My problem when learning French from the United States is the lack of consistent practice. Since we don’t have French speakers around us, we’re not exposed to French unless we seek it.
So while DuoLingo tracks a sort of “daily streak” to ensure consistent practice – it’s just not enough for me. I’m the type of guy who doesn’t care about fake internet points. This means I often forget about practicing French for days at a time!
Obviously this isn’t a good scenario.
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I started scouring the internet for other ways to get my fill of French and stumbled upon something called Frantastique. I was soon contacted by the company and told them how I run FrenchCrazy.com – a popular website receiving thousands upon thousands of people a day. I guess it was a perk enough… they allowed me to try their program for 30 days to gather more intel.
I even attended a little conference at their headquarters in Paris, France for them to talk about the product.
So this is all intel which I’m sharing with you guys.
Frantastique was created by Gymglish. They began as French people who were teaching English. They later branched out to teaching Anglophones their language, French!
Unfortunately a lot of people aren’t familiar with Frantastique compared to the big names like Rosetta Stone. So, I’m going to make sure that changes by covering what Frantastique does. I’ll also address whether or not I think it’s an effective tool to help you learn French.
LESSONS SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX.
Every sort of language program needs to do something to differentiate itself from the rest. Frantastique does this by sending your lessons on a daily basis to the email address of your choosing.
Here’s an example of my 9th lesson appearing in my inbox, waiting for me to complete it.
So you open up the email and follow the link to your own personal classroom area.
Frantastique uses the first seven lessons to gauge your skill in French. It has determined to give me questions at the B1-B2 level.
For those of you with no knowledge about this fluency ranking system, you should probably read up on how long it takes to become fluent in French.
Every Frantastique lesson starts with a review from where you left off last lesson. You get filled in on past mistakes and you’re asked if you finally understand it or if you still need help.
You’ll notice that most of the instructions and almost everything on the page is written in French. This helps you gain as much exposure as possible. Besides, if you’re not sure what something says, Frantastique offers English translations marked by the little “EN”buttons. Simply hover over the botton to clarify anything you don’t get.
EVERY FRANTASTIQUE LESSON INCLUDES:
A review of previously learned concepts
A lesson of the day including audio, video and several assessments ranging from fill-in-the-blank to multiple choice questions
A way to provide feedback with your thoughts on the course
(Frantastique always strives to improve itself)
A dessert du jour, a cultural movie/song that relates back to what you learned for the day
Instant feedback about how you did during your lesson
The lessons go over content pertinent to your level of French. In my case, they decided to review the verb s’en aller and they tried throwing some subjunctive conjugations my way.
Frantastique then ties in what you learned to the real world. For my 9th lesson they included a cool short clip with relevant vocabulary. It’s nice to connect the language back to people to help motivate you.
Once you’ve watched that, you’re done! Now just click the big “SEND” button at the bottom. Within seconds, a new link to your corrections will arrive in your inbox. You can review your errors and mark things you have trouble with.
Overall, I’ve been enjoying the constant practice I’ve received from Frantastique and the program has been a pleasurable 5-10 minutes of my day.
THE PROS & CONS OF FRANTASTIQUE
- Tailors itself to your level of French
- Ensures daily practice and maximizes your exposure to French when possible
- Useful review of concepts with structured lessons
- Interesting cultural additions at the end of every lesson
- Lessons take no longer than 15 minutes, meaning you can fit French into your busy schedule
- The cartoonish drawings can be hard to decipher or detracting from an adult-learning program
- If you’re fluent in French (like me) you’ll breeze through most of the course without making mistakes
- The cultural add-ons can be hit-or-miss
- Premium learning: subscription required after free trial is up. Not the case with DuoLingo
DON’T JUST TAKE MY WORD ABOUT FRANTASTIQUE.
I figured that something like Frantastique would just be better explained by you going through the ropes. I could paste a million screenshots here, but screenshots don’t help you improve your French! So I worked with Frantastique to pass on a month-long free trial for my audience too! I guess you don’t need a big fancy website to get one of these after all…
Try it out!
After the month is up, I’m sure you’ll improve your level of French to some degree.
One Month Free Trial
If you don’t love it, you don’t have to continue.