Rocket French has been changed or updated. Although the content hasn’t really changed the way that the student uses it has. It is hoped that this will improve the learning experience and thus the ability of the student to learn French. The updated course is known as the Rocket French learning lounge. This article will go over the changes and decide if the course has been improved with the new format.
<<< Get a 6 day trial of the Rocket French Learning Lounge here >>>
Take A Look At The Learning Lounge
The name of the new course is a good indication of how the course has changed. You will find that the content is not different. As far as I can see it is pretty much the same. However the way you use this content has changed.
The creators want you to spend more time at the site. It is a lounge where you hang out and learn to speak French. Or maybe a language school where you can take the classes but also mix with the teachers and fellow students.
In it’s original form, the Rocket French course was downloaded to your desktop and then you could do what you wanted with it. So you could copy the mp3 audio lessons to an ipod or mp3 player and listen to the lessons whenever you wanted. You would download the pdf grammar books/lesson guides and educational games to your computer and open them up whenever you wanted to learn a bit of French.
The emphasis was very much about making it easy for you to learn but leaving the motivation and responsibility for learning up to you. This is fine in theory but I think most people need a little more teaching and inspiration from time to time, especially when they are struggling or feel out of their comfort zone.
So the learning lounge was created, I believe, to rectify these issues. Although the course material is the same, the learning lounge now offers more feedback about how a student is progressing.
Getting feedback helps to motivate a student and is an objective way to tell the student what they need to focus on. The learning lounge has multiple choice quizzes with each lesson. The student is encouraged to take the quiz at the end of the lesson. The answers are marked by the system and a score is returned. If the student passes the quiz, he/she can decide to progress onto the next lesson.
Keep Track Of Your Progression In The Course
There are two stages. The first stage is French basics. The second stage is more advanced and focuses on cultural aspects of France and more everyday situation where you will be speaking French. It consists of 5 lessons. Each stage has a certification test. This is a 100 question multiple choice test that covers all the lessons that have been covered in the stage. This test is quite tough and passing it will give you a great sense of achievement. It will no doubt give you more confidence that you are making progress and inspire you to go onto the next stage or take your learning onto the streets and start speaking to people (if you are in France or some other French speaking country of course)
I think this feedback aspect of the Rocket French learning lounge is a great improvement on the original course. Logging in and going through the lessons and taking the quizzes gives the student some structure. This is often lost when the student has to take this responsibility onto their own shoulders. So this is good and is more like a student/teacher relationship.
The Rocket French learning lounge still has the forum so that you can interact with other students or ask questions. It still has the three educational games – megaaudio, megaverb and megavocab. You still download the games to your desktop and run them as per the original course. You can also download the audio files within the learning lounge but I was only able to download one lesson at a time which might be a tad tedious if you plan to download them all.
The Rocket Languages team try to constantly improve the course and give students better tools to help them learn their chosen language. One new tool is the Rocket Record system that comes with all the audio components of the course.
Rocket Record lets you record your voice and then play it back against the voice of a native speaker. There is a bar graph sort of graphic that shows you how your pronunciation compares to the native speaker. Presumably you continue to practice saying the words and phrases until your bar graph looks similar to the native speaker.
It’s a nice idea and this tool is used on many other learn French course but personally I think you learn pronunciation by looking at native speakers speak – how they move their lips and tongue etc.
In general I think the learning lounge concept has improved the Rocket French course. It makes your French learning more structured and can motivate you by giving feedback. These changes should help you get more value out of your self study course.
Check out the Rocket French Learning Lounge here >>>
Tags: Learn French
NOTE: This review describes the content that you will find in the Rocket French program. For more on the way it is delivered and taught see my Review of the Rocket French Learning Lounge.
What is Rocket French ?
Rocket French is a French learning course. Unlike many other French learning products, it can be downloaded over the Internet. It took me about 30 minutes to download it with a broadband connection. The Rocket French site has a provision for dial-up Internet but I believe this would take longer to download. (There is also a provision to buy the course as a hardcopy but it is considerably more expensive than the downloaded version)
What level is Rocket French ?
The courses caters for people new to learning French. It aims to take beginners, through to a conversational level of the French language. By conversational, I’d say be able to ask questions and have a good understanding of the answer. You could also have fairly simple conversations expressing your thoughts and feelings. To really be a confident speaker you would have to get more vocabulary under your belt and speak to people without fear or embarrassment.
How does it teach French ?
The course comprises 45 lessons.
An extract from the grammar part of the Rocket French course
The first 25 lessons deal with the basics of the French language
The next 10 lessons are intermediate level and build on the technical aspects of the language.
The last 10 lessons are practical and feature real life conversations. The student can put the previous 35 lessons into practice in these lessons.
Each lesson can take between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the skill level of the student and the knowledge of the topic being covered.
Alongside each grammar lesson is a cultural lesson. this can be in English or English/French. It introduces the French way of life, iconic French landmarks and things that are typically French.
How is a lesson taught ?
