French language learning is faster and more interesting using these free online resources to improve your French alongside your regular French Classes.
Improve your French by immersing yourself in the language. There is a wealth of free resources available online and elsewhere that make improving your French fun and engaging. This article highlights some of the best.
You will also need to continue your French classes and formal study of grammar etc in parallel in order to progress your overall mastery of the language.
French National Radio
French language radio offers a fantastic online resource to busy French language students. As soon as you advance beyond the absolute basics of the language, start to listen to French radio even when you are doing routine activities such as cooking or commuting.
French national radio, Radio France offers a range of radio channels, of which the most useful for language students are:
- France Info which offers non-stop news coverage.
- France Inter which offers interesting general information programs including current affairs, history, intelligent phone-ins and accessible culture. /li>
French Radio for Beginners and Intermediate Students
Do not be discouraged in the early days if you understand very little. Simply listen to the radio for short periods regularly and continue with your other French studies
As an intermediate level student of French you will become familiar with the sound, or “music” of the language, and slowly you will begin to be able to understand phrases, then sentences and so on. The news, “Le Journal ” or “Les Infos”, is a good place to start as some of the subjects will be familiar, and the news readers speak clearly using standard French. Politicians in particular can speak very clearly and slowly, indeed the first full sentence that I understood on French radio was spoken by former President of France, Jacques Chirac.
French Radio for Advanced Students
More advanced students of French will be able to engage with a wide range of programs, improving their:
- Conjugation (far less painful than continued study of verb tables!)
- Vocabulary (keep a dictionary to hand if you can, a good small dictionary is the Langenscheidt Pocket French Dictionary).
- Cultural awareness of Francophone countries.
- Knowledge of colloquial language.
Newspapers and Magazines
French language newspapers and magazines published around the world are available online, and many are of excellent quality offering valuable resources to the student of French. Try to read at least a short text regularly, looking up and noting expressions and vocabulary that are unfamiliar to you.
- Le Monde is a high quality broadsheet newspaper with a good selection of articles available free of charge online.
- Le Nouvel Observateur (known in France as “Le Novel Obs”) is a good quality weekly general interest magazine covering current affairs, popular culture, fashion, food etc with plenty of free online material for language students.
The quality of French language in the two publications is generally very high, making them a reliable source for students of the language.