If you are one of those people that would love to pick up French as a second or third language, then online resources are an invaluable tool that you can use to accomplish that dream.
It isn't always easy to find free sites for learning languages, and French is no exception. At least half of the sites that you discover for learning French require some fee or registration cost. Luckily, there are valuable, free resources out there if you know where to look.
The following five websites are a great place to start if you'd like to add French to your repertoire of languages.
The BBC has a tremendous position in the area of online languages. It is one of the largest online resources for learning a multitude of languages, and its French section is a perfect example of that.
Learn French at BBC
At the BBC Languages French page, you'll find worksheets, weekly email tips, an RSS feed, a full guide to the French language, and even access to French TV & radio resources. French TV & radio offers one of the best opportunities to immerse yourself into the French language.
French Tutorials at BBC
The lessons and tutorials available at the BBC are thorough and well done. In each stage of the tutorial, you'll find real world examples of how French is used in everyday life, with both text and audio to help you perfect your pronunciation.
Another great website for learning and practicing the French language is French Assistant. While this website does require that you register before you can use the resources there, it is still a free site.
Lessons at French Assistant
Once you register with French Assistant, you can access all of the lessons that are found on the site. The site is divided into difficulty levels, and then further organized by section, and then parts of sections.
A French Alphabet Lesson
There are volumes of lessons available at this site, and on its own it would serve as a tremendous tool to pick up the french language on your own. If you have to choose a single site, in addition to the BBC, French Assistant should clearly be one of your top choices.
If you like to have multiple language tools at your disposal when you are trying to learn a new language, then you can't go wrong if you add ieLanguages to your list.
Free French Tutorials at ieLanguages
This website offers a whole assortment of french lessons that cover most of the material that you would come across if you were to take a French class. The tutorials here cover everything from basic to advanced french, and offers multimedia that includes MP3 files, flashcards and Exercises.
Free French Exercises
The multimedia tools give you a chance to learn French using a variety of formats that will keep you interested in coming back often. All of the tools are high-quality, such as the exercises that take you through a series of questions so that you can test just how much progress you've made in learning French.
As anyone that has studied a new language will tell you, the fastest way to become adept at speaking and writing that language is to make use of it every day.
About.com French Forums
While About.com doesn't offer a large quantity of free tutorials or exercises, it does offer something that most other sites do not - a thriving community of french speakers that are willing to enter into a dialogue with you.
In addition to the forums, you'll also discover a great Pen Pal area
where you can find both people that are fluent with the language, as well as other students that are trying to improve their skills just like you.
About.com French Pen Pals
Conversing with pen pals is one of the best ways to really grow your understanding of the language beyond what you'll learn in any online lessons or exercises. Best of all, not only will you be learning the language from someone else, but you'll also be helping others to advance in their understanding of the French language as well!
One last site that you're going to want to visit if you are looking for free French lessons is eLearningFrench. This aptly named site is filled with lots of lessons that will teach you French grammar, slang and other aspects of the language.
eLearningFrench Main Page
From the main page, you can click on links that will take you to free French courses, an area on French grammar, French slang and idioms and even flashcards and French songs.
The lessons are well laid out, and take you through both the fundamentals as well as advanced stages of writing and speaking French.
All of these sites make up some of the best that the Internet has to offer when it comes to either learning French from scratch, or improving your current understanding of the language.
Give each of them a test drive, and make sure to add them to your list of websites that you visit every day in your endeavor to perfect your skills with French.