Babel is one of the online learning tools to help you learn French. If you are thinking about whether it will fit your needs, we are here to help you make a decision.
Even though Babel is not the most popular online language course out there, it doesn’t mean it falls behind the competition. Babbel helps you learn French through a series of online courses, grammatical lessons, context-based learning, and gets you to practice opportunities with audio and writing. Babbel accommodates a variety of learning styles through live classes and online modules that allow you to work at your own pace.
What is Babbel All About?
Babbel’s method involves a simple quiz format. To help you learn and practice a language, their courses combine words, pictures, and audio.
In every lesson, you will see an example of either a new word or a grammar concept (such as verb conjugation). Then you’ll be asked different sorts of questions, whether it’s a mixture of matching, multiple-choice, and fill-in-the-blank questions. You’ll notice that once you pass the beginner-level lessons, the sentences and words you’re taught throughout the lessons are combined to form large phrases and not just individual words.
A huge part of your progress can be determined by the community behind Babbel. It easily lets you find native speakers learning French and ask them questions about anything you don’t understand in French.
The Babbel Learning Path
With Babbel, you can take courses from beginner’s to intermediate level, even though higher-level courses are not offered at the moment.
The courses are divided into the following categories:
- Vocabulary: After you learn individual words, you are able to practice them.
- Dialogue: Listening and reading a dialogue with missing words, completing the missing words.
- Grammar lesson: analyzing the dialogue using grammar.
- Review: you go over everything you just learned.
Each lesson lasts approximately 15 minutes, depending on your speed and how much time you choose to devote to it. If you don’t have a lot of time to learn French, but know the importance of daily practice, Babbel teaches you to become consistent.
The Babbel French course currently consists of 59 separate courses. Approximately ten to twenty lessons are included in each class.
The review system is based on a Spaced Repetition System that allows you to review the words you for several times after the first introduction. In addition, Babbel’s flashcards are one of the best tools to memorize vocabulary.
The categories include beginner classes, grammar, special interest courses (like the alphabet), and vocabulary courses (called “words and sentences”). In the section “Grammar,” for example, you may find lessons on the present tense, conjugations, and so forth.
Is Babbel right for you?
- If you’re a newbie French learner
- If you need a solid foundation in grammar and vocabulary
- If you prefer a budget-friendly course
- If you like being part of a French community
- If you want to practice on the go, both online and offline
- You are advanced in French
- You are focusing on your speech
A final thought
By now, you understand that Babbel is suitable for beginners and more or less intermediate level, but not for advanced learners. Their strong point is building vocabulary, and the spaced repetition system lets you renew the vocabulary enough times to stick. They emphasize the game-like structure, which makes your French learning more fun and let’s face it, addictive.
For those who prefer to give their French learning more structure, Babbel disposes of quite well-organized grammar lessons. Not only that, but the grammar explanations are also in English.
The more your progress, you’ll be able to notice that Babbel does not prepare you well for real-life conversations. As the answers are usually chosen from a list, you do not have to come up with your own. That’s the reason why Babbel is not meant for advanced learners.
Babbel has a unique feature, and that’s the community of French native speakers. It easily lets you find native speakers and ask them questions about anything you don’t understand in French. So, if you like the feeling of belonging to a community, Babbel might be a good choice for you. Alternatively, if you prefer to learn through dialogues, then some other courses would be a better option.
In spite of its functionality, effectiveness (especially at beginner levels), and low price, Babbel remains an attractive language learning tool. The most expensive subscription is $12.95, which is much less than higher-end courses. All in all, Babbel is a great way to improve your French, learn vocabulary and get a solid grammar structure before you start diving deeper.