Learning French online is a luxury that previous generations could only dream about.
In fact, our ancestors might say that all these new technological advances in French learning are practically otherworldly.
Especially when you consider a program like Frantastique that teaches French using aliens!
Yes, you read that correctly: aliens.
But not scary aliens. I’m talking empathetic, cute aliens.
How does it work? Does it even work?
That’s exactly what this Frantastique review will explore.
We’ll give you the rundown on the Frantastique French learning program—including what you can, and can’t, expect to get out of it.
What Does Frantastique Offer?
Frantastique offers online French lessons for individual learners, businesses and educators. The entire program is delivered in French, so it’s an immersive learning experience right from the start.
Once you sign up for Frantastique, a new lesson is sent to your email inbox each day. In the email, a link brings you to your new lesson that includes a short video and exercises that are then corrected with feedback. This feedback is also sent to you by email so you don’t lose track of your work or the notes you’ve been given.
After completion of at least six months of the Frantastique course, participants receive a certificate of completion. If you sign up for Frantastique Pro, you can receive a certified diploma—a professional training diploma that’s officially recognized in France.
Frantastique uses an algorithm that learns more about you as you complete lessons. The program then caters future lessons to your needs and goals. According to Frantastique, it takes as little as a week of lessons to do this, so personalization happens pretty quickly.
How Much Does Frantastique Cost?
Frantastique offers three pricing plans: Basic, Premium and Pro:
- Basic costs $24 per month. You get all the lesson content and personalization features.
- Premium costs $36 per month. On top of the personalized lessons, you also get specialized content to learn French for a range of fields including medicine, the arts, tourism and more. Frantastique also prioritizes technical support requests from Premium (and Pro) users.
- Pro costs $48 per month. You get everything in Premium as well as direct teaching support from Frantastique’s team. As mentioned earlier, Pro users can also earn a certified diploma.
Frantastique’s Video Lessons: Learning Through Otherworldly Context
Once you’ve decided to be abducted by aliens to learn French, you’re immediately sent your first lesson. Each lesson starts with a short video that features the cute alien characters in fun situations.
In one video, for example, the aliens find cryogenically-frozen French historical figures such as Édith Piaf, Napoléon and Victor Hugo. After some discussion, the aliens decide to bring Victor Hugo back to life.
This is great for learning French in context: learners get exposure to French vocabulary through actual sentences. It’s easier for the brain to make connections this way, and new vocabulary is apt to stick.
A great addition to the videos is that they have the option to include French subtitles alongside the French audio.
Further, the lesson allows you to choose the vocabulary you don’t understand for translation and explanations. Frantastique then remembers this vocabulary for future practice and to shape your future French lessons.
After you watch the video and save relevant vocabulary, there’s a mixture of comprehension and grammar questions.
Grammar questions are catered to your needs, starting off as basic grammatical concepts and growing into more complex practice as you advance. For example, in the Victor Hugo lesson, the grammar lesson focuses on the conjugations of basic verbs such as être (to be) and avoir (to have) and personal pronouns.
Lesson Corrections: Fast Feedback in Your Inbox
After completing the lesson and its exercises, simply click the envoyer (send) button for a complete correction of your work.
Almost immediately, Frantastique emails you a detailed correction of each comprehension question. This correction includes not only the correct answer but also an explanation of why it’s correct and other answers are incorrect. This is invaluable for French learners—crystal-clear explanations allow learners to use new constructions properly without confusion.
For grammar questions, the corrections are just as in-depth. Each includes grammar notes and tips. While the corrections and explanations are given in French, there’s also a button available for the corrections and notes to be read in English.
Further, while the corrections include the names of French grammatical concepts such as pronoms démonstratifs (demonstrative pronouns), simply hover your cursor over the concept to open up a window explaining the concept further.
Frantastique Review: What’s Frantastic and What Could Be Improved?
Okay, So What Makes Frantastique Work?