The topics of the lesson are introduced along with any new French words. The student will read through the introduction. Any French words can be clicked on and the audio for the word will be heard. The audio takes the following format : first, the English equivalent is spoken, then the French. Then there is a pause and the French is spoken again. This gives the student a chance to speak the French and practice what he/she is learning.
More examples will be given of the topic and examples of how it is used.
A variety of written and multiple choice type exercises end the lesson.
The Random button can be pushed at any time and a French sentence or word from the current lesson will be spoken. This can allow the student to practice conversation and comprehension for this particular lesson.
Any other teaching methods used ?
There are three games that are used to teach :
Megavocab – vocabulary recognition, match one of 6 pictures to a word picked at random by the software
Megaverbs – verb conjugation, conjugate a verb in the correct person and tense. There are 20 questions within each game and the software can select any verbs it has in the system.
MegaAudio – comprehension, listen to audio of a word or sentence and guess which of the 4 pictures represent the audio.
Take a look at MegaVocab
These games are useful to consolidate the knowledge learned in the lessons or as a warm up exercise before the lessons begin.
Flash cards are provided :
310 beginner flash cards
216 advanced flash cards
Rocket French Flashcards - More vocabulary and comprehension games
What is good about the course ?
The course builds from beginner to advanced. It will give the student a complete grasp of the French Language at the end of the course.
The verb conjugation games is useful, as learning the forms of the verbs is potentially very tedious and boring. The game can alleviate this boredom.
Random button is good for adding a bit of spontaneity to the lesson. This is useful if you have done the lesson more than once and need to freshen it up a little.
What is bad about the course ?
The pictures in the megavocab are a bit misleading at times which makes guessing the correct words difficult.
You can only improve your pronunciation by listening and repeating the audio, no feedback is given by the software as to how your accent sounds.
Any bonuses ?
If you are still unsure about Rocket French then you can sign up for the free 6 day course. This will give you a taste of the full course and how it is taught.
Once you have bought the course, you will be sent the Rocket French newsletter every fortnight. The newsletter has a new lesson in each issue.
I think the content and scope of the Rocket French course represents good value. Although it will take some work for a new student to learn French, Rocket French can certainly make this effort easier.
Go to the Rocket French website for more details and testimonials.
Tags: Learn French
Rocket French changed when they added an audio course to the whole package a while ago.
How the Rocket French Audio Course looks
I think this makes the course vastly superior to the previous version which only allowed you to click on a word or sentence to hear the pronunciation.
The new course is 31 lessons of about 20-30 minutes in length.
The basic format of each lesson is a scene involving the narrator of the course and his native French speaking friend.
So for example, they might be in a restaurant and they would have a conversation revolving around things you might say at the restaurant.
After the conversation the lesson would work through the conversation explaining points of grammar, vocabulary and, most importantly, pronunciation.
The narrator is an English speaking person and he will guide the teaching and explain concepts and meaning of French words.
The native French speaker speaks all the French conversations. She will say a sentence and then say each of the words or pronunciation chunks separately so that the listener can repeat the pronunciation after her.
I found this really useful to get good pronunciation and reminded me of the Pimsleur course which uses the same sort of method for pronunciation.
The native French speaker generally says all the sentences once and then pauses allowing the listener to say the sentence out loud. They stress that you have to speak the words out loud to get the pronunciation right.
At the end of each lesson the narrator recaps the points of the lesson. They will run through the conversation again and then he will ask a few questions that try to incorporate what you have just learned into what you learned in previous lessons.
The interactive part of the audio lessons involves speaking the sentences and pronunciation chunks after the native speaker and answering the questions that the narrator might ask. If the narrator asks a question, there will be a pause that allows you to answer, then the native French speaker will give the correct answer.
As I say, I think the audio course, in conjunction with the games, e-book course and flash cards makes the Rocket French course good value for money. It will definitely help you to learn French or improve your French if you have a basic understanding. I think the audio will give you more confidence to speak to real French people, which is half the battle when it comes to becoming fluent in a new language.
For a review of the other components of the Rocket French course see my Rocket French Review .
Go to the Rocket French website for more information.
Tags: Learn French
Here’s a question I received the other day about using Rocket French – do you need a headset to use it effectively ? This post will be short and hopefully sweet for people interested in knowing more about this learn French language course.
The course has recently added a pronunciation tool that they call Rocket Record. This tool presents a graphical representation of a native French speaker saying a word or phrase. There is an option for you to record your own attempt at saying the word or phrase and a graphical display of this is shown. As you can see, I need to improve my pronunciation of “the apple”.
Must Try Harder - Synching your voice with the French speaker can be difficult !
All dialogs and vocabulary presented in the course have an option to Rocket Record your pronunciation against a native French speaker. So if you want to use this tool to improve your pronunciation and get the most out of the Rocket French course, then you definitely need headphones and some kind of microphone. These could be separate pieces of hardware or you could combine the two in the form of a headset. So yes, you do need a headset if this is how you plan to use the Rocket French course. But if you already have headphones and a microphone then you don’t need a headset.
Other than that, the rest of the course, like the audio can be listened to from your computer provided it has speakers or you could download the audios and listen to them on an mp3 player. The rest of the course can be viewed via your computer – the grammar and culture course, the forum, the tests and the motivational aspects of the course.
