18 Best And Worst Online French Courses: We’ve Test Them!

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Online French Course Overview

Not only is French well known for being one of the most beautiful languages in the world, but it is also one of the most widely spoken. Approximately 275 million people worldwide speak the language of love, so why shouldn’t you be one of them?

Thanks to modern technology, learning a new language is easier than ever. You no longer have to sign up for college courses or listen to endless recordings that just put you to sleep. Nowadays language learning is way more interactive and much more fun.

The trouble is, instead of having too few options, we now have too many! If you look up French language courses online you’re sure to find millions of results, some of which will be good and others, not so much.

With that in mind, I decided to compile a list of some of the best online French courses so help narrow your search so you can start learning instead of wasting time looking for a way to learn.

Before we get started I just want to mention that each of these language programs is beneficial in different ways, so I did not rank them from best to worst or anything like that. I simply listed them alphabetically because there is no single course that would be perfect for everyone.

Everyone has a different learning style so I encourage you to try a few of these options before settling on the program that works the best for you. Some people prefer to use a single program while others like to combine them for a more comprehensive experience. Whichever option you choose, the most important thing is that you keep learning!

Okay, with all that out of the way, let’s take a look at my picks for the Top 18 Online French Courses.

18 Online French Courses

1

Babbel

Babbel is one of the most popular language learning apps on the market today. This app is a great choice for beginners, not only because the lessons start with the absolute basics, but also because it will help you to build a solid foundation. One of the best things about this program is that it offers plenty of grammar explanations along with vocabulary practice.

The lessons are short and engaging and will have you speaking French in no time. Since you can access all the lessons and review exercises from your phone, this is also a good choice for those who are constantly on the go.

The only real downside to this program is that it does not offer much material for advanced learners. This means that you can’t become fully fluent using this exclusively, but it is a great place to start.

Babbel pricing

One Month

$12.94

Three Months

$26.85

Six Months

$44.70

Twelve Months

$83.40

Pros

  • Quality grammar explanations.
  • Pleasant platform.
  • Great choice for beginners

Cons

  • Not much material for intermediate or higher fluency students.
  • Does not include much conversation practice.

2

Busuu

If conversational French is your main focus, then Busuu may be the program for you. This app offers lessons ranging from absolute beginner to upper-intermediate at a price that just about everyone can afford. There are two sets of French lessons, the primary lessons and a section called “French For Travel”, a very helpful feature for those who plan using their new French skills while they’re on vacation.

Busuu’s short and engaging lessons are presented in a format that is perfect for modern language learners. Each lesson includes a wide range of practice exercises and teaching moments. From written tips to audio clips, there’s a little bit of everything.

The best feature of this app is that it allows you to record yourself speaking French and then submit it to the Busuu community of language learners. They will then listen to your submission and give you feedback. You can also help those who are learning your native language by listening to their submissions and offering corrections.

BUSUU pricing

Free access to some features, but you can also purchase a subscription. Monthly prices range from $5.41 to $13.99 per month depending on which version you choose and how many months you purchase in advance.

Pros

  • Fun and engaging lessons.
  • Eye-catching layout.
  • Good for beginners and intermediate learners.
  • Offers the chance to get feedback from native speakers.

Cons

  • Not great for advanced learners.
  • Lacks some grammar explanations.

3

Coffee Break French

If you prefer the classroom experience over quick app lessons, then Coffee Break French is the program for you. This program offers extensive in-depth lessons presented in a lecture format. These lessons include extremely helpful detailed explanations that you won’t find in many other lesson plans, so if you’re a stickler for details you will definitely want to check this out.

One great feature of this program is that you can access the audio lessons for free. If you enjoy those lessons then you do have the option to purchase their lessons by season. There are five seasons and each one includes 80 audio lessons, 40 video lessons, and 40 sets of lesson notes. These range from beginner basics through to lessons for advanced speakers, so there is something here for everyone.

COFFEE BREAK FRENCH pricing

Free audio lessons

FREE

Purchase Seasons

104.00

Pros

  • In-depth vocabulary and grammar lessons.
  • Offers more of a classroom experience.
  • Large quantity of free material.

