What are the best French courses online? 16 classes to become fluent.
Everybody knows at least two French words. You probably even know a specific seven-word sentence that you don’t have many chances to use outside a nightclub. But, you may want to learn more French that you can actually use in real scenarios.
Although it is relatively widely spoken, French has an air of mystery that makes it seem off-limits to the uninitiated. We will help you demystify things here with a review of the best French courses online. Enjoy, learn, and unleash your inner francophone.
French Courses Online – Overview
French appears to be a highly sought-after language. Depending on how you calculate world language ratings – e.g. the number of native speakers or the total number of speakers – French is somewhere between the 4th and the 15th most popular or widely spoken language in the world with more than 220 million speakers.
Rosetta Stone, who we profile below, points out that French is “useful not only for cuisine, fashion, and travel but also in a competitive, international job market where France has the fifth largest economy.” There are loads of untapped opportunities here.
DELF – If you want to learn French for career purposes, you may want to look for French courses online that will prepare you for official certification exams such as DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) or DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française).
CEFR – Many of the best French courses online follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) that structure the learning process into skill levels namely Basic (A1, A2), Independent (B1, B2), and Proficient (C1, C2).
With that said, let’s dive right into the world of the best French courses online, shall we?
Best French Courses Online 2021 – Top Picks
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*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure at the end of this post.
1. Udemy French Courses
Udemy (visit website) offers a dizzying array of premium French courses online, the lion’s share of which are either for beginners or for becoming conversational. One is the “Learn French Naturally for Children and the Young at Heart” course program taught by a native English-speaking expatriate who has lived and worked in France for years.
Some of their best French courses offer you official DELF (Diplôme d’études en langue française) certificates. It appears they also have French courses from the base DELF A1 level to the intermediate B2 qualification.
The 3-Minute series helps you learn French by presenting you with high-frequency words that you will then assemble into useful phrases and sentences. The key to keeping your enthusiasm up for learning the language, says your tutor Kieran Ball, is to keep your intervals short. He gives you 3 minutes a day of everyday French.
Udemy certainly offers some of the best French courses online for beginners and those who want to learn French for conversational and traveling purposes. Easy to get started.
French courses: 800+ | Rating: 4.8 ★★★★☆
Info: Visit website and browse category. From $11.99. Up to 95% off.
2. Rocket Languages French Courses
Rocket Languages (visit website) swears by their immersion method, promising to get you “conversational right away by learning the most useful French first.” They cite experts who say that a person requires only 300 words to become conversational in French, although they claim to teach “over 8076 words and phrases.”
They use an AI voice recognition system to help perfect pronunciation. This, combined with French culture lessons, help you not only speak well but know what to say in various scenarios. Rocket starts you out with the basics. They give you then options as to how deep you want to go from there. You choose just how much you want to learn from over 422 hours of repeatable lessons.
Their premium service offers you access to scientifically proven learning tools 24 hours a day. The folks at RocketFrench promise that “you will retain what you learn” when you learn with them. This is one of the best French courses online suitable for beginners.
User Reviews: 4.8 ★★★★★ | Info: Visit website. Free trial + discounts.
Pricing: Level 1 from $99 | Level 1/2 from $249.90 | Level 1/2/3 from $259.90
3. Rosetta Stone French Courses
Rosetta Stone (visit website) is a popular provider for language learning and has been around for almost 30 years. Their approach to teaching French is unique, as it takes into account the tricky, nasal sounds in French that aren’t an issue in other languages. To that end, they prioritize French pronunciation in the daily lessons their premium package offers.
Their beginner lessons focus on French grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. They also have programs for intermediate speakers with some prior exposure to the language. Among the tools they offer are the Phrasebook resource and their proprietary TruAccent technology. One of the best French courses online for beginners and intermediates.
Skillshare generally offers French courses (visit website) that focus on quick learning, with a generous peppering of Kieran Ball classes. Among this latter group are his well-attended 3-minute courses, as well as beginner French classes that present learners opportunities to master various principles, such as conjugation and tenses.
