A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to get back into improving my French. I began reading the newspaper each morning and watching more television. I wanted to start back up with my Pimsleur audio series, but I am too scatterbrained right now (last month of pregnancy) to really focus on its lessons.
I came across the FrenchPod101 last week and am really enjoying it, so I thought I would share it with you. It is a website devoted to providing online French language lessons to learn French easily from the comfort of your home. It provides a variety of audio and video learning materials, large database of interesting lessons and a community of other learners to support each other. What I really love is that the lessons are based on actual situations you would encounter in France! So you learn real expressions and terminologies that you will actually hear or want to use.
I registered for their premium membership and will stay with them for three months. Since I am in the higher level, I will exhaust their materials more quickly than if I was a complete beginner. It is free to register and listen to their audio programs, but the free membership does not include access to the study materials, guides and other extras. It is self-paced and you can stop and go, plus pick up and leave off wherever you want.
If you only need practice with listening to French, then the free account is great. However, if you are looking for something more intensive with speaking, listening and grammar, then I recommend going with the premium membership to learn French easily and fast.
Here is my review of FrenchPod101’s online French language Lessons…
Positive – What I like about FrenchPod101
- Registration was quick and easy, plus allowed me the option to pay via Paypal instead of just by credit card.
- Refund policy is a generous 60 days “no questions asked.” Just need to send them an email and ask for the refund. This made me feel more comfortable taking a chance with them since I am skeptical of these types of online learning programs.
- Website is easy to navigate. I was able to quickly see what my options were and how to get started.
- There are LOTS of lessons to choose from! They definitely have a good stock of audio lessons for each level.
- The lessons are interesting and involve informal conversations. The informal conversations include about 25 seconds of a conversation in French and then the rest of the audio is a discussion between Americans and French young adults about what was just said. The discussion is a mix of both French and English, which was very interesting and reinforced the new vocabulary.
- Audio is downloadable as mp3s or can be viewed in the browser. Right now it is more convenient for me to listen to the audio in the browser, so I am happy about this capability. It only takes seconds for it to finish buffering for me to listen. But when I start walking the dogs every day again after the baby is born then I will definitely be downloading these lessons onto my iPod.
- Easy to add unfamiliar vocabulary words from lessons to your flash card deck. The program keeps track of which words you learn and which need repeating so that you do not have to cycle through old ones all the time. You can even tell it to add a specific number of new words onto your current deck each day. Oh, and the vocab flash cards include a picture to help your memory, well, if there is a picture to associate with the word.
Negative – What I dislike about FrenchPod101
- Videos are just for absolute beginners and beginners. I am in the intermediate group and would have enjoyed some video lessons.
- Overall, it seems like there is more material for absolute beginners and beginners. This is excellent for those starting out, but if you are intermediate or advanced in speaking French then you may go through the entire program more quickly.
- Interface is a bit outdated. While this does not affect my ability to learn on their site, it would be nice if it was spruced up so that it was more appealing inside.
- Reference material section is a bit too basic, such as info on the French alphabet and history. I would have liked to see current topics or things that would help someone living in France.
Screenshots of What Members See
FrenchPod101’s Membership Options for Learning French Online
The basic membership for FrenchPod101’s online French language lessons is $8/month and the premium membership is $25/month. They provide discounts for pre-registering for multiple months or if you are currently a student. For instance, the premium membership for 3 months is $66 instead of $75. Their website shows a very complete side-by-side comparison chart of what is included in each membership type.
Interested in learning French easily online? Register for free and take a look around.
I am determined to do one lesson per day. I just hope I do not brush it aside after the baby is born next month! But I have found that when I am paying for something, my motivation increases – like when I was registered to the LA Fitness gym back in the states! Wish me luck!
Disclaimer: After trying out this program, I decided to sign up as an affiliate. I am only promoting it on my site because I believe it is a quality product and I feel it would benefit my readers. No one from this company asked me to promote it, nor did I get anything free (I am a paying customer). If you click on one of my links to their site, I will receive a small commission if you decide to become a paying member.
Have you tried FrenchPod101 or another French learning website? Let me know your experience below…