After trying the Continuous French course, I have been carrying on my online studies with alpha.b in a slightly different class – the course which is made up of 2 hours of class per week and independent study.
In my opinion the independent study element allows you to really make of this class what you like.
Before each class there is something to prepare, but you are free to do as much or as little as you are able.
If, for example, you are still working and don’t have a lot of time to spare, you can do a minimal amount of independent work but still attend the class and make the most of the lesson.
If, like me, you have too much time on your hands at the moment (or are fed up with juggling your busy schedule of Netflix series and online quizzes) you have the opportunity to put much more work into the subject for that class.
The teacher, Jean-Philippe, is really nice and is always happy to correct a little bit more work than is really necessary for the class itself. In this way this course is perhaps the best choice for people who still have very busy or unpredictable lives.
The second very apparent difference between this course and the other at the moment, is the number of students in the class.
First of all, I would recommend you check before you sign up that you have access to an internet connection that is strong enough to support a class like this with a maximum of 7 students. With more people there is definitely more scope for problems!
However, the huge advantage of a larger, very international class is the opportunity for cultural exchange.
Everyone has their own specific experiences, and I think that it will be very valuable and interesting to get to know everybody.
The activities we do also often lend themselves to learning about the interests and lives of the other participants.
For example, one day our independent study task was to write an anecdote from our lives to present to the other students, and we all had to interrogate the person to find out if the story was true or false.
It is a really interesting course, and I think that the social interaction can be a fun way to interact with people outside your household and escape from the social confinement many of us are facing at the moment.
In terms of my progress in the French language, it is obviously true that this course is less intensive than having class every day.
Even though I know that I am already speaking more confidently in French, naturally it feels like you are learning a bit more slowly when you have two lessons a week instead of five.
There is less time for each person to speak in French and practise what you have learned.
On the other hand, I am starting to realise that I am remembering more vocabulary each class and I can already use some phrases and grammar points that I have learned in the last few weeks without too much effort – which is a really satisfying feeling.
Also, I feel like I am constantly improving my French language skills without feeling like French is using up half of my day, 5 days a week (not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that’s what you want)!
It is a great option for those of us who are looking for way to learn French that is a little more chilled out but still effective.
Maybe I will see you there!