6 Best Accredited French Courses Online That Offer High School Credit
I’m a freelance writer who works from home. I work in my pajamas, play with my dog throughout the day and take breaks whenever I need them. It’s amazing.
In fact, I wish I’d been able to work from home back in high school.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, attending school from home is easier than ever!
And not just for full-time homeschool students. High school kids in various situations can benefit from logging in online to learn, even when the subject is a foreign language.
In this post, I’ll show you six of the best accredited French courses online that will give you high school credit, so you can study French from the comfort of your own home!
- 1. Sterling Academy
- 2. Apex Learning Virtual School
- 3. The Keystone School
- 4. Forest Trail Academy
- 5. NorthStar Academy
- 6. Connections Academy
- And one more thing...
1. Sterling Academy
Price: $450 tuition for full credit (2-semester) course plus $100 enrolment fee
Sterling Academy offers three years of high school French. Levels I, II and III are each two semesters long, but if you need to enroll for only one semester, they give you that option as well.
Other than the fact that it’s online, Sterling Academy’s curriculum is fairly traditional. The website states that each class consists of “vocabulary practice, writing assignments, quizzes, unit tests, and mid-term and final comprehensive exams.”
Sterling’s major draw is its reasonable tuition price. If you only want to enroll in one year-long French course, you pay $395, plus a $100 enrollment fee. If you want to enroll for only one semester, you pay $225 in addition to the enrollment fee.
While those prices might seem hefty, remember that Sterling is a private academy, and all private schools require tuition. Sterling also prides itself on its rigorous academics, so you seem to get what you pay for.
2. Apex Learning Virtual School
Price: $700 for full year
Apex Learning Virtual School offers four courses, French I, French II, French I Honors and French II Honors.
Honors courses appeal to students who are more serious about French studies than those who simply need to meet graduation requirements. The courses move at a faster pace than the basic classes, so the students cover more information, often at a greater depth.
Keep in mind, honors classes are not equivalent to AP classes. Kids will not take the AP exam or receive AP credit. This can be a major benefit for students who are passionate about French but don’t want the pressure of taking an AP class.
Apex Learning’s courses often operate similarly to brick-and-mortar schools. There are lessons, reviews, quizzes and exams.
All four last for a full year and cost $700 each.
3. The Keystone School
Price: Cost varies depending on course
The Keystone School offers French levels I through IV. One huge benefit of taking one of their online courses? No textbook required! Textbooks are insanely expensive, so you can relax knowing you won’t spend money buying books on Amazon.
Like the other programs on this list, each French level at Keystone is divided into two semesters.
However, a unique feature of this school is that semesters aren’t necessarily the same length as a traditional school’s. Students can enroll at any time throughout the year and squeeze in or spread out the hours over any length of time. This is great for students who, for one reason or another, might decide in October or April that they want to take French online.
Each class consists of 120 credit hours, or 60 hours, per semester. Keystone also provides 30-45 hours’ worth of outside study materials per course.
Although students have teachers for their classes, the program intends for students to do most of their work independently, so they can finish tasks on their own time.
Keystone also recently developed the Keystone Plus Program for students who need a little more guidance. This arrangement includes built-in scheduling, class placement support and academic intervention.
Keystone’s main priority is to provide a French education that meets the rigorous standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). This means students will learn reading, writing, speaking, listening and culture in each class.
4. Forest Trail Academy
Price: Tuition information available here
Forest Trail Academy only offers French I and II. Although Forest Trail provides students with a strong education, no honors or AP classes are offered. The school does offer AP classes in other subjects if your homeschooled child wants to take the APs in subjects other than French.
This school’s biggest selling point is the availability of academic advisers. While all these schools want to help your child succeed, these advisers are especially invested.
Between the advisers who look at each student’s overall educational experience and the AP classes in courses other than French, I recommend Forest Trail Academy more for homeschool students than traditionally educated kids who just need to take one or two French courses online.
5. NorthStar Academy
Price: Tuition information available here
NorthStar Academy is a Christian online institution. It’s a great option for students who want to learn from home but still want a religious education.
This school offers French levels I through III as well as AP French Language and Culture. All four courses are two semesters in duration.
Even though numerous schools across the country offer AP classes, not all provide AP electives. I know my high school sure didn’t! I was passionate about French as a teenager and would have loved to take an AP French course.
AP French Language and Culture is a strong choice for students who not only want to learn about grammar and vocabulary but also want to learn about Francophone countries and their inhabitants from “authentic” sources.
Authentic sources are materials created by native Francophones for speakers of the language, as opposed to activities created by textbook publishers for French language learners. Of course, a huge aim of this course is to prepare kids for the AP French examination in May.
The cost of one yearlong course with NorthStar Academy is $615. The school does offer discounts to families who enroll in courses through their brick-and-mortar schools or have at least two kids enrolled with NorthStar. If parents work for ministry-related non-governmental organizations or for the military, students may also receive discounts.
NorthStar also offers multiple payment plans for families.
6. Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a little different from the other online schools on this list. It’s not a private school, but rather an online network of public schools.
Yes, public schools. You know what that means? Tuition is free! Youpi!
Resources are provided online. You pay for any additional materials you might want and the cost of optional field trips. The field trips are a benefit of being connected to a local Connections school.
Connections Academy has partner online schools all over America, making it easy to find partnered schools near you.
It seems silly that a school needs to be near you if the offerings are online. However, each school must meet the requirements of the public school system in the state where you live. Due to these standards, Connections Academy clarifies that it’s not technically a homeschooling program.
Connections Academy offers high school French for levels I through IV, and each class runs for a full academic year. The academy’s website gives a thorough explanation of what topics, vocabulary and grammar are covered in each level.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
One of these six online programs could be the answer to your prayers! Find the right fit and learn French in your pajamas. While munching on a croissant. Maybe even while sipping a café au lait.
And one more thing...
If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.
FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
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 learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."
All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally 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 the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)