It’s time to take matters into your own hands.
You’ve gotta take the leap and just dive in.
If you really want to advance your French, plunge into an advanced French course.
Whether you’re a busy student, stay-at-home parent or have lots of time on your hands, there’s an abundance of high-quality French courses available right at your fingertips online—and it’s time to soak it up!
We’ll explore these options, but first, let’s take a look at some of the very important advantages afforded by online learning.
Advantages of Taking an Advanced French Course Online
- Flexibility: You can sign up any time and from anywhere. On a trip around the world? In an area with no quality language schools? No problem. When you sign up online, you start when you want from wherever you happen to be.
- Scheduling: When you learn online, you go at your own pace and set your own schedule. Let’s say you have no time during the week, or your mornings are quite busy. Don’t fret, because the course runs on your time and availability.
- Customize Content: Choose and combine content; find a conversation partner while you review advanced grammar, or really polish your accent! When you’re online, you can choose what you learn in order to develop your strengths and ensure that you work on your weaknesses.
- Budget-friendly: Online means free or very reasonably-priced fees, which is great for the students on a shoestring budget, interns or for those watching their spending.
- Interactive: Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you are alone. With an abundance of activities and online conversation partners, you get direct 1-1 contact with native speakers and a community of language learners.
Fantastic, don’t you think? Considering many top universities (Harvard and Princeton to name a few) now have full courses online, the internet is truly becoming a competitive learning platform.
But with the wide availability of online courses, how can you decide which course offers quality and suits your needs? Below are four practical tips that will guide you in identifying your needs and ensuring you pick a course that’s just right for you.
Tips to Choose Your Online Advanced French Course
- Know your strengths. What are you good at? Whether it’s comprehension, writing or reading, pick a course that provides extra training in your strength to really polish them off.
- Be honest about your weaknesses. Know what you need to work on. Maybe you need to work on your speaking, brush up on your verb tenses or develop specific vocabulary. If you’re not sure, ask your conversation partner or teacher to help you identify your weak spots.
- Decide how much time you can dedicate to your online French learning. If you only have 1-2 hours a week, you’d better opt for a short course, or one that has readily available worksheets, without much extra workload. Maybe your schedule permits you to dedicate 2 hours daily. Well then why not sign up for a university-level course? In order to be persistent over a long period of time, be precise and practical about how much time you can dedicate to your online learning from the start.
- Pick a topic/specialization. Being an advanced learner means you can begin taking university-level courses in French, or even specific language courses in your field. Or if you want to obtain general knowledge, pick a topic that interests you—you’ll be much more engaged when you’re truly interested.
Now you’re probably thinking, “But can I really find quality courses online, and if so, where?” Not only can you find quality and accessibility online, but also incredible affordability. Let’s check out six fantastic sites where you can sign up for advanced French courses today.
6 Advanced French Courses for Incredible Online Learning
Cost: Free to enroll, $49 USD to receive certification
For those of you really looking for a challenge and wishing to develop your general knowledge in any field, why not sign up for a free university course in French at Coursera? There are over 100 partner universities on this platform from all over the world, providing top notch courses in over 20 languages.
Currently, the platform offers over 40 university courses in French (along with French subtitles) for free. This means that you can sign up for a course in history, photography or accounting—whatever happens to interest you really. This site is great for advanced speakers with ample time to dedicate to specialize their French skills. As a plus, for $49 USD you can get university credit and certification for certain courses once completed.
Ready to begin this year? Check out these year-round course offerings on Coursera:
L’avenir de la décision: connaître et agir en complexité (Future of Decision Making: Understand and Act with Awareness)
School: ESSEC Business School
This course explores daily problems that individuals, groups of people, companies and societies confront as it pertains to decision making. It begins with exploring the notions of complexity, doubt and knowledge and extends into the complexity of the human mind and decision-making in the context of globalization, where choices are plenty.
Ebola: Vaincre Ensemble (Ebola: A Global Struggle!)
School: University of Geneva | *Certification Available
Explore the complexities of the 2014 global Ebola crisis, from the initial cases in Africa and its eventual extension into the West. This course allows learners to understand Ebola from both a medical and sociological standpoint, covering the nature of the virus to its impact on socio-political stability and implications for human health in Africa and beyond.
2. The Open University
Cost: Free to enroll, $3,000 USD for their Advanced French Course
This site also provides university-level courses in French, as well as advanced French language courses. For those motivated learners, you can even enroll in Masters courses in French! The great thing about Open University is that it provides structure and teacher feedback for enrolled students—for a fee, of course. This way you can track your progress with an online teacher and personal tutor to stay motivated through grades and comments on your projects and exercises.
Cost: Free or monthly fee, varies by tier
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the French language and culture over time. You’ll learn French as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive subtitles.
You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.
For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:
Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with FluentU's adaptive quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning and play the mini-games found in the dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."
As you study, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a 100% personalized experience.
It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
This is a very creative online language platform because you learn and teach simultaneously. The methodology promotes interactive and shared learning between users, so you learn French while helping others learn English. How? Native French speakers leave comments on your writing and speaking exercises, and you do the same for French learners who are learning English.
Users also create course content like writing exercises, interactive vocabulary lists and videos. This is an excellent site to polish your speaking because there is heavy emphasis on vocabulary, speaking and pronunciation. As a bonus, you can sign up to learn as many foreign languages as you like, all for free! The site has excellent courses in French, Spanish, and German, but also interesting offerings in languages such as Esperanto and Farsi!
5. Français Facile
This site is quite basic-looking, yet has very practical advanced writing, verb conjugation and grammar review exercises. For the learner that has little time and wants to develop their writing skills, this is your site!
Have 15 minutes to spare? Do a pronoun or grammar review exercise. These courses are great to combine with in-person conversation classes!
6. Français Authentique
Cost: Free trial (7 days), Pack 1 (49 euros), Pack 2 (99 euros), Pack 3 (149 euros), Pack 1+2+3 (199 euros)
Can’t afford Paris this year? Want to learn authentic Parisian French? Well why not bring France to your home! For those of you advanced speakers in love with all that is French and Paris, this is the course for you. Set up by native Parisian French teacher Johan, this site has grown to provide a variety of course packages for French lovers around the world. Try it out for free the first week, and if satisfied continue through a course package. This is great for those advanced learners looking to perfect their accent, and you can dedicate as much or little time as you can.
As you can see, a whole world of top-quality online French courses is right at your fingertips! So identify your strengths and weaknesses, pick a time commitment and specialization, and then take the dive! These advanced courses will take you deep into the depths of French language and culture. Enjoy!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.