Newspapers are often forgotten when it comes to learning a new language. Still, they are a great reading tool to develop your comprehension of the language. They can help you focus on a specific type of vocabulary, build a repertoire regarding up-to-date subjects, or simply feed your curiosity about France’s overall situation.
Let’s dive into the world of French Newspapers, how they can help you improve your reading comprehension, why they are a useful tool, which one to choose, and where to access them.
How to improve your reading comprehension from newspapers in 5 steps?
- Start by browsing the newspaper and the headers.
- Pick an article according to its length, its title, or its picture.
- Read through it all, even if you don’t understand it. Also, reading it out loud may help you to make it more entertaining for your ears!
- Read through it again with, this time, a pencil in your hands. Highlight the words that you do not understand and look their translation up. Use the same technique you would use when reading a French book.
- Finally, cut off the article and paste it into a dedicated journal. Write a summary of it, the main subject, and ten relevant words that you can keep looking back at.
Bonus Tip: If you read your paper online, print the article you are planning on study!
Benefits of reading a newspaper ( on paper)
- Learn up-to-date vocabulary
- Grow and refine your repertoire in a specific subject. For example, if you are already comfortable speaking French but never had a conversation about painting tools, you might struggle and look for your words.
- Take notes, scribble and highlight words on the newspaper. It is easier to do it on a newspaper than on a book, so don’t hold back – practice active reading!
- Perfect if you are a visual and kinesthetic learner.
- Learn daily new vocabulary and find out about French News directly from the source.
Which newspaper for you?
Political matters : Le monde, Liberation or Le Figaro
If you are interested in Politics, you may want to choose a newspaper according to its political orientation.
- Le monde: Left center is the most easily obtainable in non-French-speaking countries.
- Liberation: Left socialists/democrats.
- Le Figaro: Right center.
They are the most popular daily newspapers in France.
Financial and Economic focus : Les Échos and La Tribune
If you work in the business world and need to interact with France, that is a great way to find out about the economical situation of France and become familiar with a more technical repertoire. Les Echos is the first daily French financial newspaper and has a liberal stance. It is published on weekdays. Its main competitor, La Tribune, is distributed weekly.
International News in French: Courrier international
Courrier International is great if you wish to read news from your country in French. It is a Paris-based French weekly newspaper that translates and publishes excerpts of articles from over 900 international newspapers
Regional news: Le Parisien, Ouest France, Sud ouest
France has more than 50 regional newspapers. They report local and national News and could be great if you want to learn about the French way of living in specific areas.
For example, Ouest-France is by far the most popular and covers events in different French départments within Brittany, Lower Normandy, and Pays de la Loire.
Find out about more regional newspapers on la presse de france’s website.
Sport matters : L’Équipe
If you would prefer to read about sport, L’Équipe is for you! It is a nationwide French daily newspaper devoted to sport focusing on football, rugby, motorsport, and cycling.
Satirical and humoristic : Le Canard Enchaîné
This paper is recommended for advanced learners ready to learn the French language’s intricacies and humor.
The Chained Duck is a satirical weekly newspaper similar to The Onion or the sadly famous Charlie Hebdo Magazine, victim of terrorist attacks during the past few years.
Le Canard enchaîné is filled with reports, polemics, and jokes, all written with double entendres.
Be prepared to read between the lines!
Free and Easily understandable: 20 minutes and Metro
They are free, daily newspapers aimed at commuters; very easy to comprehend and contain short articles. Le 20 minutes is distributed in France, while Metro is published in Montreal, Québec, Canada if you wish to take News from that part of the world.
Where to find them your favorite newspaper?
The paper version:
All Newspapers are now available online.
Some of them, like Le Monde and Les Échos will deliver to your mailbox. If they don’t deliver, check with your favorite newsstand and see what they have.
Choose this option if you enjoy holding the paper in your hands.
The online version (websites and apps)
The online version of the newspapers offer more subjects and information than on paper, which is great but also overwhelming. Prefer to spend more time on an article rather than looking for the perfect one!
Le monde has a French language heading, a beauty page, and even a song lyrics page.
Extra Tips to improve your reading comprehension
- look for the games. They all have crosswords and mixed words.
- Remember to have fun with it and keep your curiosity alive!
- Enjoy all the subjects offered, switch it up!
- look back at your notes and test your vocabulary knowledge (do you still remember the words from that article you read six months ago?)
- For subject matters that are more specific, look up magazines, they are a great step between newspaper and book.
Support the “Presse” and help to keep it alive by finding the French newspaper for you! The list proposed in this article represents only a small part of what La Presse Française (French press) has to offer. Be curious and check more newspapers and Magazine on apps like PressReader