Bonjour mes amies!

Is it really possible to learn French for FREE?

The answer is both YES and NO.

It’s a bit of a complicated topic. Let me show you what I mean.

 

How I began learning FREE

I actually began my French-learning process learning for FREE. There is a lot of free information all over the Internet and we had a really tight budget, so I started with Duolingo and some videos on YouTube. I learned this way for 2.5 years.

Please do be aware that my husband speaks French at an intermediate level, so I was able to ask him about simple topics and he spoke to me in French sometimes during these 2.5 years.

Here’s what I learned in 2.5 years of learning FREE:

  • French is confusing and I’m never going to be able to speak French to someone.
  • French numbers 1-60
  • How to introduce myself in a basic way.
  • How to talk about my family and where I live in slow, broken French.
  • Horrible grammar
  • Frustration and irregular study because of it.
  • Some vocabulary about fruits and vegetables.
  • More frustration

And that took me 2.5 years! I had the vocabulary knowledge of an A1 learner (somewhere halfway through the level), but my grammar was that of a complete beginner and my understanding of verb conjugations was questionable.

 

Methods for learning FREE

So what products and methods did I use to learn for those 2.5 years learning on my own?

Duolingo was huge.

Also Learn French with Alexa on Youtube.

Of course, there are also other French tutors on YouTube.

Or you can find some on Instagram.

I listened to lots of French music and used the amazing site by BBC.

All for free. And yes, I did make progress, but I really needed a roadmap to really help me use these materials and learn more quickly.

 

 

How I REALLY Started Learning

After one really frustrating day and finally feeling like I just wanted to learn to have a conversation in French, my husband finally sat me down and we had a talk about how to make that work.

Essentially he said, “if you don’t invest in it, your French education will never make it to a satisfactory level.”

Nothing good comes from things you don’t invest in.

Because honestly, you need a mentor to help you learn what you actually need to be learning. A mentor takes your French conversation to the next level.

I can tell you this because I then hired some tutors and learned more French in the next 6 months than I had in the 2.5 years prior to then. I gained a solid understanding of French and moved up to between an A2/B1 level. 

In just 5 months!

Guys, this was amazing to me because I suddenly enjoyed learning French more completely and I learned to communicate more effectively!

So although I don’t recommend attempting to learn for free, you can still learn French without paying through the roof for it.

 

The Best, Inexpensive Resources

Obviously, these recommendations will change based on your level, but you really don’t have to spend a ton to get good value from it. I’ve included only the best resources that will really transform your studies into amazing experiences with the French language.

Complete Beginner Resources

If you’ve never watched a video from Learn French with Alexa, you’re missing out.  Alexa is funny, helpful, and describes things in a way that are understandable. Plus, I love that she asks you to practice saying the words or sentences with her.

She does have a lot of free content on YouTube, but you’ll find her “Beginner” bundle extremely helpful in getting you through the Complete beginner and beginner stages of learning French.

 

The 15-minute lesson Roadmap by The Lingo Experience is a fantastic choice! It guides you through the topics you need to learn as a Complete Beginner, step-by-step. 

Designed specifically for people who have never learned a second language before (and no, taking a semester or two way back in high school doesn’t count as learning a language).

This roadmap links to free content all over the web so you can build your resource basket for learning later on, but it also gets you signed up for the email mini-course that sends you helpful, simplifying videos as you study.

Beginner Resources

The audiobooks by Camille with French Today will get you ready for the kind of conversation you would have with neighbors if you chose to live in France. The everyday, conversational French that so many people struggle with.

Her audiobooks are beautifully written to include fun stories, educational content, and even a Q&A to learn how to ask and answer questions in French. Her audiobooks will get you ready for the French you hear in France.

 

Take your French study time from drab to fab with the 20-30 minute lesson Roadmap by The Lingo Experience will get you going and keep you going. This will guide you step-by-step through which topics to learn and when, so you learn when you are most prepared for it.

Designed specifically for English speakers learning French so you can be guided through the process in a way that suits you best.

This roadmap also gets you signed up for the email mini-course that sends you helpful, simplifying videos as you study.

The Edito A1 coursebook will guide you through the beginner level with audio samples and video samples. This book is intended for use to prepare for the DELF/DALF proficiency exams, and will get you ready to go with reading, writing, listening, and oral activities.

If you are looking to take a proficiency exam, this will be a valuable resource for you.

Advanced Beginner Resources

If you’re looking to improve your French for conversation with real French natives, this audiobook by Camille with French Today will get you to where you want to be.

Her audiobooks are beautifully written to include fun stories, educational content, and even a Q&A to learn how to ask and answer questions in French. Her audiobooks will get you ready for the French you hear in France.

The Edito A2 coursebook gets you studying, listening to, and watching real French throughout the course.

It will guide you through the advanced beginner level with audio samples and video samples. This book is intended for use to prepare for the DELF/DALF proficiency exams.

If you are looking to take a proficiency exam, this will be your best friend!

 

Remember, a mentor can teach you something in minutes that it may take you years to learn on your own. Even a small investment can go a long way in learning French.

Although if you want to take 4-5 years just to become conversational, be my guest.

Go forward and enjoy learning French.

 

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