While not as popular as Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur courses, Rocket Languages have carved out a well defined niche in the language learning world. Their courses have gained a reputation for being both thorough and effective.
In this post we take a closer look at the Rocket French course. We'll look at the strengths and weakness of the material. We'll also point out which learners stand to gain the most by using this course.
If you want to learn more about the method behind the Rocket Language courses you get check out our full review of all their courses.
Let's dive in!
In the early levels of the course you'll find all the foundational aspects of French that you'd expect to find a good beginner's course (simple grammar, vocabulary, useful phrases, etc).
As you progress through the course and reach the higher levels, you'll will be exposed to more advanced aspects of the language such as irregular verbs, reflexive pronouns, using the passive voice, and so on.
Whether French feels brand new to you, or its like a good friend you want to know better, you are likely to find plenty of useful material in this course.
Rocket French is a comprehensive course. It thoroughly covers all aspects of the language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
If you were to start with the course with no knowledge of French and worked through the material in it's entirety, you could expect to have a highly functional ability and understanding in the French language.
If this course were a book on learning French, it would be a pretty thick one. It's comprehensiveness comes with a somewhat higher price tag (when compared to apps and smaller learning tools).
If you're simply looking for a new or novel way to add some spice to your French learning, this course might be overkill.
Let's take a look at some of the pros of Rocket French..
The folks behind Rocket French break their program into two basic types of lessons: the language and culture lesson which center on grammar, and the audio lessons which focus on conversational phrases.
Many language courses struggle to teach conversational French and French grammar. Typically a language learning company will make the decision to focus their product more on one than the other (after all it's simpler to produce courses that way).
Rocket French is the rare course that thoroughly exposes you to the practical and theoretical aspects of the language.
The audio lessons will teach you words and phrases in contextual chunks, so that you can start speaking quickly (this is also a great way to learn words implicitly through context).
Meanwhile the grammar lessons get down to the nitty gritty and help you understand the rules behind the phrases and vocabulary you are learning.
I like the fact that Rocket French keeps both lesson types separate. This gives you the option to focus on one or the other if you so desire, making for a flexible course.
Another unique aspect of the course is that it allows you to learn French in a way that's holistic. There are four aspects of learning a language: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
Lessons feature activities which let you flex your French muscles and practice speaking through pronunciation practice and voice recognition software. The audio lessons help you develop your French ear too.
The course also gives adequate attention to the French alphabet as well as reading and writing in the language.
All this adds up to a well balanced approach to teaching French that will leave you the student with an invaluable understanding of all parts of the language.
Here are the main drawbacks of the course.
Rocket Language courses are known for being effective, comprehensive, and very much to the point. They aren't known for being overly fun or entertaining. Thus if you're looking for a novel way to practice or learn French this course may seem a bit stale.
"In my opinion, Rocket French is by far the most comprehensive, well thought out learn French product on the market. It caters for all learning styles and will take you from beginner to reasonably advanced without having to purchase additional products.
With a strong focus on grammar, real-world conversations and listening comprehension, you'll develop written and spoken fluency at the same time."
Aletta Mazlin // TheFrenchExperiment.com
When I first sampled Rocket French...I admit that I didn’t have high expectations of the program but I was actually seriously impressed at the high quality of its audio content and dialogues.
In fact it’s one of the most comprehensive sites I’ve ever seen for natural dialogue material.
Grammar is demonstrated rather than just being explained and instead of just being a tedious literacy-based program, it really focuses on getting you to speak and listen to French better.
Donovan Nagel // Mezzoguild.com
From $4+ per month
15+ minutes a day
Frenchpod101 features audio lessons in a podcast format. Lessons are great for grammar and vocabulary. Each lesson is designed around a French conversation between native speakers, and the teachers do a great job of keeping things engaging.
While it's not as quite structured as Rocket French it's still a substantial French learning tool (it's also much cheaper too). The site features transcripts, an in-site flashcard system, and many other useful features.
30 minutes a day
Pimsleur is probably the second most popular language course behind Rosetta Stone. Pimsleur is an entirely audio based and is specifically designed to develop your conversational skills.
They use a unique and effective question/recall/respond technique to get you on your feet in your new foreign language. With Pimsleur You'll learn a limited but functional vocabulary and have a good sense of pronunciation.
$6+ per hour (varies between teachers)
30 minute or 1 hour lessons
An intro video from one of Italki's French teachers.
Italki is an online market place that connects language learners with language teachers for one-on-one language classes via video or audio chat.
You can connect with language speakers from around the world and practice your speaking skills. There 350+ French teachers and tutors on Italki! In my opinion one on one language classes are the next best thing to practicing with native speakers.
*with a purchase of $10 or more. After you complete your first lesson a credit of $10 will be added to your account
There are countless French courses on the market, but I can honestly say that Rocket French easily stands out from the pack. Few courses or programs can boast the well balanced and comprehensive approach that Rocket Languages uses.
If you're looking for an effective French course that will take you anywhere from absolute beginner to intermediate, then you should definitely check out Rocket French!
Just a typical girl with a sweet tooth and a love for Slavic languages!
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