Did you study French at school and would you love to get back into it? Or are you thinking of starting off as a complete beginner in French? The number of resources for learning French as a beginner is overwhelming! Where to start?
This post on learning French and my favourite resources as a beginner is a work in progress. I will keep popping back and updating as I find more useful resources to share with you!
I have been wanting to revitalise my high school French since last year.. and I have REALLY seriously started this month (February 2020). During this time I’ve tried out quite a few great and mostly free resources. I want to share with you what I have been using and loving…
I’m really loving (re-)learning French so far. It’s so different from the other languages I have learned as an adult (Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese) and I’m definitely seeing improvements way quicker than I ever did when learning an Asian language. No surprises here considering that over 10,000 words in English come from French! Words such as forêt/forest; hôtel/hotel; hôpital/hospital; théâtre/theatre all help English speakers learn French quicker than languages that don’t have a shared origin and language family (Indo-European in the case of English and French).
Of course, there’s nothing like a trip or an exam or another kind of deadline to spur me into language learning action.. and having my New Caledonia French Language Trip only 3 months away is a great motivator!
If you’re looking to take your French to the next level AND love the idea of a language trip, I have the Language Trip for you!
In May, I am heading to New Caledonia on a French Language Trip with a small group of other French lovers. We’ll have 4 nights/5 days of French language, fine food, beach time, exploring Noumea, snorkelling, sailing, plus more. This is the perfect trip for beginners or ‘false-beginners’ and we have only TWO places left on this trip, so if you are interested, get in touch now!
FRENCH LANGUAGE TRIP TO NEW CALEDONIA – MAY 2020
What motivates you to learn a new language? Perhaps an upcoming trip to a country that speaks the language you want to learn? Or maybe you’re motivated by your family or your heritage? Or perhaps it’s a work opportunity that motivates you to learn? I’m curious what it is for you! Let me know in the comments!
So if you’re also learning French, here are my favourite resources as a beginner:
Websites – listening and grammar
Comme une Française – is a fantastic website full of great free resources (videos and text) plus paid courses. You can sign up for daily emails full of insights into everyday French usage.
Learn French with Alexa – has a YouTube channel and is great especially if you want to practice your pronunciation or start with the very basics.
Kerstin Cable from Fluent Language (a friend of mine!) – has a French Grammar course for beginners plus a list of other handy resources.
BBC Languages has a whole section of free language learning resources in a wide variety of languages, including French. I’ve been watching the Ma France series – pitched at an A2 level (upper beginner level). You can watch the videos with English and or French subtitles, and complete the quizzes and listening comprehension tasks.
Books – reading
I’m really enjoying Short Stories in French for beginners by Olly Richards and Richard Simcott. The short stories are easy enough to get a sense of the story, plus there are quizzes, vocabulary lists and a summary after each story. The stories are aimed at upper beginners – lower intermediate level (A2 – B1), but even if you’re not quite at the level, I think you’ll still get some great reading practice from these stories.
And if you are into podcasts, I recommend the Coffee Break French podcast series. It’s free, super easy to listen to and starts from the very beginning. You can also purchase the course materials as an extra if you want to.
Drops is a new language learning app and I like its clean, good looking interface with plenty of spaced repetition perfect for learning new vocab.
Getting French into your life!
Devy Baseley (another friend of mine and a fellow Aussie!) runs the website and online teaching school French Speak. Devy also has a popular Facebook group with daily French videos and the chance to practice writing and pronunciation.
And if you want to add some French into your everyday life, check out Bec’s (Irregular Endings) French language to-do notepads, grammar notepads, calendars and greeting cards. We have the French calendar in our lounge room and I love looking at it each day!
Also, I’ve just started 1:1 lessons with Ann-Ael from Rock Your French and I can’t wait to continue our speaking practice!
There are SO many more fantastic resources out there. I’ll keep updating this post as I discover and use more French language beginner resources.
What are your favourite French learning resources? How are you going with your French learning? Share in the comments!
I wish you luck in your French beginner journey – À bientôt et bonne chance!
Penny – Lingo Mama