Cons

  • Paid portion is a bit expensive for the material.
  • Lessons are not interactive.
  • Lessons may be a bit dull for some learners.

4

Comme Une Francais

Who among us hasn’t gone to YouTube in search of language lessons? I know I have! If you searched for French lessons on YouTube you have surely run across Geraldine Lepere. She is a native Frenchwoman with a passion for teaching everyday French.

Not only does she have a very successful YouTube channel with over 208K subscribers, but she also has her own website where she offers more in-depth courses ranging from French For Beginners to Master Spoken French. She also offers an Everyday French Crash Course for free! This is a great option both for beginners and for those who are new to her style and want to check it out before purchasing a course.

Of course, you can also check out all of her incredible YouTube videos and she offers other free resources on her website as well. So even if a full course isn’t in your budget just now, you should still look into her other materials. As her website says, “You can double your Frenchness!”

COMME UNE FRANCAIS pricing

Free Material

FREE

Plus Full Courses

$199

Pros

  • Plenty of free material.
  • High-quality listening practice.
  • In-depth conversational lessons from a native speaker.

Cons

  • Courses are only available at certain times of the year.

5

Coursera

Coursera - 18 Online French Courses

For students who are looking to take their French to the next level, Coursera is a great option to consider. Coursera is a website that offers access to nearly 4,000 college courses in a wide range of subjects including Intermediate French B1 and B2. You can take this course just for fun or you can purchase a completion certificate so that you can officially add French to your resume.

This course offers 46 hours of instruction including lectures from real college professors. Each week you will have videos to watch, readings to complete, and short quizzes to take. If you choose to purchase the certificate, you will have access to all of the materials and be graded on your work. If you choose to just audit the course you will still have access to a college-level course and loads of useful information.

COURSERA pricing

Free unless you choose to purchase a certificate of completion.

Pros

  • Accredited college courses.
  • Offers free access to most materials.
  • Good option for intermediate students.

Cons

  • Only one available French course at this time.
  • No classes for beginners.

6

Duolingo

If you're a beginner and you’re looking for a fun way to start your language journey, then Duolingo is the app for you. Not only is it fun to use, but it’s also free if you don’t mind a few ads here and there.

Duolingo is more like a game than a learning tool. There aren’t any tedious lessons to wade through or long lists to memorize. You simply jump right in and start practicing French through simple exercises like matching words to pictures and completing sentences.

This app is also a great practice resource to use in combination with other learning resources because you can use it anytime or anywhere. It also uses spaced repetition techniques in the format of the exercises, so you're sure to remember what you learn.

DUOLINGO pricing

Free

Free or you can purchase a subscription to skip the ads

One month

$12.99

Six Months

$47.99 ($7.99 per month)

Twelve months

$83.99 ($6.99 per month)

Pros

  • Fun short lessons.
  • Engaging exercises.
  • Easy to navigate platform.

Cons

  • Lacks extensive grammar explanations.
  • Lacks conversation practice.

7

Francais Authentique

Francais Authentique - 18 Online French Courses

This program is called Francais Authentique for a reason! This is an authentic French course designed for intermediate and advanced learners who want to take their French skills to the next level. The program is divided into three main sections, or packs. Each pack includes audio, video, and written lessons as well as group lessons.

This is a full immersion class meaning that everything you experience will be in French. This method of learning may not be the best option for everyone, but it is sure to improve your listening and speaking skills.

Not only will you find high-quality lessons with this program, but you will also find a great community of other French learners. They have a free blog and podcast as well as a range of free videos. Sometimes finding good material for advanced learners is a struggle, but not with French Authentique. There is plenty of information here to help you perfect your French skills.

FRANCAIS AUTHENTIQUE Pricinig

Pack 1

49€ (Approx. $58)

Pack 2

129€ (Approx. $152)

Pack 3

149€ (Approx. $176)

All three packs

199€ (Approx. $235)

Pros

  • Quality material for intermediate students.
  • Well-made lessons with logical structure.
  • Offers the full immersion experience.

