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In the last chapter, you saw eight reasons for why you’d want to learn French.
In order to help you reach your goals with French, we’re going to share with you where you can start learning French via apps, at your computer and face-to-face. There are a lot of possibilities, so at first you might feel overwhelmed. We’ve categorised each method by time you need to plan each session, the effectiveness of the method, and the cost, and then given it an overall score. The list is here to help, but if you have other suggestions to add, just let us know. Feel free to share this list with people you know who are learning French.
Time: two to three hours per session
Cost: ranging from free to about $10 per session
Overall Score: 5/10
Looking for somebody to practice French with? Language meet ups should be an ideal place to meet like-minded individuals who also enjoy languages. Via a meet up you may be able to find a conversation partner who can speak your target language. You can also meet people from different cultures.
At language meet ups, you will likely meet others who share your struggles in learning French as well as native speakers who are patient when speaking with you. Some meet ups are like language exchanges and you may find people there who are trying to learn English. If you’re not used to helping people learn English, remember to be patient. If you’ve never studied a language before, you’ll build up empathy that will help you both as a language-learner and as a language mentor. These are easy to find at meetup.com and via local Facebook groups.
Best option: meetup.com
Time: 60 minutes to three hours per session
Cost: $200-500 per class
Overall Score: 7/10
Language instructional courses exist in set start dates, schedules, and levels. They are often divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Some institutions will have a placement test to determine your level. There are local colleges, universities, night schools organized by local school districts’ adult education courses, Alliance Française, L’Institut Français, language schools, and other educational and cultural centers that offer face-to-face courses.
They aim to teach you French grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking, listening and French culture. They are a great way to meet others who are interested in learning French. You can also enjoy meeting people from France and other French-speaking regions of the world who may be teaching the courses or who show up at events at the host institution. The disadvantage is that you have to spend time to reach the venue and adjust your schedule to in order to attend the classes.
Time: sections can range from five minutes to 60 minutes (200+ hours to complete entire course)
Cost: $60-300 per package
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Pre-packaged courses focus on listening skills and try to get you to speak. Some, such as Rosetta Stone also involve reading and writing exercises. With pre-packaged courses, you can study at your own pace and often take your learning on-the-go. The disadvantage is that it is not tailored to the learner’s individual needs, you also lack community and accountability. Many learners lose motivation and pay for the material and then stop using it after a few weeks.
Time: audio sessions of two to 20 minutes
Cost: free if you allow advertising or approximately $10/month depending on subscription plan
Overall Score: 4/10
While listening to French courses on Spotify such as ‘Learn French Words’ ‘Learn French’ and ‘Learn French in Your Car’ and Language Superstar’s ‘Learn French Fast’ can be a supplement to your French-learning, it is likely the least effective way to learn. Many of the courses are at a pace too past to digest the material and it may require tedious repetition. The advantage is that you can listen to the material on the go and use it to supplement your other learning methods.
Best Option: Learn French Fast by Language Superstar
Time: 20 minutes/session
Cost: Free to varying subscription
Overall Score: 6/10
There are a lot of free online sources available, many of which offer paid premium subscriptions. You can find YouTube videos, podcasts, and blogs free of charge. They can be great ways to supplement your learning, but do not offer the chance for you to converse and practice with native speakers.
French Together is an example of a YouTube channel with a variety of material to help you at a variety of levels. FrenchPod101 and Coffee Break French on RadioLingua both have online resources for free as well as for a paid subscription fee. There is also Rype’s Learn a Language Challenge and Rype’s Masterclass: How to Learn a New Language in Three Months.
Best Option: Coffee Break French
Time: five-ten minutes/session
Cost: Free to $20/month
Overall Score: 7/10
Apps are a great way to learn some things on the go, but are not the most effective way to learn a language. Think of them more as a supplement to your language learning. Duolingo, Memrise, Babbel, FluentU, and LingQ are some apps we recommend the most for French.
Best Option: LingQ
Time: 30-60 minutes per session
Cost: $50-100 (about $5-10 per session)
Overall score: 9/10
The advantage with private online lessons is that you get your own personal language teacher and your lessons are tailored to your exact level and to your specific language-learning needs. Live interaction and accountability are vital parts of successful language learning. With private online lessons, you get the live interaction and accountability that you need. Since not everybody can afford a paid solution, at Rype, we are dedicated to introduce quality lessons at a fair price. Hear how we did it here.
While there is no perfect 10 when it comes to finding a way to learn French, there are some methods that will work best for you. It’s important to consider your own lifestyle, time schedules, needs, and past experience. If you have never learned a language before, experiment with a variety of the methods above. As a language learner, you’ll be able to draw benefits from all of the sources and add to your arsenal of French vocabulary and conversational ability.
If you’ve been putting off French, there is no better time to start than now. Now that you have an idea of some different places and sources for where to learn French, in the next chapter we are going to share with you some of our favorite blogs for learning and improving your French, categorized according to level. There will be something from every French-language learner.
Hope you enjoyed this section on ‘Where to Learn French’, now let’s move on to the most popular French Learning Blogs (Chapter 3)
10. French For Kids