by Bob Beach
Posted on Thursday 21st of July 2011
Anybody else remember those dull old French lessons, endlessly repeating words to a teacher with an accent that didn't remotely resemble the French language? Thank goodness we don't have to do that any more! I guess they meant well, but it wasn't exactly the best way to learn French was it!
These days we are very lucky, we have so much more choice - and French lessons are so much more entertaining than they used to be. What's more, with French MP3s - which are provided with most software to learn French - we can hear exactly how we are supposed to sound (even if our own accents are could do with a bit more practice!).
If learning to speak French is something you are interested in, you now have a terrific amount of choice. You can start with a free French lesson online and progress to interactive French downloads, software programs, CDs or DVDs. There are dozens of alternatives, from just a few dollars to a few hundred. For anyone learning French it's a fortunate position to be in.
But given all that choice, how do we know which one to pick? What is the best way to learn French?
Well, free is good - most of us like free don't we - and there are great glimpses of the French language to be had if you use your favorite search engine and look for free French lessons. In some cases you will find you are overwhelmed with adverts before you can actually find the lesson, but if that's the case just move on to the next result. It is a bit of a nuisance perhaps, but what can you expect for free? If you persevere you will find plenty of sites with good content.
When you want to take on the challenge of learning to speak fluent French you will be delighted to know that it won't be anything like as hard as it used to be! There's no fear of returning to a dusty old classroom, or to equally dusty old French text books! You will need to invest a few dollars, but again, nothing like the price you would expect to pay for private French lessons.
As with free French lessons online, when you are looking for paid-for products there is a bewildering amount of choice.
The cheaper options are OK for a beginner level, but if you want to learn the language properly then you'll get much more out of a complete course. What I mean by that is something that will take you from beginner, to accomplished French speaker, without needing to change learning method, or pay more. That way you won't get frustrated by finding you have to keep on buying more CDs or DVDs either, which you might if you start with something too simple.
Top level French language software can be several hundred dollars - and some of those don't even have a French person as the teacher! When you can get a French download that will take you from basics to a high level of skill for around a third of the price, it's certainly an option worth considering.
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