Cons

  • Lacks material for beginners.
  • Lacks speaking practice.

8

FrenchPod101

FrenchPod101 is a program that focuses on teaching French through interesting stories. They offer lessons from beginner to advanced via high-quality audio and video materials. This is a great choice for those who like a wide variety of learning options.

This program offers more than 320 hours of lessons with loads of extra study materials and practice exercises. You can go through the material at your leisure or you can get a custom-designed learning plan to help you focus on what you really want to know.

FrenchPod101 offers three subscription levels: Basic, Premium, and PremiumPlus. Each level offers access to different features so you can choose the level of access that best fits your needs, saving you from paying for features you aren’t going to use.

FrenchPod101 pricing

Basic

$4 Per Month

Premium

$10 Per Month

Premium PLUS

$23 Per Month

Pros

  • Wide variety of materials.
  • Offers in-depth look at French culture and customs.
  • Offers material for learners of all levels.

Cons

  • Platform is a bit disorganized.
  • Lacks a clear lesson plan.

9

French Today

French Today - 18 Online French Courses

French Today is a family-owned company that is focused on teaching modern French to students of all kinds through audiobooks and personal lessons. This program is available online or through an app so you can take it with you everywhere you go.

The beauty of this app is that it offers quality listening practice, an element that many other programs lack. These audiobooks are read by native speakers and designed to help you build your vocabulary, improve grammar, and, most importantly, improve your listening skills.

The personal lessons are one-on-one Skype lessons that are a bit overpriced compared to other tutoring options, but when the teacher is a native-born Frenchwoman with 25 years of teaching experience, the cost could be worth it to you. Whether you choose to take lessons or just enjoy the audiobooks, this is still a great resource for French practice.

FRENCH TODAY pricing

Price varies depending on the audiobooks you choose, ranging

$20 to $70

Pros

  • Quality listening practice with native speakers.
  • First 2.5 hours of listening is free.
  • Wide variety of content.

Cons

  • Lacks lesson structure.
  • Does not include practice exercises.

10

French Uncovered

Who doesn’t love a good story? Many people practice their listening skills by listening to stories in their target language, but what if there was a story that could teach you the language as a whole instead of just improve your listening? Well, with French Uncovered, that is exactly what you get.

This is a program designed by well-known polyglot Olly Richards. After traveling the world and trying to learn multiple languages, Richards decided that traditional language learning methods were not the right choice for him, so he decided to design something completely different. With French Uncovered, you will experience language immersion in a way that you’ve never experienced it before.

Each lesson is a chapter of an engaging story that you will follow as you practice your French reading, speaking, and writing skills through interactive exercises. This program may be a bit overwhelming for beginners, but it is certainly a fun and unique way to experience French.

FRENCH UNCOVERED pricing

4 Months

$89

One-Time Payment

$297

Pros

  • Unique lesson experience.
  • Quality reading and writing practice.
  • High-quality materials.

Cons

  • A bit pricey.
  • May be too overwhelming for beginners.

11

Fluenz

Fluenz - 18 Online French Courses

For my more academic readers who are more interested in learning than gamification, this one's for you. Fluenz is an in-depth French course designed to take you from the very basics to advanced French.

This program is one of the closest you will find to a comprehensive online program. It includes video, written, and audio lessons as well as a wide range of practice exercises to help reinforce what you’ve just learned. They have quick lessons and longer lessons and even their own flashcards for quick reviews. This program is all about teaching you conversational skills that you can use right away, but also reinforcing those skills with quality grammar and vocabulary explanations.

Enter your This program comes in five levels which you can purchase as a single package or you can save money by buying them in a bundle. This program comes with a beautiful platform that can go seamlessly from your phone to your laptop or tablet and back again, making it easy to use no matter where you are. here...

FLUENZ pricing

Ranges from $187 to $378 depending on how many levels you purchase.

Pros

  • Well structured lesson plan.
  • Beautiful platform.
  • Quality practice exercises.
  • Material for every fluency level.

