In case you want to learn French or any other foreign language on your own it might be a good idea to consider an online course. Online programs are less expensive way to study when compared to private tutor & classes and they also give you more flexibility since you can choose when and where to study. Due to the fact that French is one of the most popular foreign languages to study there are also quite a lot online courses that you can choose from. Bellow you can find a list of some of the best-rated programs for learning French and their main strong and weak sides. We listed these French courses based on consumer feedback, our personal experience, price, offered features & material and other criteria.
#1. Recommended French Course – Rocket.
Rocket is a well-rated online course those main aim is to teach learners how to speak and understand French fast. One of the main reasons why we listed Rocket in the first place is because it is a very dynamic & interactive course and it has very positive feedback from consumers. The core material in this program is audio lessons, which provides learners with phrases and vocabulary that are essential for communicating in real life situations. Furthermore this course provides learners with culture lessons, clear explanations on grammar and how French works in general. To reinforce what you have learned and practice French from different angles there are also some games, quizzes and useful tools included.
- In case you want to see how Rocket French works and what features it offers you can register for 6 days trial lessons, which is completely free.
- This course offers learners a very useful tool (Rocket Record) for practicing their speaking skills, which allows comparing your pronunciation with a native French speaker. It is also worthwhile to mention that one of the speakers in audio lessons is native French speaker so you would be learning how to speak with a good accent;
- Rocket French has a very positive feedback not only from learners, but it is also rated highly by reviews online. This only proves that this online course is effective and good way to study French on your own;
- This course offers three levels for French (Premium, Premium Plus and Platinum) so learners can achieve more advanced level with this foreign language;
- Audio lessons in this program are very easy to follow and understand since each dialogue is divided into smaller parts later and there are also transcripts provided in both French and English;
- In case you are afraid that you will quit learning French only after a couple of weeks you should know that Rocket includes a few features for keeping your motivation to study high. Some of these features are weekly e-mails on your progress, self-rating system, quizzes, leaderboard, badges, advanced progress tracking and more.
- Rocket offers games and different tools (Know it, Hear it, Say it, Play it and Write it) that will allow you to practice French from different angles. This will not only make your learning experience less monotonic, but will also improve your retention and learning effectiveness;
- If you are planning a trip to French speaking country and need to learn essential phrases & vocabulary fast, Rocket is definitely a good choice program for you. Also this course has a separate section for culture lessons so you can learn more about French people and their culture too;
- It is convenient to use Rocket French while on the go since audio lessons can be transferred to any device. Also there is a free app available, which will allow you access material in this course via your tablet, phone or any computer;
- Even though Rocket is more focused on teaching learners how to speak and understand French, there is enough material included to learn grammar properly and understand how this language works in general;
- If you would compare Rocket price and features & material that it offers with other French online courses it can be said that it is very reasonably priced. One level of this course is priced at $99.95 and there are also huge discounts available when buying all three levels at once (~42% discount). It is also worthwhile to mention that each level in Rocket French comes with a free Survival Kit, which will provide you with additional material (more vocabulary and phrases);
- Rocket French is risk free for 60 days (money back guarantee) so if for any reason you are not satisfied with this program, you can get your money back.
- If you are planning to prepare for a written exam of French, you might need additional material for learning grammar of this language properly;
- In case you do not have a good internet connection, you will need to purchase Rocket course in CD sets. This is quite expensive option since each level is priced at $299.95, so it might be a better idea to consider alternative language learning programs.
#2. Living Language.
Living Language offers more of a traditional way to learn French since the main studying material in this course comes in a form of books. It can be said that the most advanced course from Living Language is Platinum since it offers features like mobile app, online sessions with a private tutor and ability to communicate with other French learners. Despite that most learners choose Complete edition of this course because it is more than three times cheaper. This version includes 3 books (46 lessons, culture information, grammar explanations, exercises and more), 9 audio CD’s (supplementary material for books) as well as access to some online features. Due to the fact that Living Language offers the ability to study French via different kind of material and tools it is m0re efficient course and it is suitable for both audible and visual learners.
- There are a total of three courses available from Living Language for French language, so learners can choose a program based on the features they want and price;
- While studying from one of Living Language courses you can improve all aspects of French (grammar, speaking, listening, writing and reading);
- Due to the fact that Living Language provides different multimedia to study from you will be able learn French more efficiently and also it makes this course suitable for both visual and audible learners;
- It is quite easy to follow Living Language lessons since they are based on Building Block approach, which means that new French words and language concepts are introduced in very small steps;
- It can be said that Living Language includes enough material to understand how French language works and also you will not need to buy additional books to learn grammar properly;
- If you need more advanced features while learning French you should definitely consider Platinum version of this course. This is because it offers learners features like mobile app (learn on the go), sessions with a tutor (online) and access to online community (communicate with other learners);
- In case you are learning French for traveling purposes, Living Language courses are suitable for you since they teach essential vocabulary for communicating in foreign country. It is also worthwhile to mention that lessons in the books provide some information on culture too so you can learn some interesting facts about French people and their culture;
- If you would take into account all the material included and features offered by Living Language courses (Essential, Complete and Platinum), it can be said that they are very reasonably priced ($23-$179);
- It can be said that Living Language is not the best choice course for learners who want to learn how to speak French confidently and with good accent. This is mainly because there are no advanced features for practicing your speaking skills like with other courses mentioned in this article (Rocket and Rosetta Stone);
- Due to the fact that the main material in Living Language comes in a form of books it is not very convenient to study via this course while on the go. However it is possible for more busy learners to download a mobile app (Platinum version) or use audio CD’s to learn while on the go;
- Even though there are Living Language online features available for learners it can be said that they lack advanced tracking features and are a bit less engaging when compared with other courses reviewed in this article.
