As recommended by people learning with The French Room. Online French Language School for Adults.
So what is the best way to learn French from home? Here are the top 10 ways our students recommended in 2022.
Possibly the best way to learn French from home is to use the Duolingo App daily. Over 500 million people used Duolingo to learn languages in 2021! That makes it by far the biggest language school in the world! Plus they use AI to develop the platform which would suggest that they know more about language learning habits than anyone else.
I hear back a mixture of delight and frustration from regular users of Duolingo. On the plus side, it is a daily activity that is short and sweet that covers a lot of grammar.
There are also some nifty features like pronunciation practice and stories and, of course, you feel like a champion as you get rewards along the way.
The frustration comes from the snakes and ladders feeling when you don’t complete a task successfully or miss a day and lose your perfect record. Some also find the high accuracy demands for writing a little irrelevant for someone who just wants to speak.
If you are at The French Room level 1 – 3, this is an indispensable way to power your French learning forward and give you a solid foundation in basic French grammar.
You will learn French faster if you do some short and regular practice in the language on a daily basis. Just imagine how many times you would hear the same vocabulary day in day out if you were living in France.
And then you can come to your French class ready to practice that learning in real conversation which is, after all, what it’s all about.
Coffee Break French is a very highly rated way to learn French from home and offers French podcasts for beginners through to advanced level learners. It has made it back onto our top 10 this year because of its popularity with The French Room students.
Learning by listening has got to be a good thing. So many people say that understanding spoken French is one of the things that they find most difficult.
It’s not that French speakers speak any faster than English speakers, they don’t as a rule. The average speed for an English or French speaker is about the same, at about 130 words per minute. It’s more a question of developing your ear to catch the words as they merge together and develop the skill of anticipating what is coming up next.
What’s really great about podcasts is that you can listen to them while you’re doing something else so in theory they can slot into your day nice and easily.
An estimated 100 million people listen to podcasts every month. As many of us have now started making listening a part of our daily routine, this is another great way to learn French from home.
Sophie, who is a level 4 learner, shared a fab podcast list with me. You can find podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts in App store, Google Play Music and many other platforms.
Sophie’s list – Quoi de Meuf, InnerFrench, Francais Authentique, One Thing in a French Day, Change Ma Vie, Fluidité, Louie Média, French Expat, Culture 2000, Frequences 9 3/4, Les Savanturiers, La Tête au Carré
And one further endorsed by Margaret – Hugo at Inner French
At levels 4 and 5 most French Room students have a favourite podcast that they enjoy.
Have a listen while you’re driving, cooking, gardening or anything where you are relaxed.
I like to listen with an objective in mind – general gist, listening out for specific words or turn of phrase, noticing masculine and feminine words, pronunciation etc.
Your goal could be to understand 5% , 10%, 50% etc of what you hear and a few weeks later a bit more.
How ever you listen, your French can only benefit from the experience.
RFI (Radio France Internationale) is a great website with news slowed down with their “Français Facile” service.
RFI is an incredibly rich resource for enjoying your French learning whilst discovering more about Francophone culture and not just in France.
Most people learning French struggle with listening and this resource gives you tonnes of resources to listen and check your understanding.
Very interesting and educational.
There is so much choice of excellent French films and series available now on Netflix, BBC and Prime.
I remember when we when to Calais for a day trip specifically to buy a DVD player and some French films in French. At the time they were in a different format to UK DVDs!
Now look what you can do. You can watch French TV is you want. Or go to Netflix and choose a brilliant French film or series and choose whether you have subtitles in French or English. You can even slow down the speech!
There’s been research to say that watching and reading in the native language can significantly improve language skills.
Youtube and Spotify give us access to a whole new world of French music and what could be better than being able to sing along and understand the lyrics!
You can learn a lot about the rhythm, pace and intonation of the French language through French music.
Just get a copy of the French lyrics and have a go at copying the artist.
The most famous youtuber teaching French is Alexa but there are hundreds or maybe thousands of great tutorial videos from all sorts of people using ingenious ways to get a point across.
It’s an endless resource to find the answer on pretty much anything. If you find a youtuber that you like on a subject that interests you, then you might be like me and end up watching videos on youtube everyday!
TF1 13H is the most gentle, civilised news you will ever find. The big news stories are what is in season on the market, how to make a certain dish in the traditional way and places of interest to visit around France.
When I watch TF1 13h I feel like I’ve been transported back into my French life. I love it’s simplicity and how so much of what I knew when I lived in France still seems to be common practice even though the world has changed so much. There is something very reassuring about that.
Reading any kind of French is going to help expand your vocab. You don’t need to jump straight into a French classic to get the benefit!
When I first arrived in France I tried reading “L’étranger” and it took me about 4 years to get beyond the first chapter!
I think that it’s better to read something that you know that you’ll enjoy and actually get through it. When I moved onto French translations of books I liked in English I found the whole thing much more pleasurable and so read loads more.
But it doesn’t have to be a novel, it can be an article, a scroll through the news on your phone or even a children’s story.
You really will be surprised at how much vocab you pick up and if you pay attention to the tenses used you’ll find that comes more easily too.
Nothing beats spending time in France! Let’s hope things will open up more in 2022 and we can do that more often this year.
When you’re in France every time you step out the door you have the language all around you; written on signs, overheard in passing conversations, through loud speaker announcements and of course actual conversation with people.
I tend to try and take in as much as I can as soon as I arrive. I want to see what’s changed, what’s new. I also deliberately hang back and listen to people around me before speaking if | can. This is particularly useful when visiting a new region because ways of speaking vary across France and I like to get a feel for what people are saying before I join the conversation.
And then every interaction is an opportunity to strike up a conversation however banal.
So there you have it! The best way to learn French from home in 2022.
Learn French. Feel Good!
Learning Resource 2 – Episode 3 – from 15m – 47m35s
Improve your listening skills and learn some real French by using The French Room worksheet for this episode of the French Bake Off.