4 Immersive Podcasts in French to Boost Your Language Skills
For adult language students, it might be a bit weird when someone says they’re learning a language by listening to a podcast. So, no workbook? No CDs? No “listen and repeat”? How can you possibly learn a language without any of that?
As it turns out, podcasts are excellent resources for modern learners of all ages. They are delivered in a user-friendly portable format that allows you to take your lesson whenever you have a break from work or college. At the same time, because these are pre-recorded lessons you control the amount of input delivered to you at any time, pausing the recording to take notes, or going back a few seconds to hear difficult bits.
Podcasts are also great for culturally-minded students as they are usually created and narrated by native speakers who can teach you a lot not only about grammar and vocabulary but also about how the usage of specific expressions changes depending on the context, or how different situations call for different levels of formality in different cultures.
As we reviewed dozens of language podcasts to write this article, we found that some of the most professional ones out there are French podcasts. Actually, we found them so immersive and engaging that we decided to make a full post just on the most awesome podcasts in French.
1. Daily French Pod
Although language teachers can sometimes get a bit obsessive about pronunciation and grammatical accuracy, language is first and foremost a means of communication, a tool that we use to convey and understand meaning in any given social context. The creators of Daily French Pod know this very well. With a collection of brief and well-rounded lessons, they take you through a series of everyday situations that any tourist may encounter in France. These include buying a cup of coffee, asking for directions in the street, talking on the phone, and even clothes shopping.
This awesome podcast in French alternates between crisp narration by Louis and conversations with special guests. This is great because it means you will get to familiarise yourself with different voices, accents and rhythms. It also means that you will need basic knowledge of French to be able to fully enjoy and benefit from this podcast. Although Louis usually slows down while he addresses the listener, he and his guests tend to speed up while talking to one another, which means absolute beginners might get a bit lost.
2. Coffee Break French
This highly entertaining podcast in French follows Mark and his student Anna through a series of practical lessons, not unlike the ones we mentioned above. What is new here is the inclusion of a student whose experience throughout the series mirrors your own learning process. After all, what could be more boring than being in a classroom all by yourself? Besides, the interaction between Mark and Anna feels totally authentic and prevents the tutor from moving too fast from one topic to the next.
This podcast is ideal for busy learners, as the duration of the lessons ranges from 10 to 15 minutes. This means that you can listen to it while you drive to work or school or even during your lunch break (or coffee break, to honour its name!). More importantly, it means you will have no excuse. We’re looking at you, procrastinators.
3. One Thing in a French Day
This podcast is based on the idea that a language is something that we use in order to do or get things done, and that language learners need to learn how to solve specific problems or achieve different goals in the target language. Following this premise, One Thing in a French Day presents us with a Frenchwoman as she goes through her everyday life, finding new events and situations that call for the use of language. Simple, normal stuff we do on a daily basis: getting a new haircut, doing the grocery shopping in a street market, changing a shirt for a bigger size. Every episode focuses on one task or event, narrated and acted out by Laetitia in normal speed French.
What makes this podcast a must for French lovers is not only its great premise but also Laetitia’s effervescent personality. After all, just as in more traditional courses, liking the teacher is a very important part of a student’s motivation.
4. Learn French by Podcast
Students who are used to more traditional learning approaches should find an excellent companion in Learn French by Podcast. Its comprehensive lesson plan features conversations divided into different topics and levels that go from complete starters to advanced French speakers. The conversations are about daily matters such as discussing a film, social introductions and booking a flight. But the best part is that after you hear every dialogue, you get to hear it again with a full analysis of the main grammatical points present in the conversations.
What is more, difficult phrases or expressions are repeated several times with long pauses, which allows students to listen and repeat without having to pause the recording. As a result, this podcast in French is the best for older listeners and students who like a more guided approach to language learning.
So, which of these podcasts in French will you try first? No matter which one you choose, we’re sure your French is going to get an Eiffel-sized boost after you’ve finished the series.
However, don’t forget that if you want to achieve fluency in any language the best thing you can do is to take a personalised lesson with a native teacher. Therefore, make sure you visit your website and explore our tailor-made courses. In just a few months, you will be able to do things with French you would have never deemed possible!