BBC Active Quickstart French Language Course Review

bbc-active-quickstart-frenchAn independent language advantage course review by Becky Delalandre – Worcester, UK

I have some knowledge of the French language from school and I also did a recreational GCSE French course around 8 years ago.  I wanted to brush up on my skills and to gain confidence to speak more French while in France. I tried the BBC Active Quickstart French language course and think that it is good value for money at £13.99. As a beginner, I found the course easy to follow. Each section used reflective learning methods where a conversation took place in French, after an introduction in English. This conversation was then broken down into multiple sections and there was time for you to repeat each sentence and to answer the questions relating to the phrases.

‘Real’ French actors are used, therefore giving the learner the opportunity to listen to different accents. There are sections within the episodes where French vocabulary is used, not just easy words for learners to grasp, but vocabulary that would be used by French people every day, therefore making the CD’s more authentic, I feel.

‘I spent up to half an hour a day on the CD’s, mainly listening in the car..’

Topics that are covered by the CD’s include getting around a city, booking a room, sending postcards, eating out, a night out, returning home, conversations with friends, solving problems (such as illness), shopping, sightseeing, ordering food and drinks, and taking a taxi. What I would call ‘holiday French’ where you can ‘get by’, very well, I might add!

I spent up to half an hour a day on the CD’s, mainly listening in the car and flicking through the book, which includes everything on the CD. The book is great for people who want to know how words are spelt and how they look. It also includes key phrases and vocabulary to help with the CD as well as additional learning.

The contents of the two CD’s can also be installed on iPods and iPhones. However, I do not have permanent access to these and therefore I mainly used them in my car and occasionally on my laptop,. In total the CD’S had 14 episodes and lasted nearly 3 hours start to finish (70 minutes per CD).

Overall, this is an excellent way to learn French, as it is an opportunity to repeat phrases and learn new vocabulary like the locals. There is no excuse not to be able to learn the language due to the diverse means of listening to the CD’s I would say that the BBC Active Quickstart French course was a helpful reminder of what I already knew, which gave me more confidence for our break in France and for future trips there.

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