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Living Language French review.

About Living Language French.

Living Language courses are well rated by user testimonials as well as review websites online and learners can choose from more than ten languages, including French. It can be said that this course teaches a new language by following traditional approach since the main elements of these lessons are textbooks and audios.

Since you are learning a new language through both visual and audio material it is much easier to remember what you have learned in these lessons. The other thing that makes learners to recall material from this course better is the fact that it uses building block approach. This means that you are first introduced to simple words and only later to phrases and complete sentences. Also since Living Language offers different material for studying this will keep you more engaged and you will not get bored so easily.

What Courses Are Offered?

Depending on what level you need to achieve in French and what features you want for studying, you can choose from three different courses offered by Living Language. The first course from Living Language is called Essential and it is mostly aimed at learners who are total beginners at French and only need to learn some basic conversation phrases. Essential edition consists of one coursebook, 3 audio CD’s and you would also get access to some online features.

In case you need to achieve more advanced level in French you should consider choosing Complete edition of this course since it offers more material. This course provides learners with 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CD’s and an access to some online features.

The third offered course by Living Language is called Platinum and it is basically the same as the second edition; however it offers some additional features. These features include mobile and tablet apps, live sessions with a tutor and access to online community. It can be said that it is only worthwhile to consider Platinum course if you intend to use these extra features often since this course is almost three times more expensive when compared with Complete edition.

What Do Costumer Reviews Say?

If you will spend time reading consumer reviews of Living Language courses you will find mostly positive ones. Quite a lot of people compliment this course since it is cheap and it still includes a lot of material to study French, so it can be said that it offers great value for money. The other great benefit of these lessons is that it includes quite a lot of explanations in English so it is easy to follow everything and improve your French skills on a daily bases.

A few downsides that some users of Living Language mention are that this course doesn’t always tech the most essential vocabulary and it skips some important parts of French grammar. Read a few actual user reviews of Living Language French course bellow.

Living-Language-French-costumer-testimonials

For more reviews of Living Language French course visit Amazon page here.

What are the Main Pros and Cons?

The Main Pros:

  • Since Living Language offers coursebooks as a way to study it can be said that it is a great course for learners who want to learn French in a traditional way;
  • One of the biggest benefits of Living Language courses is that they provide in depth and clear explanations on grammar so there is no guessing involved like with Rosetta Stone software;
  • Since this program offers different material for studying (Audio CD’s, coursebooks, games, quizzes and etc.) you will be able to learn more efficiently and you will be less likely to get bored;
  • If you are interested in learning more about the culture of people who speaks this language there is some material included for that too;
  • For learners who want to improve all aspects of French (grammar, writing, reading, listening and speaking), Living Language course can be a great choice for them;
  • It is worthwhile to mention that quite a lot people who tried Platinum version of this course, compliment e-tutoring lessons provided by Living Language. So if you are looking for a program that would offer this feature it is definitely worthwhile to consider Platinum edition of this course;
  • In case you will choose Complete edition of this course it can be said that it is one of the cheapest program to learn French language (price range $37-$50). While Platinum edition is more expensive it can be said that it is still very reasonably priced based on the features that it offers;
  • Platinum version of this program also includes a mobile app so it is a great additional feature to study while you are on the go;

The Main Cons:

  • Even though there are some online features included in the course like quizzes, puzzles, games and flashcards it can be said that they are quite basic and lacks engagement. Courses like Rocket and Rosetta Stone does a better job at providing users with interactive tools, workouts and games;
  • In case you prefer to learn a new language through immersion method you will find way too much English in this course. However learners who want clear explanations will find it more as an advantage rather than disadvantage;
  • There are no advanced features included in this course that would help you practice your pronunciation like with Rosetta Stone and Rocket courses. The only way to improve your pronunciation is to listen to audio CD’s and try to repeat what you hear;
  • While in general Living Language courses follow a normal pace and are very easy to follow, I found that with French there were cases when new concepts and vocabulary were introduced too quickly. However if you are already familiar with this language you will not find it as a huge issue.
  • It can be said that online course tracking features are bit lacking since you need to complete the whole lesson in order for it to count as completed. Even though it’s not a huge drawback and it doesn’t affect your studying much it would be great to see some improvement in this area;

Summary of a Review.