The Mega games can be played on a PC and even a mac and you need speakers to play the Mega Audio game.
Tags: Learn French
The Rocket French course can be bought as a hard copy or as a download option. Since the download option is $200 cheaper and is effectively the same course, it makes no sense to buy the hard copy version. With this said, how easy is it to make your own hard copy out of the download version if this is the option to you go for. In short, can you make a CD with the download versions of Rocket French ?
The simple answer is yes but let’s dig into it a bit more.
The Rocket french course is basically an audio course which can be listened to online or downloaded as mp3 files, a grammar and culture course which can be viewed online or downloaded in pdf format and various other bits and pieces that really need to be used online (like the forum, tests, motivational articles, Rocket Record tool).
So the only thing you could really put on CD from Rocket French is the audio course. Which makes sense as you probably don’t want to put things that you read on a CD in the first place. You put things that you want to listen to on a CD of course. So people wanting to put the audio files on CD probably want to listen to them in the car or at the gym or maybe even traveling to work on public transport.
The first thing you would do to put the audio files on CD would be to download the mp3 files. This is quite easy as there is a download button for every audio file in the course. You may want to number them or get some organizational system in place before you start the downloading as there are hundreds of files. You want to copy them in order so that the continuity is in place.
It would be terribly frustrating if lesson 1 was followed by 25 and it took you five minutes to fast forward through to lesson number 2.
When you have the mp3 files downloaded, you will need a to convert the mp3 format to a format that can be read by a CD player. Most modern CD players can even read mp3 files these days so you may not even have to bother with the conversion process. Check the manual to your CD player before hand. It will tell you if it is Mp3 compatible.
If the player is not compatible with mp3 files then you will have to convert them. Again this is fairly easy for anyone with a PC. The Windows Media Player software that comes as standard in most Windows operating system PCs will do this for you.
Windows Media Player will even help you write or burn the converted files to a writable Compact disk. Of course you will only be able to write to a compact disk if your computer has a CD-RW drive. Again, most modern PCs have a read write drive but you will have to check this before hand.
It will take a few hours to go through this process and you will probably need a few Compact disks to place all the files on. An easier option might be to buy an mp3 player. They generally have heaps of space and you will have no problems fitting all the files onto the player. This can be done in a few minutes – half hour max.
>>> Go to the official Rocket French site for more details <<<
Tags: Learn French
All over the world, more and more people choose to take on a second language. So it is only natural that more and more learning language programs are sprouting up all the time. But with so many options readily available, finding the right one can be quite tough. So if you are interested in learning the language of love, here are a few things that you should know about two of the more popular programs today.
So in this Rocket French VS Transparent French Complete Edition article we will go cover
- How you learn,
- what you use to learn,
- and what you learn.
in these 2 language programs.
Rocket French is a course that has developed over the years. It is now accessed through it’s self styled learning lounge. You can learn a lot more about the course in the Rocket French review, the new audio course and how the learning lounge works posts. However for the purpose of this article a brief overview of the course follows.
So the main part of Rocket French is the audio course (33 lessons). There are quite a few other things you can do with the course and they seem to be improving it all the time.
You can also play language games with their Mega games suite and their flashcard system. You can now record your voice and see how it compares to a native French speaker with Rocket Record.
Getting The Timing Right Can Be tough !
They also have pretty comprehensive testing system and this helps to monitor your progress through the course and keep your motivation up.
All the audio are accompanied by written text that explains the grammar and the vocabulary used during the audio lessons. There is also a grammar and culture course that gives you more depth to your understanding of the language. This can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF document. (31 lessons)
Transparent Languages French
The Transparent Complete edition is basically 5 of Transparent Languages products bundled into one product. So you get 5 cd’s in the box that contain software or audio files. These products are :
1.Byki Deluxe – flashcard learning environment
Building your vocabulary with flashcards – there are various sets or lists of words that you go through. As you progress through the lists the complexity of the words or phrases get more difficult.
There are 3 steps to the flashcard system.
In the first step, the word or phrase is displayed in French and English. It will also be spoken or pronounced by a native French speaker and there may be pictures or photographs to help you understand the meaning of the word.
The second step displays one of the words or phrases at random, pronounces it and asks you what it means and to say it out loud (ideally). When you flip the card, the English equivalent is revealed and you can see if you were correct. This improves or tests your comprehension or understanding of the word. Then the system asks you to write the word or expression in English.
Then it does it the other way round. This time the English word (and any pictures/photos) are displayed and you are asked to say the French equivalent. Flip the card to see if you were correct. Once you have said the word, the next step is to write it in French.
So gradually, you get to test reading, writing and comprehension.
You can also record your voice and measure how your pronunciation compares to a native speaker via and graphical representation (this is similar to Rocket Record, the feature in the Rocket French course – or maybe the other way round)
You can also play various games such as hangman, crossword puzzles and other word games. You can also track your progress on the words you have learned.
The people from Transparent languages recommend that students start their learning here. I’m not sure about that as it’s a bit of a slow way to start but it is easy to use and doesn’t push you out of your comfort zone too much.