There is also certified French Teacher Chris Ternay who presents a course that challenges to get you proficient in 28 days. The course includes a module focused on phrases you will need in restaurants or cooking since French culture is indeed food-centric.
He also offers a comprehensive list of French Grammar in Context courses designed to help you lock down the nuances of this romance language. Like Udemy, Skillshare offers some of the best French courses online that suit beginners looking for a fun, engaging, and easy learning experience.
5. The Pimsleur Method
The nearly 50-year-old Pimsleur Method is designed to take you directly to the heart of the French language (visit website). The principles that guide their teaching include graduated interval recall and what they refer to as the “Principle of Anticipation”.
This principle came out of the research of Dr. Pimsleur himself, who discovered that the brain is “hard-wired” to process what it hears and generate a response. Overall, the process attempts to help adults mimic the natural ways babies learn language.
Although this is a premium course, you can take a free French lesson to try them out, and there are special offers attached to the free lesson and referrals. They promise you will learn to “speak French with fluency, ease, and a near-native accent.”
6. Practice and Perfect Your French – Intermediates, Udemy
This is one of Udemy’s “100% in French” courses (visit website) and is suitable for intermediates. Your native tutor speaks no English throughout, thereby forcing you to start moving away from filtering through English to thinking in French. Your French teacher is Anne Le Grand, a native of Brittany, who has a Master’s in French as a Foreign Language.
Her goal for you in this French course is to “improve your 4 CECR skills and master the main past tenses.” As you master these tenses, you will be able to choose the correct tense in conversation, learn how to use the “French imperfect (imparfait) to evoke memories” and use time expressions.
She also works with you on the pronunciation of [e] and [ɛ] (é/è). Her free introductory video gives you a good look at how she presents the material. One of the best French courses online for intermediates. A strong basic understanding of French is a prerequisite.
Reading tip: Don’t miss out on our tips on how to learn a language fast. If you want to become a polyglot, well, check out our list of language courses online as well as our review of the best Spanish courses online.
7. Lingoda French Classes
Lingoda (visit website) offers you a chance to live in French – even if just for short periods of class time. Small classes of 3-5 learners practice together to help each other improve. They have French classes around the clock, so you can learn anytime you are available.
Language Sprint is a unique option that challenges you to push through a Sprint or a Super Sprint series of lessons (the latter is more intense, with daily French classes for a month) to snag a prize. You win a 50% or 100% refund of your fee when you attend every session to the very end. How’s that for motivation to be a finisher?
As a subscriber, you get your live classes, supplemented by homework and activities. Their French courses range from CEFR A1 beginner level to C1 advanced. Lingoda offers some of the best French courses online if you want to learn with a tutor and students.
Languages: 4 | Review: ★★★★☆ | Info: Visit website.
Pricing: $59/month (1 class/week) | $139/mo (2-3 classes/w) | $239/mo (1 class/day)
8. Sound Like a Native – French Pronunciation, Udemy
Your native French teacher, Anne Le Grand (visit website), brings you this course 100% in French to help you master your French pronunciation. It is an excellent build-up class to her popular Intermediate French class I have mentioned above.
Her goals for learners are to be more confident speaking French, to “produce most important French sounds clearly with a French accent” and to master the phonetic alphabet (IPA). Madame Le Grand promises entertaining phonetic videos and exercises to accomplish these goals.
In the videos, you can watch and copy your native-speaking tutor. This French course is for intermediates only and is not suitable for beginners either.
9. Live Lingua + Live Lingua French Tutors
Live Lingua (visit website) hand-picks a native French-speaking tutor for you from a selection of certified teachers who help you immerse yourself in the language. After finding out from you what you want to learn, why you want to learn and what your learning style is, they pair you with someone they think will help you achieve your goals.
They promise to get you conversational faster than any app and bring you to the point where you can actually think in French. The format is one-on-one video tutoring. You can use Zoom or Skype as the default interface for learning and improving your French.