To conclude this review it can be said that Living Language offers well-structured course for total beginners and learners who are already a bit familiar with French. Unlike Rosetta Stone software, there is no guessing involved in this course since there are clear explanations provided on grammar, vocabulary and etc. So it can be said that Living Language offers an affordable course for anyone who want to learn French in a traditional way.

When compared with other French courses it can be said that online features of Living Language (quizzes, workouts and etc.) are less engaging. Also it might be necessary to go through each Living Language lesson at least a couple of times, because this course includes limited workouts & features that would allow French learners to keep retention rate high.

If you want to know more about other online courses that are available for learning French, you should read this article. It provides a list of the best rated online programs for learning this foreign language and points out their main advantages and disadvantages.

Where to buy Living Language French Courses?

buy-Living-Language-French-coursesIn case you have already decided to try this course for learning French, you can buy it either on the official website online or on Amazon. Due to the fact that prices are usually a bit lower on Amazon we suggest buying this course from there.

At the moment the price for Platinum edition is ~$161; however you can greatly reduce the price by choosing Complete edition ($37-$50), which doesn’t include a few online features. So based on the prices of this course it can be said that it is affordable way to study French for people with all types of budgets.

Visit the official Living Language French website.

Ouino French review.

About Ouino French.

Since Ouino is still quite new language learning software, it is only available in more popular languages like Spanish, French and Italian. This program is advertised as all in one solution for learning new language fast. This is because Ouino software is combined from 5 different modules that each teaches different aspect of French including pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, verbs and conversational phrases. The list of modules that you can find in this software is as follows:

  1. Vocabulary. As the name of this module suggest the main aim of this section is to teach you new French vocabulary. Each lesson in this module is divided by a topic so you will be able to learn vocabulary that interests you the most.

  2. Ouino-featuresPronunciation. In this module you will be able to learn how to pronounce separate sounds in French language. You will also have the ability to record yourself while saying different French words and then compare it to a native speaker.

  3. Grammar. The main aim of this module is to teach you how to construct sentences from separate French words. Here you will be introduced to prepositions, articles, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and etc. After completing this section you will also learn about French tenses, how to form questions in this language or compare something.

  4. Verbs. Learning French verbs properly is one of the most difficult parts of this language so it is very useful that Ouino dedicates even a separate module for this. In this section you will be introduced to the key French verbs (“to have”, “to be” and etc.) and how they are used in different tenses. In addition to that you will be provided with a list of individual verbs and provided with a lot of examples on how they are used in sentences.

  5. Conversation training. This section of Ouino consists of many dialogues that cover different everyday situations. Buy completing this module you will not only learn a lot of useful expressions, but will also train your ear to spoken French.

You can choose to buy these mentioned modules separately or in combination. It is worthwhile to mention that users of this program can choose what modules they want to do at any given time and can even choose separate lessons in them. So it can be said that Ouino provides learners with a lot of freedom on what they want learn. Each lesson in Ouino begins with a short explanation on grammar rules or introduction to new vocabulary and then examples are given in order to illustrate how they are used in French language. After this you will need to complete a quiz, which will help you to improve your retention and test how well you understood material in the lesson. Your performance in these quizzes is evaluated in points and based on your score you will be given bronze, silver or red ribbon. You can repeat each quiz as many times as you want until you achieve the highest possible score and get a “Red Ribbon”. One great thing about these quizzes is that they are never the same so you will not get bored while trying to achieve 100% points.

What do consumer reviews say?

In general it can be said that Ouino software has very positive reviews from consumers no matter which language you will choose – French, Spanish or Italian. Users compliment this course since it is easily customizable and offers a lot of interactive activities for learning this foreign language. The most common complain about Ouino is that it doesn’t cover material at a deep level and provided exercises & quizzes don’t give sufficient practice to remember what you have learned in each lesson. Read a few actual consumer reviews of Ouino French software bellow.

