Do you want to become a more confident speaker of French as fast as possible?
Or would you prefer to learn at a slower pace and have a social experience with other students?
Think about this carefully.
If your goal is to improve your speaking skills fast, 1-on-1 French conversation classes with a tutor are the best way to achieve this (we'll provide options below).
On the other hand, group classes could be a better option if you're happy to listen more than speak, and want to meet other learners.
Below we'll cover 3 options for finding the best French conversation classes near you: 1-on-1 classes, group classes, and language exchanges. And we'll give you some specific tools and tips to find the best ones in your area.
The best 1-on-1 conversational French classes near you
If you want to find a local tutor for conversation classes, try a listings site like Craigslist (USA) or Gumtree (UK & Australia).
There might not be any French tutors with suitable availability living near you, and you usually can't see verified reviews. Depending on where you live, the tutors might also be expensive.
One alternative is take conversational classes online on LanguaTalk.
Tutors on LanguaTalk are experienced in giving classes that focus on conversation and improving speaking skills. You can even chose the conversation topics if you wish, focusing on what interests you and covering vocabulary that you'll actually use in your daily life.
On LanguaTalk, you can choose from dozens of tutors and instantly see those who have availability when you want to take classes. You can also see their reviews and filter by country if you want to focus on a particular dialect.
Cost estimate: Local tutoring will vary significantly by location. If you're taking French conversation classes online, you can get a talented tutor for between $14 (£13) & $27 (£25) per hour. This will usually be cheaper than local classes near you as the tutor won't have to travel to you, and they may live in a cheaper country.
Want to try 1-on-1 conversational French classes with no commitment? You can take a free, 30-minute taster session with a native tutor on LanguaTalk. See tutors' videos, reviews and prices here.
How to find group French classes locally
If you're keen to meet other students of French in your local area, you may be able to find some fun group classes!
Depending on your location, it can sometimes be tricky to find conversation classes that match your level and are available at times that fit with your weekly schedule.
In our experience, you often have to cover topics that don't interest you, or listen to students who dominate the conversation. But if you can find the right class, it'll help you make significant progress. Perhaps you'll make some friends too!
How to find group classes: go on Google Maps and search exactly this: conversational French classes near me. If you live in a city, you should see a few relevant options to explore.
Cost estimate: This depends largely on where you live and the size of the group. The cost will likely be similar to 1-on-1 online classes on LanguaTalk.
Language exchanges: a free alternative to French conversation classes
If you have a small budget and live in a city, language exchanges may be a good alternative to classes.
Language exchanges are held in bars and cafes in cities around the world.
At many exchanges, such as the one our team went to recently in Paris, you'll be given a t-shirt sticker with the language you're learning and your native language. Then it'll be up to you to mingle and find suitable people to chat with.
Usually you'll spend 50% of your time speaking your language, and 50% of your time practicing French. Folks will want to practice their target language as much as possible, so make sure they give you time to converse in French too.
The better language exchanges will give you topics to discuss so that you don't constantly go over the same topics (where you're from, what you do for work etc.) And they'll match you with conversation partners.
The cost varies but should be either cheap or free, given you're essentially paying by giving up your time to also help others with your language.
Where to find language exchanges: The Meetup app is probably the best option for finding a language exchange. You can search for 'conversational French classes near me' and see what pops up! You can also try Polyglot Club.
If you're a lady, watch out for guys trying to find women to date at these exchanges. This is surprisingly common unfortunately.
Finding a suitable French conversation class near you can be tricky. If you live in a city and are flexible on days/times, then using the tools and tips described above, you should be able to find appropriate group classes.
If you're keen to learn to speak French as fast as possible, or simply cannot find group classes near you, consider trying 1-on-1 classes, either locally or online. For online, you can book a 30-minute trial session on LanguaTalk. Most tutors offer one for free and there is no pressure at all to take classes afterwards.
Bon courage !