Oh, la, la, the language of love!
French is more than a language, speaking it has become nearly a status. A man or a woman instantly becomes sexier when you hear them speaking it. There is something incredibly sensual and expressive about the French language. Not to forget that this is also the original language of so much literature, so much poetry, plays, movies...
Sometimes those are just untranslatable in full, and as a result, you can't really know if you appreciate French literature if you are only reading in translation.
But let's get back to sexiness and the French language. There is nothing sexy about long, boring classes with an almost fetishist focus on grammar. There are alternatives to this traditional model (that also may or may not involve a middle-aged, square shaped, pale, puffy teacher with strict eyes and a chequered skirt as your teacher). One of them, of course --- online courses. But with the sheer amount of courses, programs, and materials available on the Internet, it's easy to get overwhelmed and not even start learning it. Sounds familiar?
Well, then shall we finally ditch the procrastination and jump into actually studying the language? We probably should.
Anyways, the first step when you embark on your e-learning journey is to choose a course. If you have looked into the options of learning French online and you are probably familiar with the Rocket Languages.
Are you not?
Not to worry. I am here with this Rocket French review for you and to tell all –-- the facts, the advantages, the disadvantages ('Tell the truth, always the truth, and nothing else but the truth.' or 'The good, the bad, and the ugly', to say so).
Rocket French Review
But first, what is Rocket Languages?
I know this sounds like the first sentence of that 'About us' tab that nobody reads at all. Still, it is worth considering who created the program and with what purpose.
Rocket Languages is an online language-learning leader, that has been in this industry for more than 10 years.
In those years the content and courses themselves have changed immensely, but one core idea remained. Providing people with a simple, efficient, and convenient ways to study languages ---- this is the motivation behind that business.
Unlike other, newer companies, Rocket Languages has had time to test out and develop their idea, as well as create and polish their materials. More than 1 million people have used their courses.
That is a lot of customer feedback!
So in terms of being experienced and offering a very polished and comprehensive course, Rocket Languages can be trusted.
Yes, but how exactly do they plan on teaching you French? Break down, break down, break down. Notice how I did not say breakdown (yup, sorry not sorry about that silly pun)?
Rocket Languages really is stress-free and enjoyable, despite the challenges you will face while learning French. They break down all pieces of information in small, manageable snippets of French. That's something I really want to stress in this Rocket French review--making learning a language fun.
On a neurological level, this makes it much easier for your brain to process, write down, and consolidate the new information, be it a grammar rule, a new word with it's funky vocabulary, or a colloquial expression (they have them a lot in French).
This 'chunking method' is also great for psychological health and maintaining motivation. It is much harder to become overwhelmed when you have it all laid out in a nice structure and in bite-size pieces.
Unlike most physical manuals and French learning systems, Rocket Languages relies much more on audio dialogue. Your course consists of two main sections, the first one being Interactive Audio. From the very first lesson you will be listening to fun (sometimes really entertaining, sometimes --- simply natural and well-flowing) dialogues between natives.
This trains your ear to recognize and comprehend the language in an actual, real-world situation where you would have to use it. What is more, since speech and hearing are so intimately interknitted, you will notice that it takes less effort to pronounce words, and even more importantly, you will get the urge to speak more.
This is incredibly important, even if at first you sound awkward and silly. Practice makes perfect, and overcoming the speaking barrier is one of the biggest challenges you will overcome in learning French.
That already puts you a step ahead of all those people who say, 'I have learned French for 1, 2, 5... years, but I don't really speak it.'
The other section of the Rocket Languages French course is Language and Culture. Even though it doesn't say it in the title, this is where you will go to learn grammar, too. Ugh, I know, the very mention of French grammar manages to send shivers down your spine.
First, it is not even that difficult if you put your mind to it. If you have previous knowledge of other romance languages (like Italian), it will certainly come in handy. When I started French, I was already more or less fluent in Spanish and I noticed incredible grammatical similarities, to the point where I was actually spending much less time on grammar than on, say, learning new pieces of vocabulary.
And secondly, as I already mentioned, Rocket Languages makes an impressive effort to chunk it all down to understandable and manageable snippets of grammar. They have all of their explanations in English (super handy for beginners that get discouraged when even the explanation seems all Greek... or, well, French). What is more, the way this course is set up, you would have already heard the new structure in a dialogue, so you start recognizing it on an intuitive level, the way a native speaker would.
Once you take a few minutes to figure out the logic behind why we say this and not that, it practically becomes set in stone in your memory. I know, cool, right? Not having to be afraid of grammar and all that good stuff.
Motivation With Rocket French
Real talk here, even if you have an excellent tool on hand, you will eventually lose motivation. It is easy to fall off the bandwagon when you are an independent, self-paced learner. There is nobody keeping you accountable, and after the first few weeks, you might notice you have started to spend less quality time with your French studies, and more --- with your TV/phone/tablet.
My first tip here has very little to do with what Rocket Languages offers in terms of motivation, but in my personal learning journey (of languages or other subjects) it has proved to be extremely helpful. It is to set a specific time frame, to put study hours as appointments in your agenda, and to have a very clear and concrete goal for each study session.
- The way this would work for Rocket Languages is...say you have 2 spare hours on Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings (yeah, it is unlikely to have free time on Monday morning, but still, for the sake of the example).
You schedule a study session and you make sure to show up to your appointment with yourself. Then, say, you decide you will complete 1 lesson in that time frame. Once you have done that you know you have had a successful study session. Anything you decide to do on top of that is just a nice bonus, but you are more than free to relax, procrastinate, or even take a nap in the remaining study time.
For tools, Rocket Languages French gives you a 'study streak' feature.
This motivates you to keep going on, as breaking the streak gets increasingly unpleasant the longer it gets. It is a simple idea, but a very powerful one. Jerry Seinfeld (the man needs no presentation) swears by the same technique for keeping himself accountable and always improving. If it's good enough for him, it sure as heck will work for you, too.
The other cool 'motivational' feature is actually more than just motivation. Rocket Languages gives you access to an exclusive community of very committed and intelligent language learners.
They can help you out with any questions you might have, there are links to useful resources outside of Rocket Languages, and of course, there is the positive peer pressure factor. Everybody is cheering others up for their tiny and not so tiny victories. There is a wonderful sense of community and positivist the Rocket Languages forums.
If you need any extra motivation, come back and read this Rocket French review...every, single, day.
Pricing & Closing Thoughts
There are three levels for any Rocket Languages course.
Level 1 takes you from complete beginner to intermediate. Level 2 is beginner to advanced (it includes Level 1 plus additional lessons), and Level 3 is access to all lessons that practically take you from absolute beginner to fluent in the language.
They cost $99.95, $249.90, and $259.90 respectively.
The free trial will give you a feel for how things work, and then the best value you will get with the Level 3. It is lifetime access, so this is practically a one-time expense for a course that keeps on giving.
This is my main advice about Rocket Languages French, too. It is a really cool and comprehensive system that can work wonders if you too put in some effort. Try it out, get a feel and then choose the best value, that's what I say.
I hope you enjoyed this Rocket French review. Au revoir!
PS: If you enjoyed this Rocket French review, don't hesitate to go take a free trial. Just click here.