To all language lovers who have ever wanted to learn a most melodious tongue: French isn't just for France anymore!
It is the official language in 37 countries, spoken by an estimated 300 million people.
Would you care to increase that number by one?
In today's globalised world, there are so many reasons to learn French!
- Some wish to immerse themselves in French culture
- Holidaymakers preparing for a trip to France, and maybe even plan to buy property in Pas de Calais or Brittany should take French lessons, too!
- What about history buffs, wishing to visit the home of the Normans, who were so influential in shaping our British culture and the English language?
- Maybe you are an engineer, dreaming of joining the leagues of pioneers at any of France's Big Three automakers
- Are you a French foodie? If so, you may want to study the culinary arts in the best kitchens in Paris
If you are infected with Francophilia, you probably need to learn how to speak this language of Molière.
The question remains: how much should you expect to pay to become fluent in French?
And how will you find a French teacher who is right for you?
Let us now discuss the most cost-effective ways to study French. On-y va!
The Going Rate for French Lessons in the UK
According to a report compiled by the British Council, French remains one of the top 5 languages of influence in the world, along with German and Spanish.
French is a romance language, meaning that it has its roots largely in Latin; the basis of so many of the world's other languages.
Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Romanian all have similar grammar rules, sentence structures and, believe it or not, unabashedly borrow vocabulary from one language to another.
For this reason, many consider French a gateway to other romance languages.
Nobody has ever said I wish I had never learned any French.
Au contraire, mon frère! Most former language learners fervently wish they had continued their French lessons, and maybe even regret not branching out to other languages!
Considering the benefits of being able to speak multiple languages, it only makes sense to start with a tongue that could lead to more linguistic adventures.
Besides being dubbed the language of culture, French is considered the language of human rights and the rights of man.
This magnificent declaration, penned by General Lafayette and the Count of Mirabeau, along with the English Bill of Rights, is considered the foundation for the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
But all of that is ancient history, you say. What is the value of learning French in today's world, where everyone speaks English?
Take a look at the clothes you wear. It is quite possible that their cut or design was at least inspired by some of the greatest names in fashion, which happen to be French.
Maybe you like a smoky eye effect, or ruby red lips. Perhaps you washed your hair with L'Oréal shampoo just this morning.
Talk about rubbing French all over your head!
What if you are more of a mechanical type? You may want to join the innovators at Citroën Motors, headquartered in Saint-Ouen, just north of Paris.
All you need to get started with such companies is a proven ability to speak French – and a degree in your chosen field, be it engineering or cosmetic science.
To move beyond bonjour and bonsoir, you would have to make a commitment to French language learning.
Have you already signed up for French courses? Congratulations!
Now all you need is a sharp focus and a variety of French study materials to build your French vocabulary, and gain proficiency in the four main areas of language learning: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Of course, you would also need the best weapon anyone studying French can have: a teacher who will mentor you toward speaking French fluently.
Learn French through a Private Organisation
Mastering la langue française is possible with any language learning concern that employs French teachers.
They have tutors who could come to your home or, if you prefer, deliver lessons via Skype.
Generally, though, such a language school tends to teach small groups in their office.
Many such businesses specialise in giving one on one lessons at their facility.
French teachers employed with such businesses have already demonstrated their competence with the language, as well as their teaching skills and experience, through an impressive array of credentials.
Thus it would follow that your learning experience would flow along prescribed lines.
Most likely, each lesson would begin with a conversation in French, to ease you comfortably into learning new expressions.
Among those, perhaps some French slang or other popular vernacular!
At the start of each lesson, you might sit an informal quiz, just to see if there is further work to be done at the current stage of instruction; maybe with French grammar, or how to listen for connecting words.
Your French teacher may end your French lesson with a list of words and phrases to memorise and use in proper context before your next session.
Fees for such instruction could be as high as £40 or more per hour, and some language teaching institutes may charge an initial administrative fee, just for enroling.
You can find such offices all over the UK.
Learning a new language is all about getting plenty of practice. Find tips on practicing French here.
Learn French Through France Based Concerns
Your second option to learn how to speak French would be to address yourself to any French-driven outlet that focuses on promoting French language and culture.
This type of course is more likely to happen in small groups, so that the teacher can be sure that everyone receives equal support and attention.
If you live in London, L'Alliance Française offers language lessons, for absolute beginners all the way to advanced French learners.
In fact, you will find this Alliance is active throughout the UK, as far north as Edinburgh and deep south, in Exeter.
For you to partake of french lessons london through L'Alliance, each hour of instruction would cost £52, provided you visit their office. Should you need a tutor in your home, they command £58.
There would be a slight price bump if you and your spouse take lessons together.
French Entrée does not deal with language learning specifically, but does endorse several schools that teach the French language.
travelling in France or plan to stay there a while, you might consider their immersion programmes to improve your spoken French and language comprehension.
If sojourning in the south of France is out of the question, you could still take French lessons online, at a cost of £35 per hour of instruction.
Perhaps the best aspect of these and other French learning websites is that their pages list free resources for learning a language!
There are links to pages dedicated to French words and phrases to use while traveling, for example.
You will also find handy tables for verb conjugation and tenses, and which pronoun to use in any dialogue.
Free French lessons aside, everyone knows that the very best way to learn a new language is with a teacher dedicated to your success.
You will find no teacher more dedicated than those in this next group...
Average Cost of French classes with Superprof
From Cardiff to Canterbury; from Truro to Thurso: you can learn French anywhere in the UK with a Superprof tutor!
From deciphering French expressions to navigating French verbs, and no matter whether you are an intermediate speaker of French or an absolute beginner, you will be able to find a French tutor suited to your learning needs among the more than 2,000 tutors of French listed with Superprof.
Questions of mood versus tense aside, did you know that French verbs can take up to 23 forms?
You could learn these aspects of the French language and more by engaging either a native French speaker who lives in our country, or someone who has studied the language in such a way as to qualify as bilingual.
The average rate for one hour of instruction with a Superprof French tutor is £15, and most tutors give their first hour of lessons free, for you to gauge how well their instruction methods match your learning style!
For an at-a-glance comparison of prices for French lessons, take a look at this chart:
|Name||In Office||In Your Home||Online|
|Alliance Française||£52||£58||Average £46|
|Superprof||(in a mutually agreed location) |
|Average £15||Average £15|
1. Considering that approximately 20% of the words used in everyday English language come from French, you might already see yourself as a francophone.
2. According to the Shanghai Ranking, the world’s best colleges and universities are in either Anglophone or Francophone regions.
3. Conversely, a disturbing ripple effect of Brexit seems to be a lesser focus on learning any foreign language, including French.
The unfortunate reality is that language learning at university level is in decline, with little to suggest that this is set to change any time soon. Vicky Gough, British Council schools adviser.
For francophones everywhere, this simply cannot be true: The number of students learning French and the number of French teachers and tutors alone belie that fact.
So do all of the UK tourists visiting France and French speaking countries each year!
If you happen to be among those travelers, no need to hesitate to sign up for your French course!
Why not learn a few French phrases and pick up on that melodious French accent; build yourself a phrasebook and/or flashcards, so you can learn French fast!
Remember: the faster you learn French, the sooner you can exchange more than greetings with any native speaker!
And, as your language skills and French pronunciation improve, you will become an unofficial ambassador for our beloved language and culture.
For that, our French compatriots give us a heartfelt merci!
And if you've reached a level in your language learning where you feel it may be usefult o ceritfy your level of French, you can take the DELF exam.