Ouino-French-testimonials

For more user reviews of Ouino French visit Amazon page here.

What are The Main Strong and Weak Sides?

Strong Sides:

  • You can try this software for free since Ouino offers new French learners to register for trial lessons. This trial will give you access to 12 sample lessons, 3 pronunciation workouts as well as 12 games & quizzes;
  • This software gives its users quite a lot of space to choose what and when they want to learn. You can choose whether you want to learn new vocabulary, verbs, grammar, pronunciation or other aspects of French language;
  • It can be said that Ouino is very customizable software since you can choose pronunciation playback speed, gender of a native speaker, how often you want to be given examples and etc.;
  • This program is quite engaging since it offers different material to study from and also there are some games and quizzes included too;
  • You can learn good pronunciation from Ouino course since recordings are made by native French speakers. This software also has quite useful feature, which allows you to record your pronunciation and then compare it to a native French speaker;
  • Ouino allows French learners to rate how well they understood each lesson by giving it up to 4 stars. This feature is quite useful since you can keep track of your progress better and rate more difficult lessons with fewer stars so you can come back to them later;
  • Quizzes in this program are based on score system so your primary goal is to reach maximum possible points, which in turn will give you a “Red Ribbon“. This kind of feature is great for keeping track of your progress and maintaining motivation to study French further;
  • Considering material and features included this program it can be said that it is quite reasonably priced (price range between $99 and $159);
  • This French learning software is risk free for 60 days since it is backed up by money back guarantee;

Weak Sides:

  • This software is not very suitable for busy French learners, since you can only use it via your computer. It would be very useful if Ouino would include some mobile features or audio CD’s that would allow to study while on the go;
  • Since this software allows a lot of freedom when choosing activities that you want to do, you might end up avoiding more complicated aspects of French language. So it can be said that you need quite a lot of discipline while studying via Ouino software;
  • Even though this software includes new learned concepts and vocabulary in further lessons, some learners might find too little repetition in Ouino program. Due to this you might need to go through the same lessons a couple of times in order to remember everything properly;
  • This program doesn’t offer any social features for French learners. Some competitor courses that are reviewed in this website provide users with ability to chat with other learners, forum, online tutoring and etc. These mentioned features are very useful when you don’t understand something or simply need advice;

Summary of a review.

To conclude this review it can be said that Ouino software has quite a lot of strong and a few weak sides. The uniqueness of this software is that it is easily adjustable so both slower and faster learners can customize it to suit their needs. Also since Ouino allows learners to choose what and when to study, users of this program can concentrate on areas of French (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and etc.) that interest them the most. It is also worthwhile to mention that Ouino includes a couple of features to keep track of your progress. You can rate how well you understood each lesson and also quizzes are based on point system. When it comes to weak sides it can be said that this software doesn’t cover material very deeply and provided quizzes might be not sufficient to remember what you have learned in the lessons. Also Ouino doesn’t offer social features and you can only study via this course while you are near your computer (no CD’s or mobile features). So if these mentioned downsides of Ouino doesn’t seem very important to you it is definitely worthwhile to consider trying this French learning program.

Where to buy Ouino French Courses?

buy-Ouino-French-courseIf you have already decided that Ouino is a suitable program for you to study French from there are a few places where you can buy it. You can find this software on official Ouino website online and Amazon. The price of this software differs depending on the version you will choose to buy. Downloadable version of Ouino is priced at $99 and physical copy of this software is a bit more expensive ($115). It is also possible to purchase separate parts of this course like grammar or vocabulary; however this way the overall price of Ouino would become higher.

Find Ouino French software on Amazon.

Babbel French review.

About Babbel French.

