french

Lingualift


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    Lingualift is essentially the lovechild of the traditional textbook and the internet. It retains much of the structure and formatting you’ll find in a good textbook, while at the same time doing away with the pretentious wordiness and academic pretense that turns so many people off. You’ll find yourself drawn to using Lingualift because it feels like you have a cool teacher and textbook rolled all in one: although each language varies in the kind of tools it offers, all languages have very nice resources for building upon your vocabulary and grammar. It currently offers five languages (Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, French and Russian) under one subscription, which is a really nice deal considering what other web-based courses charge for only one language.

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Lawless French


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  • Review


    In spite of the rather awe-striking name, Lawless French is just Laura K. Lawless’ brainchild, as well as an amazing resource for French learners of all levels. Being that French is my eternal épine dans le pied (look that one up!), I’m always up for finding well organized learning resources. Alors voilà! Lawless French is built with such care and intent that I actually spent quite a while there the first time I visited, taking notes, nodding like a dummy and saying ‘Ouah, je n’en savais pas!’ (Wow, I didn’t know that!). I sincerely hope it’s as useful to you as it was to me!

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7 jours sur la planète


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    “7 jours sur la planète” and its mother site, “Apprendre le français avec TV5Monde”, are indispensable listening comprehension tools for the French learner. Everyday, new carefully picked audiovisual content is uploaded along with listening comprehension, vocabulary and grammar exercises for learners of all levels. In all honesty, if you wanted to learn French and didn’t have a penny on you, you could base your whole French education on this site.

    You can read more on them in my “7 jours sur la planète” review.

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Lingvist.io


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    Lingvist.io has an interesting foundation story, where (in short) Mait Müntel, one of its co-founders, had to develop a solution of his own for learning French. The meat and potatoes of Lingvist is “Memorize”, a Spaced Repetition based system where you learn words in context, and get them read back to you once you get the answer right. This obviously means that at first you’re going to have (almost) no idea of what’s being asked of you, but this approach is similar to how we learn new words in the real world, so it’s actually a very good idea. It also has a Reading and Listening section with an amazingly large collection of texts and audio (with scripts) that you can use to reaffirm what you’ve learned in the Memorize section. Currently, you can learn French and English from Estonian, English, French and Russian. They’ve also released apps for both iOS and Android.

    I used during my 2015 French language mission, and out of all the resources I used this gave me the highest vocabulary retention rate, without a doubt. I highly recommend it, even while it is in beta phase, but it is worth mentioning that once the beta is over, Lingvist.io may stop being free, although no price chart has been mentioned yet.

    Go to site Currently in beta

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Duolingo


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    Duolingo is Luis von Ahn’s second brainchild (von Ahn is also ‘father’ to CAPTCHA, which you must have seen at least once in your life unless you have been living under a rock). In his own words, von Ahn wanted to know how to deliver quality English language education to the millions of people without access to classes, and he came up with a brilliant idea: the students would “pay” for their classes translating the Internet (and by this I mean the whole internet–from Wikipedia to other less well-known large clients).

    Duolingo works like this: you learn the language of your choosing through intuitive, practical writing and listening/reading comprehension exercises, translating phrases from and to your base language, or writing them as they’re spelled to you. Once you have a certain level (since you earn points for each completed lesson, as if playing in an arcade game) Duolingo will start showing you an approximate percentage of reading comprehension in your target language and invite you to participate in translating or correcting an actual article.

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