2.Everywhere French Audio Lessons
This is the audio component of the course that can be used at home or “on the go” using an mp3 player like an iPod or such like. Many of the parts of the audio course have imagery with them so you really need an iPod with video capabilities. With this said, any mp3 player will still be able to play the soundtracks but won’t be able to show the pictures.
There are 35 lessons which means 5 hours of audio. Like most audio courses you listen and repeat what is said. The lessons are like a tutor teaching you French. She will teach various concepts, explain things be it vocabulary or cultural references and will ask you questions.
Your goal is to repeat words and phrases when they are said or answer questions when they are asked. You can do this by pausing the recording to think, saying the word and then resuming the recording where the tutor will supply an answer.
3.Transparent French Premium Edition
The Transparent French Premium Edition is essentially a course book on the French language. This is where you will learn how the language works – the grammar and the way certain phrases are formed. Verb groups and verb conjugation. Again this component of the complete course comes on a CD but when running on your computer looks like a book. You go to various chapters and turn the pages just like a real book.
4.Lexicon Translation Dictionary
This is also on CD and comprises 65,000 words apparently. It’s basically an electronic dictionary. You type in a word and you get the equivalent in the other language. This includes the spelling, definition and how it fits in grammatically.
It sounds pretty comprehensive but I’m not sure how you would use it as part of the course. It should be a handy reference guide and something you might turn to if you are looking to seriously expand your vocabulary. I would probably prefer a traditional book dictionary but that’s just me.
Lingua Match is a unique part of the Transparent languages courses. You will find it in most of the courses that they offer. It’s a virtual world or cartoon world that you are participating in. There are 30 scenes or situations that tend to be things that people learning French or traveling in France as a tourist might encounter.
So checking into a hotel or eating at a restaurant are typical scenarios. The situations will be populated by cartoon or virtual people that will pose questions of you and ask you questions. You will ask them questions and so forth until you get to the end of the scene and achieve the objective of the conversation.
All the software is made for PCs with Windows operating system. It is compatible with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista or higher.
Side by Side I think the Transparent course has more content but is also more expensive. Rocket French can be downloaded whereas Transparent is a box set that is shipped to you (I think you can now get a download option but I’m not sure how that works or how effective it is). One common complaint with Transparent was that you had to constantly change disks in your computer when using it which got a bit tiring and interrupted or interfered with the learning experience.
Rocket French is more likely to be used online or by downloading the audios for an mp3 player. Rocket French has a forum that is quite active and the creators of the course and support staff visit from time to time.
The Byki flash card method is better than the similar mega games and flashcards offered by Rocket in terms of size and variety. For instance you can write in both English and French with the Byki system. Although you can add new words in the MegaVocab game and MyVocab section in Rocket French, you can’t really interact with the system other than answering multiple choice questions.
I preferred the audio course in Rocket French which was a bit more informal than the Transparent version.
Transparent has LinguaMatch, which can make learning more interesting. Rocket French has nothing like this. Transparent also has a huge electronic dictionary. Again, Rocket French doesn’t have anything like that although to be honest a dictionary isn’t really going to help you learn French initially but will be a good reference guide once you have the basics down.
So here are the facts, now you make the choice – Rocket French or Transparent French Complete Edition ?
Rocket French is slightly cheaper than Transparent. It is also more modern and likely to be improved over the years. Owners of Rocket French get all new updates according to the creators. You can get Rocket French here
You get more content and tools with Transparent but it doesn’t seem to have been updated for a few years now. If you are interested in Transparent then it is available at Amazon here.
Tags: Learn French
Rocket French and Fluenz French are relatively new learn French courses that are set to take on the 800 pound gorilla (I think that’s the expression) of the learn a second language field, Rosetta Stone. Apparently Rosetta Stone have a massive budget to promote their product and keep it in the spotlight. It’s not a bad product either which always helps but can be expensive if you are planning to get all the levels. But enough of that, we aren’t interested in Rosetta Stone but rather a comparison of Rocket French to Fluenz French. As there is already plenty of details on what you get in Rocket French – see the review, the learning lounge and the review of the audio course – I’ll give a brief overview of the course and focus more on the Fluenz course in this post. So hopefully this Rocket French Vs Fluenz French review will help you decide which course is for you.
Rocket French Review
Rocket French has evolved from a PDF document course with a few word games thrown in to a fairly substantial course. The course is now accessed via the learning lounge. This is basically where you can get all the Rocket French resources. This includes the aforementioned PDF course, which is like a grammar and culture course. You can click on words in the document and they will be spoken by a native French speaker, the creator of the course of course, Marie Claire Riviere.
Rocket French Word Games
You also get the three games that seem to be similar to the Rosetta Stone in style. You are shown pictures and have to guess the right answer. There are roughly 25 questions per section and upwards of 20 sections per game.
The games are MegaVocab which shows you 4-6 pictures and a French word. You have to guess which picture matches the word. You can add your own pictures/word combinations to beef up the number of words in the system.
MegaVocab Game - C'est Numero Trois !
