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French Pod 101 Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 French Lesson Reviews

French Pod 101 Review 4 Star Rating

French Pod 101

4 Star Rating
  • Option for free, limited lifetime access
  • Lots of audio recordings
  • Opportunity to slow down recordings
  • Choose a lesson path or choose randomly

French Pod 101 is a podcast format. There are a plethora of audio and video at every level, from beginner to approaching advanced. If you want to hear French, this is the program for you.

Not your traditional language learning course

They also offer a free, lifetime subscription where you can see videos and get some key vocabulary, and that may be enough. There's even an option for a real person to teach you one-on-one and offer you personal feedback on your speaking and writing. However, if you're looking for something that looks more like traditional courses with a plethora of guided practice and feedback, French Pod 101 might not be it.

Think podcast with French Pod 101

With about 2,000 audio and video lessons, you have so many to listen to and you can hear various accents. It's not like, for example, you only listen to a Parisian accent and then can't understand someone from different areas of France or even Quebec. French Pod 101 sets you up for success with a variety of French speakers.

Whoa, slow down that French

When you've listened to French before, does it sound overwhelming? What's phenomenal, and actually unusual, is that you can slow down the audio with French Pod 101 so you have a much better chance at understanding the speaker. Listen as slowly as you need, and build up speed in time when you're more confident. Especially for French, this is a great feature.

So many videos that the quality can differ

Some audio and videos have excellent quality and you may like the delivery. You may find some with questionable quality, some with the old slideshow format, and you will find some with very good quality. Just be aware that the quality can differ. In addition, the videos are created by different people, so they lack uniformity - which can actually be a good thing.

Best French Lessons

Several plans to consider

Here's what you get:

  • Free access. You'll get more than 50 sets of phrases, the first three lessons in each Pathway, the French Word of the Day, more than 100 vocabulary lists, and a 7-day trial of the Premium subscription.
  • Basic. You'll get everything that's included for free, access to all lessons, plus in-depth lesson notes.
  • Premium. You'll get everything included in Basic, plus line-by-line audio dialog, personal word bank, spaced-recognition flashcards, your personal word bank, premium lesson tracks, and multiple-choice assessments.
  • Premium PLUS. You'll get everything included in Premium, plus 1-on-1 access to a teacher, guided and personalized assessment, and hand-graded assessments.

Yes, they explain how French works, too

There is a ton of audio and video on French Pod 101 so you get to listen, but how will you know how the French language works? There are explanations and lesson notes so you can learn the grammar and why they say things a certain way.

But do you really need grammar?

French Pod 101 has grammar explanations with the higher subscription levels. Since some of us feel that we need grammar explanations, they do offer it. However, French Pod 101's approach is that we can learn through context; therefore, grammar lessons may not be necessary. Choose your own approach and subscribe accordingly.

It's not just audio

Of course, speaking and understanding is important. But French Pod 101 hasn't forgotten that you may want to read it, write it, learn grammar, and learn culture, too. You can have access to those lessons and practice when you get a paid subscription.

Choose your Pathway

Choose your own Pathway so you get the French topic you need. If you want to travel, choose a travel Pathway. If your job is directing you to French, choose a business Pathway. Discover the Pathways for your French learning needs, interests, and motivation.

Best French Lessons

French Pod 101 has improved

If you have tried this program in the past, you may have found the lessons to be a bit, well, haphazard: random audio and video to pick and choose individually. However, with the creation of Pathways, French Pod 101 has sorted their material and created a sequence. If you are looking for this structure, it's a huge improvement. If you would rather pick and choose as you could before, this option is still available.

There's plenty of practice and reinforcement

You'll have word lists, slide shows, and flash cards to break down the material and offer you practice.

Stay focused with your dashboard

Whether you choose Pathways or random lessons, take a glance at your dashboard from time to time. It will show your progress in your French-learning journey. You'll see not only your progress but also your recommended lesson list. You will need at least the basic subscription to see your dashboard.


Here's pricing for the different levels of French Pod 101:

  • Introductory: Free access
  • Basic: $4 per month for a 24-month subscription
  • Premium: $6 per month for a 24-month subscription
  • Premium PLUS: $13.73 per month for a 24-month subscription

Great for beginners and intermediates, not for advanced French learners

If you're an advanced learner and you want to immerse yourself in French podcasts as a refresher, try French Pod 101 for a while. If you want to delve deep into the advanced grammar and practice, you should try another of our highly-recommended online French programs.

Best French Lessons

The price is reasonable

When you compare subscription prices, French Pod 101 has one of the cheapest per-month subscriptions. You will have to make a two-year commitment, but per month it's a great deal.

