While you can take many free online French classes to learn how to read, write and speak French, a college course offers a more rigorous curriculum and the opportunity for individuals to earn credits towards a degree. Here's what you need to know about enrolling in online French classes at a college or university.
The Pros and Cons of Online French Classes
Perhaps you're planning a vacation to France or another French-speaking country and need to learn simple phrases to ask for directions, check into a hotel, or order dinner at a restaurant. Perhaps you're a teacher seeking to teach French in addition to another foreign language, or perhaps instead of whatever subject you teach. Whatever the reason for seeking French classes online, there are many choices available to motivated learners.
Taking a free French course helps many learn French, but those seeking more formal instruction and college credits can also find a myriad of distance-learning courses offered from many fine institutions. Before enrolling in such a course, it's wise to consider both the pros and cons of online French classes.
Convenient Access to French Courses
Many people yearn to improve their education, yet live far away from colleges or universities, or perhaps the higher education institutions near them do not offer the courses they seek. Distance learning via the Internet provides access to courses from Ivy League universities and many excellent state university systems. These courses are often taught by top professors and provide interactive video, message boards and chat rooms so that students may communicate with their peers or the professor in real time.
Participants who enjoy online environments and own a good computer with reliable Internet access may find that distance learning connects them to the best education available without the hassle of a long drive. Often courses enable students to watch pre-recorded lessons and interact virtually. Students working full time may watch the lesson later in the day or at a day and time convenient to their schedule. The flexibility and visual format appeal to many learners.
Distance Learning: Not for Everyone
Yet some students need the daily interactions for French language learning only found in an actual classroom. Students learning French may find that having classmates to practice conversational French is more conducive to learning than using instant messenger technologies, chat rooms and emails. Others need a professor to provide instant feedback and correction during conversations to ensure proper pronunciation.Some students find it difficult to motivate themselves to complete lessons and assignments. The anonymity of the virtual world makes it easier to procrastinate. Students who might find it unthinkable to neglect their studies if they faced a professor each week find it easier to shrug off French lessons if they only interact virtually with a professor!
Where to Find Online College French Courses
No matter what your motivation is to study French, students can find French courses online from the following accredited higher education institutions. Some offer college credit but charge enrollment fees. Others offer free college-level courses, but do not offer credit. Check at a university near you to see what they offer - many colleges now offer online courses for French study, or a combination of independent study and online learning. Here are a few choices:
University of Wisconsin Independent French Study
The University of Wisconsin offers French courses for independent study. The majority of courses provide anywhere from one to four college credits. Students can study French language, composition, culture, French literature, and French for business people. There are also specialized courses in Canadian French and African French, including the unique literature of African-French speaking authors. Additional courses in French civilization and courses for those wishing to become translators round out the amazing distance learning options from this top university. Courses begin at $250.00 per credit and there are additional administrative fees.
Carnegie-Mellon No-Cost Online French Course
The Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie-Mellon University offers French courses at no charge. Students can take French 1 and 2, but do not receive college credit. Carnegie-Mellon videotaped numerous courses so students around the world can enjoy the best professors at no charge.