MyFrenchLife™ member survey results: your favourite apps & websites for learning French
When you’re reaching for your French language goals, it’s important not to waste time on methods that don’t get results. There are so many amazing online resources and tools out there – but how do you know which will work for you?
With a community full of savvy Francophiles learning French, we thought there could be no better way to find out than asking for your recommendations. So, we put together a special membership survey to find out what makes MyFrenchLife™ members tick when it comes to learning French.
We wanted to hear your stories; how you’re struggling, being challenged, inspired and rewarded by this adventure.
So, selon la communauté, what are the best online resources, websites and apps to choose? Let’s find out…
The best apps & websites according to our community
With so many ways to learn French, we’d be silly not to explore the possibilities!
The struggle to wrap your head around some difficult pronunciation or seemingly contradictory grammar rules can be clarified with some simple explanations and practise. Apps and websites are a great way to do this!
There are plenty out there that promote different ways of learning French – the difficulty lies in how to find your own method. Here we’ve asked you, our members, for your hot tips on the best apps and websites going round.
For general language skills when learning French
For general practice and different language lessons, we all love to use French About.com. The ever helpful Laura K Lawless covers everything from idioms to grammar rules and her website is always a great resource for learning French.
For a general dictionary, many of our members use the Wordreference or Collins Online. We’ve also heard high praise for the Larousse dictionary app for Apple and Android – great when you need to look up a word on the go.
For practising your spoken French
To master the pronunciation of particularly tricky French words and to have an accent parfait, go no further than 123 Dialogues. These are great little snippets that allow you to practise speaking French in the comfort of your own home. What’s more, there are many, many clips to keep you going.
To practise conversation, some of our members use Verbling.
Verbling is an online community of language tutors teaching over live video stream. Verbling offers more than just conversation practice, with many tutors taking grammar classes as well. The sessions vary in price, depending on whether you are taking a class or booking a private conversation session for learning French.
For building up your vocabulaire français
To build upon your vocabulary, MindSnacks is an app that some of you love to use. Introducing French vocabulary and conversation skills through games, the app is a great way to spend a train journey to work or a few spare minutes in a lunch break learning French.
The first lesson is a free trial so you can try before you buy! The app is available for iPhones and iPads.
Verbe2Verbe is also a great application for checking difficult conjugation of verbs while learning French. V2V has both an Apple app and a useful website so irregular verbs are always easy whenever you get stuck! You can test your knowledge of verbs too, to check just how much you have learnt.
Duolingo is probably the most popular app or website for learning French vocabulary and practising conversation – plus it’s entirely free! Duolingo offers both Android and Apple apps both of which have rave reviews, from users and technology experts alike.
Tuning your French ear
Many of our members regularly tune in to podcasts in French as a way to stay abreast with the current affairs and practice their listening skills au même temps.
1. News in Slow French
News in Slow French is a fantastic way to go about this, particularly for those of us who are yet to master French listening comprehension. The great thing about this website is that you can follow along with the transcript of the podcast, to check your listening comprehension. If you choose to subscribe to the website, you also have an iPhone/ iPad app available for you to use.
RFI offers the news in simple French with a podcast available for you to download. With the transcript available and comprehension questions and activities to follow, many of our members find this is a fantastic way to solidify their knowledge. RFI also offers an iPhone/ iPad app.
FrenchPod101 runs lessons through podcasts on everything from conversation skills to grammar rules to practising written expression. And according to our members, the free version of the Apple app is almost as good as the premium for learning French.
4. Learn French by Podcast
Learn French by Podcast is a similarly designed program that some of our members prefer due to the introduction of very practical vocabulary through the recordings.
TV5 has a video wrap up of the news with their broadcast of 7 Jours sur la planète which is slightly more challenging than the audio because there are no transcripts. However for those visual learners, being able to see news story headings and footage can be a great aid in comprehension.
2. BBC French language programs
The BBC French language programs have also been praised as useful for listening practice as well as general lessons in learning French.
For reading in French
As with many of our members listening to current affairs podcasts, many also read up on the news in French.
Le Monde is popular but can be difficult to read for many French learners.
2. Le Petit Journal
As an alternative many of our members subscribe to Le Petit Journal newsletter and regularly check the website.
20minutes is also a popular choice for easier to read articles about sport, celebrities, music, art as well as current affairs. Available for both Android and Apple, this is a great (and quite entertaining) way to keep up your French reading and stay informed!
4. France culture
France culture is also a fantastic website with a wide range of interesting articles to read, as well as a variety of podcasts and videos to choose from.
5. Bien Dire magazine
Alternatively, for those who prefer to read hard copy, Bien Dire magazine is a fabulous resource for learning French. Not only does the bi-monthly French magazine have many articles on French news and culture, but an audio CD is also included to practice your listening skills. Each article is rated by difficulty level and includes lists of important vocabulary.
6. Right here!
Oh, and don’t forget that MyFrenchLife.org also has a great selection of French articles!
Now it’s testing time!
Alors, many of our members are converts to the above apps and websites, but will they work for you? You’ll never know until you try… Maybe you’ll discover some more great resources along the way to share with the MyFrenchLife community!
What apps or websites do you find most complimentary to your learning? Share with us your feedback and tips below for learning French.Read more from our community survey results series… 1. Private tuition vs. group learning – which will work best for you? 3. Why are you learning French? Image Credits
1. Apps, Jason Howie via Flickr.
2. Wordreference homepage, via Wordreference.
3. 123 Dialogues, via YouTube.
4. MindSnacks, via MindSnacks.
6. 7 Jours logo, via TV5.
7. Le Petit Journal logo, Canal+ via Wikimedia.