#3. Fluenz French Software.
Fluenz is another good rated language learning software that can help you learn foreign languages like Spanish, German, French, Italian and others. One unique thing about Fluenz software is that it offers learners video based lessons where instructor of the course provides clear explanations on sentence structure, grammar and how French works in general. To reinforce what you have learned in the dialogues and lessons there are also different workouts available. The other great benefit of this course is that it is quite convenient to study via Fluenz while on the go. This is because there are audio CD’s and podcasts included and you can also access these lessons while using your iPhone (via mobile app). When it comes to French you should know that Fluenz offers 5 levels so you can achieve more advanced level with this language.
- If you are interested in trying Fluenz software to see how it works you can try a sample French lesson at the official website online;
- In case you are studying French for traveling purposes you will find Fluenz course very useful for learning essential phrases to get around in France or other French speaking country;
- Since Fluenz offers 5 levels for French learners, it is a suitable program for complete beginners and a bit more advanced users of this language;
- It can be said that Fluenz is a suitable course for busy people since it offers material (podcasts and audio CD’s) and features (mobile app) that can help to learn this language while on the go;
- Fluenz software does a great job at explaining grammar and key points of French since these explanations are done from a perspective of an English language;
- Even though this course doesn’t have extensive French culture lessons like Rocket program, it does provide some interesting facts about this language and information on culture;
- You can choose to see transcript of dialogues in both English and French so you will be able to understand everything that is being said;
- While learning from Fluenz software you can improve all aspects of French language (writing, grammar, reading, speaking and etc.);
- It can be said that this course is dynamic and interactive so you will not get bored while studying and you will be able to learn French more efficiently;
- Even though dialogues in this course are recorded by native speakers, instructor of these lessons is not native so you will not be learning how to speak French with good accent all the time. Also it can be said that Fluenz lacks more advanced features for practicing French pronunciation and speaking skills;
- When compared with similar courses it can be said that workouts provided by Fluenz software are less engaging and most of them require you to type a lot;
- This course doesn’t offer much social features that would allow you to communicate with a tutor or other French learners;
- Even though Fluenz offers 5 levels for French learners, the vocabulary that you can learn in each of them is quite limited;
- Fluenz is one of the most expensive online courses so it might be not suitable for French learners who don’t have a huge budget (price range from $348 to $677 for all 5 levels);
#4. Pimsleur Audio Lessons.
In case you are looking for a quality audio course that would help you to learn how to speak and understand French, Pimsleur might be a good choice course for you. Since most of the material in Pimsleur comes in a form of audios it is very convenient to study via these lessons while on the go. Each lesson in this course is on average 30 minutes long and it uses different scientific methods to teach you a new language. In the beginning of each new lesson you will hear a conversation in French, which will be divided into smaller parts and explained in more detail later. An instructor of these audios will also prompt you to say different phrases and words from this dialogue so that you would be able to remember everything better. One great benefit of these lessons is that there are 5 levels available for French learners, which is the most that Pimsleur offers for any language.
- If you want to see how Pimsleur French lessons work, you can register at the official site and get a sample lesson for free;
- Since dialogues in Pimsleur course are recorded by native French speakers you would be learning good pronunciation from these lessons;
- Due to the fact that Pimsleur French is mostly audio based course you would be able to learn almost all material while on the go;
- You should know that for French language Pimsleur also offers Unlimited edition of a course. This version includes additional features to audio lessons such as games, flashcards and Speak Easy Conversations;
- It is not too difficult to follow these lessons since every longer conversation is divided into smaller parts later. Also more difficult French words are being pronounced separately so that you would learn how to say them correctly;
- If you are learning French for traveling purposes you will find Pimsleur lessons very effective for learning essential vocabulary to get around in foreign country;
- Since these lessons prompt you to say different phrases in French, you are constantly forced to think in this language, just like in real life situations;
- Each lesson of Pimsleur will teach you only a couple of new words & phrases, so even after completing all levels of this course your French vocabulary will be still quite limited;
- Since Pimsleur is mostly audio based course, it is not the best choice program for visual learners. Also if you need to improve all aspects of French like grammar, reading and writing you will need supplementary material;
- Even though it is quite easy to follow these audios, it would be quite useful to have transcripts of dialogues too;
- In case you lack motivation to study French, you might find this course a bit too repetitive and boring at times;
- It can be said that Pimsleur is not the most cost efficient course for French learners, considering features that it offers ($550 for all 5 levels);
#5. Michel Thomas Audio Lessons.