Babbel is a subscription based language learning course available in languages like German, French, Spanish and ten more foreign languages. Material in this course can be accessed via online website or mobile app. This French course can be suitable for complete beginners and a bit more advanced learners. Once you first login to Babbel website you will notice that lessons are being grouped by their difficulty. In case you are a complete beginner at French you can choose Beginner’s Courses and if you have previous learning experience you can choose one of Intermediate Courses. By completing lessons in these two courses learners are expected to achieve B1 level at French language.

Babbel-French-review

Each lesson in Babbel has a clear set of objectives that are highlighted in the beginning. In most cases each topic is divided into 2 parts and then content is being revised in the review lesson. Also after two different topics there is usually some pronunciation lesson included too.

Also there are quite a lot of additional lessons included in Babbel to practice French grammar, speaking & listening, writing & reading, sentences and words, traditions and etc. It is worthwhile to mention that vocabulary or grammar rules are being introduced based on different topics. For example you can choose to do a lesson which would include vocabulary on animals, clothes and etc. Grammar lessons are also being grouped based on different topics. This type of grouping is very useful for users who need to learn specific French vocabulary fast.

Babbel is also quite commonly compared with Duolingo French course. Duolingo has similarities with Babbel since it teaches French through various workouts and repetition, although there are quite a lot of differences between these courses too. Duolingo is a completely free course and you need to pay monthly fee (9.95 EUR or less) in order to use Babbel. Also Babbel includes more explanations on French grammar and language structure so it is easier to progress confidently with this online course.

Review of the Main Pros and Cons.

The Main Pros:

  • Registration at Babbel website doesn’t cost anything and you will be able to access some learning material for free before choosing one of subscription plans;
  • This course covers all aspects of French language so you can improve your listening, writing, speaking and also reading skills;
  • Babbel has advanced tracking, which means that after you will login to this course you will be able to continue where you last left;
  • This course has a separate section for traditions where you can get some useful information about France. You will be able to learn some popular slang words, how traditional foods are being called in different regions, what are the most popular places for sightseeing and etc. This type of content can be especially useful for users who are studying French for traveling purposes;
  • Babbel course can be very useful for busy French learners since lessons are divided into small parts and you would be able to complete one lesson in 10-15 minutes;
  • The number of new French words that users can learn from Babbel is quite high. Throughout the lessons you will be introduced to ~2500 words, which is quite a lot compared with some audio based courses;
  • Babbel has some social features available for users of this course. These include ability to message other learners, search for people and create thread in a forum, answer other user questions and etc.;
  • In order to keep retention rate higher Babbel has a section called Review Manager. This section includes French vocabulary that you have already learned in this course. By using spaced repetition method this vocabulary is repeated over and over again;
  • This course comes together with a mobile app, which is quite useful feature if you want to revise & learn while on the go;
  • Babbel course has a few features that can help motivate learners to study French further. Exercises in this program are based on the point system and also there is so called Daily Challenge included too. This particular feature asks a few questions daily related to courses material, although it would be useful if these questions would be a little more challenging;
  • Pronunciation of French words in this course are done by different native speakers so you can be sure that you are learning correct pronunciation;
  • Most of the vocabulary that you will learn from Babbel can be called essential so you will definitely be able to use them in real life conversations;
  • Babbel has quite useful features & material for practicing French speaking skills. These include separate lessons for pronunciation, ability to record your pronunciation and compare it with native French speaker and also Speech Recognition;
  • Each lesson in Babbel includes image based workouts that differs from each other so learning is not monotonic;
  • It is not too difficult to progress with French while using Babbel course since it gives explanations on grammar and other parts of this language and translations are provided in English too;
  • Online subscription of this course is not too expensive (4.95-9.95 USD per month) and it is possible to choose from 4 different pricing plans. Also this course is risk free for 20 days since it is backed by money back guarantee;

The Main Cons:

  • Babbel doesn’t include live classes (e-tutoring), which can be found in some other French online courses (Living Language and Rosetta Stone);
  • Speech Recognition feature in Babbel doesn’t always work 100% accurately; however it is a common issue in other courses as well;
  • Babbel doesn’t have any studying material that could be used offline, so you always need to have internet in order to study French via this program;
  • It can be said that this program is more focused on teaching individual French vocabulary rather than full sentences. As a result it might be more difficult to construct your own sentences while using these French words;
  • If you want to achieve higher than intermediate level at French, you will need additional programs to Babbel;
  • It would be quite useful if some more difficult to pronounce French words would be pronounced syllable by syllable so that you would know how to say them correctly;

In Summary.