Quite frankly, Frantastique is a fantastic way to learn French. Here are the top features that jumped out at us.
In-depth Lesson Material
First of all, the detail included in the lessons is amazing. Often, the trouble with learning French online is that explanations related to vocabulary or grammar are limited by the “bite-sized” platform.
By contrast, Frantastique’s email format allows it to deliver thorough explanations. This is true for both the lesson content itself and the corrections—which especially means that much of the guesswork of grammar is taken out.
Immersive Learning with English Support
While having access to a program that’s completely in French is beneficial for an immersive experience, the ability to toggle between French and English when receiving instructions and explanations is also a great feature.
This ensures that you’re primarily learning French in French—which is faster and more effective than trying to learn everything by translating from English—but minimizes confusion and prevents you from hitting a wall.
Frantastique is unique in that it mixes the language with French culture, using French music and historical figures to guide the topics of instruction. This gives context to the language and allows it come alive in your inbox.
Special Levels for Targeted Learning
There are also little details that make Frantastique a fantastic way to learn French.
Not quite ready for the French-only lessons? Frantastique allows learners to choose the bas niveau (low level) mode to get the activities in a simpler French. As previously mentioned, Frantastique determines your level of French after the first seven lessons in order to send lessons catered to you.
Frantastique also offers a kid-friendly version. Learners can choose between “spicy” and “non-spicy” mode. Spicy mode may contain adult language and situations, but non-spicy mode is safe for even the youngest of learners.
Frantastique also offers something for advanced French learners. There’s a version available for native French speakers that could be used if you already have a high level of French and you want to brush up on the language.
How Could Frantastique Learning Be Optimized?
While Frantastique is a comprehensive and accessible way to learn French online, there are a few hitches.
Mix in Authentic French
While Frantastique’s French lessons are fun and catchy, they won’t give you an opportunity to learn everyday French that you’d hear on the streets in Paris.
At first, that might not seem like a big deal. How would you learn from native-level French before you can really understand it?
Well, there actually is a French learning program designed to give you the best of both worlds. FluentU is the perfect supplement or alternative to other French learning programs like Frantastique, because it provides authentic French videos—like movie trailers, music videos, inspiring speeches and more—that’ve been transformed into personalized language lessons.
Every video comes with interactive French subtitles. Click any word for an instant definition, grammar info and examples. After you’re done watching a video, multimedia flashcards and fun quizzes will ensure that you remember what you’ve learned.
The FluentU videos are organized by level (beginner through advanced) and genre so it’s easy to find the ones that work for you. FluentU will also keep track of what you’ve learned and suggest new content based on that info.
And just like Frantastique, you can use FluentU anywhere with the mobile apps for iOS or Android. Now you have a well-rounded, totally entertaining French program wherever you go!
Focus on More Language Skills
With Frantastique, the emphasis is on reading and listening. There aren’t many opportunities to write more than a couple words in fill-in-the-blank exercises, and there’s no speaking practice.
A French language exchange would be a smart way to build off of your Frantastique learning. You’ll have the opportunity to apply your new skills during your speaking practice—and you can get some writing practice, too, by emailing or texting with your language exchange partner.
Start with More Beginner-friendly Materials
You do need a basis in the French language to use Frantastique, since the program is delivered in French. This means that it’s not necessarily the ideal option for absolute beginners.
Look for More Frequent Practice Opportunities
For me, the biggest drawback of Frantastique is that learners can only receive five lessons a week, once a day, with no opportunity to set your own pace or work ahead—no matter what pricing plan you’re on. This could be a deterrent for learners who want to dedicate more time to French.
Learners can, however, supplement their time with other programs such as FluentU, where they can set their own pace and study as much or as little as they want in a given day or week.
Does that mean Frantastique is worth skipping? Definitely not. Frantastique is a great way to learn French online, and its attention to detail is something to be admired. Whether on its own or in conjunction with another online learning method such as FluentU, Frantastique is ready to bring your French to the galaxies and beyond!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.