9 of the Best Resources for Starting to Learn French Online

Bonjour! Another month brings with it another one of our articles in the '9 Best Resources' series, and today we are tackling French! French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and is still considered more important than English in some European countries. Yet another reason to learn this beautiful language!

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9 Top Resources For Learning French Online

1. Glossika French

Glossika is the perfect companion for anyone who has learnt a little French and is still wondering how to start speaking the language. I bought its Fluency 123 course last year to refresh my tired French and found myself chatting to native speakers within a few weeks.

Glossika is a solid offering available in so many languages (click to read my full review), but the Fluency 123 course stands out here as a fab all-rounder. Beginners should work with Glossika's book accompanying your studies and get grammar input (you can even use Duolingo Web) added, but you'll be amazed at the progress you can make.

Also available:

2. Écoute Magazine and Bien-Dire Magazine

While these magazines are aimed at different target audiences, écoute at German speakers who want to learn French and bien-dire at English speakers learning French, they both offer good lessons for you language lovers out there.

Bien-Dire, “From France for learners of French”, offers a range of articles about all that France has got to offer, from actors to cheese. You get to learn French while you’re learning about France! There are two difficulty levels and the magazine perfect as a nice travel magazine to support your learning.

Écoute guides the reader through the magazine by using the German language. There are mini summaries for each article and guidance on difficulty levels in the source language. The topics include French produce, society, history and geography, so a rather varied selection!

Both magazines offer audio CDs, and you can buy the magazines as individual copies or as a subscription. Écoute here and Bien-Dire here.

3. TV5 Monde

TV5 Monde is an international TV channel in French, which offers its own language courses and practice under the ‘Langue Française’ tab. From digital libraries to dictionaries and video classes, this website is perfect for beginners who aren’t quite sure where to begin.

4. Bon Patron

If you’ve gotten a tiny bit comfortable with the French language, Bon Patron is the perfect place to practice those writing skills. Bon Patron is a French autocorrect tool; you can practice your writing skills by typing in sentences and have it correct the grammar and spelling errors it can find. The perfect tool to practice those sentences you’ve learned!

5. French Language TV Shows

French TV shows are an excellent way to implement some new vocabulary and to get used to the sound and pronunciation of French. Get the DVD, and you'll also have bilingual subtitles to play with. Try these shows for a start:

Les Revenants is a supernatural drama which follows the residents of a small French alpine town as they come to terms with a series of mysterious and unbelievable occurrences: a small group of deceased men, women and children suddenly return from the dead and attempt to re-join the family and friends they left behind years before. As if this wasn’t creepy enough, the town also begins experiencing a series of chilling local murders.

Spiral is the perfect show for you crime lovers out there. When the badly beaten body of a young Romanian woman is discovered on a Parisian rubbish dump, we are suddenly plunged deep into a murky underworld of prostitution, drugs, business, politics and justice. If you like CSI, The Wire and 24, chances are you’re gonna like Spiral.

9. Kerstin’s Easy French Grammar for Beginners Course

Last but not least we have my very own French beginners’ course! It's created for French beginners or "false beginners" - those who studied a while ago and don't feel like they got anywhere.

In this course, you will learn how to speak simple, correct, beautiful French together with me (and my kitty). Featuring easy explanations of the all the grammar you’ll need for your first year of French, this course will help you eliminate embarrassing errors with a friendly and informal tutor – yep that's me.

The course comes with offers 2 hours of videos, live discussions and worksheets to ensure you have understood everything correctly.

7. French Tenses Simplified Course

Ready for grammar at a higher level?

Scott McElroy runs a course on French tenses – simplified! In this course Scott will teach you how to master the 10 main tenses of the French language quickly and efficiently. You will learn how each tense is formed, when it is used, and what the English equivalent is to make it easier for you. The course includes a 1 hour on-demand video, 7 supplemental resources and full lifetime access amongst other things. With a track record of over 3,900 students having been enrolled on the course and largely positive feedback, what are you waiting for?

8. Bescherelle Complete Guide to Conjugating 12,000 French Verbs

One of the hardest parts of learning a new language can be getting used to all the rules for conjugating verbs – sometimes they don’t make sense to the beginner eye! This is where the Becherelle Complete Guide comes in; it includes just about every verb you can think of. If it’s not in there, chances are you won’t need to know it! This language course book has been around since the mid 80s, I used it in the mid 90s, and is just as useful today as it was back then.

9. BBC Languages French

BBC has a fab introductory hub for learning French. Some of the content is aimed at children, making it perfect for beginners! They have a test where you can test your skills and determine your level, links to French TV and radio websites. Some of it is a little outdated, but still worth a look for the amount of free resources you can find here.

By measuring your progress, you’ll soon feel so confident about speaking French that you won’t be able to wait to talk to someone.

What is your favourite French language resource? Got an app to shout about? Leave a comment below or tell us what you think of our top tips.