To summarize this review it can be said that Babbel can be quite useful course for most French learners. Different types of exercises in this course can help to expand & revise French vocabulary. It can be a bit easier to progress with Babbel when compared with language learning programs like Rosetta Stone, because image based exercises include translations & short explanations in English. Also Babbel divides its vocabulary based on topics and also gives quite a lot of information about French culture & traditions, which makes it a suitable course for travelers.

A few downsides of this online program are that it teaches French through separate words and phrases so it might take time until you will be able to form your own sentences and understand French language structure. Also explanations on French grammar are quite basic so you might need supplementary studying material to learn it properly. Despite these drawbacks, for just 9.95 EUR per month, you can’t go wrong with this course and if you’ll change your mind later you can always cancel your subscription.

Assimil French review.

About Assimil French Courses.

Since Assimil courses are developed by a company based in France, this method tends to be more popular in Europe. Teaching method of Assimil was first developed in 1929 and today there are courses available for quite a lot of languages, which are rated highly by most learners. Since it is released by French company there are also more than one course available for French language – Using Fench and New French With Ease.

French With Ease series are aimed at complete beginners or a bit more advanced users of this foreign language. Depending on their budget learners can choose a version of this course with 4 accompanying audio CD’s or without. There are a total of 113 lessons included in this part together with exercises and short notes on grammar. Based on Assimil, learners can expect to achieve B2 level at French by finishing this part of the course. It is also worthwhile to mention that most Assimil With Ease series tend to introduce about 2500 vocabulary, which is also the case with French language.assimil-using-french

After completing the first part of Assimil, learners who want to achieve even higher level at this foreign language can continue with Using French course. These Assimil series contain additional 70 lessons that can help to achieve C1 level in French language. In addition to regular lessons and translation workouts this part also includes summary on irregular verbs.

How Does Assimil Method Work?

Assimils method of teaching new language is combined of book reading and listening of accompanying cd. Book in this course is quite tiny so it is convenient to carry it anywhere you go and study on the move. Each lesson in this course includes a dialogue in French that covers some sort of everyday situation and also there is translation in English on other page too. To make learning more efficient Assimil also includes short notes that explain grammar rules or other concepts that were used in the dialogues.

Unlike most other courses who try to divide new language into smaller parts, Assimil introduces full French sentences so that learners would be able to learn both language structure and grammar organically. The main benefit of this method is that separate words are never taken out of context and users of this course are able to see examples of how they can be used in different situations. The downside of this method is, of course, that it can take a while until you will be able to notice patterns in French language.

The other unique aspect of Assimil is that its lessons in this course are divided into passive and active phase. What it basically means is that active phase lessons also include translation exercises to enhance retention rate. On the contrary passive phase of Assimil doesn’t include any workouts so learners only need to concentrate on reading dialogues & explanation notes and listening to audios.

Review of The Main Strong and Weak Sides.

Strong Sides:

