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Strokes International Review

Monday, October 25th

2021 French Lesson Reviews

Strokes International Review 1.5 Star Rating

Strokes International

1.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $60 per level
  • $101 for a two-level package
  • $141 for a three-level package
  • Shipping fees of $30+

Strokes International is based in Germany - as you'll see right off the bat with the German privacy policy at the bottom of the page - and is structured to meet the European standards for language learning. Each of the courses of French lessons offered by Strokes International are described according to which levels in the European Framework for Languages will be covered.

The instructional levels offered by Strokes International include:

  • French 1: Levels A1, A2, B1
  • French 2: Levels A2, B1, B2
  • French Business: B1, B2, C1

Each course can be purchased separately for $60. Or, you can buy the combined package for French 1 and 2 for $101, or all three levels for $141.

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Because Strokes is focused on learners within the European Union, American customers should expect to pay at least $30 in shipping fees when selecting any products that aren't available via download. Fortunately, at the time of our review, all of Strokes International's French lessons were download-only.

In general, the Strokes approach uses spoken dialogue interactions with the computer, including a pronunciation trainer, "intuitive" grammar training, vocabulary games and flash cards, a dictionary and conjugation tables, and even the ability to export audio versions of the lessons in MP3 format for learning on the go.

Strokes lets you try a set of three lessons for free, which you will have to download to a computer (it's not available via mobile device or tablet). When we downloaded the trial, it took about two minutes to get it set up. Unfortunately, when we tried to use the system tour, the URL it used never loaded.

So, we went ahead and used the three-lesson sample without much guidance. We started at the very beginning of the French 1 program, and we were left confused. There were a lot of rotating carousels of pixelated images and stock photos with associated French vocabulary beneath them, some grammar pronoun matching with no explanations, and a halfway decent voice recognition module. When we tried to use the specific exercises for grammar, we were only able to see a preview: it's not included in the free trial.

Compared with other French lessons available, the Strokes International program feels very outdated, clunky to use, and not suited for American students. There's almost no user feedback, little customer support, and even the Strokes website has numerous typos and errors - which doesn't inspire much confidence that students will be able to learn and master French using the Strokes system. We recommend that you choose a more up-to-date provider of French lessons among the higher-ranked options in our review.

Who Offers the Best French Lessons?

In order to know which type of French instruction would work well for you, ask yourself this question: "Why do I want to learn French?" For some, learning French is a requirement for school or work. In that case, choosing a provider of French lessons that will deliver the necessary vocabulary and grammar, reading and writing skills, and even pronunciation will be important.

You may want French lessons that will help you be a better-educated traveler. If you frequently visit any one of the 29 countries where French is spoken as an official language - not just France and Canada but also Switzerland, Haiti, Togo, and Madagascar, to name a few - being able to speak French fluently could make a huge difference. And, who wouldn't want to be able to confidently order coffee and a croissant in a Paris cafe?

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.
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Continued from above...

Finally, individuals with family trees that extend into French-speaking cultures may be interested in learning more about their heritage and connect with living relatives.

With so many options for studying the language independently, what should you look for in the ideal French lessons? Here are some aspects to consider as you evaluate the many programs currently on the market:

  • Teaching Methods. How does the program approach teaching language? Will you find a good variety of methods, like videos and written instruction, or do the French lessons mostly focus on one modality like listening or reading? Is it a good fit for your ideal learning style?
  • Fluency Level. How much French is covered by the program? Can you get beginner, intermediate, and advanced instruction as you progress through the French lessons?
  • Reputation. What do other students have to say about the experience of learning French with this program? Is it effective?
  • Value. A more expensive set of French lessons is worth the investment if it delivers superior results. Will you get your money's worth?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best French lessons available today. We hope these reviews will help you get on the path to fluency in French quickly and affordably!

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