Money-back guarantee

If you're not happy with French Pod 101, you can get your money back by simply emailing them within 60 days of signing up. There will be no questions asked.

Great if you want to dabble

With French Pod 101, you can choose a somewhat-structured pathway, or you can randomly choose lessons or videos. This is why it's good for dabbling. If you want more guidance, more practice, actual feedback, more encouragement and motivation, more of a set curriculum, take a peek at some of the other highly-recommended French lessons options we've evaluated.

Who Offers the Best French Lessons?

When we think of someone speaking French, we think soothing and seductive, as it's simply dreamy to hear. We think of the romance of Paris with the Eiffel Tower, of Southern France with the rolling lavender fields, of the Alps with the snow-capped mountains, of the coast with the warm sandy beaches. And of course there's the decadent French food and wine.

Learning French allows you to more fully enjoy French culture. When you learn French, it opens the door to learning phrases that the French speakers use in conversation, manners and mannerisms, how the French live and interact in everyday situations, and perhaps gaining an appreciation and insight into their art and history. There are so many doors to be unlocked once you take the first step.

The Best French Lessons Compare French Lessons Compare French Lesson Reviews What are the best French Lessons Best French Lesson Reviews

French Lesson FAQ

That can be a tricky question! It's estimated that there are about 76 million people who speak French fluently as their first language. But, there are another 235 million individuals that use French daily and fluently without it being their native tongue, plus up to 110 million who use it as a second language with varying levels of proficiency. Beyond France itself, you'll find speakers throughout Africa, India, the Caribbean, and Canada.
There are many different French dialects, depending on where it's spoken, but for the most part they're all mutually understandable. If you learned French from a Parisian and then traveled to Montreal, you would still be able to use the language without much of a problem - though you might need to pick up new vocabulary and train your ear to hear it a little differently. It's similar to the regional accents you'll find within the US - think of how English is spoken in New York vs. Texas, for example - or how English differs depending on whether you're in Canada, England, or Australia.
According to the US State Department, French is a Category I language. That means that French is closely related to English, making it easy to learn! (Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and Romanian are some of the other languages in that category.) Most students of French find the language to be somewhat familiar, which makes it more comfortable to study and to retain the vocabulary.
Start by learning some basic vocabulary. If you've got plans to use French in a specific context, like an upcoming vacation or a business meeting, choose some words and phrases that you'll need there. And, as with any language, the more you can expose yourself to the way it's used by native speakers, the more you'll pick up without even trying. Many students swear by watching TV shows and movies in French (with or without subtitles)!
You won't find a way to learn French that's more convenient or affordable, that's why! While French is one of the most commonly-taught languages in American schools, it can still be hard to find a class that fits your busy schedule. Even if you can find one that works, you may pay a lot of money for a semester of coursework; for that same investment, you could access years of online French lessons.
One reason French is easier to learn than some languages is because it uses the same alphabet is English - mostly. There are a few different characters that you'll need to know how to produce. Fortunately, they're not hard to make: on a smartphone, you can usually hold down the base letter (like c, e, or a) and accented options will pop up. On a desktop pc, there are shortcuts you can use when typing.
Not at all. You could pay under $300 for three levels of French coursework, or study as long as you like on a subscription plan that ranges from $4 to $23 per month. That's much more affordable than in-person lessons!
Each language platform has different policies regarding satisfaction guarantees and refunds. For subscription-based French lessons, you can probably cancel future payments but might not get your money back for what you've already spent. If you've paid a one-time fee for a language program, there may be a 30- to 60-day refund period. We recommend utilizing any trial options offered by a French lessons program before committing to it: you can usually find sample lessons or a one-week all-access pass, and that will help you get a feel for how the platform teaches French.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Naturally, when we think French we think of France. Yet French is actually a global language and the official language of 29 countries, so you can practice your French language skills in more than one place. French is also a heritage language in all or part of Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and even the US - like Louisiana.

Picking up the French language may be easier than you might think. Some of us are intimidated by the unusual sounds and the silent letters, but did you know that there are many words that look like English? We'll bet you know these French words: table, responsable, ambiance, brilliance. There are about 1,700 words in French that look like the English word, so there's a good start.