Next is MegaAudio which is similar. It shows 4-6 pictures and says a word out loud,. You have to guess which picture is closest to the word.
The final game is MegaVerb which is slightly different. There are no pictures and it is simply a verb conjugation test. You are given the infinitive verb and then various questions are posed of you, like what is the 2nd person singular. You have to write it down, including all the accents, which is harder than you might think. The game tests present, past and future tenses.
The next part of the course is the audio course, which comprises 31 lessons of around 20 to 30 minutes each. The format is an English speaking narrator (or friend of the course creator) and a native French speaker (the creator Marie Claire). Each lesson is a scenario as they travel through France. Various common scenarios that people traveling in France or a French speaking country might encounter are covered from the basic introductions and saying hello to more complicated stuff.
Rocket French Audio Course
More vocabulary, verbs and tenses are thrown in as the lessons progress. There is a transcript of the dialog in French and English if you can’t follow what they are saying. This shouldn’t be a problem though as the English speaking narrator explains what the lesson is all about and asks questions etc. There is also an option to download the audio lessons if you want to listen to the,m away from the compute on an mp3 player.
After each lesson there is a testing section where you answer multiple choice questions. This is marked and you get a mark. Depending on your mark you can choose to do the lesson again or move onto the next lesson. At the end of a chunk of lessons that have a common theme, say er verbs, you can take a bigger test – 75 questions – which cover all the lessons. Again, you will pass or fail this test and this will inspire you to take the lessons again or move on to a harder lesson.
A fairly new feature of the Rocket course is that you can analyze your pronunciation. It’s called Rocket Record and is similar to other language courses. When you record your voice, it is graphically mapped and compared to the image created by a native French speaker.
Voice Recognition with Rocket Record
What Can You Say With Rocket French ?
I’d say that you should get to a decent conversational level of French at the end of this course. By conversational, I’d say you should be able to communicate with people if you were a foreigner traveling in France and you need to ask for directions, checking into hotels, buying things in shops. You’d also be able to have simple conversations about what you like, want to do in the future and what you did in the past. The thoughts you can express will still be fairly simple as you don’t have the vocabulary, turn of phrase and more complex verb conjugations. These can be learned by speaking with people and actually becomes fun if you approach it properly.
Fluenz French Review
Fluenz French is a computer program that works on PC and Mac computers. The idea behind Fluenz is that you are being taught by a tutor one on one. The tutor looks at you directly out of the screen and explains things to you.
The Course Is Much Better Than The Box Looks !
Format Of A Lesson
Each lesson follows the same format. The Tutor, Sonia Gil, explains what the lesson is all about and what you are going to learn. When she has finished, you click the next button that takes you to a common scenario that a traveler in France might experience.
It’s basically a picture or photograph of the scenario and an audio dialogue of 2 or more people speaking. Buttons overlay the photo which give you the option to hear the dialog with English and French subtitles on, French subtitles on or no subtitles at all. You are advised to listen to the dialog three times, first with English/French subtitles on, then French and finally no subtitles.
How the Audio Course Looks - Je Veux un Despe !
By the third time, you should have a pretty good grasp of the dialog and the concepts that are being demonstrated. When this is done you click the next button. This takes you back to the Tutor who explains the lesson and the concepts behind the language.
The teaching is good. They go out of their way to describe French from an English speakers point of view. So they point out how the grammar constructions differ, how adjectives are positioned differently, why certain words are contracted, the idea of feminine and masculine words and things like that. They always relate this to English so that an English speaker doesn’t get totally lost. This is a good way to learn in my opinion. It works for the adult mind, which is more goal focused and time limited than a child might be.
Sonia the Tutor
After the explanation, you go through a series of tests, which they call workouts. The first workouts see how well you understood the lesson and the final workouts apply the concepts learned in the lesson to build on previous lessons.
So they make you match the French sentences in the lesson to the English equivalents. You also have to match a picture to a spoken French word (not unlike MegaAudio in Rocket French).
Match The Word To One Of The Pictures
Then write the English words displayed or spoken in French,
Write the English phrases in French – tricky with the accents,
Write The French Of The English Phrase
Write the French words after listening to them spoken,
Write the French phrases after listening to them spoken,
Type out the conversation or the entire scene in fact
The final 2 tests are to match phrases that are using the same words in the lesson but in slightly different contexts to the original lesson. And then to say the phrases out loud – repeat after the native French speaker. Your speech is recorded and you can listen to how it sounds compared to a native speaker. There is no graphical representation, you just have to use you ear.
There are 31 lessons in the Entry level Fluenz French course. You also get a phrasebook, user guide, audio CDs and mp3 podcasts. The entry level is basically the beginners course and there are 4 more levels.
Fluenz French Levels
Each level costs around $170-180 (best price is currently at Amazon) or you can get a bundle which makes them cheaper than buying each level. Levels 1 and 2 are a good bundle to get if you want to get to a decent conversational level. By conversational I mean you could get by as a tourist in France. You could ask obvious questions that a tourist might have. You could do shopping, go to restaurants, use the transport systems and things like that. You probably couldn’t hold and in depth conversations about politics or such like but you have the basics of the language.
