Looking to brush up on your French? Why not find a TV or radio programme to help? There aren’t many ways as easy to boost your learning as listening or watching something you’re interested in. So here are some great programmes for you to try if you’re learning French.
Plus belle la vie
Plus belle la vie is a soap set in the beautiful coastal city of Marseille, meaning your French learning experienced here is bathed in glorious sunshine! Like all soaps you can expect regular characters that you’ll love and loathe, whose accents will become familiar to you the more you listen. The language is pretty simple, though if you are a beginner don’t expect to understand every word.
There are more than 3000 episodes now available so there will something to catch your interest if you decide to watch. Episodes are just half an hour long so shouldn’t be too difficult to fit into your routine. You can get online exclusives and behind the scenes, on the official website for the show so you’ll have even more French practice; happy learning!
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Nova is a great radio station to have on in the background when you’re doing other things, and with any luck you’ll soon be singing along! Nova is available round the clock so you can tune in to listen whenever is convenient to you.
As well as the constant stream of music and commentary you would expect to hear from a radio station there are also some specialist programmes too, so that if you want to make your learning into a lesson instead of a casual listen then, well, you can! Take this tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, which has a short piece of writing for you to practice with as well as some downloadable audio files. A great opportunity for a little French listening whenever you want!
The Long, Long Holiday
The Long, Long Holiday was a short animated series that aired in 2015, that you’ll often find on top ten lists for best programmes to learn French. Two children go to stay with their grandparents for the holidays and end up staying throughout the Second World War. This series is charming, suitable for adults and children alike, and best of all because of the great subtitles and easy speech, a perfect introduction to learning French — even if you are a beginner!
Want to see if this is a show for you? Give the trailer a watch! This animation manages to be both beautiful and poignant; you might even just enjoy it for its visuals if you don’t feel like practicing French.
If you want a listening activity that requires a little more effort, then France Culture radio is the one for you! This is a slower-paced radio station than some yet deals with difficult subjects; there are debates and discussions on everything from economics to climate change, so you have plenty of subjects covered.
You can listen to France Culture at any time, though if you want to pause and listen to something specific then there are enough programmes for you to work through as well. Try A voix nue, for example, reflecting on the words that best explain what is happening in our world in this current time.
BFM TV is a 24-hour news station with clear-speaking presenters for all your French-learning needs. If you don’t have access to watching this station on TV then don’t worry because much of what is screened is available online. There are thousands of short videos detailing what is happening in our news so you can pick and choose whatever fits best into your schedule and suits your interests.
So if, for example, you have the urge to learn about the pickpocketing problem plaguing the Parisien Metro system, give this short video a watch. There is also a small summary of the story in a couple of paragraphs beneath each video so if you want a little more information or practice, you have it. BFM TV is a great resource for dipping in to when you have a few minutes free. Why not give it a try?
TV and radio could be the very boost you need to help you with your French practice. What are you going to tune in to?