Learn to Speak French Online
It is possible to jump on your BT broadband connection and learn French online, but it can be quite a daunting task, particularly if you have no knowledge of the language whatsoever. The reason for wanting to learn the language should be the most important factor, rather than the software you obtain to aid you in learning. It is your motivation that will get you where you want to go.
What to Look For
The teaching tools that are offered are the most important aspect of learning a new language. If you are provided with poor tools, you will not have the opportunity to learn the language properly. When you commence your search for a suitable programme, you should find a program that addresses grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, as well as conversational skills. If at all possible, it will help you if there is a native speaker who pronounces the words or phrases you are trying to learn.
Depending on the reason for you wanting to learn the language, it is not a good idea to learn conversational phrases only. You need to have a solid grasp of grammar and vocabulary to be able to eventually become fluent in the language.
Additional Learning Materials
A good teaching programme that is supplemented by additional material will broaden the scope of the programme. There will, at some point or another, be words that you would like to know that fall outside of the curriculum. Additional materials such as quizzes and having an available dictionary will help you to retain these words and understand them.
As with any online service or software programme, you need to have solid customer support in the event you are experiencing difficulty.
A solid, strong community made up of fellow learners allows you to discuss your progress and find out how others are handling the various levels of the course. This provides you with a situation similar to an immersion course whereby you interact with others on different levels of proficiency. A community where there are not only fellow students, but also qualified tutors is what you should be looking for.
There are a range of products available for you to learn French. There are also other methods you can use to learn.
Learn without Translation
This is a modern, innovative method whereby you will learn without memorisation or direct translation. This method is based on the idea that you learned your native language as a young person without having to memorise lists of words or translating it into another language first. You pointed to something and the onus was on your parents to tell you what it was and how to pronounce the word. This knowledge was eventually built on to a point where you started forming sentences and short phrases. You were eventually able to speak your native language without having to memorise the words or translating.
The teaching methods based on this idea make use of pictures and audio to aid you in associating ideas and objects with French words. The theory is that complete immersion in the language will you help you learn it without the problems that affect direct translation.
The flash card method is a tested, effective method. With this method, the words and the phrases are shown to you in French, a native French speaker reads out the phrases or words, and the translation of those phrases and words are shown in your native language. Thereafter you are expected to repeat these words and phrases and try to memorise the visual aspect. This has proven to be an effective method, but you need to put in a lot of hours to achieve success. You also have to set aside daily time for learning through this method or you may forget what you last learned.
Personal tutoring is by far the best method of learning a new language. The personal attention you get will allow you to speak in a more natural accent. It also pushes you to do more work on your language learning as you have appointments with you tutor to adhere to. It is possible to gain access to online tutors with services such as Skype.
There are a host of online French leaning websites, but we have listed a couple of the top ones.
Verbalplanet offers a tutor-based online learning programme where you are able to select your own tutor based on their experience, goals, availability and interests. You are able to schedule lessons with your tutor based on your personal schedule. The lessons are done via Skype. You will receive tutoring and feedback based upon your speaking ability.
The service provides additional material, such as MP3 downloads, software and a range of books. The prices for these lessons vary, based on the experience level of the tutor.
Based on reviews, out of a total of ten, this site has received 10 for availability of additional material, 7.5 for its community feature, and 7.5 for its support service.
Rosetta Stone is one of the top language learning online centres. You will learn to speak French in the same way as you learned to speak your native language when you were a child. This means total immersion without any translation. Your knowledge will increase gradually as you gain confidence in your language abilities. You will be taught vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. You will learn how to read, write and speak your new language without memorisation or translation.
You will be teamed up with other learners on the same level as you, and be given access to a native French speaking tutor. Your tutor will guide you and improve your abilities with games and exercises that you need to complete to move on.
The community you have access to will allow you to practise your new language with others who are on the same level.
Based on reviews, this site has received 10 out of 10 for its teaching tools, 9.5 out of 10 for the availability of additional material, 10 out of 10 for its community feature, and 10 out of 10 for its support service. These reviews indicate the success level of this online learning centre.
The option you choose to learn French online is dependent upon your personal situation. Some of the courses mentioned are quite pricey and if you do not have the facility to pay huge amounts for a course, there are free online resources available.