They say you can also meet your tutor on “other platforms”. This could mean Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp video chat, but they don’t specify which other platforms can be used here. They encourage you to ask your French tutor about their culture, which could help both strengthen your connection and give you more to naturally chat about.
Review: 4.7 ★★★★☆ | Price: $18/hour | Free trial lesson: Yes
Info: Visit website. $18/hour. Take. free lesson.
10. The French Subjunctive – Intermediate Level, Udemy
Here, Anne Le Grand the native French tutor helps you master the all-important subjunctive mood (visit website). In French, the subjunctive is used to express actions or ideas that are subjective or uncertain, such as wanting, doubt and other emotions.
Again, this is 100% in French, so you’re expected to have “validated A2 level previously.” This may be referring to DELF, mentioned earlier in this article or the Common European Reference Framework for languages, CERF. She doesn’t specify.
If you’ve mastered the present and past tenses and like her teaching, this could be among the best French courses online to further develop your conversational skills in French.
11. Étudier en France: French Intermediate course B1-B2, Coursera
This French course is presented by the Institut Polytechnique de Paris (view website). All the course material is presented completely in French. Apart from the words “French Intermediate course”, the entire description, the learning outcomes, the syllabus and the teacher profiles are also written in French.
This immersion course takes you, week by week, through a simulation in which you are a student going to France to attend university. Week one is “Arriving in France” then week two is “Adapting to Life in France”. After that, the course attempts to simulate the experience of being a foreign exchange student or an expatriate living in France.
Reviews are generally complementary, and these too are largely written in French. How’s that for authenticity? This could be one of the best French courses online if you have completed A1 and A1 levels and now look for a university-style teaching approach.
Rating: 4.8 ★★★★☆ | Provider: École polytechnique
Info: Visit website. Free audit. Study with a certificate from $39/month.
Glossika offers French courses from beginners to advanced levels. Glossika eschews memorization in favor of attempting to instill in learners a natural interaction between words to get you sounding like a native francophone. This is among the best French courses online if you prefer audio-based training programs.
As you train by ear, Glossika tracks and retains your progress. This way, the program naturally tailors itself to your pace of learning. You can find a handy Glossika Guide to French Pronunciation & Grammar in their Free Downloads library.
Rating: 4.8 ★★★★☆ | Price: $30/month | $24.99/month annually | Trial: Yes
13. Mango Languages – French
Mango’s proprietary language system, Intuitive Language Construction, builds what they believe to be the “6 critical skills necessary for true language learning.” Not surprisingly, these are vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, culture, comprehension, and retention.
The online French courses are comprised of a conversation part and a review system. First, learners focus on French grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and culture through a conversational process. The idea is to bring you to a point where you can be confident enough to start a conversation in French.
Then, using algorithms, they work on retention by having you study material you already learned again. Mango claims to measure your proficiency against “recognized standards”, although they don’t specify which ones. This is one of the best French courses online if you look for excellent alternatives to the ones mentioned above.
Rating: 4.6 ★★★★☆ | Price: $7.99/month. One Language | Free test lesson: Yes
14. Busuu Learn French Online
Using notifications, Busuu helps you stay committed to your French lesson study plan. This is their selling point. Apart from that, they use standard online teaching techniques to teach French pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.
A targeted French Pronunciation Course helps beginners get the accent and intonations correct early on. The Grammar and Vocabulary Review features attempt to help you lock the learning in and repeat recently introduced words and important structures.
The Conversation feature allows you to trade messages with a community of native speakers to help you test your skills and knowledge under a wide variety of topics as you move from beginner to intermediate level. Indeed, amidst all the tech bells and whistles, feedback from an actual human being can be highly valuable.
Supported Languages: 10+ | Review: ★★★★☆ | Info: Visit website.
Pricing: Free plan | Premium from $€5.83/month | Premium Plus from $€6.66/month
Speechling is a non-profit course offered free of charge, but they also feature premium live tutoring. Their goal is to get you to conversational fluency in 2-3 months. In the process, you will record yourself repeating French phrases and sentences that you listen to.