Cons

  • Lessons can feel a bit slow.
  • Practice exercises can feel a bit repetitive.

12

Language Transfer

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly in-depth introduction to French, then check out Language Transfer. This program operates on donations so you can access all their learning materials for free. The lessons are all audio and include quality grammar and vocabulary explanations presented in a way that is both interesting and engaging.

The lessons range in length from approximately 6 to 15 minutes, making them easy to squeeze into your busy lifestyle. This program used to only be available online, but they recently released a handy app, making the lessons even easier to access. You can also access the lessons through YouTube or SoundCloud or download them from the Language Transfer website.

Unfortunately, Language Transfer does not include any interactive practice exercises or quizzes, meaning it isn’t a good choice for exclusive use. That being said, there is too much good material to pass up, so if you’re a beginner, I highly recommend you try it.

LANGUAGE TRANSFER pricing

Language Transfer Is Free.

Pros

  • Quality audio lessons.
  • Includes in-depth grammar explanations.
  • Free!

Cons

  • No interactive practice exercises or quizzes.

13

Learn French With Alexa

I know what you’re thinking, but no, this is not a French course that you can take through your Echo Dot or other Amazon device. This Alexa is a real person who is here to teach you French, no matter what your current fluency level is. She promises that she can teach you absolutely everything you need to know about French in a fun and engaging way.

You may already be familiar with Alexa from her extremely popular YouTube channel of the same name. She has over 934K subscribers who enjoy her fun and silly teaching style. These videos cover all the basic subjects that you will need as a beginner, such as numbers, colors, feelings, and common greetings.

When you’re ready to go deeper, you can jump over to her website and check out all the free materials she offers there. If you choose to purchase a subscription, you will gain access to even more material including written lessons, downloadable content, and even live lessons with Alexa.

LEARN FRENCH WITH ALEXA pricing

One Month

$35

Three Months

$75 ($25 per month)

Twelve Months

$180 ($15 per month)

Pros

  • In-depth lessons from a native speaker.
  • Fun and engaging lessons for all levels of French.
  • Loads of free materials.

Cons

  • Lacks extensive speaking practice.

14

Lingoda

Some language learners find that using apps and pre-recorded videos just isn’t enough for them. If you’re in search of the more authentic classroom setting, then Lingoda may be the program for you. You get the chance to learn from real teachers in online classes with three or four other students. You also have the option to take individual classes if you prefer, but either way, you’re still learning from a real language professional in a live setting.

The great thing about this platform is that it is flexible, but still structured enough to offer a quality learning experience. If you’re looking for a way to give your French a turbo boost you can sign up for a Language Sprint or a Language Marathon.

These intensive courses will help you to quickly boost your language skills and gain confidence so you can speak French like a pro. Best of all, these events offer the chance for you to win your fees back, so you could potentially do it all for free. Speaking of free, Lingoda offers a free 7-day trial so you can see if it is a format that will work for you before you make any purchases.

LINGODA pricing

Prices vary depending on the number of classes you want to take each week. Prices range from about $10-$15 per class. They also offer special learning events for an additional cost.

Pros

  • Live classes with certified instructors.
  • Fun language events.
  • Pleasant, easy to use platform.
  • Offers material for beginners to advanced students.

Cons

  • Lesson experiences can vary widely depending on the teacher and other students.
  • A bit too pricey for some students.

15

Lingodeer

Lingodeer is another quality option for beginners and intermediate French learners. This app offers quick easy lessons that allow you to practice your French skills anytime, anywhere. The lessons include a variety of practice exercises such as filling in the blank, finishing sentences, and matching words to their meaning. This makes your learning experience feel more like a game and less like a chore.

One of the great things about this program is that it includes a comprehensive review of the French alphabet as well as additional learning materials concerning pronunciation. Anyone who has ever tried to learn French knows how valuable these tools are. Although this app is not comprehensive enough to get you to fluency, it will help you to build a good foundation.