What Can You Say With Fluenz French ?
You could build on this through further lessons or practice talking to real people. As I have mentioned before, half the battle with a new language is getting the confidence to speak to real people. Once you can speak to real people, your language skills will come on in leaps and bounds.
In terms of specifics, Fluenz Level 1 goes into present and future tenses of verbs. Level 2 goes into past tenses. More scenarios with more complex communication are taught in Level 2 as you would expect.
Levels 3,4 and 5 go into far more depth with grammar and more complex language. More vocabulary is added in as you would expect. By the end of level 5 you will have learned everything you need to speak to French speaking people and have in depth conversations. You also have a good base of vocabulary too. You should be able to have a decent conversation with any French speaker where you express your thoughts and feelings.
One thing you should always remember though, no matter what a course says it can teach you, you will always be learning the language. You will always have to learn new words just like you probably learn new English words every now and then. However the learning won’t be difficult or a chore like it was when you first started out.
What I like about both products
They seem to be constantly improving the features and functionality of their courses. In other words, giving you more resources and tools to make learning easier. The content doesn’t change that much just the way you use the content and the things you can do with it. For example, Rocket French now lets you record your voice and compare it to a native speaker. Fluenz have added flashcards to their current course which can be played a bit like a game. There seems to be genuine accountability for the course and people that will respond if you have an issue or will make changes to the course based on user feedback. I think this augurs well for both courses in the future.
Rocket French Premium is pretty much the same level as Fluenz French 1 in my opinion. Rocket French introduces past tense unlike Fluenz, who do this in their Level 2 product. However Fluenz have more scenarios in Fluenz 1 than Rocket so this kind of even things out. The production values are better in Fluenz than Rocket in my opinion. Also, the tutor seemingly teaching you one on one might be more motivating for some people. Rocket is cheaper than Fluenz (especially if you get Fluenz Levels 1 and 2). Rocket French have a forum where you can talk to the course creator and other people learning the language.
Both courses are aimed at an adults I would suggest, unlike Rosetta Stone that caters from anyone 6 years and up.
<<< Get the best price for Rocket French here >>>
<<< Get the best price for all 5 levels of Fluenz French here >>>
Tags: Learn French
With so many French learning language programs on the market today, finding the right one can be tough especially when they all claim to give you amazing results in just a short amount of time.
I’m not saying that these programs don’t deliver. It’s just that different people have different learning styles. So what may work wonders for me may not do much for you. So here are two French learning programs perfect for anyone planning a short term trip to the country with nothing but the facts in an honest review of sorts. Rocket French Or Pimsleur French: My Review, Their Facts, Your Choice.
What is Rocket French?
Rocket French is another product of Rocket Languages. They claim that you can learn French in just a few months by taking the interactive conversational approach.
Rocket French Is Accessed Online And Can Be Downloaded
They also call this the natural approach. Basically, they focus on listening comprehension and speaking skills and not so much on reading and writing.
So with this course, no matter what your French level is, even if it is your first time, you will be speaking French from lesson number one.
You will have your very own teacher, Marie-Claire Rivière as well as a couple of other French teachers and native speakers to instruct and guide you every step of the way.
What is Pimsleur French?
Pimsleur French is another course created and developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur, a linguistic specialist. He basically has two principles that he integrates into his teaching approach- Graduated Interval Recall and Principle of Anticipation.
Pimsleur French Level 1
Graduated Interval Recall basically means that once you start to forget a word or phrase in French, you will be encouraged to recall what it is. Principle of Anticipation is that you will “anticipate” or kinda like guess what the answer is before it is revealed in the lessons.
Two other factors that are part of this learning approach are the core vocabulary which is pretty much a limited list of important French words and terms that you will actually use in real life scenarios, and the Organic Learning concept which combines vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation lessons with useful French phrases all in one class, all at the same time.
What’s in the box
With Rocket French you will find 33 interactive audio lessons that last around 24 minutes each and are all 100% downloadable. These lessons are designed to teach you modern and casual conversational French.
You know, words and phrases that you will actually use in the streets of France. These conversations are supposed to enhance your speaking and improve you listening comprehension.
Aside from that, you will also get 31 French language lessons and 31 French history and culture lessons. The language lessons give you step by step explanations while the history and culture lessons teach you more about the country. Included are over 1900 audio clips, quizzes, and tests.
The progress tracking feature helps you keep score as it records all of the results of the tests and quizzes that you take. This also serves as a reminder of which ones you have already taken, the ones that you need to work on a little bit more, and the ones that you did well in. This feature will also tell you what you have to do next after you have completed a certain task.
For a little bit of fun, MegaFrench games are also part of the package.
- MegaAudio, and
MegaVocab will help you build up your French vocabulary. MegaAudio is supposed to enhance your listening comprehension as well as your French pronunciation. MegaVerbs is for learning verbs, verb forms, and conjugation.
You also have the Rocket Recorder and the French learners’ forum are other features that come with.
Practice Pronunciation - Not Very Well In This Case !
With Pimsleur French you get an audio course that is complete with a short textbook. This course applies the Pimsleur method as you take part in a French conversation right away while learning grammar and vocabulary at the same time.
