"To learn a new language is to have one more window from which to look at the world." -Chinese proverb
The world is a giant mixing bowl made up of many cultures, languages, traditions, and landscapes. As the saying goes – ‘variety is the spice of life.’
The world is a beautiful place that is heightened by a variety of languages, cultures, traditions, people, and landscapes. I once heard an elderly woman say, "Variety is the spice of life," and I couldn't agree more!
If you want to immerse yourself in the world around you, one of the most powerful ways to deepen your connection with it is to learn more about different countries and their fascinating languages.
When it comes to learning a new language, there is always the question about which one to choose to learn. The Romance languages which include Italian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish are popular, not only because they sound so enthrallingly beautiful, but because they are so widely spoken too.
Latin-based languages like these, which are easier for the English foreign language student than learning Arabic or Russian for instance, are all rewarding, but French is the most widely spoken.
So if you’re keen on learning beginner to intermediate French then this article about how to master reading in French is for you.
One of the best ways to hone French comprehension is to make use of the beelingual app.
The way it works is by showing the user text in both French and English for instance so that French comprehension grows. Beelingual is available on both the App and Google Play stores.
But how can Beelingual actually improve French reading?
Here are a few benefits that explain all the benefits including the ones related to French reading comprehension!
- Because texts are shown in both languages at the same time, students can rely on their native tongue to help them acquire unique French words that are new to them.
- The content is extremely varied. Topics could include current events, fairy tales, science romance stories, and much more. To learn unique French words, follow everything and not just what interests you.
- The audio section for Karaoke which allows the French reading of a native speaker is another way to pick up unique French words.
Beelingual will help you to practise reading in French, improve your pronunciation, and have you speaking French clearly sooner than you expect. It is available in English, French, and 11 other languages including Indonesian, German, Hindi, Russian, Turkish, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese.
Also, because it is a smartphone app, Beelingual is great for practising French comprehension while you are on the train, taking a break at the office, or waiting for a meeting.
Turn Netflix Subtitles into a French Comprehension Tool
Most people love to spend a little downtime chilling with the likes of Showmax or Netflix. If you can relate, why not take the opportunity to turn this leisure time into practising your French reading time. Not only will you pick up unique French words, but your overall French comprehension is bound to improve.
If you’re reading French subtitles, here is a quick summary of the associated benefits.
- Your French reading speed will be heightened.
- Improve your listening skills with the need to pay close attention to subtitles and their translation.
- As unique French words are presented you can increase your vocabulary.
- Being able to see and hear unique French words at the same time will increase understanding.
- When grammar is placed in context, language is understood more quickly.
These are all great reasons to encourage you to use subtitles on your next binge day. There’s no doubt, using subtitles to improve your French reading is simple, effective, and enjoyable. Just do it!
Read French Books
Reading French, understanding it, and pronouncing it correctly is enormously satisfying when it is a second language. If you are learning French and love to read good literature, there is no shortage of quality reading material that has initially been produced in French.
For students who are reading French for beginners and want go up a level, there are many suitable French books available. One tip to help your selection process is to make sure that you are reading French at your current level of ability. This way your experience remains enjoyable while you are able to pick up unique French words at the same time!
Here are a few recommended books to improve your reading in French as a second language.
- Le Petit Prince: authored by the wonderful Antonine de Saint-Exupery and well known in English as The Little Prince, Le Petit Prince is an absolute treasure that is perfect for reading in French. It is perfect for beginners who want to advance and because it is written in both languages it is a suitable choice for growing French reading comprehension. Vocabulary is simple, sentence structure is understandable and the story is simply enchanting!
- Contes de la Bécasse: if the idea of reading French sounds daunting then this short series is for you. If you find long literary works time-consuming, you won’t need the patience to navigate a marathon’s worth of French reading comprehension. Contes de la Bécasse, written by Guy de Maupassant has stellar reviews from native speakers and is the perfect companion to improve your reading in French.
- L'Étranger: Why not improve your French reading comprehension with what could be the best modern classic available to French students. L'Étranger is a powerful story about a Frenchman from Algeria. Written by Albert Camus, this book with its easy-to-understand vocabulary will make your reading in French endeavors very enjoyable.
There you have three outstanding books that can hone your French reading comprehension and introduce you to French literature. Try reading paragraphs out loud as this will help you to practise your pronunciation and get you accustomed to hearing your voice speaking a foreign language at the same time.
Find a Tutor to Practise Reading French
"The more that you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." -Dr. Seuss
Let's face it, Dr Seuss was a genius and his wisdom is not only for children, but adults too. His work cheers children on to read and makes it so fun that young readers end up associating it with positive experiences.
This is especially helpful when learning a foreign tongue where students need to feel at ease and have the sense that it will benefit them.
So you may be wondering: what is the best way to learn how to read in French?
The answer is not dissimilar to learning important aspects of any language. Find a private tutor to suit you, your goals, and your budget! There’s no doubt that having the guidance and moral support of a tutor will fast-track your progress quicker than any other method.
Apart from the additional resources and unique tips that a French tutor could offer you, when you find one on a platform like Superprof, for instance, you will have additional assurance of the tutor's capabilities as you have access to reviews left by other students.
Regarding French reading comprehension, you can expect to have to read sentences, chapters, or an entire short story with a tutor who will provide honest feedback.
French teachers are usually native speakers who know the ins and outs of French very well. Working with a native French tutor, and listening carefully to them, will drastically improve your pronunciation.
One of the pitfalls of learning any new language is the pronunciation mistakes that are made. When you have a tutor their job is to help you to iron out the unique mistakes you are making in French.
If you are wondering where to find a private French tutor in South Africa, why not start your search with Superprof? You could easily find someone located near to you for in-person lessons, however, if you are keen on taking online classes, you could expand your search to the site’s offering of thousands of tutors from much further away, even overseas.
It’s not surprising that in the current world, the tutoring industry has made a drastic shift to be online. This is extremely convenient as you get to have lessons without even leaving the house.
Finally, remember that what you decide to put into your French language acquisition education is what you will get out! If you can find a Supeprof tutor who offers their first lesson for free, make the most of it and take the time to ask the right questions about their experience and background. You will need the right person to help you persevere through the highs and lows of learning French!
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