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The complete guide to adding French to your daily life, online and for free

by | French language tips

The complete guide to adding French to your daily life, online and for free

by | Apr 6, 2020 | French language tips

French teacher in Paris Yasmine LesireYou can’t practice and improve your French on your own, without a teacher.

Has this thought ever crossed your mind? Do you think that, on your own, it’s too hard to make or even maintain progress in French? Attending a course to learn French is always a great idea. But let’s be honest, you don’t want to attend a French class your whole life, even if you really love both the course and your French teacher. After attending a private or group French course, you’ll probably wonder how you can maintain all the impressive efforts you’ve made in French. Losing all the knowledge you’ve gained is a legitimate fear, so how can you implement a routine by yourself without being guided through the language by a private French tutor? How can you find and implement a routine on your own?  I’ll give you all my secret tips as a French teacher and, most importantly, as a language learner myself. That way, you’ll be able to maintain all the efforts you’ve made so far, for free and forever. 

There are many good excuses not to practice your French on your own. I already know you’re gonna tell me: 

  • At home we speak only English (or another language) with my French partner. 
  • My kids don’t speak French. 
  • My kids will make fun of me and my French.
  • My partner doesn’t want to learn/speak French (valid for both native French speakers and non-speaker partners). 
  • I don’t live in a French-speaking country.
  • I don’t need to speak French. 
  • I don’t need it for my career.
  • My friends don’t speak French or don’t want to speak French with me (partner included).
  • I don’t have time.
  • Bartenders and shop assistants always reply to me in English. 
  • And blah blah and blah blah blah. 

The good news I bring to you today is that all these excuses are external factors to your life. They affect your routine in French because you let external events and factors interfere with your objectives. You are, of course, free to continue finding excuses and keep your French level as it is today. Or, you can decide to implement real and concrete changes in your life that will make a difference in a few months’ time. 

If you decide to change and keep your French skills, below you’ll find all the tips and secrets I share during my private French classes.

❤️ are my favorite.   

How to improve your French on your own

  • Set your devices to French – all of them 

This is the first step. Your brain will get used to the French language faster than your resistance skills. (Computer, GPS, phone, Alexa, Google Home…) 

  • Set your apps to French 
  • Write a diary to your invisible French-speaking friend, lover, etc.… 
  • Write a sentence a day 

How to practice your listening skills in French 

  • Listen to a podcast at your own rhythm. In this article, I tested and approved 52 podcasts in French. 

My podcast to help you learn French, on Spotify or iTunes ❤️

Revolution digital: you can listen to my interview here. ❤️

In my opinion and based on my experience, there are two excellent ways to improve your French listening skills on your own and for free: follow along with resources offering online transcriptions and listen to audio available in different languages. 

Practice your listening skills with transcriptions 

Some websites offer free audio resources with transcriptions. Having been a Private French Teacher for more than 10 years, I highly recommend you not challenge yourself too much early on, especially if you’re at the beginner level. In other words, take it easy with your progress. The first time you listen to the news in French, don’t hesitate to read the transcription while you’re listening to it. Some people listen first without the transcription – once my students reach the intermediate level, I give them the transcription after they’ve listened to the audios a few times. 

What do I do in my own language studies? 

  1. When I reach level A2, I read and listen at the same time for at least a week – or a month, depending on how much time I have available. Listening with a transcription is an excellent exercise if you’re too scared to try without written support. 
  2. Once I feel more comfortable, I try once without the transcription. I try on public transport, while working, in the metro – anywhere that will force me to listen without checking my screen. If you understand 60% of the content, you’re on a good track. If not, go back to your basics and re-study your grammar. 

RFI Savoirs ❤️

TV5 Monde

Arte education

Practice your listening skills with multi-language audio. 

Some channels offer news only in French; others offer different languages. If this is the first time you’re planning to listen to the news in French, I recommend you choose a channel that offers multiple languages so you can make sure you understand. My personal tip is to quickly switch to full-on French so your brain gets used to it as soon as possible. 

France Inter

Euronews

RFI

Le journal en français facile  ❤️ News by RFI in easy French with a transcription! Probably the best resource to learn French.  

Coffee break French 

News in slow French 

Listen to French music. I share my playlists on Spotify. 

Rap français 

Bal populaire ❤️

Les classiques 

L’essentiel 

Listen to the news in French. 

France 24

LCI

BFMTV

RFI ❤️

TV5Monde

ARTE journal 

Videos to practice and improve your French 

  • Watch movies in VO with French subtitles – even if the original language wasn’t French.
  • Watch documentaries in French.

Cash investigation

Envoyé special 

Arte ❤️

ThinkerView : Politically-oriented.