These audio lessons come on CD but also have the downloadable version and last for about 30 minutes each. The course is usually divided into three different levels so that you don’t get confused.
Since Rocket French has a whole lot more features than Pimsleur French, it is only normal that you will also end up paying more. But this is not the case. You can actually get Rocket French for less than Pimsleur here. Rocket French is a good value for money course. It will get you to a conversational level French such that you woudln’t be fazed asking strangers for directions, booking into hotels or ordering food in a restaurant.
You Don't Get A Laptop - It's Just to Denote That You Use Rocket French Online !
Pimsleur is more “old school” in that you don’t have to use a computer to use the course. The best price for Pimsleur French Level 1 is currently at Amazon here. One thing to note also is that there are 3 levels with the Pimsleur course each costing around $170 to $200. Although it seems expensive, I like the way they teach the course and even the way they break down words into separate syllables so that you can get the accent right. It will take time but you can learn French well with Pimsleur.
Pimsleur French Contents
Rocket French Or Pimsleur French: My Review, Their Facts, Your Choice.
Tags: Learn French
Everything sounds better when said in French – and all the more if it is said correctly. Learning the language of love is more than just about sounding romantic. So if you actually want to say what you mean, then choosing the right language learning program is the first step to success.
So, to help you out with your decision dilemma, here are two of the top programs that offer courses in French. Below you will find everything you need to know- an honest and unbiased review. Rocket French or Tell Me More French: how to learn the language of love- minus all the sweet talk, that is.
How You Learn
Rocket French uses the learning lounge to do most of it’s teaching. This is basically where you can access all the learning resources, including a good audio course, a pdf style grammar and culture course and a few word games that you can play on your computer. Along with the learning resources, you also get the support and learning environment that the learning lounge is supposed to represent.
The Virtual Rocket French Box
So there is a support desk, a forum, where staff members, including the course creator frequent. You also get plenty of tests and quizzes to help you to monitor your progress and keep you motivated. there are also things like articles that talk about the best ways to learn a second language, getting into a good study routine and other things that focus on how to learn best.
Rocket French teaches you how to speak, comprehend, read and write French however most emphasis is on speaking and comprehension as you might expect of such a course.
Tell Me French takes what they call the PRIME approach.
R- real world,
I – interactive,
Tell Me More French Box Set - 10 Levels Plus A Headset !
Progressive as they claim to make your French improve, no matter what level you begin with. Real world as they only focus on real life scenarios. Interactive as it is not just listen and learn. You actually take part. Motivating as you will never get bored nor complacent with the 40 different tasks that keep on challenging you. Effective as the creators say that there is a 94% success rate under their belt.
What You Get
With Rocket French you will have 33 interactive downloadable audio lessons of modern conversations in French that you will actually hear on the streets of France. You will be able to join in on these 24 minute long conversations that is supposed to help you practice both your speaking skill as well as your listening comprehension.
The Audio Course
You will also have 31 French language lessons that will teach you step by step.
These explanations will take place over 1900 plus audio clips, tests, and quizzes. The 31 French culture lessons will give you an even more thorough understanding of both the language and the country all together.
To keep things fun and exciting, you have the MegaFrench games- MegaVocab which is designed to help you build up and retain your French vocabulary, MegaAudio which supposedly will help you with your listening comprehension as well as your pronunciation, and MegaVerbs which should help you master French verbs and conjugation.
One of the Mega Games - MegaVocab
Rocket Record is another feature that helps you with your French pronunciation as you can record you own and then compare.
You will also find that there are tons of quizzes and tests to keep you on your toes. These scores will automatically be recorded to the Progress Tracking Feature. This will let you know which tasks you have completed, which ones need to be taken again, and let you know which ones you should be taking next.
With Tell Me More French, you will have you take a placement test so that you know which level of French learning you should take. That test is the first thing you get upon purchase. There are ten levels that cater beginners all the way to advanced students.
Start your learning here...
After you will have 20 hours of interactive video. This will help you develop you skills in the French language. You will also have 20,000 various exercises that focus on reading, writing, speaking, listening , and grammar.
Tell Me More French lesson
After a formal lesson, where you see two people speaking or some scenario where a few people are speaking, you go through the lesson perfecting the various elements you need to speak, listen, read and write French.
A nice feature of the Tell Me More system is that you can click on a word and this will give you an option to hear it spoken or see how it’s grammar works. you can also see it’s translation in English and things like that.
Most of the lessons are actually just picture images that change as you various dialog is introduced. There are some actual videos but these are not so common.
Once the scene has been completed, you go through a series of tests which help the concepts sink in. Each test will help on on some aspect of the learning process and the tests get steadily harder or more complex.
For instance, you might start with answering questions about certain words that were used in the dialog.
Complete the Text
Harder tests, like answering French questions by either picking from multiple choice, writing the answer on the screen or speaking it come at the end of the series of tests.
Answer French questions...multiple choice !
Speaking can be quite tough, especially if you don’t have a good headset…and even then, getting the accent right can be a struggle !
