These days, the internet is full of thousands of language learning tools, such as mobile apps for learning French, podcasts of varying quality, online translation tools, online dictionaries, free online French classes from expert teachers, some of whom are native to France, and many other tools.
For students of foreign languages. incorporating listening exercises into their learning schedule can be a challenging task. This is why French podcasts are sp relevant and significant. Listen to at least one podcast every day and discover how easily you can improve your comprehension skills in French with this immersive experience!
Podcasts are an immersive and entertaining way to learn.
While some podcasts are entirely free, others may offer a few complimentary lessons to start with before introducing paid options to students. Many podcasts are equipped with accompanying transcripts to make comprehension easier. Most importantly though, podcasts are portable, allowing learners to learn on the go. Podcasts also deliver a sense of French culture by simply putting on a pair of headphones.
A Word on Podcasts
Before we continue with our list of best French podcasts, let us go over some benefits of podcasts in general. Some people who learn a language cannot see the point in exercising only one aspect of French study – listening comprehension while being given no chance to speak French themselves. That is a valid point.
The question is usually 'Can you speak French?' After all, nobody has ever asked 'Can you listen to French?'
Like just about any podcast. French podcasts can usually be found via their official site, as well as digital platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, etc. French learning podcasts use different strategies. Some are entirely or mostly in French, while others are primarily in English. Some use regular spoken French, while others use slow French.
Slow French is what it sounds like – slower spoken French, which is a great way for beginners and intermediate level learners to practice their listening skills. But it’s also important to listen to things in regular spoken French as well so that you’ll be able to understand French speakers in everyday life – not to mention French movies, shows, and even other French podcasts.
There are tremendous benefits to be had in subscribing to an effective, intimate means of immersion into the French language, such as:
- Portability – you can download a segment and take it with you
- Time-efficient: listen to podcasts while doing other things, such as household chores.
- Money-saving: you would have to go to a classroom or abroad to get this level of immersion
- Personal: The French language goes directly into your ears, if you use earbuds, or surrounds you if you play it in your car
- On-demand: you do not have to tune in for your next lesson, or rush to any class. Podcasts will be there, ready for you to download and make use of, whenever you want them.
Additionally, most French podcasts come with transcripts, grammatical notes, lists of new words and phrases, exercises, and quizzes, making this type of learning essential for the serious student of French.
Popular French Podcasts for Beginners
For beginner students of French looking for French classes near me, look no further than these friendly, shorter podcasts, or supplement with podcasts that incorporate some explanations in English.
Coffee Break French
As the name suggests, Coffee Break French offers French lessons that you can listen to during a coffee break at work. The episodes are short, ranging between 10 to 15 minutes, hosted by Matt and his student, Ana. Learning alongside Ana, the students get a taste of an actual French class environment. Matt has a fun and engaging way of teaching which attracts one and all!
Daily French Pod
This is suitable for French learners at all levels of learning, including beginners and amateurs. To get you started, the podcast offers brief introductory lessons on various aspects of the French language and culture. Students can also opt for episodes on specific aspects such as basic French phrases, christened “Real Life French” by the hosts of the podcast. The podcast is conducted entirely in French. However, they also provide PDF transcripts to support beginner learners.
Podcast Français Facile
Another podcast aimed at learners of all levels of French. However, we recommend it highly for beginners. The episodes, called “textes” on the Podcast français facile website, have two versions of the audio – a slow reading for first-time listeners and a faster version for intermediate or advanced students. The texts are categorized according to level or theme. Each episode also has an accompanying transcript, enabling listeners to read along as they listen.
French Podcasts for Intermediate Learners of French
Boost your fluency in French and reinforce the basic concepts that you’ve already learned at the beginner's level with these podcasts recommended for intermediate French students.
Français Authentique, as the name suggests, introduces learners to authentic cultural and linguistic elements of French. Each brief episode (not more than 15 minutes) features a wide range of topics, from grammatical elements of the language to more general topics, such as the world of science and technology. Johann, the host, a native French speaker, is careful to speak slowly and clearly, enabling learners to grasp the lesson.
One Thing in a French Day
One of the most well-known and longest-running French language podcasts on the web, One Thing in a French Day releases episodes thrice a week. Each episode (of less than five minutes) focuses on some aspect of the host’s (Laetitia ) daily life. Although Laetitia speaks at a natural speed, the short length of each podcast prevents the listener from feeling overwhelmed. The episodes are also accompanied by transcripts.
News in Slow French
This is a great option for those inquisitive students who wish to stay updated on current affairs in the Francophone world while also practicing their listening skills in French. This podcast is essentially a newscast read by native French speakers who speak slowly enough for intermediate listeners to easily understand them. Each episode has four or five different news stories, allowing listeners to pick the subject of their interest.
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French Podcasts for Advanced Students of French
For the advanced learner of the French language, it is logical to move on to podcasts that are created by native French speakers for native French speakers. Chances are that you might not comprehend everything that is being said right away. But, that is how it should be! Advanced learners of any language must focus on understanding the essential message of a podcast first and just keep listening till they get better at comprehension.
Learn French by Podcast
This is a series of in-depth audio lessons featuring everyday conversations on topics, such as sports, travel, communicating in a foreign land, and so on. Each podcast is separated into two different segments. The first segment consists of conversations in French only, where some parts of the conversations are repeated once or twice.
The second segment takes listeners through a comprehensive analysis of the grammar and sentences used in the first segment. Listeners can practice during this segment as there are enough pauses in between. Each lesson has a number of supporting materials, such as a full French transcript and several practice exercises.
This podcast is devoted to the discussion of different political, economic, social, and cultural events. The host, Fabrice Drouelle, introduces the story, followed by a discussion with a guest speaker, interspersed with film excerpts, reports, interviews, or music related to the subject. This is a great way for advanced learners of the language to challenge what they have learned so far and to apply their learnings.
When you decide to opt for an online French course, consider supplementing it with a regular podcast. This way, you will be able to practice and improve French grammar, vocabulary, not to mention that your pronunciation is bound to become really good too!
There is something in this article for students at every level of French learning. Start on your language learning journey and hone your listening skills. After all, you must be a good listener to be able to become a crafty orator!
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