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Subscription sites

The Language Teacher Toolkit by Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti is now available from Amazon.

Updated June 2017

Here are some good subscription sites for French teachers and adult learners. Prices were accurate at June 2016.

Frenchteacher.net is my own site. I have to mention it in case you come to this page by accident! £25 a year gets you access to over 1250 high quality editable French resources at all levels. There are over 1400 subscribers as at May 2016. I keep the cost down to get as many subscribers as possible. This is not my living but it helps!

Dolanguages is a repository for Steve Glover's A-level French, German and Spanish resources. You can buy units of work on film and literature for around £25. They are very good indeed. You'll also find his AS and A-level French language course here.  

2cvfeatured Atantôt by Esther Mercier costs £60 a year and is specifically aimed to be used on an interactive whiteboard. Visually striking, very clear, sometimes amusing. An excellent resource.

Zut by Catherine Murphy costs £50 per year for a department or £30 for an individual subscription. It is a long established site useful for the whiteboard, but not yet functional on iPad. It is free before 9.00 and after 4.00.

The MFL Teacher has over 1500 printable resources for French and German, written by a range of contributors. Now only available through the TES site.

Linguascope is a popular site offering a wide range of activities and worksheets. A whole school site licence costs £300. The site is also a source of all sorts of other merchandise.

High Five French is from Radio Lingua Schools. It features videos and other resources for primary children. The specimen video looks quite engaging. A school package costs £137.

Teachit Languages is a subscription site with a good range of resources for various levels. It costs £25 a year for an individual subscription, £125 for a department, though access to some of the resources is free.

Frenchrevision.co.uk is a subscription site by an experienced teacher with a good range of interactive resources, including free samples. The pupil subscription is £10 a year, school subscription £40.

Taskmagic is Martin Lapworth's site which offers a suite of fun games for students as well as authoring software for making your own games or worksheets. The home page has a long list of ready-made activities which you can use once you have purchased a licence. It is very easy to use and students enjoy the games. Fees vary according to needs.

Textivate is the "little brother" of Taskmagic. It is a self-authoring online text manipulation package, a few features of which are free. It is far better to purchase the premium features for an annual fee of £10, £35 or £100 (group rate). I like the fact that the package develops comprehension skills (reading and listening if you embed video), grammatical accuracy and vocabulary. It does both input and output.

Online Language Resources, from Ireland, has high quality articles accompanied by exercises and grammatical notes. They can used online or printed off. There are also audio files which can be streamed or downloaded to a mobile device, for example. A classroom licence costs 10 euros per student per year, with the teacher's subscription free. Individual students pay the same. Other individual users can buy credits.

ebay 016 Mary Glasgow, from the publisher Scholastic, has on online presence to add to its traditional magazines. An online subscription costs £15 a year. If you buy a magazine it comes as part of the deal. You get "Hundreds of topical teaching resources including worksheets, MP3 listening tracks and exercises, interactive activities, videos and a rich archive of Mary Glasgow magazine articles."

Schoolshape Language Lab is a subscription "language lab" offering a range of online services to teachers and students. "The language lab is a secure interactive teaching and learning platform, designed to encourage regular practice for language learners. Teachers can create, set and assess tasks for their students to perform and submit online." The linked page provides information about its pricing.

Languagenut has games, songs, stories and activities for younger learners. Pricing is not very transparent. Packages vary, but can be over £300 a year for a school license.

Learn French with Alexa includes videos, reading and listening comprehension,verb conjugation, slang. Approachable and easy to navigate site. You can do free lessons to get the hang of it. Cost: £75.

Yabla French video immersion course cost almost $100 a year for access to a large range of video extracts. They say: "Yabla French is an online video magazine for French learners who wish to improve their language skills. Authentic French videos include television programs, music videos, interviews, documentaries, and travel. Only Yabla French offers subtitles in multiple languages, pitch-correct slow play, integrated dictionaries and listening exercises."

Exampro is from the AQA examining board and is aimed at teachers. "Exampro GCSE Modern Language products will give you access to hundreds of individual questions, their associated mark schemes, examiner comments and related notes, from reading and listening papers and the power to turn them into teaching , learning and assessment materials." Cost £60 per language (GCSE) for three teachers, £80 for A-level. £10 for each additional user. Can be installed across a network.

