You’re ready for a French intermediate course.
You’re pretty comfortable with how far you’ve come since you started French for beginners.
As you lie back and reflect fondly, you might even get nostalgic for the days of regular verb conjugation and restaurant vocabulary. You might drift off thinking about all those times you successfully ordered delicacies off a French menu.
You can almost smell the gruyère cheese, and then…
The bell rings. Diiinnng. Abruptly slicing through your daydreams of soupe à l’oignon (French onion soup), the voice of reason sounds again:
“It’s time to move on to intermediate French.”
Whether that bell is in your classroom or in your head, you realize you can’t stay at your current, comfortable level.
The good news is, moving from beginner French to intermediate French also means moving towards a new, beautiful chapter in your language learning journey. Your hard work will finally begin to translate into meaningful interactions with others and give you the potential to develop your skills in ways you never imagined.
What Will a French Intermediate Course Entail?
So, what does an intermediate French course actually consist of?
According to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), intermediate language levels B1 and B2 entail being independent in real-life situations and constructing/defending your own arguments.
The CEFR places emphasis on simple, standard comprehension and writing for lower-intermediate learners. These B1 learners can get by in the majority of situations encountered while traveling in French-speaking countries.
For upper-intermediate learners who have acquired these skills, the focus is shifted to speaking and reading in more abstract situations. B2 learners are expected to be able to speak about a wide range of complex topics with considerable ease.
To achieve this level of independence in French, it would be helpful to supplement what you learn in your French intermediate course with other resources for intermediate learning.
So, here’s a quick list of some gems to check out before we get into the courses themselves.
Supplemental Tools to Get More from Your Intermediate French Course
Supplementing your French intermediate course with outside material is important for developing the breadth of knowledge you’ll need to be able to improvise in French in the real world.
Meetup: In-person French Conversations
Meetup.com offers intermediate French students a way to practice with both native speakers and other French learners by doing just that—meeting up with them!
These fun and low pressure interactions are particularly useful for practicing intermediate French conversations. They allow you to work on your improvisational skills in the language. Seeing how well you can speak French in a non-scripted situation is a great way to get insight into areas you need improvement on.
French learners who live in locations where Meetups aren’t accessible can get similar, practical intermediate French conversation practice by talking with native French speakers on Speaky.
This free, online alternative gives learners the chance to interact with native speakers of the target language using text, audio and video tools. This virtual Meetup is just as effective in helping you clarify or practice difficult concepts or ideas from your courses.
WordReference French Forum: Intermediate French Insights
Language learners have come to love the free, online bilingual dictionary, WordReference. However, many might not know about all the features it has to offer.
The French forum on this site is a great place to get clarification from native speakers on specific questions that might arise during your studies.
Intermediate learners can get all sorts of goodies from here, like insight about awkward phrasings, cultural etiquette and other aspects of the French language that grammar checkers can’t help you with. So get the answers to your questions here!
Lawless French: On-demand Intermediate French Lessons
With Lawless French, learners have the advantage of accessing authentic French dialogues and transcriptions coupled with lessons organized into level (including low-intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate) by French expert Laura Lawless.
With her decades of experience learning and teaching French, intermediate learners will benefit from the in-depth knowledge she shares.
TV5MONDE: Authentic (but Accessible) French TV
The videos on TV5MONDE’s site are organized by level and cover everything from science to culture. The site can be a great way to remove your language training wheels; the videos offer transcriptions and translations to check out words you still don’t understand after watching the video.
9 French Intermediate Courses to Push You Out of Your Comfort Zone
Online Intermediate French Courses
Well-known for its courses in web design and computer programming, Udemy also offers a wide variety of language learning courses, including an intermediate French course taught 100% in French.
With outstanding ratings from over 200 users, the course is targeted towards low intermediate to advanced learners. So you’ll be sure to finish it with a solid base to launch into advanced French!
To ensure you retain the information covered in the 48 lectures totaling an hour and a half, the course offers dozens of quizzes, as well as supplemental texts and audio recordings.
FluentU offers access to the kind of real-world French learning materials that intermediate students need to immerse themselves in a new language. With a focus on practicality and language learning through context, FluentU is a great resource to keep in mind for attacking intermediate French.
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.
Elearningfrench.com offers a course of 12 intermediate French lessons with vocabulary, grammar and dialogue/transcription components. Vocabulary words and individual sentences have been recorded by native speakers so you can work on improving your pronunciation with ease!
The course is completely free and offers proficiency tests to help you monitor your comprehension. If you find you want to go back and review basic skills, the menu shows you a list of lessons you can choose from.
So if you’re someone who likes the ability to pick and choose lessons, you’ll enjoy all the available options of elearningfrench.com. There are even fun sections like “French slang and idioms” and “French sayings and proverbs.”
Also, new material is constantly being added, making this a fabulous resource to keep bookmarked!
French by French
French by French’s intermediate French course features 50 free lessons that also have audio and transcription components. One cool component of this site is that many of the lessons feature interesting tidbits about culture, geography and colloquialisms that’ll give you a richer understanding of the French that’s actually used in France.
These elements can make it much easier to digest the difficult grammar and conjugations that you’ll need to learn in any intermediate French course you take.
Frantastique’s intermediate French lessons take the form of interactive, animated videos with a fictional storyline centered around the famous French writer Victor Hugo.
By studying for 10 to 15 minutes per day, learners can take lessons that match their level to keep themselves interested over the long haul.
The site’s small daily time commitment and engaging storyline make it a great option to hold the interest of language learners with busy schedules and wandering minds.
If you enjoy using visual cues to learn French, you might consider the intermediate French courses on Babbel, where users match words, phrases and sentences to images by listening to audio.
Babbel also offers a unique speech recognition feature that allows users to have their speaking reviewed and critiqued by native-speaking course editors. Whether you’re fresh out of beginning French or haven’t studied it in years, the site makes it easy to jump right into intermediate French with two refresher courses and three in-depth courses.
For those wary of commitment, Babbel offers a free first lesson and a 20-day money back guarantee with no questions asked!
Although it’s not a scripted course, FrenchPod101 offers various learning pathways for intermediate French learners. Just choose your level and the site provides video lessons appropriate for you!
The site’s themed lessons are given by native speakers and have a strong cultural component that allows users to learn about France, too!
FrenchPod101’s premium plus account ($23 per month) is a unique option that comes with a personalized assessment, lesson plans and one-on-one tutoring with one of the company’s French teachers, in addition to its large video database. They even offer a free, seven-day trial if you want to try it out first!
Intermediate French Courses Abroad
If you’re looking for a 100% authentic immersion experience, taking a course in Paris could be just the thing for you! Campus Langues offers French courses for all levels designed with the CEFR standards in mind.
Furthermore, taking an immersion class while living in Paris allows you to learn firsthand about French customs and etiquette, while putting your new knowledge to the test day in and day out! Who knows—maybe you’ll even be able to meet up with the new friends you made on Speaky!
GEOS Languages Plus
For intermediate French learners looking to learn Canadian French, GEOS Languages Plus is another great option to check out.
While their main focus is English, you’ll also find lots of options for studying French. They offer anywhere from super intensive programs with 40 lessons a week to standard program options with 20 lessons a week. GEOS offers full- and part-time French programs and classes in six Canadian cities.
GEOS organizes extracurricular activities for their students daily, which means that you can practice your new language skills right away!
We wish you the best of luck in the next leg of your journey and hope you’re ready to embrace it (even if it’s a little uncomfortable)!
And please don’t hesitate to check back in when you’re ready to check out some advanced French resources!
Enjoy your French intermediate course and à bientôt! (See you soon!)
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.