Top 10 Podcasts to Learn French in 2020 (sorted by Levels)
Listening to French is one of the many ways to become fluent. French language podcasts are ready to go when you are, and can be set aside when you are otherwise engaged. They are perfect for commuting, taking a quiet drive, exercising, cleaning your house, or any other activity that does not require your full attention.
French Podcasts Selections for Beginners
French Pod 101
French Pod 101 is a fast, easy, and fun way to learn French. Difficulty ranges from beginners to advanced learners.
It is available in a variety of formats, including directly from the website, through your desktop computer, as audio or video lessons, and mobile apps.
The podcast hostess is Celine, who is a native French speaker, and Sam, who is a native English speaker but also is fluent in French. Each French podcast is a lesson about France or French culture. You can select specific target areas such as travel, personal relationships, business, or art.
Coffee Break French
Coffee Break French is a podcast that you should be able to listen to within the time it takes for a coffee break. Material is divided into four levels. The podcasts feature, Mark, and his student Ana. They are Scottish, but speak French very well.Coffee Break French can be used by more proficient French learners, as well.
In addition to beginner lessons, there are also intermediate, as well as upper-intermediate, and finally, advanced. Each level has forty lessons that will take ten or fifteen minutes of listening time. The podcasts are free, but if you subscribe, you will be able to listen to additional discussions and have access to lesson notes.
Learn French with Alexa
Learn French with Alexa gives you access to a real bi-lingual French Teacher, Alexa Polidora. You can find several of her beginning lessons on YouTube, if you wish to preview them. Her archived podcasts are also available for free at Ze Podcast (https://learnfrenchwithalexa.libsyn.com/) There are currently 15 lessons available online.
Since Alexa Polidora is an accredited teacher of French, the lessons are organized in a logical, classroom style. The podcasts are presented in a way that will be perfect for riding alone in your car, especially for long commutes.
By subscribing, you receive print lessons and will be able to connect with other students of the French language who are taking Alexa’s classes. In addition, you can download and save both video and audio lessons. You can also access the more advanced classes, which are presented in a way that helps the learner to build useful, everyday vocabulary.
Whether you want to learn French or not, Alexa’s observations in her online Blog are extremely funny, as well as being good insight into how language works. Her lessons are lively and easy to understand.
Je French offers audio lessons starting with beginning with basic words and phrases in French that will help you with practical needs. All the lessons are spoken by native French speakers and follow a simple format. The website provides visuals, including each lesson’s vocabulary in print.
If you are already moderately proficient in French, you can select certain lessons to improve your understanding of the French language, such as gender of nouns. But if you are a complete beginner, the lessons are arranged logically to give you a good grounding in the French language.
Basic French lessons are available as podcasts and include topics such as greetings, directions, how to order a meal, even words to use while on a date. In addition, there is a lesson that focuses on a French wedding ceremony. There are also some fun conversations about popular movies or ideas.
Paid subscribers can receive additional weekly lessons.
Learn French by Podcast
Learn French by Podcast is a language learning system that includes podcasts and a lesson guide. LFBP offers a seven-step beginning guide to French as a free introduction. However, the rest of their materials require purchasing download credits.
The download credits will enable you to access more advanced lessons, as well as providing .pdf worksheets that give you a written record of your vocabulary and a way to see how the words will appear in print. The audio downloads can be placed on any device that will playback mp3 recordings.
A sample lesson is available as a free download from their website.
One-Minute French, from iTunes, features Teacher Pierre-Benoit. One-Minute French follows the adult-learner concept that by listening to a brief lesson in French each day, you can master basics such as asking directions or ordering a meal.The lessons are closer to three minutes when introduction and closing are included but they are quick sound-bytes of French, focusing on one or two words for each lesson. For example, lesson one introduces Bonjour and Au revoir, hello and goodbye. The lessons are grouped by season, and those that are archived are available as a free download.
For current lessons and the archived lessons, you can subscribe through iTunes. One minute French is part of the Coffee Break Academy.
Parlez Away is an excellent podcast for people who are just beginning to learn French. The primary speaker is Ted, a native of Wisconsin, who is being tutored by Caroline, an native speaker of French, who lives in the northwestern part of France.
Parlez Away is available through Apple Podcasts or Spotify. It is one of the many language lessons available through Babbel.
Babbel.com offers opportunities to learn French at seven different levels, ranging from Newcomer to Advanced. In addition, it offers refresher options, along with specialized materiale that focuses on grammar, listening and speaking, French customs, words and sentences, and idioms, those unique expressions that might not translate perfectly.
French Podcasts Selections for Intermediate Learners:
News in Slow French
News in Slow French focuses on real news articles, articulated clearly and slowly. It is recommended for people who can hold a basic conversation in French. It uses real-world, current information that is found in the daily news.
If your French is still a little shaky, it offers G.U.T.S. (Get Up to Speed). It begins with humorous dialogue between Valerie, a French teacher, and Jacques, an English speaking student who wants to start a French restaurant. There are five “acts”, each one building on the vocabulary of the previous act. Eventually, Jacques is joined by Michelle, and finally by Kevin. The episodes are humorous and are an excellent way to build vocabulary or to refresh your French if you’ve not been using it recently.
In addition to G.U.T.S., News in Slow French also offers several grammar lessons to help you with sentence structure, tenses, and general usage.
News in Slow French divides the news articles into Intermediate and advanced difficulty levels. World News/Politics, Science/Technology, Arts/Culture and Trending in France are at the Intermediate level, while A Change of Pace and Opinion are listed as Advanced.
Daily French Pod
Daily French Pod is a language-learning system that offers free podcasts every day. The lessons are short, about four to five minutes each, based on everyday topics. The topic is presented on the website as a single sentence, first in French, then in English. The teacher reads the French topic, then explains the meaning and pronunciation of each of the words, and gives further examples of how to use each word in other sentences.
French Podcast Selections for Proficient Learners
“Français Authentique, founded by Johan Tefkaka, focuses on lessons, but provides a free podcast as well. Expressions and sentences are reduced to their component parts for better understanding. Only French is spoken during each fifteen minute session.
If you have already mastered a basic French vocabulary, can hold a conversation, and are able to understand the content presented in the Intermediate levels of ‘News in Slow French’, then you are ready for “Francais Authentique”. The entire website is in French. Added lessons are available in addition to the podcasts.
One Thing in a French Day
‘One Thing in a French Day’, hosted by Laetitia, occurs three times per week. The podcasts are short, about three to five minutes each, and are about ordinary events in Laetitia’s life. The speech rate is normal, but clearly enunciated. It can be a lot of fun to hear about the things that Laetitia is doing, and it is a way to virtually explore France. Sometimes other people join Laetitia, giving the listener an opportunity to hear conversations in French.
‘Grands Reportages’ is one of the primary global news sources in France. The French is spoken at a conversational rate, much like a CNN broadcast. They use video and other supporting media during their broadcasts. Excellent for practicing fluent listening, as well as an opportunity to catch up on world news from the French point of view.
Sur la Route
Sur la Route is a French language travelogue about France. For people who are becoming fluent in French, it offers an excellent learning opportunity as native French speakers talk about France. They focus on a different part of France each week. Sur la Route will bring up many alternative websites, so use this link for the French language podcast. https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/sur-la-route
Podcasts are not the only way to learn French, but they offer an excellent opportunity for listening practice. If you are a beginner, select one that has someone who speaks your language to help you understand the French commentary. Or, look for podcasts with a print transcript so you can use a mechanical translator as backup. No matter how you look at it, listening is an important component of learning a language. After all, you really cannot expect people to walk around with subtitles, now can you?