An online French student

One of my students working through a roleplay testing use of the near future.

Thinking about learning French online? You've come to the right place! Thanks to the wonders of technology, a sizeable proportion of teaching at Fantastique French Tuition is now done online.


1) How does it work?

My students and I use Skype and Microsoft OneDrive for our online French lessonsTypically, we use these as follows:

  • Skype - to see and hear each other, and to send "quick-fire" messages such as a translation for a particular word, and links to useful websites.
  • OneDrive - to work through documents. These typically consist of a worksheet explaining a topic and asking some questions on it, and a separate corresponding answer sheet.

Skype is free and you don't need to pay for OneDrive either (I do that). Nor do you need to have Microsoft Word installed or even a Microsoft account, because we open, edit, and save the documents directly in the browser.

These documents are saved in your personal OneDrive folder, and you are free to remove, amend or add to them as you see fit. 


2) Why learn French online?

The benefits of online learning - for both teacher and student - are clear. In my experience, the main advantages for the student are as follows: 

  • no travel costs - you don't waste any time or money travelling to lessons. You don't need to leave the comfort of home (unless you want to - see below), or pay any extra for the tutor to come to you. 
  • learn anywhere  - you don't need to be at home for lessons. Anywhere you can take your laptop that has an Internet-connection will do!
  • find the best French tutor for you, wherever they are - no longer are you tied to tutors in your local area. You can get a tutor anywhere in the UK, or even the world. In my case, I've had the privilege in the last year of teaching French online to students in Hampshire, West Sussex, Shropshire and Newcastle. 


3) But aren't there sound/vision problems?

Not usually, no. I have a wired fibre-optic broadband connection which generally works brilliantly. In the rare event that technical issues (at either end) disrupt our lessons, there is no charge and we simply reschedule the lesson for another time. 


4) Sounds great! What do I need to get started? 

You just need an internet-connected computer with Skype installed (and preferably a webcam), and away we go! You may also use a headset and microphone, but this is entirely optional  (most of my students don't bother with these and we don't generally have any problems).