Want to improve your French listening skills?
Are you learning French? If you are, you’ve probably found that spoken French can be very difficult to understand. Aside from, of course, enrolling on one of our private French courses in Leeds or elsewhere to help you improve, we’ve found a great resource to get you moving with your spoken French comprehension.
As the language has many complicated sounds and rules around pronunciation, it sometimes seems to learners that one word just rolls into the next.
If you’ve ever felt that you don’t know where one word ends and the next one begins in French, you aren’t alone.
But how do you improve your French listening skills so you can understand the spoken language easily?
As a long-term strategy you could take either an online or an offline course. We’ve gone over the pros and cons of each in our article on learning French online vs face to face – it’s targeted at corporate learners and language training organisers but there is also some good general advice there too.
Introducing News in Slow French! This is a wonderful resource that will help you improve your French listening skills as well as your ability to understand French pronunciation, all the while keeping you up to date with what is happening in the world.
How it works
There is a new episode available every week. Each episode lasts around 30 minutes and covers the world’s top news events of the week.
There is a transcript which accompanies the entire programme. However, only parts of it are available for free – the rest requires a subscription.
That said, the transcript to the introduction to the whole programme is available for free, and this is probably the best part, as it contains a short overview of each news item, including its key vocabulary.
As a language learner, you can probably imagine vocabulary is central to this resource.
To help you with understanding and expanding your vocabulary, there is an inbuilt glossary. A swathe of words are highlighted in blue and you just have to tap or hover over them and you’ll see a definition in English.
On top of that, if you’re a paying subscriber, there are also flashcards you can use to practise and improve your bank of French lexicon.
Of course, language learning doesn’t begin and end with vocabulary. The news readers of News in Slow French know this, too.
So they take some of the grammar, pronunciation and more difficult expressions and put them in separate sections for you to work your way through.
Again, full access to these requires a subscription, but on the free version a limit amount of it is available.
What about more advanced learners?
One of the great things about the News in Slow French is that it’s actually organized according to three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
As handling the news at a beginners level is quite a challenge, they’ve come up with a series of alternative topics and episodes. But for the intermediate and advanced levels, it’s all about thew news.
What’s the difference between the intermediate and advanced levels? Well, as you can probably imagine, it’s the following:
The advanced level deals with more advanced vocabulary, grammatical structures and expressions. And of course, the news is read out a little quicker.
Is it worth it?
This resource offers a lot to French language learners. If you go all out and subscribe to it, you’ll definitely benefit from the flashcards, additional expressions and the grammar sections. However, that said, if all you need to do is work on your French listening skills, then the free version is an excellent resource for just that.
So why not download the app today, subscribe to the podcast or go to the website and have a listen.
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A polyglot and international traveller. Anthony speaks 6 languages and loves sharing his passion of language learning through his writing.
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