It is a well-known malady of the human condition that we are too quick to talk and too slow to listen. It seems that we would rather hear our own voices instead of the voices of others. When it dawns on us that life and relationships are improved through using our ears instead of our mouths, we begin to contribute to a far more compassionate society.

Apart from the building of better relationships, listening also improves self-esteem, improves absorption of information for better academic results, and will help you learn a new language more quickly.

"Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self." -Dean Jackson

There are many ways to do this on a daily basis. From the music that you listen to, the TV you watch, podcasts that you choose, or YouTube channels that you follow, developing listening skills in French should be intentional.

Reading in French is a challenge, so why not look into finding a private French tutor to guide you?

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5 (10 review/s)
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Deborah
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5 (16 review/s)
Deborah
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Christilla aretha
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Listen to French Music

Celine Dion. Vanessa Paradis. Coeur de Pirate Carla Bruni. Edith Piaf. Maurice Chevalier. Joe Dassin.

What do these illustrious names have in common? All of them have recorded and sung French songs. They are also a wonderful entrée for anyone who wants to learn new French words through music.

When you regularly listen to French music, you will find that the distinct accent and colloquial expressions will soon influence your own pronunciation in French for the better.

Listening to French music is a passive way to learn new French words and hone your pronunciation in French while you cook, clean, or do the laundry. And, let’s face it, song lyrics are far easier to recall than lists of vocabulary.

One tip is to sing along even if you don’t understand the meaning of the French words and then look them up in a dictionary later.

Apart from improving your listening skills in French, music is a powerful way to become accustomed to the culture of France.

How?

As a form of language immersion, you will begin to understand the essence of how French people think, while you tune into the way of pronouncing French words.

Through listening to native music, you will pick up new French words and improve your pronunciation in French which will lead to speaking French more clearly.

And when you're ready to start writing in French, take a look at this article for some helpful tips.

woman using headphones while looking out of window
You can find some beautiful and enjoyable French music. (Source: Pexels)

Use YouTube to Help French Listening Skills

YouTube is one of those resources where you can truly get lost. This is not always a bad thing when the content is educational.

From cooking lessons to learning how to speak French fluently, YouTube is an excellent and interactive way to practice pronouncing new French words and phrases. While there is a place for classrooms and textbooks, using YouTube is a really fun and worthy supplement to your formal French lessons.  

Statistics around the prolific use of YouTube are simply crazy. Did you know that over 300 hours of video content is uploaded every minute with an estimated five billion videos watched on a daily basis? So if you want to learn to speak French fluently but the number of opportunities on YouTube seems overwhelming, check out the list of recommended channels below. All of these are aimed at showing you how fun pronouncing French words can be – especially if you are willing to develop listening skills in French.

  • Frenchpod101: mainly known by most as a podcast, Frenchpod101 is an excellent Youtube channel that features heaps of short videos that could assist you with the essential aspects of French grammar. Some to look forward to include topics on pronouncing French words, verbs, and growing vocabulary. Recommended videos like ‘How to Stay Motivated with Your French Studies’ and ‘100 Phrases Every Beginner Must Know’ have elicited rave reviews from viewers.
  • Comme Une Francaise: by listening to organised videos by the passionate Geraldine on Comme Une Francaise, French students gain a good understanding of topics associated with vocabulary, grammar, and basic conversation. Published videos focus on topics that are used in common conversation, while Geraldine teaches students how to act like real French people.
  • Easy French: much popular with over 180,000 subscribers who are studying French at an intermediate and advanced level, Easy French features over 40 videos on their Youtube channel. Their method makes studying French more engaging, interactive, authentic, and fun. The Easy French team likes to interview people on Paris streets and other French-speaking hubs like Montreal to find out how subscribers can be further helped when it comes to pronouncing French words. It’s helpful that the videos have subtitles in English which can aid French students to visualise the words being said. The "Super Easy" section is especially helpful for beginners because the conversations are spoken at a slow pace.
  • Coffee Break Languages: this channel focuses on many different languages and offers courses to suit all levels of French students. The duration of videos depends on the topic. For example, students can learn about ‘la famille’ or ‘let temps libre’ in just a few minutes with a native tutor. On the other hand, advanced grammar and coffee break conversations can take over 15 minutes.

