You know the old saying, right?
Friends don’t let friends slack when it comes to improving their French.
Okay, maybe I misheard it…
But either way, I’m here to help you, friend!
Today I’d like to introduce you to some of my other very good friends…
If you’ve begun tackling auxiliary verbs, you may have already met Dr. and Mrs. Vandertramp.
If you’re into native French media, I’m sure you’re familiar with at least a couple of these well-known French vloggers.
And hopefully you know that in your quest to learn French, it’s best to avoid aligning yourself with false friends.
You should also know, however, that there’s yet another helpful companion you can enlist on your way to fluency that may just be a French learner’s best friend.
Please give a warm welcome to French language tutorials!
Making Friends: What You Need to Know About French Language Tutorials
Tutorials, you say? What are they? Why are they helpful?
Well, unlike a textbook or an in-depth course, tutorials on French are a great way to get a quick refresher or overview of a particular topic. They generally offer easy-to-digest descriptions of a particular subject so that learners can understand said subject quickly and painlessly.
Many online tutorial resources include all areas of French language learning. That means that learners can find tutorials for speaking, listening, writing and reading French. However, the vast majority of tutorials spend the most time on grammar, and rightfully so. After all, don’t we all crave short, simple explanations for grammar?
But I’m going to let you in on a secret. It’s what friends do, right? You should use French language tutorials as supplementary material to your already-established language learning regimen.
While tutorials can be reasonably extensive, French language tutorials should complement other forms of learning French. Tutorials are meant to be good friends with your French course, self-study program or textbook. Who wants to go it alone, after all?
7 Reliable Sites for French Language Tutorials
Check out these top sources for online tutorials to pair with your French learning.
If you’ve been studying French for any amount of time, chances are you’ve come across the French language section of About.com. This online French language resource, which is now part of an educational site called ThoughtCo, has tutorials on practically every aspect of learning French imaginable: vocabulary, grammar, listening resources and so much more. You can find tutorials on the French subjunctive mood or the irregular verb venir (to come). Once you’re done, read a bilingual French-English story to brush up on your vocabulary.
But the awesome friendship doesn’t have to end there. Why not take your relationship to the next level? Not only does ThoughtCo include tutorials for all levels of French proficiency, but it offers learners tutorials on French culture and French around the world. Who knew learning about Christmas in France could be so fun and educational?
Besides the tutorials, learners can browse ThoughtCo’s pages for useful links to French news, radio and TV. Such links will enhance the French you’re already learning and allow you to incorporate more French into your life.
When I first began learning foreign languages—and French in particular—the first online place I discovered was for this was ielanguages.com. While the website itself has in-depth tutorials for many major European languages like German, Italian, Dutch and even Icelandic, their materials on French are perhaps most extensive, probably because Dr. Jennifer Wagner, the website’s owner, has done a lot of work in the French education sector.
On ielanguages.com, the French language tutorial aims to give you a complete overview of French grammar and vocabulary, so subjects covered include basic French phrases and pronunciation and move all the way up to the subjunctive mood and false cognates.
Once learners have followed the tutorial all the way through (or refreshed themselves on the ones they need), they can then access an additional e-book on informal and spoken French. (If you think you may be interested in both products, you can get them at a discounted rate as a combined pack.)
There are plenty of additional resources on the site for French learners, including French listening resources, flashcards, exercises, videos and extensive word lists that compare French with other major European languages such as Italian, Spanish and German. This website really is a gem for learners of French and linguaphiles in general!
The truth is, you’re already on a site that can walk you through the French language. Okay, so we spend a lot of time talking about learning resources like YouTube and French music, but we’re also all about the grammar and the finer points of French.
Among a vast sea of grammar topics, FluentU’s French blog covers explanations of the French tenses and moods from the present to the dreaded subjunctive. You can even have a look at a complete overview of the tenses to get a better idea of what you’re dealing with before you dive in.
Just starting out with French? Get a quick primer on beginner phrases, grammar and the language in general in our introduction to the French language right here. Continue on with other beginner French tips that include how to master the alphabet, count, read, speak and more.
Best of all, FluentU can function as both your go-to spot for tutorial-level explanations and your primary means of learning the language. You can start putting the knowledge from FluentU posts to use right away with FluentU videos, using the app for iOS, app for Android or the website.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like vlogs, cartoons, movie trailers, news and music videos—and breaks them down into language lessons that include vocab and grammar explanations, so you can learn step-by-step with the program and then visit the blog for any topics you need more in-depth explanation on. You’ll even find flashcard sets based on some of your favorite blog posts!
While lacking some of the all-encompassing features of the sites above (in terms of listening resources, flashcards and other supplementary resources), the French Tutorial is an extremely comprehensive but easy-to-understand analysis of French grammar.
Topics follow a logical learning order and start learners off with a comprehensive look at pronunciation before guiding them through verbs, negation, adjectives and many other grammatical themes as well as themed vocabulary lists. The best part of The French Tutorial is that each grammar lesson is short and to-the-point. They offer just enough information to give you an overview of the topic while not bogging you down with excessive detail.
In case the tutorials weren’t enough, The French Tutorial has a fantastic forum to get all your French-related inquiries addressed. Grammar help and a support forum? Yes, please.
A fantastic resource for beginners of French, QC French provides to-the-point overviews of common French grammar and themed vocabulary. Start with a brief explanation of the definite articles le and la (the) and work your way up to the conditional tense in no time at all.
In addition to the written tutorials, QC French offers audio tutorials on common travel situations to help learners improve their pronunciation and prepare them for their amazing trip to a French-speaking nation. Figure out how to hail a taxi cab or be an effective French shopper with helpful dialogues made to prime you for your trip.
Lastly, QC French has a great cache of French worksheets and quizzes so learners can practice their French grammar and vocabulary with exercises for beginners and intermediates. Worksheets range from the present tense to imparfait (the imperfect past) and even the gender of French nouns.
Lastly, don’t forget to check out the glossaries for lists of common verbs!
While alison.com specializes in online courses in many subject areas, its Basic French Language Skills for Everyday Life course is a great introduction to French that includes tutorials on basic vocabulary, grammar and common French-language situations.
The tutorials are broken up into modules, and each module is broken up into lessons. Learners can take short lessons on things like colors, numbers and food, and then enjoy the 16-part module on conjugating French verbs into the present tense. Best of all, once you log in with a social media account, it tracks your progress and lets you know how far you’ve gotten in a module or the course. That way, you’ll be able to see what you’ve already done and start where you left off.
Best of all, at the end of all the tutorials, there’s a French Language Skills Assessment to test learners on the French they’ve acquired over the tutorials. This is a great way to review for any problem areas that persist and need further practice.
While rumor has it that the BBC no longer updates this website, the fact remains that their tutorials live on and are fantastic. Besides, where better to learn a foreign language with than an organization at the forefront of world media?
With BBC French, learners can choose from online video lessons such as Talk French, an introductory tutorial course, or The French Experience, also a video course for beginners. Intermediate French learner? No fear! Ma France, a more interactive video course, is for you.
Additionally, learners using BBC French can access tutorials on pronunciation, vocabulary and slang. Best of all, the BBC itself offers loads of French media such as BBC Afrique and gives learners a guide for how to access more French media.
Lastly, the BBC offers great tutorials on French grammar to correspond to their Ma France course, so whether you need to brush up on the present tense or the passé récent (recent past), the BBC has you covered.
Well, there you have it: the 7 best resources for online French tutorials. No need to thank me.
What are friends for, after all?
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.