These are the Best Online French Classes

Parlez-vous Français? These online French classes will have you saying, Oui!

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Besides "Parlez-vous Français?" being one of the most well-known phrases when it comes to the French language, it's the one question many people wish they could answer with "Oui!" If that's you, there's good news–you've come to the right place. This article outlines the best online French classes to help you not only parlez Français, but learn the language according to your schedule, budget, and preferred learning style.

If you're looking for more reasons to learn French aside from being able to hold a conversation or order a "café et pain au chocolat," studies show becoming bilingual can improve memory and brain functions, help with advancing your career, and even improve your understanding of your native language. The benefits for children learning a second language are also impressive: improved memory and concentration, better ability to multitask, enhanced creativity and mental flexibility, and increased problem-solving critical thinking, and listening skills.

Keep reading to find the perfect online French language classes for you and your family.

Best French Classes of 2022

Best Overall: Babbel

Babbel Logo
Babbel

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Online $15/mo, $90/yr to $250/lifetime; App $8/mo; Babble Live $150/mo $900/yr
  • Platforms: App
  • Certificates: Yes

Why We Chose It

Babbel offers a well-rounded curriculum for French learners by covering topics that cover a broad range of language-learner goals: business, culture, and travel. The lessons offered feature a variety of spoken and written exercises to increase your knowledge of both the language and culture. Babbel Live also offers live classes led by certified teachers.

Pros

  • Self-paced learning
  • Practice relatable real-life conversations
  • App or online learning

Cons

  • Better for begging and intermediate levels
  • Can feel repetitive at times

Babbel was designed to help beginners learn the basics quickly and allow intermediate and more advanced learners to maintain and build their French language skills. There are a variety of exercises to keep you engaged including fill in the blanks, word matching, reciting conversations, and listening to native speakers for better understanding during live conversations.

Those with busy schedules will appreciate the short 10-15 minute lessons that feature realistic scenarios and interactive dialogues with "tips" sprinkled throughout the lessons outlining grammar rules. Babbel utilizes the spaced repetition technique to build long-term memorization so you are "cramming" the material only to forget it an hour later. There are podcasts, games, and live-tutoring sessions available.

There are multiple subscription options including online-only lessons that cost $15 a month, $90 a year, or $250 for a lifetime subscription. App-only lessons run $8 a month, and the Babble Live add-on costs $150 a month or $900 a year.

Best for Kids Under 12: Wyzant

Wyzant
Wyzant

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $15-$300
  • Platforms: Online + App
  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

Wyzant has more than 550 French tutors who offer live, personalized lessons ranging from $20 per hour for a "native-speaking French tutor" to $225 an hour for a "Patient Ivy League" tutor. Regardless of your language learning goals, you'll easily find the perfect french tutor on this platform.

Pros

  • In-person lessons available
  • Free pre recorded lessons available
  • Tutor prices to fit any budget

Cons

  • No free trial
  • Large number of tutors may seem overwhelming

Wyzant is a well known tutoring platform that matches students to tutors across a broad spectrum of skills and subjects. With so many live tutors to choose from (550+) it may feel overwhelming to choose one. The good news is there are a host of search filters and past student reviews to help you narrow down the search.

You'll start your search by first choosing your subject (be careful not to book a French horn lesson instead of a French language lesson. Because, it's possible.) From there you can further narrow down the tutors by education, experience, price, age, gender, and more. Once you have a shortlist, you can read the tutor's bio as well as reviews of past students to get an idea of the pros and cons of the tutor's teaching style. Once you choose the tutor, you'll have the opportunity to reach out to them directly to discuss your goals, schedule, and provide any other information you feel necessary.

The prices for tutors vary greatly depending on experience, education, and more. If you find that you don't like the tutor you initially chose, you can pick a new tutor for your next lesson. Or even try out a new tutor every lesson.

Best for Teens: Frantastique

Frantastique
Frantastique

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Basic $24/mo; Premium $36/mo; Premium Pro $48/mo
  • Platforms: Online + App
  • Certificates: Yes

Why We Chose It

Frantastique is a French tutoring program that provides an entertaining, funny, and engaging learning experience perfect for teens. The lessons last about 15-minutes and are available on a smartphone for easy on-the-go instruction.

