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FrenchPod101 is a huge online resource of French lessons and learning materials. It is supplemented by an active online community who are happy to answer all sorts of questions and discuss different aspects of French culture and travel. The lessons available cover a huge variety of different situations and go way beyond the common examples most structured courses offer. There is also a wide variety of extra tools and resources to make use of, making this easily one of the biggest online French resources we have seen.
All of FrenchPod101's resources are available online through your web browser. A free account is available, but to really make the most of what is available you will probably have to upgrade to one of the paid options at some point. A basic or premium level upgrade can be carried out at any time and purchased for a range of different periods of time. Obviously, you get the best deal the longer you sign up for, but a one month subscription is cheap enough to test the service out without breaking the bank.
There is a lot of content on FrenchPod101 and at first it can be quite overwhelming. If you are a complete beginner it can be difficult to know where to start as there is not much in the way of a structured approach to taking lessons. The lessons also vary quite a lot in quality so you might have to check a few different ones on the same subject before finding one you like. However, with so many to choose from and the better ones containing some excellent audio clips with accompanying printable material there should be something for everyone. Most lessons contain some sort of downloadable audio that you can easily transfer onto your iPod for short bursts of revision when you have a few minutes free.
FrenchPod101 provides numerous other tools and handy features on top of the lessons on offer. One of the most useful, in our opinion, is the interactive flashcard application which will take the vocabulary from a lesson and flash up cards where you must select the correct translation. This is excellent for helping to memorize French vocabulary once you learn the basics. Another section of the site also contains a collection of links to iPhone and Android applications which you can use on your phone to further help your vocab revision, although FrenchPod101 doesn't produce these itself.
FrenchPod101 is a useful online resource, although we wouldn't recommend it to absolute beginners. The lack of structure to the lessons means it can be difficult to know what to do when and so in this respect a book or CD course would be far better. However, if you know the basics and want to explore French further in specific situations then you will find a huge amount of material to help. Subscription prices aren't too bad if you opt for a reasonable length of time from the start and a free trial is available so why not check it out today?
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