These are highly recommended channels for beginners, intermediate or advanced French Students and the best part is that they are free!

If you’re wondering if there are other ways to improve listening skills in French, keep reading to find out more.

The best French (FLE) tutors available
Sude
5
5 (10 review/s)
Sude
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Deborah
5
5 (16 review/s)
Deborah
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Christilla aretha
5
5 (19 review/s)
Christilla aretha
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Јarnet rhuskys
5
5 (10 review/s)
Јarnet rhuskys
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Chihebe
4.9
4.9 (6 review/s)
Chihebe
R300
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Nomndeni
5
5 (7 review/s)
Nomndeni
R250
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Raeesa
5
5 (4 review/s)
Raeesa
R300
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Steve
Steve
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sude
5
5 (10 review/s)
Sude
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Deborah
5
5 (16 review/s)
Deborah
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Christilla aretha
5
5 (19 review/s)
Christilla aretha
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Јarnet rhuskys
5
5 (10 review/s)
Јarnet rhuskys
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Chihebe
4.9
4.9 (6 review/s)
Chihebe
R300
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Nomndeni
5
5 (7 review/s)
Nomndeni
R250
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Raeesa
5
5 (4 review/s)
Raeesa
R300
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Steve
Steve
R200
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go!

Participate in French Conversation Apps

If you want to practice both your listening and conversation skills with a native French but don't have the budget to engage with a private tutor every day of the week, there are apps to help you out.

Over the past few years, conversation exchange apps gained popularity and have now taken up a large part of the language acquisition market.

Basically, these apps connect native speakers to students in an engaging learning experience that can result in friendships to last a lifetime. If you're a native English speaker, you have the benefit of finding thousands of first language French speakers who are keen to swap their French language knowledge for English!

To follow are a few of the best conversation exchange apps that are used by millions of users from around the world:

  • Tandem: probably the most prevalent conversation exchange app on earth, Tandem lets users to chat 24/7 with other students via calling, text, or videoconferencing. It is very similar to other social networking apps because it has the ability to follow people. There are thousands of French students from many different countries hoping to hone their English with a UK native which means that you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding a French native to with whom to practice your French listening skills in French.
  • Bilingua: another strongly recommended language exchange app is Bilingua which allows English natives to practice their pronunciation in French while having a fun and interactive learning experience. The ‘smart chat’ section is especially popular with students who want to hone their listening skills in French as well as their pronunciation in French.

Of course, there are many other language exchange apps available but these are the most highly recommended at the current moment.

listening podcast
There are hundreds of podcasts available that help learners acquire the French language. (Source: Unsplash)

Find Good Podcasts

Pronouncing French words takes practice and one of the best ways to try and hone your pronunciation so that you can learn to speak French fluently is by following podcasts on subjects that are of interest to you. Fortunately, there are hundreds of enthusiastic individuals who are hosting podcasts especially aimed at students who want to pick up French as a second language. Here are a few highly recommended podcasts to help you to learn to speak French fluently while you catch on to correct pronunciation in French as you go.

If you want to learn to speak French fluently, podcasts are the perfect way to learn on the go and sharpen your listening skills in French at the same time.

Use Netflix to Improve French Listening Skills

person watching Netflix on desktop computer
Try watching Netflix series to hone your language skills. (Source: Pexels)

If you love to binge on a Netflix Original, then use the time to your benefit by switching your language preference to French so that you can hear spoken French. While you are at it, turn on the English subtitles and follow along to improve your comprehension too.

Believe it or not, it has been proven that watching Netflix in the language that you are trying to learn can drastically improve conversation and pronunciation skills.

Finally, remember that learning any new language need not be boring! As you can see there are heaps of fun and engaging ways to learn to speak French fluently. The most important key to your success will undoubtedly be practice, practice, and more practice!

Don’t be shy!  

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.