Pros

  • Fun and relatable
  • Immersive learning
  • Great for on-the-go tutoring

Cons

  • Difficult to navigate at first
  • Premium subscription required for personalized learning
  • Lessons emailed in not using the app

Frantastique's approach to teaching is referred to as "microlearning" and consists of a short daily lesson delivered to your email or the app that takes about 15 minutes to complete. The lessons include fun and often humorous exercises, videos, dialogues, and quizzes. Repetition is built into each lesson to promote long-term memorization, as well as a short cultural lesson is provided at the end of each lesson.

You'll begin by signing up for the free trial to gauge how much you enjoy the teaching style or to ensure your teen not only enjoys the program but will stick with it, too. Each lesson includes relatable content including film clips, songs, and lots of humor designed to improve both your written and oral understanding. Your subscription level dictates the level of personalization, though when you sign up you fill out a questionnaire to outline your needs, interests, skill level, and goals.

The Basic subscription costs $24 a month and includes up to five lessons a week, personalized content, and authentic cultural references. The Premium membership is $36 a month, and it builds on all that's offered in the Basic subscription with additional access to business-related content, and further personalization dependent on your interests. The Pro membership costs $48 a month and gives you access to live, unlimited support.

Best for Adults: Lingoda

Lingoda Logo
Lingoda

Key Specs

  • Price: $15 for group classes; $35 for private classes
  • Platforms: Online
  • Certificates: Yes

Why We Chose It

Lingoda provides a personalized path to understanding the French language dialect and concepts dependent on your preference for small group classes or live one-on-one private instruction and all at a relatively affordable price. There's also a Language Sprint course designed to have you comfortably speaking French in two months.

Pros

  • Learn in small groups or with students from across the globe
  • Flexible class schedules
  • CEFR certificate available

Cons

  • Class schedules may clash with your schedule
  • Missing on sprint class for any reason forfeits your money

Lingoda's French classes are led by certified teachers (Some are native speakers). The platform recommended those taking private lessons should take advantage of multiple tutors to increase exposure to a wide range of french accents. Both group lessons (no more than five students in a class) and private lessons are available, with both focusing primarily on conversations and listening.

After signing up for the free trial, you'll take a skill placement test to ensure you are placed in the correct class or to help your tutor prepare for your first lesson. Classes and private lessons last about an hour and include materials with extra practice activities you can use outside of live instruction. If you are interested in obtaining the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) certificate, consider taking part in Lingoda's Language Sprint course which includes intensive instruction every day or every other day for two months. And if you attend each class you'll receive 50-100% of your money back.

Each group class costs $15 per class with a minimum commitment of four classes up to 40 classes a month with bundle discounts along the way to bring the cost of each class down to $11 per class. Private classes cost $35 with a minimum of four lesson-commitment each month up to 40 classes a month, also with bundle discounts that can bring the cost down to $21 per class.

Best for Families: French Faster

French Faster
French Faster

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $15-$36/ class
  • Platforms: Online
  • Certificates: Yes

Why We Chose It

French Faster's tutors specify whether they are a tutor for kids, teens, or adults which allows families to find the best tutor for their situation. The platform's approach to learning languages blends equal parts of French and English at first, then gradually increases to only French. This process can be a less intimidating and frustrating way to learn a new language as opposed to full French-only immersion.

Pros

  • First session is free
  • Group class or private lessons available
  • Tutors specify the age groups they teach

Cons

  • Only 28 tutors available
  • Tutor availability is limited
  • Lessons held only on Skype

French Faster offers online tutors that specialize in teaching various age groups. Families will enjoy how siblings can be signed up to take lessons at the same time, provided their skill level is similar. The instructors all teach the Accelerated Learning method, where students are able to absorb and retain concepts by teaching French through the use of English at the beginning and then gradually tapering off English language usage.

The first lesson is free and then classes are both typically purchased and scheduled in bulk. You can read through each instructor's bio and see what age groups they specialize in before choosing a tutor. All lessons are conducted via Skype and can be held in groups or privately.

You must purchase a minimum of four lessons at a time ranging from $15 to $36 a lesson depending on how many you sign up for.

Best for Budget: FrenchPod101

French Pod 101
French Pod 101

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Basic $8/mo; Premium $25/mo; Premium Plus $47/mo
  • Platforms: Online
  • Certificates: Yes

Why We Chose It

FrenchPod101 classes provide current and relatable audio and video lessons based on French conversations. New content is released every week so there is plenty to keep you engaged and learning new concepts.

