When you’re learning French, consistent linguistic exposure at and just above your level is vital. It can help you reinforce your current level, and help you raise your level through context clues and direct introduction to new vocabulary.
Podcasts and other online mediums are an excellent way to do this. Below are a few podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs that can help you improve. While the focus and organization of these types of sites is sometimes a little bit different, they can also provide some similar types of linguistic support.
1) TakeLessons’ French Playlist
The TakeLessons French playlist offers a collection of videos for learning basic to intermediate skills. Videos include grammar points such as verbs and prepositions, vocabulary lists on topics such as colors and weekdays, and pronunciation tips to refine your accent.
French Possum features an abundance of videos about French culture and language, covering everything from history, traditions, and food. All videos are in French with English subtitles, which is a great way for students to hear and practice proper French pronunciation. As an added bonus, full bilingual transcripts in French and English can be found on the blog, French Possum.
Learn French by Podcast on subjects such as superfoods, migrants, grammar points, expressions, and user questions. The podcasts provide interesting information in French, and a discussion about the language and grammar used in the course of the podcast.
They also include a vocabulary list available before listening.
The French podcast includes beginning, intermediate, and advanced podcast conversations in French. It also contains motivational interviews with people who have lived in France.
The creators focus on natural language conversations. Each podcast includes a pdf with a transcript and vocabulary. Both the transcript and vocabulary usually come out after the conversation.
Daily French Pod offers daily podcasts in French with conversations by native speakers. The beginning introduces the podcast in French, and recommends the College de Paris.
The daily conversation is then presented with an explanation. For intermediate to advanced podcasts, most new vocabulary is explained in French. The conversation is then repeated. Most are accompanied by a PDF Podcast.
French teacher and native French speaker, Caroline, offers classes in French and, more recently, has begun to blog about French language. Her blog posts include audio, and website visitors can subscribe to receive her posts by email. Follow her on Twitter also at @French_Blabla.
Podcasts illustrate various elements of life in France through contact with real-life situations and contact with French people and places. The listener can also download a transcript. Most were done between 2007 and 2008, but are still available online. Sometimes the recordings lag a little.
Three days every week, Laeticia, a French woman, posts several minutes of commentary on her children, watching television, a museum exhibit, or whatever other interesting tidbits she might dig up in her day.
The audio is available along with the beginning of the transcript every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday on her website. Listeners can subscribe to her newsletter for the full transcript.
Includes comics, francophone history, and music for French learners and francophiles. While the blog is more visually-oriented than some of the podcasts listed above, many of the articles contain recorded segments – isolated words and phrases, or recorded versions of the typed French or bilingual transcript.
Posts are also classified as beginning, intermediate, or advanced, so you can gauge whether or not it will be close to the right level.
This blog contains the fewest auditory resources and includes the most English of all the resources listed in this article. Its articles are primarily in English, but include interesting passages, words, and phrases in French.
They also present interesting tidbits about France, French-speaking places, French grammar, French culture, and the French perspective on the world. It also occasionally links in interesting videos (which contain audio), such as a humorous song about coffee posted earlier this month.
So, if you’re studying French on your own or you need additional practice reviewing, listening, and speaking, take heart! There are many French resources available (often for free) that can help you advance yourself.
Have you found any great French podcasts or websites that you enjoy studying with? Share them with us in the comments below!
Photo by The LEAF Project