When choosing among the several options for online French lessons, here are some things to consider:

  • Free trial. Look to see if there's a chance to try out the lessons before you buy them to see if this is how you want to learn and to see if you'll stay motivated. Most options include at least a free trial, and some have free access to a limited amount of lessons so you might be able to get all of what you want for free.
  • How they teach. Today there is such a variety of teaching methods in the various online French lesson companies. You can learn individual words with flashcards first and then build to speaking or reading. Some teach by where you hear conversational phrases and build on those. Some build their lessons around grammar and vocabulary while others don't teach grammar specifically - you'll innately catch on the more you practice. Some cut to the chase like textbooks and some use AR and VR to keep you hooked and motivated.
  • How much French you may already know. If you're a beginner, the French lesson world is your oyster - there's so much for you to choose from. If you are at the advanced level and want to polish your skills, most online programs don't teach to your level; though there are a few that could work for you.
  • Your budget. There are some programs where you should be able to get quite a bit of practice for free. Others have a reasonable cost. Some have options for you to have a one-on-one instructor, and those will cost a bit more.
  • One-time purchase or monthly subscription. There's the good, old fashioned way of purchasing a course, and that's where you keep the lessons, learning at your own pace, guilt-free if you need to take a long break. The subscription method is where you pay per month or year to use the product and it automatically renews at the end of that subscription time. You'll be motivated to not take a long hiatus from lessons if you know that your subscription auto renews whether you use it or not.
  • Satisfaction guarantee. Most have a period of time where you can try out the courses to know if you really like them and want to continue. If you're not happy within that time, simply ask for a full refund

Top Consumer Reviews has researched and ranked the most popular French courses available today, to make it easy for you to choose how you'll want to learn French. Whether you're thinking of learning French for the first time or brushing up on what you may have taken in high school, now is a great time to learn French online as there are such a variety of French lesson programs out there. We're sure you'll find at least one that you'd like to try.

Compare French Lessons

Select any 2 French Lessons to compare them head to head

  • Busuu
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Babbel
  • Italki
  • Memrise
  • Mondly
  • Rocket Languages
  • French Pod 101
  • Pimsleur
  • Ouino
  • Fluenz
  • Unforgettable Languages
  • LingQ
  • Strokes International
Busuu vs Rosetta Stone Busuu vs Babbel Busuu vs Italki Busuu vs Memrise Busuu vs Mondly Busuu vs Rocket Languages Busuu vs French Pod 101 Busuu vs Pimsleur Busuu vs Ouino Busuu vs Fluenz Busuu vs Unforgettable Languages Busuu vs LingQ Busuu vs Strokes International Rosetta Stone vs Babbel Rosetta Stone vs Italki Rosetta Stone vs Memrise Rosetta Stone vs Mondly Rosetta Stone vs Rocket Languages Rosetta Stone vs French Pod 101 Rosetta Stone vs Pimsleur Rosetta Stone vs Ouino Rosetta Stone vs Fluenz Rosetta Stone vs Unforgettable Languages Rosetta Stone vs LingQ Rosetta Stone vs Strokes International Babbel vs Italki Babbel vs Memrise Babbel vs Mondly Babbel vs Rocket Languages Babbel vs French Pod 101 Babbel vs Pimsleur Babbel vs Ouino Babbel vs Fluenz Babbel vs Unforgettable Languages Babbel vs LingQ Babbel vs Strokes International Italki vs Memrise Italki vs Mondly Italki vs Rocket Languages Italki vs French Pod 101 Italki vs Pimsleur Italki vs Ouino Italki vs Fluenz Italki vs Unforgettable Languages Italki vs LingQ Italki vs Strokes International Memrise vs Mondly Memrise vs Rocket Languages Memrise vs French Pod 101 Memrise vs Pimsleur Memrise vs Ouino Memrise vs Fluenz Memrise vs Unforgettable Languages Memrise vs LingQ Memrise vs Strokes International Mondly vs Rocket Languages Mondly vs French Pod 101 Mondly vs Pimsleur Mondly vs Ouino Mondly vs Fluenz Mondly vs Unforgettable Languages Mondly vs LingQ Mondly vs Strokes International Rocket Languages vs French Pod 101 Rocket Languages vs Pimsleur Rocket Languages vs Ouino Rocket Languages vs Fluenz Rocket Languages vs Unforgettable Languages Rocket Languages vs LingQ Rocket Languages vs Strokes International French Pod 101 vs Pimsleur French Pod 101 vs Ouino French Pod 101 vs Fluenz French Pod 101 vs Unforgettable Languages French Pod 101 vs LingQ French Pod 101 vs Strokes International Pimsleur vs Ouino Pimsleur vs Fluenz Pimsleur vs Unforgettable Languages Pimsleur vs LingQ Pimsleur vs Strokes International Ouino vs Fluenz Ouino vs Unforgettable Languages Ouino vs LingQ Ouino vs Strokes International Fluenz vs Unforgettable Languages Fluenz vs LingQ Fluenz vs Strokes International Unforgettable Languages vs LingQ Unforgettable Languages vs Strokes International LingQ vs Strokes International
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