Watch movies in French

Ilini: French movies with subtitles.

Arte

TV shows

Master Chef and Top chef: available on YouTube.

La Clique: ❤️ nice interviews about francophone artists. 

Le Quotidien: satirique.

Touche pas à mon poste: very popular, but I’m personally not a big fan of the host. 

Cooking classes in French

Top chef 

Master chef

Atelier des chefs 

Marmiton

Improve your French by attending webinars in French

Webikeo

Data event: Training and webinars for B2B.

Tableau

Usine nouvelle 

Attend a MOOC in French

Edx ❤️

Fun-Mooc

Coursera

Videos on social media to practice your French 

Follow great pages on Facebook

Konbini News

Konbini pop 

Brut ❤️

Brut nature FR 

Slate

Bonnes nouvelles ❤️

Simone: Feminist, named after Simone Veil who legalized abortion in France.  

Topito: the best page to learn slang in French 

Follow amazing French accounts on Instagram 

I Learn French: My super account ! 

Coucou les girls

French words

Nino

Sebastian Marx

Paul Taylor

Tristan Lopin ❤️

Laura Calu 

Florence Foresti 

Laurence bibot 

Vogueturfu : Turfu : verlan of future 

Putain ils ont osé  ❤️The best play-on-words in French 

Yugnat999: ❤️ Bilingual account mixing slang in French and English 

My biggest secret tip: Follow language teachers on Instagram that teach French in your native language. This is a trick I discovered while studying Portuguese. I didn’t have a clue about Portuguese and I decided to follow the accounts of two Portuguese teachers; one who taught in English and the other in French. You can’t imagine how useful it is to learn new expressions. 

My favourite channel on YouTube.

Coucou les girls

Gaelle Garcia Marques

Festival de Montreux ❤️: tous les humoristes francophones passent par là. 

Palma Show

Francophone humorists to follow: 

Sebastian Marx – J’explique la prononciation française ! | Facebook

Sebastian Marx – Quand un américain explique l’expression ”n’importe quoi” | Facebook

Fary ❤️

Panayotis 

Caspar Proust

Guillermo guiz (Level C1) ❤️

Guillaume Meurice

Alex Vizorek 

Marion rollman

Kheiron – YouTube 

Les inconnus

Les Robins des bois 

Les nuls 

Les inconnus ❤️

Le festival de Montreux

To practice your reading skills in French 

improve your French

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash.jpg

Read free versions of newspapers in French 

Le Courrier International ❤️

Le monde

Le soir 🇧🇪

Le temps 🇨🇭

  • Search for everything on Google in French. You can even set French as the default by scrolling the whole way down the Google home page.
  • Search in French on Quora. Be careful: there are a lot of talented people on Quora, but the spelling of questions and answers isn’t checked. 
  • Download newspaper apps and activate the push notifications; this way you’ll have to read in French – yes or yes 😉 
  • Librairie of public domain 

De plus en plume: This website isn’t particularly user friendly. 

Read your horoscope in French. 

Horoscope: Subscribe to their newsletter and receive your horoscope every day. 

Mon horoscope du jour

Stop translating French words into your language; use the French dictionary to find the meaning. Much more challenging!

Larousse 

Le Robert 

Meditate in French 

Guided meditation

Affirmation positives  

Hypnosis in French

Frederic Barbey

  • Get used to searching on YouTube in French.

To practise your French with someone 

Where to find a partner for a language tandem/exchange:

Free languages and cultural exchange in Brussels

Online exchange for ladies only

Conversation exchange

To learn French on your own 

Use apps to learn languages: 

Yabla: learn languages with video 

Memrise: learn languages with Flashcards

Busuu 

Babbel 

Duolingo 

Drops

Exercise online 

French exercise

L’instant FLE 

RFI Savoirs 

Follow French teachers online: 

Français Authentique – YouTube 

Français avec Pierre – YouTube 

Alexa 

Comme une Française – YouTube

Easy languages: French: Interview of French people in the street. 

InnerFrench 

Schmittnews

learn to speak french

So, mon ami(e), what do you plan to do now? Save this article for later, or implement the nice tips I gave you right now? If your plan is to change and improve your French, do it today. You won’t do it later, we both know that. Of course, if you don’t want to be on your own, sorting out all these free resources, you can hire a Private French Teacher who can personally help you, giving you objectives and deadlines. 

Are there other tips you use to improve your French and keep up with your French in daily life? Want to share them with a community of students in a very secret group on Facebook? It’s here! 

I’ve also created 2 language exchange groups on Facebook :

  1. Language exchange: ladies only
  2. Free languages and cultural exchange

Let’s connect also on Linkedin. 🥰