Learning a language is one of the best ways to capitalize on some of the downtime that so many of us have in our lives currently. While we cannot live as we used to, technology does leave us with some advantages at our fingertips, regardless of what is open around us. You can, from the comfort and safety of your home, learn a language and take complete control of that learning journey.
While in the past it may have been difficult to create an immersive situation outside of a country that spoke the foreign language you were studying. Now, you can watch movies dubbed in many languages, access original content created in that language, read online newspapers from all over the world, and listen to music. However, don’t forget about the radio! It might seem like older technology, but with an internet connection, you can listen to French radio stations online. All the topics you’re listening to in English, like food, entertainment, or politics, can also be found in the French language, and it is a great opportunity to practice your skills!
Why listen to French radio stations? There are many aspects of language learning, and videos, books, and music are great places to start. However, you can take your learning up a notch by listening to French radio. There is a different emphasis placed entirely on listening comprehension, an indispensable part of language learning. You won’t have the cues that come from context in social situations, tv shows, etc. You’re going to have to rely solely on your ears.
Don’t worry! It might be difficult at the beginning, but keep trying. French radio shows showcase a variety of different accents to strengthen your listening comprehension, and speak at normal speeds. This can sound fast and frustrating, but even if you begin by only catching some words and phrases, if you practice, you’ll find that you’re soon able to piece together the sentences and concepts being addressed at that moment. So next time you’re thinking of a podcast or audio show, try checking out these French radio stations.
1. France Inter
If you want to ease into French, this radio station covers a wide variety of topics, and something will surely catch your interest. There are some serious and humorous options to keep everything nicely balanced, and its content is easily accessible online. You might even find some music you like, and it will provide great insight into French culture and native spoken French.
This is available on the aforementioned radio channel, French Inter, but deserves a special shout out because it covers the world of French gastronomy. Food is life, and forms an integral part of French culture and language – the vocabulary is quite detailed and elaborate. You can brush up on your foodie knowledge and learn some very relevant vocabulary for whenever you can actually dine in a fancy French bistro again!
If you’re looking to ease into French radio, this could be a good place to start. Some of the content is a bit more laid back and beginner-learner friendly. Take in Les Nuits de France Culture and be prepared to widen your French cultural knowledge, while working on your listening comprehension and familiarity with different native accents.
This radio channel will keep you up to date on the news, in French. It also will offer you insights into the music that is popular in France, as well as abroad, so it is a great cultural resource. Don’t miss out on one of its more popular offerings, Les Grosses Têtes (big heads), which is overflowing with comedic takes on culture and news. We know that comedy in a foreign language is not for the faint of heart, but the hard work pays off when you practice.
This is popular both in France and Monaco (the small principality that shares a land border with France, and also speaks the language). You can get your news fix here, as well as their takes on the world of sports. Just like there are tv shows for every interest, different radio channels in France can keep you informed on culture, food, music, comedy, and sports, among other subjects.
6. BFM Business
This radio show is perhaps not for beginners, but if business and economy is your thing, and you are practicing how to discuss these important topics in French, then this is the radio show for you to listen to. You can use it to brush up on vocabulary and viewpoints discussed by different economists and businesspeople sharing their stories. They also do TV programming as well.
Radio is probably a bit underrated and overlooked now, but should not be left out of your French language practice! The French-speaking world covers over 20 countries and as such, there are many diverse radio options available online that are waiting for your discovery. If you don’t like one, keep looking. Don’t get discouraged if it is difficult at first, as the additional challenge of listening comprehension can be taxing. Keep trying French radio channels until you find one that suits your practice plan. Remember, TakeLessons has experienced French language instructors who can help guide your learning process and answer your questions if you have any!