First, you get a chance to try to translate from English on your own. This may present some confusion for intermediates because there can be multiple ways to say a phrase. For example, they ask you to say “That way”. In French, you can say “Par la“, but they are actually looking for the phrase “Ce chemin la“.
You would not know that unless you click “I don’t know. Show Me”, which feels a bit like a cop-out if you wanted to challenge yourself. Once you’ve saved your recordings, a native French coach will give you feedback on them the next day.
The browser version takes a little getting used to in terms of functionality. Also, you need to make sure there’s no background noise when you’re recording. Nevertheless, if you’re a beginner who simply wants to tighten up pronunciation, this system can help you with that.
Rating: 4.7 ★★★★☆ | Pricing: $19.99/month | Free plan: Yes
16. FrenchPod 101
FrenchPods 101 promises that you will start speaking French from the first lesson. The Pods use audio & video lessons to guide you through actual French conversations. The teachers go slow, breaking down each word and phrase to make them easier to digest.
A wide range of lesson content makes it possible for you to get the kinds of lessons you want based on why you wish to learn and what you’d like to focus on. They offer one-on-one tutoring through their messenger with a Premium PLUS subscription. FrenchPod 101 is a something-for-everyone learning option.
Review: 4.5 ★★★★☆ | Premium Plans: from $2.99/month | Free plan: Yes
How to Choose the Best French Courses Online
There are several considerations that will guide your choice. Primarily, you need to be clear about your goals. Some French courses online can help you get proficient in a short period of time if that’s what you need. Other French classes can help you progress on a lifelong, enjoyable pursuit to become fluent in this beautiful romance language.
Beyond that, you need to consider how much time you can dedicate every day or week to your French education and whether you want to make new connections with other human beings, such as live tutors. You may prefer simply taking advantage of the latest AI tech or following a video-based course.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, you can compare costs in a more “apples to apples” manner. Take advantage of the free trials many courses have to offer. This should bring you to the best French courses online that will suit your goals and needs the most.
Best French Courses Online 2021 – Review Verdict
Wrapping up our tour of the best French courses online. The internet is one of the best things that has ever happened to language learning. We now have a wider range of tools and techniques to choose from to help us become more proficient in multiple languages.
If you are clear on what your goals are, you can find a platform or system that will work well for you. Many French courses online promise quick results to appeal to the 21st century penchant for instant gratification. That said, you should expect that quick results may short-change you on quality.
Thus, no matter what technology you use to facilitate the process, learning to think in a language takes a long time, so keep your expectations realistic. The only thing better is complete immersion by living in a place where everyone speaks French and almost no one speaks your native language. You’ll be forced to push yourself beyond bonjour and the aforementioned 7-word pick-up line.
Nevertheless, some of us don’t get a chance to jump into the deep end of the pool. Thankfully, we are likely to find a good online or app-based solution that will help us wade in from whatever level we are at.
Best French Courses Online 2021
- Udemy French Courses Online
- Rocket Languages French Courses
- Rosetta Stone French Courses
- Pimsleur – Learn French Online
- Lingoda French Classes Online
- Live Lingua + Live Lingua French Tutors
- Skillshare French Courses Online
- Practice and Perfect Your French – Intermediates, Udemy
- Glossika French Courses Online
- Mango Languages French
- Sound Like a Native – French Pronunciation, Udemy
- The French Subjunctive – Intermediate Level, Udemy
- Étudier en France: French Intermediate course B1-B2, Coursera
- Busuu Learn French Online
- Speechling French Pronunciation
- FrenchPod 101
Other Best French Courses Online & Resources
Check out our list of best language learning apps.
Learn French with OUINO
Learn French with Alexa
Learn any language – TEDx
French – Easy Languages
Parlons français – TV5Monde
Learn French – BBC
What are the best French courses online? What is your learning experience? Can you recommend any French classes? Feel free to use the comments below.
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