It’s the age-old dream of any French learner: to fly to Paris, explore the cafes and canals, simultaneously picking up the language as you meander through the quaint city streets. Unfortunately, 2020 has seen that dream put on hold, as so many of us struggle with stay-home orders and international travel bans.
But it’s not a total loss.
With advances in technology and access to information becoming cheaper and easier than ever, there has never been a better time to learn French – right in the comfort of your own home!
Here’s a list of accessible online resources:
When it comes to using an app on your phone or computer, consistency is key. To get the most out of these platforms, make using them a daily or at least weekly habit. Here are some good options (I’ll also share my favourite):
This app is fun, interactive and easy-to-use app includes lessons from beginners up to advanced.
You’ll explore new vocabulary and grammar, then have the opportunity to put your skills to the test
with various exercises. Prices range between $10-$20 per month on different plans. I feel this one is
attractive for younger learners.
This free app is a fun and addictive way to get started on your French journey, or pick up where you
left off by using their self-assessment tool. The app encourages consistent practice by giving you
points for daily streaks and achievements.
This one is my favourite and I use it daily! As a teacher, I myself love that this app is well structured and the topics and grammar are taught in a logical order. This clever French learning app uses short and well-explained lessons then application exercises, flash cards plus dialogues of real native speakers to give you the most out of your learning platform.
A great motivation feature is also that you get certificates for each level you pass so you know you’re progressing!
You can access free versions and learn quite a lot, or unlock the Pro version to allow you to submit
homework task and have it corrected by native speakers. This is a great chance to receive feedback
on your speaking and writing.
With online access, you can find videos on just about any topic for free. Be sure to check your sources for authenticity, but these can be a great resource to your self-study. Here are some great free video platforms:
This platform is the holy grail for online information. If you can think of a topic, chances are it’s on YouTube! There are plenty of free French tutorials online, including our very own French Speak ChannelFrench Speak YouTube channel
The search bar at the top of the website or the app will allow you to find absolutely everything
you’re after even 12 hour-long videos to learn French in your sleep.
For longer videos, either in English or in French, try searching for TED Talks. These videos give you great insight into language learning, or you can even do shadowing practice by watching talks given in French and repeating along! Try using subtitles at first. This is a great way to blend French with another interest you have in art, nature, science, travel, innovation…
To find over 8,000 talks in French: https://www.ted.com/talks?language=fr
E-Books, Newspapers & Magazines
A great way to boost your language ability is to practice reading in French! What better way to do this than to read a French newspaper or magazine article? Here are a couple resources to check out:
This digital news stand gives you access to printed publications – online! Access news media or
magazine articles in French to hone those reading comprehension skills. It’s free to browse some
articles, but for full publications you’ll need to hop on a plan.
For the advanced French student, you’ll find whole e-books available – for free – ready for you to
jump into. This one is great for French students who fancy a challenge!
Language Exchange & Pen Pals
Online networking, language exchange and digital pen pals are great ways to immerse yourself in the
French language. It may not be the same as traveling through Paris, but it’s a great way to make
lifelong friendships while practicing French.
Skype or Zoom:
These platforms are perfect for both formal and informal French practice sessions. Our own French
Speak tutors use them for private French lessons, and so do others who are looking for casual
language exchange. Make some friends, have a video call and practice your French!
My Language Exchange:
If you’re simply looking for native French speakers to talk with –by email, message, voice or video
call – then My Language Exchange could be a great place to start. Basic membership is free, with the
option to upgrade.
Foreign Film & TV
If you enjoy a bit of passive learning, like listening to others speak, you could benefit from using film and TV in your study. Here’s some ways to do that:
You can use the search-bar to find films and TV shows in French, or even change the settings for
audio and subtitles to watch your favourite shows in French! This is a subscription service and to find
out my favourite series and practice your listening, you might want to check
News in Slow:
This is the perfect adaptation for those who are just starting out or need a bit more practice. A
catalogue of videos that include slow audio plus written content. Subscription fees also apply for this
service if you want to hear the full length news and get the transcripts.
SBS on Demand :
Firstly you can catch twice daily news in French for intermediate and advanced learners (no English subtitles).
You’ll also find a large number of French TV shows and recent movies of high quality and even children’s cartoons. It’s free and the selection is very well curated.
If you find that the other options don’t work for your learning style, or you’re just looking for a bit more of support and structure to understand what you’re learning, it could be time for online lessons.
Our friendly French Speak teachers are here to assist you, with French lessons available online via
Skype or Zoom across any time zones as we have French teachers in Australia and Europe.
We also offer the totally free Facebook Group Unlock Your French to help you achieve your
French goals. We focus on one targeted area at a time and I share trainings and practice opportunities often.
So many online resources to learn French online…
Whatever study method works best for you, you have a lot of options at your fingertips!
If you’d like some help with online courses, group programs or online French lessons, simply click the CONTACT US button above.
Happy French learning.