LINGODEER pricing

One Month

$11.99

Three Months

$29.99 ($9.99 per month)

Twelve Months

$59.99 ($4.99 per month)

Lifetime Subscription

$99.99

Pros

  • Fun to use.
  • Great for beginners.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Can get a bit repetitive.
  • Lacks conversational practice.

16

Memrise

If you have tried to study any subject over the last few years, chances are you’ve already heard of Memrise. Memrise is one of the most popular flashcard apps on the market, offering access to thousands of flashcards for free. You can choose to make your own flashcards or use decks created by other users.

These aren’t your typical language flashcards. They can include written words, pictures, and recordings. The vast amount of information available through this app combined with how easy it is to use makes this one of the best supplemental learning tools that you can use. Although this isn’t a full French course, I still wanted to include it on my list because it is such a helpful tool for building a strong vocabulary.

memrise pricing

Free for the majority of resources or you can pay $8.99 per month for the full site.

Pros

  • Easy to use platform.
  • Includes recordings of native speakers.
  • Allows you to create your own flash cards.

Cons

  • No structured lessons.
  • Lacks conversation practice.

17

Pimsleur

Pimsleur - 18 Online French Courses

Pimsleur is a big name in the language learning world and for good reason. Not only do they offer quality in-depth lessons, but they offer them for a very reasonable price. For $14.99 a month you can have access to 150 French lessons, ranging from absolute beginner to upper-intermediate.

The app is smooth and easy to navigate with eye-catching pictures and quality recordings. They also offer some interesting cultural lessons to help you gain a better understanding of French culture as you learn the language.

The lessons are a bit longer than what you find on a lot of modern language programs, but they are also more in-depth so the length is to be expected. One of the best things about this program is that it encourages you to begin speaking French right away and to use it as much as possible. Their focus on conversational skills is one of the reasons so many users love this program.

pimsleur pricing

Monthly

$14.99 per month

Pros

  • Comprehensive lesson plan.
  • Teaches conversational skills from the very beginning.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Longer lessons.
  • Lacks quality writing practice.

18

Speechling

Speechling

Speechling is the perfect learning tool for those who already have a basic knowledge of French, but are ready to start focusing on their speaking skills. It works similarly to most language learning apps, but with a few extra features that make it stand out.

The best feature is their review system that allows you to record yourself speaking your target language. You can then send those recordings to an instructor for review and correction. This is a great way to gain confidence in your speaking skills without the stress of having to schedule a full tutoring lesson.

Another helpful feature of this app is the wide range of dictation exercises. Many of the practice exercises involve listening to a native speaker and then dictating what you hear. This is one of the best ways to practice your listening skills. Speechling also has a huge community of language learners that you can interact with for even more French practice.

SPEECHLING pricing

Free for some features

FREE

Full Access

$19.99 per month

Pros

  • Includes lots of speaking practice.
  • Quality listening practice.
  • Loads of free materials.
  • Great learning community.

Cons

  • Lacks lesson structure.
  • Not a good choice for beginners.

Online French Courses: Final Thoughts

French is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, so it is no surprise that so many people choose it as their second language. This popularity has led to the development of hundreds of French language programs which can be equally exciting and nerve-wracking. Although variety is the spice of life, having too many options can lead to anxiety.

Do not let the stress of choosing a language program stop you from starting your journey! Getting started is far more important than finding the perfect program, so why not just jump in and try a few of the options on this list? Many of them either offer free trials or even have free versions, so you can try them without any financial commitment.

Another key point to remember when looking for a language program is that you don’t have to settle on a single program. You can do that if you want, but it isn’t likely to provide a fully comprehensive learning experience. Many language students choose to use multiple programs to enhance their learning and to decrease the chances of boredom.

Whichever path you choose, the most important thing to remember is this: Don't stop! You can achieve your dream of speaking French fluently, you just have to find the program that best matches your level and learning style.

If you’re a beginner, you may want to try Duolingo or Lingodeer to start working on the basics. If you’re already at an intermediate level and want to move on to bigger and better things, Coursera may be the one for you. No matter which program or combination of programs you choose, I hope you have a fun and enlightening learning experience. Happy learning!

About the author 

Language Throne Team

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