Michel Thomas offers another great French course that comes in a form of audio lessons. Unlike Pimsleur, Michel Thomas lessons are less repetitive and they are more engaging. What makes these audios more engaging is the fact that there are two French beginner students in the recordings and instructor of the course spends more time explaining key points of this language. So it can be said that listening to these audios is quite similar to participating in a French class. One great benefit of Michel Thomas method is that it promotes stress free learning environment, where you don’t need to worry about remembering French vocabulary and etc. Also these lessons do a great job at boosting your self-confidence so you will be able to start speaking French confidently fast.
- When compared to Pimsleur course, it can be said that Michel Thomas lessons are less repetitive and quite fun to listen to in general;
- There are three main levels of Michel Thomas lessons available for French learners (Total, Perfect and Masterclass) so you can achieve more advanced level with this language;
- If you consider yourself more as a visual learner you should know that newer versions of Michel Thomas courses also includes a computer program, which will provide you with exercises to practice what you have learned in the lessons.
- Due to the fact that Michel Thomas French course is mostly audio based it is ideal for busy learners who prefer to learn while on the go. You should also know that there is a mobile app available, which will allow you to study French via your phone;
- Students in the recordings sometimes ask questions or to clarify more difficult parts of French language, which is quite useful at times;
- New concepts or French vocabulary is being introduced at a normal phase so it is not too difficult to follow these audios.
- These lessons does a great job at explaining grammar, how to construct French sentences from separate words, provides associations with English language that are easy to remember and more;
- Just like Pimsleur course, Michel Thomas lessons prompts you to say different phrases in French, which greatly improves your learning efficiently and forces you to think in this language;
- Even though instructor of these audios provides some French grammar explanations you would still need additional material to learn it properly;
- There are no native French speakers in these recordings, which can be seen as a huge downside by some learners;
- If you are interested in knowing more about France and its culture you will not find much material for that in these lessons;
- The number of new French words & phrases that you can learn from each Michel Thomas lesson is very limited;
- It is a bit difficult to immerse yourself into French language while listening to these lessons since you will hear quite a lot of explanations in English;
- Some learners find two students in the recording a bit annoying since sometimes they make mistakes and slows down the whole course a bit;
- Based on the features offered, it can be said that Michel Thomas French lessons are quite expensive (~$337 for 3 main levels);
#6. Rosetta Stone French Software.
Despite the fact that Rosetta Stone is probably one of the best known online courses for learning foreign languages in this article we decided to list it only in the 6-th place. One of the reasons for this is that this software is based on immersion method so it is quite difficult to learn French for complete beginners while using only this program. This is because this course will not provide you with explanations on grammar or how French works in general. Learners need to figure out all these things by themselves by completing different workouts on grammar, reading, writing, speaking and etc. Despite that it can be said that Rosetta Stone is very useful tool for practicing speaking skills, learning new vocabulary and also you can learn good pronunciation with this program since all recordings are made by native French speakers.
- It can be said that with Rosetta Stone software you can learn the most French vocabulary when compared with similar courses;
- All exercises in this software are very interactive and engaging so you will definitely not get bored while studying. There are also different games available in online version of this course that can be played with other learners or alone;
- Since this software doesn’t include any explanations in English, you can completely immerse yourself into French language while using Rosetta Stone. Also you do not need to be good at English language if you want to use this program, which can be seen as a benefit by non-native English speakers;
- Rosetta Stone offers one of the most advanced features for practicing French pronunciation Speech Recognition, so it is a great learning program for learners who want to improve their speaking skills. Also since recordings in this software are made by native French speakers you would learn proper pronunciation and accent;
- The software has advanced tracking features, which means that you can see what exercises you have already completed and what your score in them was. Also Rosetta Stone allows you to do exercises that you want so you can choose what area of French language you want to improve;
- Online version of this software includes some great features like live sessions with a tutor, interactive games and mobile app (learn on the go);
- There are 5 levels of this course available for French learners, which is the most that Rosetta Stone offers for any foreign language;
- Rosetta Stone teaches quite random French vocabulary so it is not the most suitable course for learners who need to learn survival phrases & words fast;
- This language program doesn’t include any French culture lessons and the whole software is designed basically the same for all languages;
- In case you are a complete beginner at French, it might be too difficult to understand grammar of this language by using only Rosetta Stone software. Also at times it is difficult to tell what exact French word a picture is trying to portray so you need to look it up in a dictionary;
- It can be said that online version of Rosetta Stone French course is very expensive (~$200-$340 for one year). However you can greatly reduce the price of this course by choosing standard version, which also includes access to online features (free for 3 months);