  • There are two parts of Assimil French available for English speakers (French With Ease and Using French), so learners can even achieve C1 level at this foreign language by finishing both of them;
  • Assimil can be partly called as one in all solution for learning French. By using this course learners can learn grammar and improve their French speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Also since dialogues in this course covers real life situations it is possible to find out more about French culture and traditions too;
  • Assimil does a great job at immersing learners into French. In audio lessons you will hear only your target language and lessons in the book doesn’t include too much English either;
  • Since Assimil includes dialogues covering real life situations you will be able to learn essential French vocabulary that can be used when traveling or taking part in conversations;
  • You can learn quite a lot of new French vocabulary & phrases in each lesson of Assimil. Only by finishing French with Ease series you can learn about 2500 words, which is a lot compared with some other courses; Also since there is a second part of this course available (Using French) you can expand your vocabulary even more;
  • Assimil doesn’t include list of grammar rules to learn; however provided notes are very helpful for understanding main concepts of French language and how it is structured;
  • Since material in Assimil is combined from written content and audios this course can be suitable for different types of French learners;
  • Letters that need to be stressed are bolded in Assimil dialogues so it is easier to pronounce words in French correctly. Also there is a recording of each dialogue included in the CD’s so you will be able to learn good accent and pronunciation by repeating native French speakers;
  • Since Assimil teaches French through full sentences you will not need to learn lists of vocabulary that are taken out of context. Instead you will be able to see how separate words are being used through different examples;
  • In general Assimil French courses are not too difficult to follow. This is because all dialogues have translation into English language and also there are short explanations provided at the beginning of each lesson;
  • Assimil can be a suitable course for busy French learners too. The book is quite small so it is quite convenient to study via this course on the go and also each lesson can be completed in less than thirty minutes;
  • Studying material and dialogues in Assimil are quite engaging to follow in general. Also some lessons include a cartoon, which helps to enrich written content in this course too;

Weak Sides:

  • Since Assimil teaches French through sentences rather than separate words it can take time until you will learn essential phrases for communication. So if you need to learn French quickly for traveling purposes other courses might be more suitable for you;
  • As it was mentioned earlier translation exercises in Assimil only start in active phase of this course. This is definitely not sufficient to keep retention rate high when studying French via this course. Due to this you might need to go through the same material a couple of times;
  • Assimil doesn’t include flashcards, games, quizzes and other similar features that would be useful for practicing French vocabulary and making this course more engaging;
  • While Assimil includes audios, they are not interactive. This means that you will not be encouraged to speak French out load from the beginning like with some other programs;
  • It might be a bit difficult to follow your progress with French language when studying via Assimil. This is mainly because it only includes some translation workouts in the second part of the course;
  • Users of Assimil need to be self-motivated to study French further since this course doesn’t have features (like score system, quizzes, leaderboard and etc.) to enhance motivation;
  • Assimil French courses don’t have any social features (forum, ability to communicate with other learners or tutor), which are helpful if you have any difficulties when studying;

What Do Other Learner Reviews Say?

On overall it can be said that Assimil French courses have very positive feedback from its users. Most learners find this method engaging and effective way to learn French.

Although some users of Assimil With Ease mention that this course might be a bit too difficult for complete beginners at French because it lacks features & workouts for practicing new introduced content. Read a few actual consumer reviews of Assimil French course bellow.

Assimil-French-consumer-reviews

Visit Amazon page here if you want to read more user reviews of Assimil French.

Summary of a Review.

To summarize this review it can be said that Assimil French courses have a lot of benefits and they work well for most users; however they also might be not suitable for all learners. It is definitely worthwhile to consider these courses for learners who want to expand their French vocabulary a lot or understand how this language is structured. Accompanying CD’s can also be very beneficial for learners who want to improve their French speaking skills and learn how to pronounce words correctly.

On the other hand it might be worthwhile to consider alternative French courses for learners who need to learn survival phrases fast, who lack self-motivation to study further or simply need more features while studying (games, flashcards, social features and etc.). Some beginner French learners might also find it difficult to recall all studying content from this course, because Assimil doesn’t offer much features for repetition. Due to this it might be necessary to go through the same lessons a few times in order to keep retention rate high.

Where to buy Assimil French Courses?French-With-Ease

In case you live outside of Europe, Assimil French courses might be a bit less available for purchase in local stores. Despite that it is possible to order both parts of this course for English speakers online on websites like Amazon or EBay.

Prices for Assimil French courses vary from 60 to 195 USD (depending on which version you will choose). While it can be significantly cheaper to buy both parts of Assimil French without audio CD’s, it might be not the best idea. To study via Assimil might be too difficult for most learners without audio recordings, because you will not know how to pronounce words & phrases correctly.

Find Assimil French courses on Amazon website.