How to Learn French on a Budget

If you are interested in learning French for travel or living abroad, head over to Matador Abroad and read Thais Chalencon’s article How to: Learn French for FREE.

In her article, Thais explains how she learned French in France on a budget, and she provides a range of resources to help you do the same.

Thais writes,

‘Having lived in France since June 2009, I can tell you that it ispossible to learn French without spending a single Euro. I studied 20 hours a week, and after five months I was fluent enough to get my first job as a waitress.’

She also provides a list of resources for learning French online.

In addition to Thais’ list, I’d like to add three resources of my own.  Use them to learn the language before your trip or while you are away.

Mango languages

Check with your local library to see if they offer Mango Languages.  This is an excellent online program (free at your library) that offers about 16 languages including the usual such as French, Spanish, German and Russian as well as Greek, Vietnamese, Hindi and more.

Use the library locator link at the bottom of their homepage to see if your library has Mango.Learn a language in the virtual world of Second Life

The virtual world of Second Life offers the perfect language learning environment. While this may not be for everyone, if you enjoy virtual worlds, have the right computer equipment and are willing to put in a little time to learn how to get around, you can not only learn but practice a new language.

I entered this world as part of an Introduction to Archaeological Theory course I was taking through the University of Leicester and I never left.  When I learned you could take language courses in-world, I signed up for an introductory Spanish course in a virtual classroom.  With voice enabled and a microphone/headset, it’s easy.

In addition to or instead of taking actual classes, you can hang out with native speakers of the language you are learning, or you can attend language practice gatherings, such as those offered in-world by the Goethe-Institut which offers daily voice chats in the café on their island.

Get an international penfriend

Another way to practice a foreign language is to correspond with an international Pen Friend.  It’s easy to find one through  International Pen Friends (IPF) whose goal is to connect people of similar ages and interests through postal mail.

With more than 7 million members in over 251 countries, you can find plenty of letter-writing friends to practice French with (or any other language).

There is a small fee to join… and of course, you’ll have to buy stamps to mail your letters, but if you choose to do this you will be richly rewarded by learning about a new culture, making new friends, and having the chance to practice a new language.

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