LCF Babelzoneis "a fun and interactive language website used by many schools and home learners in the UK and abroad." A yearly subscription to Babelzone is either £69 for a single user at one IP address or £99 for a classroom licence.

Vocab Express is a well-used site for developing skill with vocabulary. It has some flattering testimonials. Subscription prices are not advertised, but I understand they charge £3 per language per student per year. That makes it potentially expensive. You need to register as a guest with an academic email to get further details. They run a national vocab competition.

Lafrancebis charges a small sum (5 euros) for access to all of the very good listening comprehension exercises. They suit upper intermediate or advanced students. The exercises are made by Christophe Bergue at Kobe university, Japan.

Linguafun is an online resource for primary teachers which ties in with the English QCA framework. Prices are not shown on their site.

Doddle is a package of presentations, animations, self-marking homework quizzes, grammar and vocabulary quizzes with feedback, revision materials and practice tests. There's an online mark book to record progress and a voice recorder for oral practice. Note that Flash is required, so it's a no-no for iPads. Cost? Not cheap. £599 per year, just for French, or £1399 for three years. This would be a serious commitment for a department and need careful evaluation, but it is clear a lot of work has gone in to the resources. I cannot say if they are pedagogically sound and there are no case studies for MFL on the site.

quadraspire 034Thisislanguage has over 2000 authentic video recordings of French speakers. Videos come with exercises, transcripts and translations. They are targeted at GCSE up to advanced level. Subscriptions vary from £13.50 to £36 a year. It is also possible to pay per month.

GrowStoryGrowis aimed mainly at younger learners. It uses stories, rhymes, mimes and MP3 recordings to combine cultural information with simple language. It is used by teachers and parents to excite younger children about languages and the world. School subscriptions range from £65 to £95 a year. There are lower rates for parents and for longer school subscriptions.

ic Language has a suite of resources for French teachers. The Teach Online resource for IWB costs £70 for a site licence. The Melvin range of games and activities costs £349 for a full site licence for teachers and students (with less costly options depending on how many computers you have and who is to use the software). Melvin Junior for younger learners costs £199 for a full licence, with other options.

Rosetta Stone has an online version costing £249 per year or £199 for six months. One of the most popular language learning programmes worldwide. Mainly used by adult learners.

Rocket French is a popular complete online and mobile package for the adult learner. Costs $99 for a lifetime membership. Looks like good value compared to the opposition.

The cRaMit apps for iPhone/Pad, Android and Kindle are good for vocabulary acquisition. This is one of the better apps out there. They have specific lists for AQA and Edexcel. I've tried it and it's a useful purchase for students at £1.49.

News in Slow French would suit older learners and adults who wish to practise their listening skills and who have an interest in current affairs. The site does also contain easier material and grammar exercises. There are various subscription rates, depending on which level of subscription you want. The cheapest annual subscription is $94.90 if you just want the news and transcripts.

Quia You can create 16 types of educational games and activities, quizzes with 10 different question types, surveys, web pages and more. A single user subscription is $49, with discounts for multiple users in a school.

Cloud Cuckoo has, firstly, illustrated stories you can stream, read in English with some French vocabulary read in French; secondly pictures you can point at and hear vocabulary displayed and pronounced. Would look attractive on the whiteboard. A one-off teacher/multi-user subscription of £50 seems reasonable for primary teachers looking for something a little different to reinforce simple vocabulary. It also works in German and Spanish.

Not strictly speaking a subscription site, but worth knowing about is AIM language Learning (AIM = Accelerative Integrated Methodology), a package of resources available online, the brainchild of Wendy Maxwell, which has many passionate followers in Canada and elsewhere. The approach makes particular use of gesture, drama, music and group work to get children very actively involved in their learning. Teachers will see much that is familiar in the presentation videos I have linked to, but there is no doubt that the materials are motivating for teachers and pupils, especially younger children. Various packages can be bought individually. Prices are not advertised on the site.

Languages Softwarehas in-depth reviews of some of the above courses. They rate Rocket French most highly.