Pros

  • New content every week
  • Free trial available
  • Extra educational resources

Cons

  • Poor lesson navigation
  • Not as much immersion as other sites
  • Not much-advanced content

FrenchPod101's classes provide well-rounded goal-oriented programs tailored to your needs. You can choose between pre-recorded lessons or one-on-one instruction, or both. Each lesson is designed to offer current-day audio and video recordings that are later broken down to make sure you understand the words spoken and concepts presented.

You'll start by relaying your needs (travel, work, conversational) and what you want to focus on (reading, writing, grammar, or culture) via a questionnaire. From there the lessons begin with current-day audio and video (some lessons may even be released that day), then each word and phrase is broken down and repeated to ensure comprehension. Classes also include word lists, slideshows, and flashcards to help you practice and absorb the content in between sessions.

After the seven-day free trial ends, you'll choose from the basic plan which includes unlimited access to audio and video lessons, as well as a list of 100 French core words and phrases. The Premium membership costs about $25 a month and includes line-by-line audio dialogue for each lesson, 2,000 French core words and phrases, custom word lists, interactive quizzes, flashcards, and more. The Premium Plus option costs $47 and in addition to everything offered in the lower tiers, you'll receive one-on-one instruction from a teacher for feedback, Q&A, and personalized assignments.

Best App: Pimsleur

Pimsleur
Pimsleur

Key Specs

  • Price: $21/mo or $160 for lifetime access
  • Platforms: App & Online
  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

The Pimsleur app features the world-renowned Pimsleur® Method that eliminates noise, confusion, and information overload. Each lesson is designed to help you absorb the information and store it in your long-term memory for a lifetime of French fluency.

Pros

  • Audio lessons featuring native speakers
  • Lessons use repetition to help promote long-term memory storage
  • seven-day free trial

Cons

  • No speech recognition technology
  • Complicated 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No reading and writing exercises

Dr. Paul Pimsleur, a world-renowned linguist, created the Pimsleur® method based on his years of teaching and study in linguistics and the psychology of language – specifically of how memory could be triggered to best implant a new language. Each lesson features 30-minute audio lessons with both a native speaker and an English-speaking guide to help you better understand the conversation and concepts. Lessons are also available for download to listen to offline.

Each lesson uses Pimsleur's graduated-interval recall, where vocabulary words are introduced and then tested at increasing intervals, interspersed with the introduction or review of different vocabulary. You'll hear a brief conversation in French, then it's translated into English. Then the French speaker repeats each word, syllable-by-syllable, to help with pronunciation. This technique was designed to ensure you fully comprehend the material. Quizzes and flashcards are available for continued practice.

The app costs $21 per month or $160 for lifetime access, though there are plenty of free resources to keep you busy for a few weeks before having to take advantage of the free trial. Should you want to take advantage of the online version of Pimsleur as well, there's also a seven-day free trial followed by a choice between the basic audio-only subscription that's $15 per month, or a single language subscription with visuals and extras that's $20 per month, while access to the full language library which includes 51 languages runs $21 per month.

Best Self-Paced: Italki

italki
italki

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $4-$45 hour
  • Platforms: Online
  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

With nearly 1,300 French teachers available for live one-on-one private lessons, offering a wide range of hourly rates and class schedules, italki is perfect for anyone looking for a self-paced program. The instructor you choose will provide personalized instruction based on the type of content you want in your lessons. You even choose an instructor based somewhere you may be traveling to for cultural information and tips.

Pros

  • Wide range of lesson prices
  • Short 20-minute classes up to two hours
  • Instant lesson option for busy schedules

Cons

  • Some tutors offer only one duration of class
  • Must wait for some teachers to accept a lesson request
  • Not all teachers offer free or discounted trials

Italki is a leading platform for language tutors that requires background checks and vet teacher certifications. Due to the ability to choose from a wide range of class durations, content covered, and tutor fees, this is a perfect program for those needing to study French while juggling a busy schedule and/or budget limitations. You can easily book a French class, inexpensive native-speaker lessons, or even a basic 30-minute chat to practice, sometimes even immediately after logging on to the website.

When searching for a French lesson on italki, there are two types of instructors to choose from: Professional teachers or Community tutors. A professional teacher must have a teaching license and an accredited French teaching certificate. Community tutors are native or near-native speakers who can help you practice your vocabulary and sentence structure. There are also free quizzes and podcasts to help you continue practicing on your own

Given that it has an extensive catalog of teachers, Italki helps you refine your search with filters including lesson price, type of lesson (conversational or DELE exam prep), country of origin and type of teacher. You can browse through profiles on your filtered shortlist and even see how many classes they've already taught on the platform and read reviews left by past students. Hourly rates start at $5 and go up to $80.