Tell Me More French - Speaking Test
An interesting feature is that you have a weekly EuroNews® lesson wherein you can practice grammar and vocabulary and learn about a current news topic at the same time.
There are also lessons on culture which include famous French landmarks, aspects of the French cultural life, famous French people or today and yesteryear. The level of language is quite advanced and is something that a beginner might come back to later.
Tell Me More French - Learn about the culture
You will also get a specially designed headset as part of the whole package. This offers speech recognition that will supposedly do wonders for your pronunciation.
SETS, spoken error tracking system, is a function that will automatically detect any mispronounced words that you have. That’s pretty hi-tech stuff.
Improve your accent with SETS
One other activity that you have is role playing. You will be immersed in real life scenarios that let you practice and improve what you have learned so far.
Workshops on reading, writing, listening, and speaking are additional features.
Tell Me More French is a massive program. Level one seems to have upwards of 50 hours of teaching resources and probably more if you include all the culture and news videos (which are taken from real French TV). So you can just imagine how much you get with 10 levels.
Both programs offer on the go ways of learning with files that are compatible with MP3 players and the like.
What Support You Get
Rocket Spanish offers email and phone support and even tutorials. Not to mention that Marie-Claire Rivière as well as other French teachers and native speakers will be there to guide and teach you every step of the way.
Tell Me More French offers FAQ, email, and phone support. You will also have access to a 24/7 online advise.
Rocket French is a good and well priced product. You can get to a decent conversational level with the course. The course seems to be improved on all the time too (the Rocket Record being a recent example of a feature upgrade). The owners claim that all upgrades are free to existing owners too so that is a nice feature that not many other courses can offer.
Note: You don't get a laptop with your purchase, it's just to indicate that you learn online !
Tell Me More French is an excellent product that has hours and hours of content. It is not as focused as Rocket French or Fluenz French on getting a speaker confident with speaking French quickly.
It is simply methodical and massive. In fact, you can tell that it has been made by a European company as it does not take the approach of many other courses where the main characters in the dialog are tourists or people involved in typical tourist scenarios.
The people involved in the scenarios are French and they are doing everyday things that French people would do. This is good as you get a real flavor for what France and French people are like but may not be for you if you want to learn French quickly.
In short, Tell me more is a great learning resource but it isn’t really a fast learning method by comparison to Rocket, Michel Thomas or Fluenz. It is more like Rosetta Stone in this respect. What’s more it is also quite an investment. If you get the 10 level product you can expect to pay over $600. This is much more expensive than Rocket French but is comparable to other big name brands like Rosetta Stone.
Tell Me More French is currently available at Amazon and is the best price you will find for this product outside of places like eBay. You can get the 10 level set here or if you only want a beginner package then get this set here.
So basically there you have it, Rocket French or Tell Me More French: how to learn the language of love? Which one is best for you ?
Tags: Learn French
For people interested in a French course, picking the right one is often a stumbling block. with this in mind, here is a quick Rocket French vs Michel Thomas French review article. It should help you make a better decision if you are looking at one of these courses.
The Michel Thomas course is primarily concerned with teaching conversational skills. His approach to teaching is excellent and you leave the course with a sense of confidence that you can speak to people in French.
Michel Thomas French Audio Course
Rocket French teaches reading, writing, comprehension and conversational skills. There is a large vocabulary set that can be learned through the games and exercises in the lessons. The exercises allow the student to practice writing and the megaverb game allow the student to practise the conjugation endings of verbs.
Michel Thomas course is easy to use, all you need is a cd player. You can listen to the lessons anywhere, however, Michel prefers that you give all your concentration to the lesson so driving a car or other activities are discouraged.
Rocket French can be downloaded from the internet. Broadband internet is best but you can use dial up. Once downloaded the program starts with a main menu. The main menu lists all the lessons available, with descriptions of the topics covered . It also lists the French learning games and the flash cards. All the lessons and games are controlled by the mouse.
Michel Thomas French is aimed a people wanting to learn French quickly. If you are planning a sudden vacation in France or a French speaking country then Michel Thomas is a perfect choice. The best price you will get for the Michel Thomas course is currently at Amazon.
Rocket French is aimed at people that want to get a fully rounded French language education. You will spend many hours using the program as an educational tool and as a reference guide for French words and verbs.
The games provide a useful distraction when you need a break from the lessons or need to get into the french learning groove. Using the games you can practice verb conjugation, vocabulary recognition and listening/comprehension skills.
If you are interested in more information about Rocket French then visit their site. Try the 6 day free course as it provides a good taster of what the full course is like.
Rocket French has more features and tools to help you learn French. It’s scope is also greater – it teaches speaking, comprehension, reading and writing. Michel Thomas is only really concerned with speaking and comprehension. The Michel Thomas course is good if you want to get a quick grasp of a new language for a vacation or holiday. I also like how Michel Thomas teaches and learning is easy. Rocket French covers more and tries to get you to a reasonably fluent level. There is lots of support and features that keep you motivated and inspired to learn.
Of course none of the courses will really work unless you apply yourself to the lessons and then use what you have learned in real world instances.
Tags: Learn French