Learning French In A Class, With A Tutor, Skype And Immersion Programs


Now that I've given my opinion about the free French learning resources, let's talk about the ones you have to pay for. One of the most effective one is to take a class with a French teacher, since nothing can replace interacting with a real person.

Enrolling in a local French classes

Check out your community college or adult education center for local classes. L'Alliance Française is a reputable source for classes, but as usual, some teachers are great, other less good.


The next question is private or group classes? For a beginner, I would always recommend private lessons if you can afford them - individual attention is key at this stage.

Make sure you meet the teacher before signing up for a class: is he/she a French native? What is his/her experience as a teacher? His/her philosophy? What is the class theme? How many students in the class? Can you attend a class before signing up for the whole semester?

Beware of self appointed French tutors. Teaching French can be a juicy business, but it takes true personal qualities and a real knowledge of French grammar to become a teacher. So always ask for references, credential etc… If the tutor is new to the job - we all started at one point - then at least he/she should not charge much!

Signing up for French phone/Skype lessons

French lesson by phone or Skype are another good alternative for people who leave outside of cities, or that don't have the time to commute to a class.

Here again, checking the credentials of the teacher is essential - if you go through a company, will you always be talking to the same tutor (it can be a good or a bad thing, but you should know in advance)? How many classes do you have to pay for in advance?

French classes abroad

Who has not dream to travel to France (or a French speaking country) and learn French?

There are many schools who offer many different accommodation options - host families, hotel room, studio rental. Make sure the school specializes in your age group… It's not fun when you are fifty and everybody else in your class is fourteen - or the opposite.

French immersion at the teacher's home programs

To me, doing an immersion at a French teacher's home is the best way to improve a lot in a short period of time. Of course, it's not for all budgets, but when you consider the prices of schools and hotels, it's really not that expensive. This way of learning is really booming right now, and there is a large demand for it. So of course, lots of people start their own business, and schools arrange for such options to meet the demand. You need to check the teacher's credentials and experience (make sure they can really teach, not only speak French) but also really inquire about the living conditions - since you'll be staying at their home… Can you see pictures? Does their home meet your expectations of comfort? Is-it a none smoking environment (beware that many French people smoke)? Do they have pets? Does the teacher speak English? Is-it easy to get to the town center? To touristic activities?

Plus all the obvious, numbers of teaching hours per day, how many students do they take at the same time, do they offer tours and visits of the region...

For all of these options, as usual, look for customer reviews. Establish direct contact with the school and teacher before signing in for a long term engagement.

I hope this tips will help you choose the method that best suits our own needs. Now if enrolling in a class is too expensive, then check-out my review of resources for the the self-studying student of French

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