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There are so many ways to learn and improve your French. If you have a busy schedule and are looking to practice and learn on the go, then listening to podcasts might be a great option. Podcasts are available to listen to any time, and you can listen while you are doing other things like driving, commuting to work or school, or even while cleaning your house! There are many great podcasts that can help you learn or improve your French. Some are meant for true beginners, others are designed to give you some basics before traveling to a French-speaking country, and others are for intermediate or advanced learners to learn more culture and improve their vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and other aspects of the language. So whatever level of French you are at, there is a podcast that can help you improve. To make things easier for you, here we have compiled a list of some of the best podcasts for learning French.
Best for Beginners: Coffee Break French
CoffeeBreak FrenchBuy on Radiolingua.com
Coffee Break has language-learning services in five different languages. They offer paid online courses, but they also have free podcasts, created by Radio Lingua Network. Coffee Break French is a podcast that can help you learn French, as well as cultural information about the francophone world. They currently have four levels: Absolute beginners, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, and Advanced. This is a great podcast to use if you are a true beginner and want to work your way up.
Each level has 40 lessons, and they are 10 to 15 minutes long. In each lesson, you will hear Mark (the teacher) speaking with his student (Ana). Mark and Ana are Scottish but they speak great French. However, you will also hear other speakers in different episodes. Although the podcasts are free to listen, if you buy a membership for Coffee Break French, you can have access to extended audio with discussions of the lessons as well as lesson notes.
Best for Intermediate Learners: News in Slow French
News in Slow FrenchBuy on Newsinslowfrench.com
News in Slow French is a weekly podcast for French learners. They also have versions of this podcast in other languages. The idea behind this podcast is to listen to French native speakers talking about current events, news, and culture in simplified French. The speakers talk slowly and enunciate clearly so that it can be understandable to French learners. It is much easier to understand than the news you would hear on television or radio newscasts. They have podcasts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners, but it is mostly recommended for people who already have at least a basic understanding of French.
This podcast is a great way to keep up to date with that is going on in the world, and practice your French at the same time. Other than news stories, these podcasts also contain conversation between the hosts, as well as some discussion about grammar points and French expressions. Although News in Slow French has lots of free content, you need a subscription in order to have access to all their content, including transcripts, flashcards, grammar lessons, quizzes, and other language learning material.
Best for Advanced Learners: Français Authentique
Français AuthentiqueBuy on Francaisauthentique.com
Français Authentique is a system developed by a French man named Johan Tefkak, with the purpose of helping French learners advance in their French learning process. Johan wants to help learners become fluent without getting stressed out and while enjoying the process. For paid subscribers, he offers online courses and private discussion groups, but he also offers a free podcast. Some of the episodes focus on a particular French expression, which Johan breaks down. He explains each part of the phrase and then gives examples of how it can be used. These episodes also offer the chance for you to repeat and practice your pronunciation. Other episodes he produces focus on some interesting topic, often about personal development or about some aspect of Johan's life.
The episodes are about 15 minutes long, and in these podcasts, Johan speaks only French. Although he speaks clearly and not too fast, this podcast is mostly recommended for intermediate to advanced learners who can already understand French but want to gain more vocabulary, learn idiomatic expressions and want to become more fluent.
Best Quick Listen: One Thing in a French Day
One Thing in a French DayBuy on Podbean.com
One Thing in a French Day is a podcast hosted by Laetitia, a French woman living in Paris who talks about all kinds of interesting subjects about her life in France. Laetitia has been publishing podcasts every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday since 2006. The podcasts are short, about three to five minutes each. Most podcasts are about something that happened during her day, and they are all completely in French.
Laetitia speaks at a normal speed but she enunciates well. Therefore, this is a great podcast if you are an intermediate or advanced level student and want to practice listening comprehension and expand your vocabulary once you have a basic understanding of French. Also, if you subscribe to her newsletter, for $6 a month you can obtain the transcript for each podcast as well as other useful information.
Best for Self Practice: Learn French by Podcast
Learn French By PodcastBuy on Learnfrenchbypodcast.com
Learn French by Podcast is a language learning system that includes podcasts and a lesson guide. The lesson guide includes a transcript of the podcast, an analysis of the language used in the lesson, vocabulary, and practice exercises. Their methodology consists of using real-life situations and exploring the vocabulary and expressions that are necessary for those situations, so during the podcasts you will hear conversations about many everyday topics. There are two parts to each podcast: the first is the conversation between native speakers, and the second is an analysis of the grammar and phrases used during the conversation.
The hosts are a French speaker and an English speaker (who gives explanations in English). The lessons start with very basic concepts, so you can use this podcast if you are a true beginner. If you are more advanced, you can skip ahead to more complicated lessons. You can listen to the podcasts for free, but you have to purchase download credits if you want access to the lesson guides for $1 each (although they are cheaper if you buy a bundle).
Best Variety: French Pod 101
French Pod 101Buy on Frenchpod101.com
French Pod 101 is part of the 101 podcast series, which produces audio lessons in many languages. The French Pod 101 program includes audio and video lessons, mobile apps, desktop software and a website with French lessons. They claim it is a fast, easy, and fun way to learn French. French Pod 101 offers lots of short podcasts that can be useful for any level of French learner, starting with beginners all the way to advanced learners. Each podcast is a lesson about some aspect of the language or a cultural topic.
The podcast is hosted by Céline, a native French speaker who takes the role of the teacher, and Sam, a native English speaker, who speaks great French. If you get a paid subscription you can access flashcards, lesson notes, as well as a community forum.
Best for Listening Skills: Daily French Pod
Daily French PodBuy on Dailyfrenchpod.com
Daily French Pod is a language-learning system that offers free podcasts every day that use a communicative approach to teach you French. They are short lessons, about four to five minutes each, based on everyday topics. Only French is spoken during the podcasts, and the host for the podcast is Louis, who is a native French speaker. However, Louis converses with different people, so you will hear other speakers as well. The conversations are at normal speed, but Louis slows down when he gives some explanations. Therefore, this podcast is most useful for learners who already have some basic understanding of the French language. It is great for improving your listening skills and expanding your vocabulary. There is a learning guide and a PDF transcript that accompany each podcast, but you will need to purchase a subscription in order to obtain those documents.
Best for Grammar: Learn French with Alexa
Learn French with AlexaBuy on Learnfrenchwithalexa.com
Learn French with Alexa is a website created by Alexa Polidoro, an experienced French teacher who makes audio and video material to help you learn French. She offers paid online courses, but also has a free podcast show. In her podcasts, you can hear Alexa talk to different guests about French cultural topics or about different aspects of the French language. Each episode is about 30 minutes long.
Alexa mixes English and French to teach you and explain different grammar concepts or phrases. Since she is a teacher, her method is more of a classroom, academic style and focuses a lot on grammar, so it is great for beginner learners.
Best for Conversation: Learn Out Loud: French Survival Phrases
Learn Out Loud: French Survival PhrasesBuy on Learnoutloud.com
Learn Out Loud is a company that offers lots of audio and video educational material on many different subjects. One of the subjects they offer is learning French. The Learn Out Loud French Survival Phrases offers a weekly podcast that is about six minutes long. Each episode focuses on an essential French phrase. You can learn how the phrase is used and you can practice its pronunciation. The phrases are pretty basic but very useful, such as how to ask for the check at a restaurant, how to apologize, or how to order food. Therefore, this podcast is a great resource for a beginner learner who needs a sort of crash course to acquire some French before traveling to a French-speaking country.