you study with podcasts though?
Listening to French, to a lot of French even, is a fantastic way to memorize new vocab and grammar structures. Thus using podcasts is considered as being one of the most efficient ways to learn French. So now let’s have a look at some very helpful ones.
- “Coffee Break French” by Radio Lingua Network is one, if not the one, most appreciated podcast by learners. If you’re a total beginner in French, this podcast is made for you! However, it also suits more advanced learners as the difficulty of each lesson increases.Each lesson focuses on what you actually need to know to be understood by a French person. They last about 15 minutes which is great if you don’t have much time. Its content is divided into seasons. Season 1 is the easiest one and it gradually increases in difficulty as the seasons progress.
- “Frenchpod101” is a must! Made for all levels from beginner to advanced, this podcast is hosted by two persons, a French native speaker and an English one. Their lessons include realistic conversations (which is obviously very useful as you want to learn things you’ll actually need! No time for messing around!). They also contain slow speed recordings, translations and various explanations about the language itself and the French culture. All this is divided into topics.
My next three chosen podcasts are rather aimed at intermediate and advanced learners as they contain more French language. Don’t worry though, they also have transcriptions and translations!
- “Français authentique”. Like most learners, you might understand (if not master? If not, you will soon!) written French but might find it difficult to actually grasp spoken French. If that’s the case, this podcast would be perfect for you. Indeed, its host speaks slowly about French expressions, motivation and lots of interesting topics.
- “One thing in a French day”. This podcast deals with everyday life. The host tells you about her daily life in France which is good to learn about vocabulary as well as the French culture.
- “Learn French with daily lessons” by FrenchVoila. Last but not least, this podcast is very interesting as it enables you to brush up on your French thanks to the news. The host speaks about recent events and explains it all in slow French.
- Loads of examples and synomyms are used to help you understand better
3) Learn French fast with these websites
Whether you’re a beginner learner needing to start from scratch or a more advanced one who just needs to refresh on a few French grammar points, websites are a great place to learn. However, you can easily get trapped in the thousands and thousands of existing links! Luckily, I got you covered and chose a few good ones for you!
- https://simplefrenchwords.com/learn-french-pdf-free/ This website is fab as it contains many printable PDF on many useful topics. Great to get you started!
- http://www.bonjourdefrance.co.uk/learn-french-online/grammar/choose-level I really do like that one! Before starting on this website, you have to choose which level of the European scale of French level you want to study at (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2). Knowing your level is a necessity if you want to carry on your studies in France (or in most European countries) as specific levels are required to enter university (at least level B2). It contains grammar lessons and exercises to practice what you’ve learnt.
- https://www.fluentu.com/ This is another great website as it offers real-world French videos (music, videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks turned into French lessons). Perfect to learn French in a total immersion. And not only will you learn the ins and outs of the language itself, you will also learn so much about the French culture. Indeed, these videos were originally created for French native speakers. They are therefore filled with a lot of informal everyday French speech and many cultural aspects of the French society.
- http://www.wordreference.com/enfr/ One of my all-time favorite website! Yes, I know, I sound a bit (a lot) geeky but this online dictionary is so useful. So much so I, in fact, recommend it to my students, from beginners to more advanced ones, every single year. This website doesn’t only just translate words. It goes a lot further than that. You type a word and it will give you its translation as well as all the expressions containing that particular word. And if you can’t find the phrase you need, there is a forum on which you can ask any related question you want!
4) Learn French fast with these YouTube videos
As I said previously, listening to French is a great way to learn it but listening to it and watching videos at the same time can add a bit of fun to your learning journey.
While there are a lot of videos on YouTube, many contain far too much English which, yes, it can make things easier to understand but what’s the actual point in listening to English when you want to learn French?
I have selected some helpful videos to stop you browsing the net for hours and therefore concentrate on what matters the most: you learning French! I have divided my selection into two parts: channels for beginners and channels for intermediate and advanced learners.
1. Channels for beginners
- “ Frenchpod101” In the podcasts’ section, I told you about Frenchpod101. It is also a YouTube channel which will teach you everyday words and sentences and will help you to improve thanks to listening exercises.
- “Comme une française” is based on the same principle. However, the French host, Géraldine, will also teach you French cultural habits and the related vocabulary.
2.Channels for intermediate and advanced learners
- “Français avec Pierre”. In his videos, Pierre chooses common French idioms and explains them. Then, he interviews French native speakers to discuss these expressions as well as other topics (cultural, grammatical…). Great channel if you already speak a bit of French and want to dig further inside the ins and outs of the language and if you want to learn how French people think.
- “Easy Languages” is rather similar to the previous one as the host also interviews French people about all sorts of topics. It’s interesting (if not funny) watching how wound up some French people can get when debating! It’s a great channel if you want to learn more about giving your opinion.
There are tons of great resources to learn French online but I hope my selected ones will help you on your online learning journey!
Please do share your story in the comment section on your experience to study French
Side Note: Want a light introduction to French Courses Online? Check Out Our French Courses Online for Beginners