Busuu is an award-winning language learning platform for new and advanced learners with over 120 million users. Busuu French offers courses following the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) system, including levels A1 to B2. The learners will have the chance to explore diverse and engaging courses that cover different skills and create a dynamic study environment. Busuu especially focuses on creating a community where all learners can interact, connect and review each other’s assignments. With content close to real-life situations and a user-friendly design, Busuu French is a good-value platform for learning French.
Busuu is an award-winning language learning platform for new and advanced learners with over 120 million users. Busuu gives the visitors the first impression that this is language learning for the real world. This promising platform will teach you practical knowledge that could be applied directly to real life, especially in a speaking context, and relevant to anyone. The platform emphasizes that it’s time to “say goodbye to outdated phrases and hello to skills that take you places.” Let’s see how it’s promise holds up for learning French!
Busuu provides lessons for 14 languages – including the most learned languages in the world: English, Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Korean, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese, Dutch and Polish. After English, which has the most learners on Busuu (26 million), there are 5 million French learners through the platform, which takes second place along with Spanish. You can also display the platform in 15 languages – so most learners will be able to learn from their mother tongue without having to take the detour via English.
You are required to log in with your email address or Facebook and answer a few questions before starting your lessons. The platform asks about your learning objectives: Friends and family, Education, Fun and culture, Travel, Work, and Brain training. However, there is no difference in the course content according to the chosen objective.
You will be able to set your daily goal, which will take 5 to 25 minutes per day, and you can customize your study plan at any time.
Busuu French general lessons
The main course that Busuu offers is called Complete French, with four levels:
- A1 – 16 chapters
- A2 – 16 chapters
- B1 – 9 chapters
- B2 – 9 chapters
Unlike English or Spanish languages, for which the C1 level is also available, Busuu French only provides lessons up to the B2 level.
Each chapter includes 5 to 10 small lessons, and each lesson takes you only 2 to 15 minutes to complete. The content covers different skills, from vocabulary and grammar, in parallel with learning new words and expressions, to speaking, listening, and reading. Pronunciation tips are provided throughout the lesson.
Many activities are offered to make the learning dynamic and help the learners train various skills, such as true or false or putting words in order. Hints are given with this activity, including the capitalized first letter or ending sentence dot. However, it’s still a great way to make the learner understand the sentence context and how to build the sentence themselves, as well as pay attention to the subjects and the verbs. Busuu French does not only show the correct answer but also gives simple and clear explanations to help the learners understand and memorize the knowledge.
Busuu French also promises that, already at an early stage of the learning journey, their topics will be relevant to life today. Right from levels A1 and A2, you can already access inspiring topics such as women living in Paris, technology, environment, and so on.
New words and expressions are always put in relevant contexts to help the students apply them easily in real-world situations. Lessons about slang or small-word conversations (hein, oh là la, …) allow the learners to speak more naturally when having a conversation with native French people.
Furthermore, Busuu French has paid attention to the user experience and has made the lessons user-friendly with attractive illustrations and appealing design. The videos and audio are of high quality; many of real people speaking at famous places in Paris like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame de Paris, Place des Vosges,…
Interesting cultural insights are well combined in the lessons. See below for an example of the Tour de France mixed into a lesson.
With a dynamic and entertaining learning vibe, Busuu French is easy to use and appropriate to all groups of audiences and all levels. However, the highest level available is B2, and their B2 lessons actually seem easy for learners at the upper intermediate level. Thus, Busuu French is unsuitable for those who want to learn intensive and advanced French.
Busuu French lessons focusing on specific topics
In addition to the general Complete French course, Busuu also provides lessons focusing on specific topics:
- French Pronunciation
- French for Travel
- French for Business
- Inclusive French.
The number of chapters and available levels are limited in these specific courses. For example, the French for Travel course has only two chapters equivalent to levels A1 and A2; each chapter has only three lessons. Similarly, the French for Business course includes just three chapters and seems insufficient for someone who seriously needs to learn French for Business.
The Inclusive French is a brand new and appealing course adapted to today’s challenge concerning diversity and inclusion. This course provides knowledge about diversity and inclusion, tips, and strategies to communicate without gender bias, and will be thoroughly valuable for those who want to practice French professionally.
Revision and community services
Two other features available in the Busuu platform are Review and Community.
The Review section is a place to summarize all words and expressions you have learned, categorized into weak, medium, and strong words based on your understanding of the words. At any time, you can review your vocabulary with a small quiz.
The Community section is a noteworthy feature of Busuu that encourages the learners to learn interactively, join the community, and make new language friends.
Many lessons require you to complete a writing or recording assignment and send it to the community for review. Conversely, you will regularly get notifications asking you to correct the assignments of other learners who are exploring the language you have mastered.
The only problem is that you cannot be 100% sure if all corrections are reliable. I used to get incorrect feedback from other learners. But this is still a remarkable feature for those who enjoy belonging to a community of people sharing the same objectives and interests.
In the Community section, you will find three tabs:
- Discover: in this tab, you choose to correct random learners’ exercises
- Friends: find your friends or add friends to keep long-term exchanges
- Conversation: this tab gives you five pictures and five videos as prompts, so you can write or record your speech and get others to correct your work. This is an additional way for those who want to spend more time practicing.
Free version vs. premium subscription
The option to learn for free is available within Busuu. Rest assured that you can access the entire Complete French course. However, the most annoying issue is that you need to watch 15-second ads every time you open a new lesson.
The premium subscription allows you to unlock all features, including all the specific use courses (Business French, etc.), with all ads removed. You will be able to download a printer-friendly summary of each lesson that helps you study and review the lessons at any time. Premium users can also take level completion tests and gain Busuu Certificates to demonstrate their progress.
The premium offer costs €4.99/month for a 12-month subscription, which is considerably good value for a long-term learning journey.
Feel free to explore Busuu French through a 7-day free trial with a 14-day money-back guarantee before making your decision.
List of main pros and cons of the platform
- A wide range of display languages: You are given a large choice of 15 display languages, including both popular and less common languages.
- Various language skills covered: A reasonable lesson combination in each chapter covers different content, from vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation to speaking, listening, and reading.
- Diverse and engaging lessons and quizzes: Many activities are offered to make the learning dynamic. Simple and clear explanations help the learners understand and memorize the knowledge.
- An interactive way to learn French: The learners join a big community where they connect and interact with people who share the same objectives and interests.
- Inspiring and updated topics: The topics are updated and close to life today. Cultural insights and tips to speak naturally are mixed into the lessons.
- Pleasant user experience: Busuu French has a user-friendly and appealing design, attractive illustrations, and high-quality audio and videos.
- Not all peer reviews are reliable. You can get incorrect feedback on your assignment from other learners.
- The highest level provided is B2. Thus, it’s inappropriate for people who want to learn intensive French.
- Specific courses such as French for Business and French for Travel are insufficient for most people with real business or travel needs.
Who is Busuu French for?
With a lively and pleasing learning vibe and user-friendly features, Busuu French is easy to use and appropriate to all groups of audiences and all levels. Busuu French is mainly relevant to adults due to its minimalistic design and topics relating to the adults’ interests.
However, with the highest level available for French B2, it is not suitable for those who aim to learn advanced French.
Busuu could appear less attractive for those who want to travel to French-speaking countries other than France, as the cultural insights represented are mainly for France.