How’s your French learning tool belt?
Let’s take a look.
I’m seeing some dictionaries, some translator apps, some conjugation guides…
That’s all awesome, but with the technology available today, you’ve got to get some fun digital tools in that belt.
With the internet, the possibilities are endless. You can use your spare internet time to watch French vloggers instead of your usual English ones. You can listen to the best French audio during your daily commute. You can even catch a French movie on Friday night.
But while you’re immersing yourself in French online, why not add in some structured, focused French lessons as well?
No matter what your French level is or what your specific goals are, there are video lessons out there tailored to you.
Let’s take a look at how they can fit into your language learning journey!
Why Video Lessons Are Perfect for the Online Learner
Whether you’re already enrolled in a traditional French course or self-studying French, the internet is an invaluable resource for your language learning journey.
Need to practice speaking? Get a language partner. Need to look up a word? Look it up in an online dictionary.
Want to access French lessons anytime, anywhere? Use French video lessons!
Video lessons can act as a great supplement to any French learning regimen. “How?” you ask. Well, video lessons cover a wide variety of topics. You can find lessons on basic to complex grammar and all kinds of vocabulary, plus French culture, history and social issues, among many more. Video lessons allow you to master your four major language learning skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking).
In fact, you can even get video lessons that target one language learning skill specifically or find a lesson to train all four of them at the same time!
Further, video lessons are invaluable resources because they allow you to hear French pronunciation and intonation in an authentic environment. They’re also often concise and to-the-point, and they can be accessed anywhere and at any time. Lastly, the visuals are perfect to allow you to better remember concepts or words, so whether you’re an auditory or visual learner, video lessons have got you covered!
French from Your Couch: Master the Language with Video Lessons!
Hey, French learner! Are you looking for a place to start? Are you a complete beginner and just want to get a hold on the basics of the language?
Look no further! Je French (I French) is the best place to start for absolute beginner video lessons. The site offers nine basic French video lessons and you can access them for free!
The lessons themselves span topics such as greetings, noun genders and basic verb conjugations. The audio is clear and the narration is slow enough to allow you to hear the native French pronunciations of the words and replicate them. Best of all, the videos have accompanying transcripts so you can download them and review often!
But wait! There’s more! After you complete the initial nine lessons, you can join Je French for $99 to access a 16-week lesson program.
The BBC’s Ma France (My France) is another series of French video lessons that are perfect for absolute beginners. In fact, if you’re looking for a more structured French video course, Ma France is perfect for you!
Ma France contains 24 French units that are easy to follow and pertinent to beginner learners. Topics include basic phrases, eating out, travel and shopping. Each lesson includes a crystal clear video, and best of all, there are also notes with tips on vocabulary and grammar, plus comprehension activities to test your understanding of the lesson’s content.
You can access transcripts, grammar notes and comprehension quizzes by clicking “Preview” under the unit sections on the left side panel (the link for “Grammar Notes” is hidden as the very last bullet point of the “Preview” pages). For additional tips and notes, you can click on the “For Teachers” section also in the left panel. It’s like taking an actual course in France!
Ever wanted to learn French through fun, authentic French videos? Look no further.
FluentU allows you to learn the French language through the web’s best videos including movie trailers, commercials and music videos. You can see translations in real time using the on-screen interface, and each translation offers in-context definitions and examples so you can use the French you learn in everyday conversation.
Further, the videos on FluentU come with quizzes to test your understanding, and since the content progresses in difficulty, FluentU is a great way to start your French learning journey and work toward intermediate or advanced French speaker status!
Best of all, you can learn through video on the go! FluentU is available as an app as well.
Looking for a wide-ranging video resource? YouLearnFrench has hundreds of lessons for you to learn French, starting at the beginner level and working your way up to more advanced lessons. That means you can use it at any stage in your French learning journey, and its well organized website allows you to quickly and easily find the lessons that’ll work best for you.
Topics on YouLearnFrench include pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary—although the lessons can really drill down within those topics, covering everything from religious vocabulary to tongue twisters. The vocabulary is themed and the grammar follows a natural progression so you won’t be overwhelmed by complicated grammar points if you choose a beginner French video lesson.
In addition to the video lessons, YouLearnFrench also has a sister channel called 123dialogues, which provides awesome dialogues to get you familiar with how French is used in real-world situations. You can start at the beginning with the most basic conversation topics and then move onto more complicated topics as you progress. Best of all, the conversations have English translations so you can follow along.
Like YouLearnFrench, FrenchPod101 has hundreds of audio and video lessons for virtually all levels of French (beginner to advanced). FrenchPod101 is a paid service, so you’ll need to pay a subscription fee to get access to all its resources. However, you can do a free seven-day trial to see just how awesome FrenchPod101 is.
Spoiler alert: Pretty awesome.
Video lessons on FrenchPod101 typically cover a specific theme or topic, and they intertwine natural French speech with teaching grammar or vocabulary. The beginner and intermediate videos are an equal balance of French and English, but by the time you reach the advanced courses, they’re completely in French and they really stretch those French muscles (think B2/C1 level stuff).
Further, the lessons have accompanying transcripts and exercises so you can practice and review anywhere, anytime!
Who said French lessons had to be all work and no play?
Oh La La I Speak French is a website that mixes authentic French lessons with funny videos. Each video focuses on a particular topic, whether it be grammar or vocabulary, and puts it into informal, often humorous situations so you can see French in its natural environment.
While there are a lot of free resources and lessons, by registering for the “French for Beginners” course, users can “unlock” transcripts and interactive exercises.
Further, the website is very comprehensive. It offers targeted tutorials on French verbs and French media and much more in addition to the video lessons. The French learning possibilities are endless!
Learn French with Alexa is a popular YouTube channel that offers a huge range of educational content to French learners.
Alexa is friendly and helpful, and her lessons are in depth and targeted. Confused about a French topic? Alexa probably has a video on it, and you’ll come out with a crystal clear understanding!
The videos span many topics such a grammar, vocabulary and French culture. She’s covered everything from French idioms to useful adverbs to slang words for “policeman.” While there are videos aimed at beginners, Alexa also offers listening comprehension videos as well as stories and songs in French with French and English subtitles.
Best of all, Alexa creates videos that offer in-depth conjugation explainers for many verbs such as parler (to speak) or boire (to drink). She dissects how to conjugate the given verb in many tenses including the present, past, future and even the subjunctive.
While the rest of the video lessons on this list come from a single French teacher or resource, there’s another cool option that will bring you university-quality lessons from all around the world. edX is one of the biggest websites out there for finding MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses.
MOOCs are virtual courses offered by major educational institutions (edX was created by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) that you can take from your couch—all you need is a computer! Their video components typically involve clips of past lectures and lessons, and sometimes there are streamed discussions you can access in real time. There’s also generally tons of additional materials you can download and use for future review or learning on the go.
Like most other MOOCs, classes through edX usually follow a set schedule and some take a few weeks to complete. Search for “French” and filter for “Languages” under the “Subject” menu to see what’s available and whether it fits with your schedule. It’s an awesome way to get intensive, structured and high quality French lessons without having to get out of your pajamas!
So, what are you waiting for? Take a French lesson from the comfort of your couch right now!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.