Final Verdict

If you're ready to parlez Français, we think Babbelis a great choice for all due to the well-rounded curriculum and personalizable topics that cover a broad range of learner goals. Whether you want to study on the go via an app, online, or with a live tutor, Babble can accommodate your needs. If you are looking for affordable conversations with a native speaker in a region you are visiting, Italki is a perfect choice thanks to the wide range of hourly rates, easy scheduling, and the huge number of tutors available. If you are looking for a more fun and engaging program with current, relatable content, FrenchPod101 is an exceptional choice.

Compare the Best Online French Classes

Company Cost Platform Certificate
Best Overall
Babbel
Online 15/mo, $90/yr to $250/lifetime; App $8/mo; Babble Live $150/mo $900/yr Online & App No
Best for Kids Under 12
Wyzant
Pricing: $15-$300 Online & App No
Best for Teens
Frantastique
$24; Premium $36/mo; Premium Pro $48/mo Online & App Yes
Best for Adults
Lingoda
Starting at $15 per group class; $35 per private class Online & App Yes
Best for Families
French Faster
$15-$36/ class Online Yes
Best for Budget
FrenchPod101
Basic $8/mo; Premium $25/mo; Premium Plus $47/m Online Yes
Best App
Pimsleur
App $20/ or $160/Lifetime;Online $15-$21/mo Online & App No
Best Self-Paced
Italki
$4-$45/ hour Online No

Guide for Choosing the Best French Classes

Are French Classes Worth It?

If you are keen to learn the French language, French classes are your best bet. And thanks to the dozens of online French classes available today, learning the language has never been easier. Unlike traditional classroom or in-person language instruction, online classes allow you to choose a time, learning style (group classes, live tutor, self-led), price, and curriculum that best fits your needs, goals, and timeline.

Comparing Online French Classes

There are a lot of online French course providers which can make the process of finding one that meets your needs a little overwhelming. Here are a few things you should consider during your search:

  • Pricing: An important driver will most likely be the cost of the tutor or course. It's important to have a clear understanding of your budgetary limitations and what type of program makes the most sense whether that's a one-time fee course or an inexpensive tutor that you'll be able to afford 10 classes with.
  • Free Trial: Having the opportunity to test drive the service or platform you're interested in before committing financially will help you make sure you are comfortable with the content and teaching style.
  • Experience Level: Would you consider your current understanding of the French language to be beginner, intermediate, or advanced? Make sure you choose a program best matched to your current level with room to advance. For example – a beginners-only course will only serve you well for a short time.
  • Range of Classes Offered: What are you most interested in learning and for what purpose? If you're learning French for work, make sure classes are geared toward that style of conversation. If you are wanting to learn the basics for travel, look for that style of curriculum.
  • Learning style: Are you best suited to group classes, one-on-one private instruction, or self-paced learn-when-you-can instruction?
  • Schedule: Your schedule should drive your decision as much as price. Choose a program you can stick with that fits into your schedule without issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Learning French Online Effective?

Learning basic French online is very effective. Especially, if you can stick with it on a regular basis. Practice always makes perfect. In order to reach fluency levels, you'll want to focus on fully immersive courses that offer regular classes and practice plenty of reading, writing, and speaking outside of the classes where possible.

How Long Does It Take To Learn French?

According to the U.S Department of State's Foreign Services Institute, French is a category I language to learn or one of the easiest taking about 24-30 weeks to 600-750 class hours to reach fluent levels.

How Much Does It Cost To Learn French?

As you have seen from our list above, learning French can cost anywhere between $5 an hour upwards to a few hundred dollars for a subscription course.

Can Kids Take Online French Classes?

Kids can absolutely take online French classes. There are even teachers who specialize in children's language instruction. You'll need to seek out those specific tutors. Platforms like Wyzant and French Faster are a great place to start.

How Can I Help My Kids Learn French?

To help your child learn French, find a learning platform or tutoring program they will want to stick with. Encourage them to study outside of lessons with French children's TV shows, music, and activities they find relatable and fun to watch or take part in to help them stay familiarized with the language and improve their vocabulary recall.

Methodology

We analyzed dozens of providers and evaluated them based on their curriculum, tutor availability, ease of platform use, user reviews, platform technology, instruction approach, use of native speakers, and value for money. These factors helped us assess the full scope of each program and how well it delivered on the promise of teaching the French language. Companies offering free trials, refunds, and money-back guarantees were also considered.

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